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Peter J Li

University of Houston-Downtown

Based in

United States
North America

Dr. Li specializes in East Asian Politics with an emphasis in China’s domestic politics, foreign relations and animal protection policy. The courses Dr. Li teaches include Chinese Politics, U.S. Foreign Policy, Animal Rights & Politics, U.S. Government, and others. Before joining University of Houston-Downtown, Dr. Li worked as a business analyst with a major corporation in Denver. He also worked earlier as a junior faculty at Beijing Institute of Foreign Affairs.

Dr. Li’s research covers two major areas: international relations in East Asia and China’s animal policy and law issues. He published on China’s strategic ties to North Korea and China’s animal protection subjects. Here you can see select number of his op-ed pieces (https://www.scmp.com/author/peter-j-li) and his peer-reviewed journal articles (https://works.bepress.com/peter-li/). Animal Welfare in China: Politics, Culture and Crisis (Sydney University Press, 2021) is Dr. Li’s latest publication on China’s animal welfare crisis, animal policymaking and legal development at a time of great social and economic transformation (https://sydneyuniversitypress.com.au/blogs/news/q-a-with-peter-li-author-of-animal-welfare-in-china)

As one of the few scholars who study China’s animal protection policy and laws, Dr. Li talks frequently to the media at home and around the world. He is also a consultant (China Policy Specialist) for Humane Society International (HSI).

Country(ies) of Specialty


Focus areas of expertise

Climate policy and politics Climate Justice Agriculture

How to Connect



Select number of publications:
1. Animal Welfare in China (Sydney University Press, 2021)

2. “Pig Welfare in China,” in Florence
Burgat and Emilie Dardenne eds., Animal Suffering: The Ethics and Politics of Animal Life, Wiley (2023). DOI:10.1002/9781394228935.

3. The urgency and necessity for China to outlaw captive wildlife production, Public Opinion and Governance (社会舆情与社会治理) (2020), 24, pp. 46-49.

4. Reopening the Trade after SARS: China’s Wildlife Industry
and the Fateful Policy Reversal. Environmental Policy & Law,
50, pp.251-267. (2020) (DOI 10.3233/EPL-201008)

5. ” Dog ‘Meat’ Consumption in China: A Survey of the Controversial Eating Habit in Two Cities,” Society & Animals(2017) [DOI 10.1163/15685306-12341471].

6. “Exponential Growth, Animal Welfare, Environmental and Food Safety Impact: The Case of China’s Livestock Production,” Journal of Agricultural and Environmental
Ethics, (2009)Vol. 22, pp.217-240.

7. Enforcing Wildlife Protection in China: The Legislative and Political Solutions. China Information, Vol. 21, No. 1 (March), pp.71-108.

Opinion Pieces

Select opinion pieces:

1. “South
Korea’s dog meat ban a signal to China to follow suit,” South China Morning
Post, January 13, 2024 at https://www.scmp.com/comment/opinion/article/3248175/south-koreas-dog-meat-ban-signal-china-follow-suit.

2. “Why China
should stop using pandas as adorable political pawns,” MSNBC, November 10, 2023 at https://www.msnbc.com/opinion/msnbc-opinion/china-panda-diplomacy-national-zoo-rcna124649.

3. “First SARS, now the Covid-19 coronavirus. Here’s why
China should ban its wildlife trade forever.” South China Morning Post,
January 29, 2020 at https://www.scmp.com/comment/opinion/article/3047828/first-sars-now-wuhan-coronavirus-heres-why-china-should-ban-its.

4. “China’s Dog Fight:
How Animal Rights Groups Got Their Way,” Foreign Affairs
March 8, 2016
5. “Don’t Get Too Excited
about China’s Ivory Ban,” Foreign Policy (ChinaFile), December
2016 accessible via http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/01/10/dont-get-too-excited-about-chinas-ivory-ban-enforcement-global-trade/.