Dr. Denis Simon has just completed five years as Executive Vice Chancellor of a highly regarded Sino-Foreign joint venture university in Kunshan, China. He has spent the last four decades working inside and outside of the PRC dealing issues related to China’s talent development and utilization, the internationalization of higher education, and the development of the Chinese national innovation system. In this presentation, he will discuss the challenges that Chinese universities are facing and the role that the university sector is playing in China’s drive for national economic, technological and research pre-eminence, the evolving political pressures that shape and constrain the development of tertiary education in China, and the extent to which China is willing and able to work with international partners. In addition, he will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of research conducted at Chinese universities and the extent to which US institutions are likely to find opportunities for cooperation in future. Professor Qiang Zha of the York University will be the discussant.