Intelligence Squared

Tuesday, September 10 at 2:00 pm

The Recent U.S. Policy Towards China Is Productive

The United States is cracking down on China in an attempt to create a more favorable balance of trade. Other concerns include continuing Chinese thefts of intellectual property and the imposition of technology transfer requirements to do business in China. The U.S. seeks to frustrate China’s program to achieve dominance in a range of advanced technologies. And it wants to cripple Huawei, the telecoms giant, which it sees as a potential security threat.

Both parties have instituted punitive tariffs, and both are feeling the impact. China is struggling to maintain its growth rate, yet is still projecting strength as a social, political, and economic leader on the world stage by building ports and bridges all over the world and developing military technology capable of denying the U.S. access to the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait. If successful, Beijing’s ambitious projects and advanced AI and cyber weapons could put Washington on its heels. 

Are recent U.S. policies tough and focused enough to achieve key economic and strategic objectives? Or will U.S. policy escalate tensions too much, ultimately reducing the chances that the world’s two major powers can achieve a sensible accommodation?  

The Debaters:
Michael Pillsbury
Senior Fellow & Director for Chinese Strategy, Hudson Institute
Michael Pillsbury is a distinguished defense policy adviser, former high-ranking government official, and author of numerous books and reports on China. During the Reagan administration, Pillsbury was assistant undersecretary of defense for policy planning and was responsible for implementing the program of covert aid known as the Reagan Doctrine. He also served as special assistant for Asian affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense under President George H. W. Bush. Pillsbury is a senior fellow and the director for Chinese strategy at the Hudson Institute.

Kori Schake
Deputy Director-General, International Institute for Strategic Studies
Kori Schake is the deputy director-general of the International Institute for Strategic Studies and was previously a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. Schake is the editor, with Jim Mattis, of “Warriors and Citizens: American Views of Our Military” and the author of “Safe Passage: The Transition from British to American Hegemony.” She was the director for defense strategy and requirements on the National Security Council under George W. Bush, where she helped create NATO’s Allied Command Transformation and the NATO Response Force.

Graham Allison
Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, Harvard Kennedy School
Graham Allison is the Douglas Dillon professor of government at Harvard Kennedy School, where he has taught for five decades, and a leading analyst of national security. Allison was the founding dean of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and served as director of its Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs until 2017. He was assistant secretary of defense under President Clinton and special adviser to the Secretary of Defense under President Reagan. A best-selling author, Allison’s latest book is “Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?”

Jake Sullivan
Former National Security Adviser to Vice President Joe Biden
Jake Sullivan is a Montgomery fellow at Dartmouth College, Martin R. Flug visiting lecturer at Yale Law School, and a nonresident senior fellow in the Geoeconomics and Strategy Program at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Previously, he served in the Obama administration as national security adviser to Vice President Joe Biden and director of policy planning at the State Department, as well as deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Sullivan was also the senior policy adviser on Secretary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

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