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What are the DLS Debates?

DLS Debates were a new and exciting initiative introduced during our 2013 season to bring the Oxford Union and robust English style debating to Vero Beach. Debates like they used to have in our Congress and Senate — especially appealing to grown-ups who are curious and who want to understand competing perspectives on serious and difficult issues facing our leadership and our nation. They provide a kind of “intellectual ping-pong” about the issue which both challenge and engage the audience.

With our first debate held on April 15, 2013, these debates now occupy a unique position in Vero Beach's social and intellectual landscape and will continue to provide a forum for debate on the crucial issues of the day. Attendees vote either for or against the motion as they arrive, and then vote again after the debate so that any change in sentiment can be measured. There is an opportunity for audience members to ask questions from the floor, which adds to everyone's understanding of the issue, providing additional insight.


5:00 p.m. Reception
5:30 p.m. Debate & Voting

Tickets $50 Adults / $15 Students

Want to learn more about China before the debate? Click here for recommended advance reading.

Meet the Debaters

Amb. J. Stapleton Roy, Kissinger Institute on China and the United States
Mr. Fred Teng, Chief Executive Officer, NewsChina

Arguing FOR
Mr. Gordon G. Chang, Forbes.com Contributor
CDR Paul Giarra, USN (Ret.), Global Strategies & Transformation

Moderator: John Donvan, ABC News Correspondent / Moderator Intelligence Squared US Debates

Hear the arguments FOR and AGAINST the motion, then cast YOUR vote!

Arguing Against

J. Stapleton Roy
Kissinger Institute on China and the United States

Ambassador J. Stapleton (Stape) Roy is a Distinguished Scholar and Founding Director Emeritus of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. Stape Roy was born in China and spent much of his youth there during the upheavals of World War II and the communist revolution, where he watched the battle for Shanghai from the roof of the Shanghai American School. He joined the US Foreign Service immediately after graduating from Princeton in 1956, retiring 45 years later with the rank of Career Ambassador, the highest in the service.

In 1978 Ambassador Roy participated in the secret negotiations that led to the establishment of US-PRC diplomatic relations. During a career focused on East Asia and the Soviet Union, Stape’s ambassadorial assignments included Singapore, China, and Indonesia. His final post with the State Department was as Assistant Secretary for Intelligence and Research. On retirement he joined Kissinger Associates, Inc., a strategic consulting firm, before joining the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in September 2008 to head the newly created Kissinger Institute. In 2001 he received Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson Award for Distinguished Public Service.

Fred Teng
Chief Executive Officer, NewsChina

Mr. Fred Teng is the Special U.S. Representative for the China-United States Exchange Foundation and a Director of the China Foundation for Peace and Development. He is also Chairman of the Hong Kong Association of New York. He serves on the EastWest Institute’s President Advisory Group, and a Fellow of the Foreign Policy Association. He is a member of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, the Economic Club of New York, and the Overseas Press Club of America.

Fred Teng is also the CEO of NewsChina magazine, the leading English language magazine focusing on the current affairs of today's China. Before NewsChina, Mr. Teng was Senior Vice President of Corporate Development for Multicultural Radio Broadcasting, Inc. and General Manager of Sino Television. Prior to that, he was in charge of the Public Relations and Marketing Communications of AT&T’s U.S. Asian Markets. Mr. Teng spent over a decade in the financial industry, first with Merrill Lynch and then with Oppenheimer & Co.

Arguing For

Gordon G. Chang
Forbes.com Contributor

Mr. Gordon G. Chang lived and worked in China and Hong Kong for almost two decades as a lawyer. He is the author of The Coming Collapse of China and Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes On the World, and his writings have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, National Review, and Barron’s. He is a contributor at Forbes.com and has given briefings at the National Intelligence Council, the Central Intelligence Agency, the State Department, and the Pentagon.

Mr. Chang has also spoken before industry and investor groups and at universities and think tanks, and has appeared before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission. In addition he has appeared on CNN, Fox News Channel, CNBC, MSNBC, PBS, the BBC, and Bloomberg Television.

CDR Paul Giarra, USN (Ret.)
Global Strategies & Transformation

Commander Paul Giarra is with Global Strategies & Transformation, a national defense and strategic planning consultancy. He is a strategic planner and has been a security analyst for Japan, China, East Asian, and NATO futures. During his Naval career, Mr. Giarra was a Naval aviator; a naval strategic planner; and a political-military strategic planner for Far East, South Asia and Pacific issues; and managed the U.S.-Japan alliance in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Mr. Giarra is a proven strategic planner, and a creative concept developer who combines substance with process. His in-depth analysis and national level strategic policy formulation; broad historical knowledge of global regions and current security politics; extensive international expertise and reputation; and technical knowledge of change mechanisms, security futures, and defense transformation underpin his extensive wargaming, writing for publication, creative development of plausible future scenarios, and concept development and experimentation.


photo by Sam LaHoz

John Donvan
ABC News Correspondent / Moderator Intelligence Squared US Debates

John Donvan is the host and moderator for the Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates and is an author and correspondent for ABC News. He has hosted "Nightline," "World News," “Good Morning America," and NPR’s “Talk of the Nation,” in addition to being a producer for “My Generation” for PBS. He has also served as ABC’s Chief White House correspondent and held postings in London, Jerusalem, Moscow and Amman. He is an avid storyteller, premiering his first one man show -- "Lose the Kid" -- in Washington, DC in September of 2013, under the auspices of SpeakeasyDC. Recognized by the National Magazine Awards for his 2011 Atlantic profile piece “Autism’s First Child,” he is currently writing a book on the history of autism to be published by Crown in September 2015.


Be Educated. Be Prepared.

China on the world stage is a complex subject, and DLS is committed to not only bringing you entertaining speakers and debaters, but also to help educate you on critical topics of today. To that end, so that you might become more educated on this subject, we offer the following web links which will pique your curiosity and stimulate your mind:

China-US Cooperation: Key to the Global Future (The Atlantic Council) September 17, 2013

US-CHINA 2022: Economic Relations in the Next Ten Years (China-United States Exchange Foundation) May 21, 2013

The Complicated History of U.S. Relations with China (The Heritage Foundation) October 11, 2012

In Defense of Empire (The Atlantic) March 19, 2014

The Guns of August in the East China Sea (Foreign Policy) March 17, 2014

The Vietnam Solution (The Atlantic) May 21, 2012

Interpreting the Chinese (Stratfor) February, 12, 2014

How We Would Fight China (The Atlantic) June 2005

Meet the Debaters

Arguing FOR
Dr. Gary Gottlieb, President and CEO of Partners HealthCare
Dr. Glenn Steele, President and CEO of Geisinger Health System

Avik Roy, Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow and Forbes health-care columnist
Steven Brill, Author of the seminal article in TIME magazine, Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us

Moderator: Susan Dentzer, Senior Policy Adviser for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and PBS Health Care analyst