Understanding the China Threat

Despite the importance of the worsening Sino-American relationship, the nature and scope of the threat remain poorly defined. Understanding the future of the Sino-American confrontation requires comprehending why China and the United States possess motivations for conflict. To address this, we explain the two causes of the Sino-American confrontation. First, the change in the balance of power in China’s favor. Second, the conflicting ideologies of the two states. We submit that the relationship is likely to become much worse due to increasing security competition.

Bradley A. Thayer is Professor of Political Science at the University of Texas San Antonio and is the co-author of How China Sees the World: Han-Centrism and the Balance of Power in International Politics. Lianchao Han is vice president of Citizen Power Initiatives for China. After the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989, Dr. Han was one of the founders of the Independent Federation of Chinese Students and Scholars. He worked in the U.S. Senate for 12 years, as legislative counsel and policy director for three Senators.

A sandwich lunch will be served at 12.45.