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Unresolved February 25, 2019
Unresolved: The Techonomic Cold War With China
Unresolved: The Techonomic Cold War with China

President Xi Jinping has made it clear: When it comes to big data, advanced weaponry, and other innovations in tech and AI, China has plans to surpass the United States as the world’s next techonomic superpower. But between the trade war with the U.S., the ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, and an array of domestic challenges, are China’s goals outpacing its capacity? Or is China building and investing in strategic partnerships that will push the country toward global dominance?

Staged in our “Unresolved” format, this debate brings together five foreign policy luminaries to tackle pressing questions, including: Will the next Silicon Valley be in China? Is the Belt and Road Initiative a trillion-dollar blunder? And will the U.S. and China both lose the trade war?

The Next Silicon Valley Will Be in China
Winner: Yes
Yes: +14.72%
No: -14.72%
The Belt and Road Initiative Is a Trillion-Dollar Blunder
Winner: Yes
Yes: +5.2%
No: -5.2%
The U.S. and China Will Both Lose the Trade War
Winner: Yes
Yes: +9.52%
No: -9.52%
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Silicon Valley Is A State Of Mind
Susan Thornton, former assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, argues that the next Silicon Valley is not in China.
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Moonshots
Is Silicon Valley as entrepreneurial as it used to be? Susan Thornton and Ian Bremmer debate.
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Bridges To Nowhere
Susan Thornton argues that the Belt and Road Initiative will leave China with a lot of bridges to nowhere.
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Belt-and-Road FOMO
FutureMap’s Parag Khanna argues that the Belt and Road Initiative is a win for China – and a win for the countries China is investing in.
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Disentanglement
Michèle Flournoy argues that it isn’t possible, or wise, for the United States and China to disentangle from one another.
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Winners and Losers
Could China win a total trade war against the United States? Yasheng Huang argues yes.
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The U.S. and China Will Both Lose the Trade War
After months of tit-for-tat tariffs, rising tensions, a high-profile arrest, and unsuccessful trade talks, the United States and China remain tied up in a heated trade dispute. Will one country come out on top?
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The Belt and Road Initiative Is a Trillion-Dollar Blunder
Will Xi’s "project of the century" be a major achievement for China? Or is the new Silk Road a trillion-dollar mistake?
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The Next Silicon Valley Will Be In China
Will the next Silicon Valley be in China? Or will the U.S. continue to house the world’s tech hub?
About The Debaters
An image of Ian Bremmer
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... read bio
An image of Michèle Flournoy
Michèle Flournoy − Co-Founder & Managing Partner, WestExec & Fmr. U.S. Undersecretary of Defense for Policy
Michèle Flournoy is the co-founder and managing partner of WestExec, a strategic advisory firm offering unique... read bio
An image of Yasheng Huang
Yasheng Huang − Professor, MIT & Author, "Capitalism with Chinese Characteristics"
Yasheng Huang is a professor of political economy and international management at MIT, where he... read bio
An image of Parag Khanna
Parag Khanna − Founder & Managing Partner, FutureMap
Parag Khanna is a leading global strategy adviser and the founder and managing partner of FutureMap, a data and... read bio
An image of Susan Thornton
Susan Thornton − Senior Fellow, Yale University Paul Tsai China Center & Fmr. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Susan Thornton is a distinguished senior diplomat with extensive experience in Eurasia and East Asia and is... read bio
Where Do You Stand?
The Next Silicon Valley Will Be in China

China’s tech industry, once derided and called a Silicon Valley copycat, is home to nine of the world’s 20 largest tech companies. And with powerhouse companies like Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu; China’s growing pool of talent; and the sheer quantity and availability of data in China, some say look to the east for the future of tech and AI. But others say the hype is overblown, arguing that the idealistic and freewheeling nature of Silicon Valley can’t be duplicated, particularly within an authoritarian system that could potentially stifle innovation. Will the next Silicon Valley be in China? Or will the U.S. continue to house the world’s tech hub?

The Belt and Road Initiative Is a Trillion-Dollar Blunder

The Belt and Road Initiative – China’s ambitious infrastructure plan spanning at least 76 countries – is the biggest infrastructure investment policy in history, aiming to connect China to the rest of the world through ports, bridges, and railways. And some say it will be an incredible catalyst for growth and innovation in Eurasia, Africa, and beyond. But can China pull this off? Some argue that debt is mounting, developments are delayed, and local governments are angry, while others counter that these are merely bumps along the road. Will Xi’s "project of the century" be a major achievement for China? Or is the new Silk Road a trillion-dollar mistake?

The U.S. and China Will Both Lose the Trade War

After months of tit-for-tat tariffs, rising tensions, a high-profile arrest, and unsuccessful trade talks, the United States and China remain tied up in a heated trade dispute. Will one country come out on top? Some say China can play the long game because President Xi doesn’t have an election to worry about and China can substitute for U.S. goods, while others say China has more to lose as its economic growth reverses. Will both the U.S. and China lose the trade war, and are the real winners in Japan, Europe, and Mexico? Or will the world see a victor when these contentious trade disputes are resolved?

The AI Cold War that Threatens Us All
Ian Bremmer & Nicholas Thompson / October 23, 2018
Trump Is Right About China Trade
Mark Louchheim / October 2, 2018