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? Arguing for the motion is Peter Brookes, senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation with John J. Mearsheimer, American political scientist and professor at the University of Chicago. Arguing against the motion is Robert Daly, director at the Kissinger Institute on China and the U.S. with Kevin Rudd, former prime minister of Australia. John Donvan moderates. This conversation was taped on October 14, 2015.
· 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.
· 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.