Social media and the politics of reform in China to be discussed at Baker Institute conference April 1


David Ruth

Jeff Falk

Social media and the politics of reform in China to be discussed at Baker Institute conference April 1

HOUSTON – (March 21, 2013) – As part of its 20th anniversary event series, Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and the institute’s Transnational China Project will host a discussion on the impact of new media on political reform in China.

Who: Wenhong Chen, assistant professor, Department of Radio-TV-Film, College of Communication, University of Texas at Austin.

Aynne Kokas, fellow in Chinese media, Baker Institute, and postdoctoral fellow, Chao Center for Asian Studies, Rice University.

Steven Lewis, the C.V. Starr Transnational China Fellow, Baker Institute.

What: “The Politics of Reform in China” discussion.

When: Monday, April 1, 4-5:30 p.m.

Where: Rice University, Baker Hall, Kelly International Conference Facility, 6100 Main St.

At this event, three Chinese media experts will examine what the once-in-a-decade leadership changes at the Communist Party of China’s 18th Party Congress last November and the introduction of the new state leadership at the 12th National People’s Congress last month reveal about how China’s leaders and average citizens use new media to openly and frankly discuss political reform in digital public forums.

The Baker Institute is celebrating its 20th year. To mark this milestone, the institute has planned a series of special events that highlight its programs and research. Throughout the year, lectures and conferences will focus on a host of important and timely issues, including U.S. fiscal policy and immigration reform.

Members of the news media who want to attend should RSVP to Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at or 713-348-6775.

To view the event description, visit A live webcast will be available at


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Founded in 1993, the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in Houston ranks among the top 20 university-affiliated think tanks globally and top 30 think tanks in the United States. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute conducts research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows and Rice University scholars. Learn more about the institute at or on the institute’s blog,

About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is associate director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.