Weakened by two Opium Wars and a succession of internal rebellions in the mid-1800s, China's imperial leaders made a historic decision-to break a tradition of isolation and seek education outside the homeland's borders.
In time, an acquisition of science and technology from the rapidly-industrializing West would enable China to modernize its still-feudal economy and outdated military, thus restoring stability and establishing protection from future foreign encroachment.
Today more than 200,000 Chinese are enrolled in colleges and universities across the United States, while the number of Americans choosing to study in China is rising.
As we approach mid-century China is assuming a lofty position of world leadership.
This book does not attempt to debate or determine the extent to which higher education exchange with the United States has impacted China's rise .
Instead it focuses on the story itself-of Sino-American education trade from its roots in antiquity to the present time-highlighting the people, programs, trials and triumphs that have wrought its extraordinary history.
It will offer the first sequential, historically grounded book-length review of Sino-American education exchange that takes the story from its origins to the present day.