Peak China: Get Ready to Deal with a Dangerous, Declining Beijing

Date & Time Oct 08 2021 12:00 PM - 1:20 PM
Location Robertson Hall
Bowl 001
Michael Beckley
Audience Restricted to Princeton University

Peak China: Get Ready to Deal with a Dangerous, Declining Beijing

with Professor Michael Beckley, Tufts University

Most debate on U.S. China policy focuses on the dangers of a rising, confident China.  But the United States actually faces a more pressing and volatile threat:  an already powerful but increasingly insecure China beset by slowing growth and intensifying hostility abroad. Past peaking powers became more repressive at home and aggressive abroad as they struggled to revive rapid growth and maintain domestic stability and international influence. China already seems to be headed down this path.

The good news for the United States is that over the long term, competition with China may prove more manageable than many pessimists believe. Americans may one day look back on China the way they now view the Soviet Union—as a dangerous rival whose evident strengths concealed stagnation and vulnerability. The bad news is that over the next ten years, the pace of Sino-American rivalry will be torrid, and the prospect of war frighteningly real, as Beijing becomes tempted to lunge for geopolitical gain. The United States still needs a long-term strategy for protracted competition. But first it needs a near-term strategy for navigating the danger decade ahead.

To ensure the safety of this event, mandatory pre-registration with a Princeton email address and face covering are required for in-person attendance.