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Elizabeth Larus - University of Mary Washington. Fredericksburg, VA, US

Elizabeth Larus

Professor, Political Science | University of Mary Washington

Fredericksburg, VA, UNITED STATES

Dr. Larus is an expert in the politics of China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong




Elizabeth Freund Larus, Professor of Political Science, received a Ph.D. (1994) in government with a certificate in Asian studies from the University of Virginia. She earned an M.A. (1989) in public administration, also from the University of Virginia, and a B.A. (1983) in journalism from Creighton University. An expert in the politics of China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, Dr. Larus conducted field research while living in Asia for three years. She speaks Mandarin Chinese and is the former press secretary for former U.S. Congressman Hal Daub. She is the author of the books Economic Reform in China, 1979-2003: The Marketization of Labor and State Enterprises (2005) and Politics and Society in Contemporary China (2012).

Her articles have been published in several professional journals including Issues & Studies, American Journal of Chinese Studies, Policy Studies Review, Southeast Review of Asian Studies, Asian Affairs, American Asian Review, and the Chinese-English magazine Voice of Han.

She also has written chapters in several books including Taiwan and the International Community; The China Handbook; Taiwan and Mainland China Toward the Twenty first Century; Adjusting to Capitalism: Chinese Workers and Their State; Across the Taiwan Strait: Exchanges, Conflicts, and Negotiations; and Remaking China’s Public Management.

Dr. Larus has presented the papers “Taiwan after the Global Financial Crisis: Where Do We Go From Here?” at the American Association for Chinese Studies conference and “Taiwan’s Reaction to Global Financial Crisis” at the American Political Science Association conference.

Among her awards are a Dissertation Fellowship Award and two duPont Fellowships, all from the University of Virginia. She also was the recipient of a Lingnan Foundation Research Grant and a Pacific Cultural Foundation Grant. She was a 2007-08 academic fellow of The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. In addition, Dr. Larus is a member of the American Political Science Association, the Association for Asian Studies, the American Association for Chinese Studies, and the Conference Group on Taiwan Studies. Dr. Larus has served on the editorial board of Issues & Studies and as the president of the Virginia Consortium for Asian Studies.

Areas of Expertise (12)

Political Science

University Teaching

Public Policy

International Relations

Foreign Policy


Community Outreach

Public Speaking

Policy Analysis

Asia-Pacific Issues

Economic Research


Accomplishments (3)

Taiwan Fellowship (professional)


Awarded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China.

Research Grant (professional)

Awarded by the Lingnan Foundation.

Research Grant in Chinese Studies (professional)

Awarded by the Pacific Cultural Foundation.

Education (3)

University of Virginia: Ph.D., Government 1994

With a certificate in Asian studies.

University of Virginia: M.A., Public Administration 1989

Creighton University: B.A., Journalism 1983

Affiliations (5)

  • American Association for Chinese Studies
  • China Studies Group
  • American Political Science Association
  • Conference Group on Taiwan Studies
  • Virginia Consortium for Asian Studies

Media Appearances (10)

Biden Administration's Approach to North Korea

Vietnam News  online


PSIA Chairman Elizabeth Freund Larus commented on Vietnam News on the Biden administration's approach to North Korea. She indicated that President Biden appears to have accepted the Singapore framework agreed on at the 2018 Trump-Kim meeting, which called for parallel progress toward the goals of complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, peace and security on the peninsula, improved U.S.-North Korean relations, and the repatriation of American prisoners of war and missing in action remains from the Korean War. Professor Larus’ comments begin at 11 minutes into the program.

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China’s aggression against Taiwan

Newsy  online


Elizabeth Larus conducted an interview on China’s aggression against Taiwan with Newsy broadcast news (ScrippsHoward) on Tuesday, Oct 12. She commented that incursions into Taiwan’s ADIZ by Chinese military planes has not moved the political needle on Taiwan. The link to download the segment is below.

