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Unresolved: Face-Off with China

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  • Graham Allison on Thucydides's Trap

    Author and Harvard historian Graham Allison discusses China's rise to power and his recent book "Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides's Trap?" which served as the inspiration for the "Unresolved: Face-off with China" debate.

  • Keynote Conversation with General David Petraeus and Max Boot

    General Petraeus and Max Boot take a broad look into the foreign policy of the Trump administration, the global challenges facing the U.S., and lessons learned from General Petraeus' extensive time spent in the Middle East.

  • Debate #1 - Trump Is Making China Great Again

    President Trump is shaking up the foreign policy playbook, pulling out of global deals and agreements, and casting doubt on America's commitments to its allies. Is this creating a vacuum for a growing China to fill?

  • Debate #2 - The U.S. Should Play Hardball With China On Trade

    Should the U.S. meet China’s economic aggression with tough policies of its own? Or is playing hardball on trade a risky business that may put the American economy – and influence around the world – in harm’s way?

  • Debate #3 - The U.S. and China Can Forge a Grand Bargain to Contain North Korea

    Could U.S. and Chinese leaders garner the political and diplomatic muster necessary to contain North Korea?

  • Debate #4 - China Is Destined For Regional Dominance

    Should the U.S. shore up its Asian alliances in defiance of an increasingly powerful Beijing? Or is it time to give China its due as the regional hegemon?

  • Is President Trump using Nixon's "madman" theory toward North Korea?

    General David Petraeus evaluates President Trump's consistency at home and abroad, and the message that sends.

  • Is the U.S. destined for war with China?

    General Petraeus and Max Boot discuss Graham Allison's book on Thucydides Trap, and whether the United States and China can avoid war.

  • Are there too many generals in the White House?

    General David Petraeus and Max Boot discuss the Trump administration's cabinet and the number of generals in senior positions.

Debate Details

Face-off with China

Against the backdrop of North Korea's nuclear advances and escalating regional tensions, we ask: How should the U.S. respond to its most urgent national security threats?

 

In a wide-ranging evening of debate, General David Petraeus joins military historian Max Boot for a keynote conversation and broad look into the most pressing global challenges of the Trump era. Once the stage is set, four of the world's most prominent foreign policy voices will zero in on the most important strategic relationship of the twenty-first century: the United States and China. Staged with our new "Unresolved" debate format, these debaters will argue for or against a number of motions including: Is Donald Trump making China great again? Is China destined for regional dominance?  And can we strike a deal with Beijing to contain North Korea’s nuclear program? 

The Debaters

Keynote Speaker

David Petraeus

Gen. David H. Petraeus

(U.S. Army, Ret.), Chairman, KKR Global Institute, Fmr. CIA Director

General (Ret) David H. Petraeus joined KKR in June 2013 and is chairman of the KKR Global Institute. Gen. Petraeus is involved in the KKR investment... Read More

Ian Bremmer

Founder and President, Eurasia Group

Ian Bremmer is the president and founder of Eurasia Group, the leading global political risk research and consulting firm, and president of GZERO... Read More

Elizabeth Economy

Elizabeth Economy

Director for Asia Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

Elizabeth Economy is the C.V. Starr senior fellow and director for Asia studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. She has published widely on both... Read More

Max Boot

Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations

Max Boot is a military historian and foreign-policy analyst who has been called one of the “world’s leading authorities on armed conflict” by... Read More

Noah Feldman

Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

Noah Feldman is the Bemis Professor of Law at Harvard University and senior fellow of the Society of Fellows. He is author several books including... Read More

David Shambaugh

David Shambaugh

Professor of International Affairs & Director, China Policy Program, George Washington University

David Shambaugh is a professor at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University and director of the university’s China... Read More

Where Do You Stand?

Trump Is Making China Great Again

Donald Trump  is tearing up the conventional playbook on U.S. policy toward the rest of the world — making policy personal, casting doubt on America's commitment to its allies, and raising questions about its traditional role as the "indispensable nation." Do these trends create a leadership vacuum for an ever more powerful China to fill? Or are these mere feints on the part of the president? And is China even capable of filling American shoes in the role of global leader?

The U.S. Should Play Hardball with China on Trade

China is notably quick to flex its economic muscle around the world, putting its trade policies to use in bolstering its national interests. Should the U.S. meet China’s economic aggression with tough policies of its own? Or is playing hardball on trade a risky business that may put the American economy – and influence around the world – in harm’s way?   

The U.S. and China Can Forge a Grand Bargain to Contain North Korea

As North Korea’s closest ally, China is often seen as the key to curtailing Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions. But China, fearing a flood of refugees across its border should North Korea’s government collapse and hesitant to broker discussions without military concessions from the U.S., remains cautious toward its neighbor. Could U.S and Chinese leaders garner the political and diplomatic muster necessary to contain North Korea? 

China Is Destined for Regional Dominance

China’s recently launched Belt and Road initiative, a massive infrastructure project spanning some 60-plus countries, promises to transform global trade and bolster China’s presence in Asia and beyond. This, combined with China’s increasingly prominent military presence in the South China Sea, points to nation seeking greater influence in its own backyard. Should the U.S. shore up its Asian alliances in defiance of an increasingly powerful Beijing? Or is it time to give China its due as the regional hegemon?  

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  • Live Audience
  • Online Audience
  • Results
  • Breakdown

Trump Is Making China Great Again

Winner: No

Yes: 0%

No: 0%

The U.S. Should Play Hardball with China on Trade

Winner: No

Yes: 0%

No: 0%

The U.S. and China Can Forge a Grand Bargain to Contain North Korea

Winner: No

Yes: 0%

No: 0%

China Is Destined for Regional Dominance

Winner: No

Yes: 0%

No: 0%

The Research

The Research

The U.S. Can Win a Trade War With China. That Doesn't Mean It Should Try

August 17, 2017

“If you want to be sure the near-term pain a trade battle would impose on U.S. workers will prove worthwhile in the long run, you'd better have allies—both political and military,” writes Ian Bremmer.  

China Is Building Its Way to Empire

May 17, 2017

While Trump turns the U.S. inward—and while the frozen U.S. political system can’t even agree on domestic public works spending—China is using infrastructure to assert global leadership, writes Noah Feldman.

Beijing Is No Champion of Globalization

January 22, 2017

China may well emerge as the savior of globalization at some point in the future when its deeds better match its words, but global leadership has to be earned on merit, not simply granted in desperation and hope.

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