Vice President for International Security and Diplomacy at the Asia Society Policy Institute
The U.S.-China Struggle for Economic and Strategic Advantage
About the Topic
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Watching the coronavirus epidemic, China scholar Orville Schell observes, “I think people abroad have a sense of China being the land of the black swan events.” He ponders whether the secrecy and control around President Xi Jinping’s response will drive the world to have “a somewhat more uncertain view of being involved with China, trading with China.” When Xi took power in 2012, he promised his people strength and security. Overseas he pushed the Belt and Road Initiative and asserted Beijing's presence across the South China Sea. The virus, Schell cautions, does not represent the end of a seemingly invincible Xi but represents “a torpedo through his bow that will take time to repair.” How does President Xi rebuild his image at home and abroad? Given the trade and technology tensions, might the virus accelerate a global decoupling from China’s economy? What risks or advantages does China’s crisis pose for the United States?
About the Speaker
Daniel Russel is Vice President for International Security and Diplomacy at the Asia Society Policy Institute. A career diplomat over 30 years, he rose to serve as the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (2013 to 2017) following a stint at the White House as Special Assistant to President Obama and NSC Senior Director for Asian Affairs. During his tenure there, he helped formulate the president’s strategic rebalance to the Asia Pacific region, including efforts to strengthen alliances, deepen U.S. engagement with multilateral organizations, and expand cooperation with emerging powers in the region. He tweets @dannyrrussel.