This past Wednesday, October 29, 2020, LSE IDEAS hosted a public virtual panel with scholars and professionals on the current power competition emerging between the United States and China. The purpose of the panel discussion was to question whether the 21st century will bring a new cold war between the US and China and the other ways the world may be impacted. The panel was chaired by Professor Michael Cox and included Professor Christopher Coker, Jacob Helberg, Professor Oriana Skylar-Mastro, and Professor Odd Arne Westad as guest speakers.
The live event began with Professor Michael Cox, a Founding Director of LSE IDEAS and an Emeritus Professor in International Relations at LSE, opening the conversation by introducing the speakers and the issue of the US-China power competition. The panel line-up included an impressive collection of scholars in the field of international relations including Professor Odd Arne Westad, the Engelsberg Chair at LSE IDEAS and a Founding Director of LSE IDEAS. Professor Westad discussed the similarities and differences of the Cold War between the US and Russia, and the potential cold war between the US and China. He highlighted the economic circumstances that suggest there will not be as contentious a competition as others have predicted.
Following Professor Westad, Jacob Helberg, a senior advisor at the Stanford University Cyber Policy Center and the Co-Chair of the Brookings Institution China Strategy Working Group, spoke on how Chinese policies and international injustices are already impacting US foreign and domestic policy. Therefore, the emergence of China as a global power may be a threat to the international system. Professor Christopher Coker, the Director of LSE IDEAS and a former Professor of International Relations at LSE, also warned of the direction China is taking in their rise to power, stating that the Cold War has already begun, and he does not believe it will end peacefully for either nation. Finally, Professor Oriana Skylar Mastro, a Center Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institue for International Studies at Stanford University, provided a military perspective on the competition and spoke on how countries are now looking for autonomy and security in ways separate from hard, military power. She also clarified that it is important for the United States to self-reflect on their own policies and to take a fundamentally different approach to this cold war than the cold war with Russia.
The panel was extremely interesting and provided great perspectives on the prominent yet confusing issue of US-China power struggles. The format, live on Zoom and then saved to Facebook, makes the discussion accessible to everyone, and it was a great source of information for people unfamiliar with the emerging situation.
Science, L., 2020. US-China Great Power Competition: A New Cold War?. [online] London School of Economics and Political Science. Available at: <https://www.lse.ac.uk/ideas/events/us-china-great-power-competition-a-new-cold-war?fbclid=IwAR3Mywx58zoycVMd_wDyQ-R-AuLOVaiwQVJKfZZ6K4IH97xaMmaF5Khnv3g> [Accessed 31 October 2020].