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Is China a threat or an opportunity? Depends which Americans you ask

KLCC; NPR; WAMU  online


Elizabeth Larus, who teaches Chinese studies at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia, says any economic "de-coupling" between the U.S. and China will be very difficult. "You can't just say you're going to pick up your factory and move all your resources and have a consistent, reliable energy source and the shipping port to get your stuff out at a decent price, and the logistics. China has nailed that down," said Larus, the author of Politics and Society in Contemporary China.

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Future of US-China Relations

Indus News  online


Elizabeth Larus commented on President Biden’s nomination of diplomat Nicholas Burns as US Ambassador to China, on the Indus News program In Focus South Asia on August 23, 2021.

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In Focus South Asia | US-China Tension | Episode 175

Indus News  online


Department of Political Science and International Affairs Chairman Elizabeth Freund Larus commented on the South China Sea dispute between China and the Philippines. Five years after the SCS arbitration decision in favor of the Philippines, Manila accuses China of continuing to harass Filipino fisherman in the Philippines' EEZ. The UN lacks an enforcement mechanism to back its 2016 decision, leaving the US as guarantor of maritime security in the region. Professor Larus' comments begin at 4:28 minutes into the program.

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Episode 58 – Dr. Elizabeth Freund Larus (China, BRI, and Taiwan)

Harris Bricken  online


We are joined by Dr. Elizabeth Freund Larus, chairman of the University of Mary Washington’s Political Science and International Affairs Department and author of Politics and Society in Contemporary China.

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Whether or not America should militarily defend Taiwan from China is up for debate - whether or not it could isn’t

RT  online


Their opponents were Elizabeth Larus, a professor of political science and international affairs at University of Mary Washington, and Eldridge Colby, a former US deputy assistant secretary of defense.

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Taiwan is Indefensible

WJCT  tv

Now let’s meet the team arguing against the motion that Taiwan is indefensible. Please welcome Elizabeth Larus, professor of political science and international affairs at the University of Mary Washington and the author of three books on China.

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American experts evaluate the positive significance of the US-China high-level dialogue

Tin Tuc  online


In an interview with Vietnam news on the eve of the Alaska meeting between US and Chinese officials, PSIA Professor Elizabeth Larus indicated that the US and China, as influential countries, need to talk face-to-face.

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‘Enemy’ Perception of China Has Risen in America

Courthouse News Service  online


Of course, casting blame on China for Covid-19 was a frequent ploy of the last presidential administration, noted Elizabeth Larus, a professor of political science at the University of Mary Washington.

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Event Appearances (1)

Taiwan after the Global Financial Crisis: Where Do We Go from Here?

American Association for Chinese Studies annual meeting  Winston-Salem, NC


Articles (4)

Technological Change and China's Naval Modernization: Security Implications for Taiwan

Palgrave MacMillan


In "Cross-Taiwan Strait Relations in an Era of Technological Change: Security, Economic and Cultural Dimensions," edited by Paul Irwin Crookes and Jan Knoerich.

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Politics and Society in Contemporary China

Lynne Rienner Publishers


This authoritative text captures the dynamism of Chinese politics and society. Elizabeth Larus begins with a broad sweep of China's modern history—from the imperial era to the present—providing essential context for understanding the current political environment. She then makes sense of the dramatic political, social, and economic changes that have occurred across some six decades. The result is a rich and detailed analysis that is both thought-provoking and accessible, appropriate for students at all levels.

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Taiwan's Quest for International Recognition

Issues & Studies


To be attractive to other states, Taiwan has constructed a national identity based on universal values of democracy, freedom, and economic prosperity. This article examines Taiwan's use of soft power and national identity issues to gain international recognition of national sovereignty.

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Economic Reform in China, 1979-2003: The Marketization of Labor and State Enterprises

Edwin Mellen Press


This book provides a clear, yet intricate understanding of the issues, focusing on the state industrial enterprises and affirming that a policy of gradualism was politically prudent in the 1980s and 90s given the political constraints and resistance to reforms by some labor groups. It depicts the delicate balance between state owned enterprises and domestic worker dissatisfaction.

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