James A. Millward is Professor of Intersocietal History at the Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, teaching Chinese, Central Asian, and world history. His specialties include the Qing empire, the silk road, Eurasian lutes and music in history, and historical and contemporary Xinjiang. He follows and comments on current issues regarding Uyghurs and Xinjiang and People’s Republic of China ethnicity policy.

Millward has served on the boards of the Association for Asian Studies (China and Inner Asia Council) and the Central Eurasian Studies Society, and was President of the Central Eurasian Studies Society in 2010. His publications include Eurasian Crossroads: A History of Xinjiang (Columbia University Press, 2007, 2021), The Silk Road: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2013), New Qing Imperial History: The Making of Inner Asian Empire at Qing Chengde (Routledge, 2004), and Beyond the Pass: Economy, Ethnicity and Empire in Qing Central Asia, 1759-1864 (Stanford University Press, 1998). His most recent album, recorded with the band By & By, is Songs for this Old Heart. His articles and op-eds on contemporary China have appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The New York Review of Books, The Washington Post, and other media.

Last Updated: April 25, 2024

Lessons from Tiananmen for Today’s University Presidents

James A. Millward
Thirty-five years ago, in April 1989, Chinese students from Beijing’s elite universities began their occupation of Tiananmen Square. Their issues were different from those of American students today. Chinese demonstrators voiced concerns about...



China in Protest

Guobin Yang, Taisu Zhang & more
Over the weekend, large demonstrations broke out in cities across China. The protests followed news, spread rapidly across Chinese and international social media, that a fire in an apartment building in Xinjiang’s capital of Urumchi on Friday had...

‘Reeducating’ Xinjiang’s Muslims

James A. Millward from New York Review of Books
In a courtroom in Zharkent, Kazakhstan, in July 2018, a former kindergarten principal named Sayragul Sauytbay calmly described what Chinese officials continue to deny: a vast new gulag of “de-extremification training centers” has been created for...



U.S.-China Flashpoints in the Age of Trump

Zha Daojiong, Isaac Stone Fish & more
Over the past year, Donald Trump has vowed to “utterly destroy” ISIS, considered lifting sanctions on Russia, promised to cancel the Paris climate agreement and “dismantle” the Iran nuclear deal. But many of his most inflammatory statements are...



How Should the Republican Party Approach China Policy?

Peter Navarro, Patrick Chovanec & more
On Tuesday, delegates to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, chose Donald J. Trump as their nominee for President of the United States. We asked a range of contributors how the Republican Party should approach China policy.



Are Ethnic Tensions on the Rise in China?

Enze Han, James Palmer & more
On December 31, President Xi Jinping appeared on CCTV and extended his “New Year’s wishes to Chinese of all ethnic groups.” On January 15, Beijing officials detained Ilham Tohti, a leading Uighur economist and subsequently accused him of “separtist...