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China and the U.S. Are Long-term Enemies

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  • The US' Role In Aggression

    Clip: Debaters Peter Brookes, Robert Daly, John Mearsheimer, and Kevin Rudd contemplate what the US role should be in competing with China.

  • What Would Bring Americans to War?

    Clip: Debaters Peter Brookes, Robert Daly, John Mearsheimer, and Kevin Rudd contest over what cause would move the American people to willingly go to war.

  • Two-Minute Volley Round: Will Economic Interests Keep Us At Peace?

    Clip: Debaters Peter Brookes, Robert Daly, John Mearsheimer, and Kevin Rudd deliver 30 second arguments to whether common economic interests are enough to keep China and the US at peace.

  • 2-Minute Debate: Are China and the U.S. Long-term Enemies?

    Are China and the U.S. long-term enemies? This debate short is part of a series co-produced by Intelligence Squared U.S. and Newsy.

Debate Details

Is China’s ascendancy a threat to the U.S.? China’s rise as an economic and military power, coupled with its aggression in the South China Sea, have led some to call for a major rebalance of U.S. policy and strategy. Can China be trusted to act as a responsible global stakeholder? And will they be a long-term ally, or adversary?

The Debaters

For the motion

Peter Brookes

Sr. Fellow, The Heritage Foundation

Peter Brookes is a senior fellow for national security affairs at the Heritage Foundation’s Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy... Read More

John J. Mearsheimer

John J. Mearsheimer

American Political Scientist & Professor, University of Chicago

John J. Mearsheimer is the R. Wendell Harrison distinguished service professor of political science at the University of Chicago and one of the nation’s... Read More

Against the motion

Robert Daly

Director, Kissinger Institute on China & the U.S.

Robert Daly has directed the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States at the Wilson Center since 2013. He came to the Wilson Center from... Read More

Kevin Rudd

Former Prime Minister, Australia

Kevin Rudd served as Australia’s 26th prime minister (2007-10, 2013) and foreign minister (2010-12). In addition to leading many global and regional... Read More

Where Do You Stand?

For The Motion
  • Conflict is inevitable as China challenges America as the dominant power in Asia, a role America is unlikely to cede any time soon.
  • Land reclamation in the South China Sea, cyber-attacks, and a growing military budget point to a more aggressive, less reactive China.
  • Despite its economic and military strength, China has not become a responsible global stakeholder, instead choosing to free-ride on the existing international order while pursuing its own interests.
Against The Motion
  • It is in the vital interests of both countries to work together and collaborate on shared interests like nuclear containment, climate change, and trade.
  • We should not automatically interpret China's behavior as aggression; their foreign policy has long been guided by the principles of sovereignty and non-intervention.
  • By treating China with hostility and working to isolate and diminish it, this predicted adversarial relationship will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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The Research

The Research

The Complicated History of U.S. Relations with China

Dean Cheng
October 11, 2012

The roots of the United States’ long history with China and how our complex past impact’s the nations’ relationship today.

Changing China Policy: Are We in Search of Enemies?

Jeffrey Bader
June 1, 2015

We should not discard the approach taken by eight presidents since Nixon in favor of an assumption of inevitable hostility and a strategy of across-the-board rivalry that may be compelling in international relations theory but which no president has found persuasive.

The Sleeper Issue of 2016 Is China

Aaron Friedberg
May 11, 2015

Why are we so worried about the Islamic State when Beijing is the real challenge?

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