Ankit Panda

Senior Editor, The Diplomat

YOUNG PATRON EVENT: Competing for Asia: China Challenges the U.S.

About the Topic

Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for “the people of Asia to run the affairs of Asia, solve the problems of Asia, and uphold the security of Asia.” That China intends to dominate is evident in the South China Sea, a 1.4-million-square-mile area and seaway for roughly one-third of global maritime trade. Dotted with hundreds of disputed shoals, the sea has experienced aggressive Chinese island-building, creating what The New York Times calls “Chinese fortresses,” equipped with runways, radar stations, and missile sites. Unable to challenge Beijing, nations like the Philippines and Vietnam look to the U.S., long the primary naval power in the Western Pacific. But in Congressional testimony last year, Admiral Philip Davidson of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command warned, “...China is now capable of controlling the South China Sea in all scenarios short of war with the United States.” Rising military tensions are coupled with President Trump's trade war. He wonders via Twitter if Xi is the “enemy.” Meanwhile, North Korea plays off Xi and Trump while its missile tests go unchallenged. What drives U.S.- China strategy? Is China a reliable partner to help contain Kim Jung Un’s nuclear program? In South Asia, how do U.S. and China’s interests diverge on nuclear-armed India and Pakistan?

About the Speaker

Ankit Panda is a senior editor at The Diplomat, an online magazine covering politics, security, business, and technology across Asia and the Pacific. He is also an adjunct senior fellow at the Federation of American Scientists, covering nuclear and conventional force developments in Asia, missile defense, and nuclear strategy. A columnist for the South China Morning Post, Panda has written for publications including The Daily Beast, Politico Magazine, and War on the Rocks. He hosts The Diplomat’s Asia Geopolitics podcast and tweets@nktpnd.