Past Event

'The Upside of US-Chinese Strategic Competition' a conversation with C&WP alum Kai He from Griffith University - Event Cancelled.

March 25, 2024
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
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The world is in crisis. The Russian invasion of Ukraine in early 2022 has signified a military challenge of a resurgent Russia to the existing international order in the 21st century.  The conflict between Israel and Hamas, which began in October 2023, has further jeopardized international peace and stability in the international order. However, in the eyes of US policymakers, China was still seen as “America’s most consequential geopolitical challenge” in the 21st century. Strategic competition between the United States and China has intensified since the COVID-19 pandemic. The constant downward spiral of US-China relations might eventually push the two nations into the “Thucydides trap”—the potential military conflict between the hegemon and a rising power in the international system. While acknowledging, without understating, the inherent dangers of the two powers involving wars or military conflicts, we contend that competition is not necessarily detrimental. Constructive competition between the US and China, if managed with strategic foresight and restraint, could inadvertently lead to positive consequences for regional stability and peace. The concept of forging “institutional peace,” anchored in the practice of institutional balancing between the US and China, is a challenging yet feasible goal during the period of international order transition in the Asia-Pacific region as well as globally.

Kai He is a Professor of International Relations in the School of Government and International Relations at Griffith University, Australia. He is currently a fellow of the Academy of International Affairs-NRW in Bonn, Germany (January-March 2024). He was also a non-resident Senior Scholar at the United States Institute of Peace (2022-2023). Previously, he served as an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow (2017-2020) and as a postdoctoral fellow in the Princeton-Harvard China and the World Program (2009-2010). He has authored or co-authored six books and edited or co-edited five volumes. Among his notable works are After Hedging: Hard Choices for the Indo Pacific States between the US and China (co-authored with Huiyun Feng, Cambridge Elements in IR, 2023), Contesting Revisionism: China, the United States, and Transformation of International Order (co-authored with Steve Chan, Huiyun Feng, Weixing Hu, Oxford, 2021), China’s Crisis Behavior: Political Survival and Foreign Policy (Cambridge, 2016), China’s Challenges and International Order Transition: Beyond “Thucydides’s Trap” (co-edited with Huiyun Feng, University of Michigan Press, 2020), and Contested Multilateralism 2.0 and Asian Security Dynamics (Routledge 2020).

This event is an in-person event only. There is no online option and no recording will be available afterwards. It is sponsored by the China and the World Program and co-sponsored by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute. If you are attending in-person, please go to 'INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS BUILDING AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY - 420 W. 118TH ST., NEW YORK, NY 10027 ROOM 918' 

Kai He Griffith Headshot