Cheng Li

Distinguished Fellow, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy
Cheng Li


Main bio

Dr. Cheng Li is a professor of political science and founding director of the Centre on Governance of China and the World at the University of Hong Kong. Li’s research areas include the transformation of political leaders, generational change, the Chinese middle class, Chinese think tanks, technological development in China, China’s foreign policy, Sino-U.S. relations, and global governance.  

Prior to joining HKU, Li served as director and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s John L. Thornton China Center. He currently also serves as director of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution’s John L. Thornton China Center, a non-resident fellow at Yale University’s Paul Tsai China Center, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.  

Li is the author/editor of 17 books, including Chinese Politics in the Xi Jinping Era: Reassessing Collective Leadership (2016), The Power of Ideas: The Rising Influence of Thinkers and Think Tanks in China (2017), and Middle Class Shanghai: Reshaping U.S.-China Engagement (2021). He is currently completing two book manuscripts with the working titles Sino-U.S. relations: Searching for the Convergence of Interests in a Changing World (in Chinese) and Xi Jinping’s Protégés: Rising Elite Groups in the Chinese Leadership. Li received an M.A. in Asian Studies from the University of California at Berkeley and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Princeton University. 

Updated July 2023