This, the last of this semester’s lunchtime talks with the International and Area Studies department, was an incredibly insightful discussion, out of my normal range of interests. For a long time, I neglected to keep up with political activity, adamant that since I could not vote, it didn’t matter to be informed. However, in the last few years I’ve made it a mission to become more politically aware, since I am now of voting age and have more of a stake in our nation’s political future. Daming is an expert on the subject of American politics, especially how they are received by and affect the Chinese people. He explained that the Chinese population – including some experts and national leaders – doesn’t know much about US politics, but they do enjoy discussing the topic nonetheless. Congress has much leverage when it comes to China, making relations with Taiwan, among other issues. In China, there are a few institutes that research US politics, including the Center for American Studies, China Renmin University, and Beijing Foreign Studies University. However, there are fewer than 5 experts on the methods of the US Congress. Daming also mentioned that many congress-people use the so-called “China card” to gain power and leverage, diminishing the relevance of China in US politics. All of Daming’s observations about US-China relations, especially during congressional negotiations, gave me substantial insight into how members of the Chinese population view the United States. This talk was certainly a stepping-stone in my journey to learn more about US politics and foreign relations.