US Foreign Policy in Asia
About the Event:
Our expert panellists will discuss the changing nature of US foreign policy in Asia and in particular in relation to China.
The election of President Biden has changed the tone of US foreign policy in Asia, notably through the appointment of Secretary of State Anthony Blinken who has taken a more consensus building approach to established US allies. In March, Blinken took part in a virtual summit with the “Quad” allies of the USA (Australia, India and Japan), had discussions with government officials in Japan and Korea, and attended a “strategic dialogue” meeting with Chinese officials. Despite a change in tone from US officials, there is little prospect of an improvement in US-China relations as the same major issues remain as under the last US administration (human rights in Xinjiang and Tibet, democracy in Hong Kong, security for Taiwan, sovereignty in the South China Sea, trade imbalance, intellectual property rights, cyber-espionage). Asia remains a complex region that requires heightened US attention to contribute to stability, but destabilizing issues remain with the South China Sea, Myanmar, North Korea, Taiwan and the growing assertiveness of the government of the People’s Republic of China.
About the Panellists:
Rana Mitter is a Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China, and a Fellow of St Cross College at the University of Oxford. He is the author of several books, including China’s War with Japan: The Struggle for Survival, 1937-1945 (Penguin, 2013), [US title: Forgotten Ally] which won the 2014 RUSI/Duke of Westminster’s Medal for Military Literature, and was named a Book of the Year in the Financial Times and Economist. His latest book is China’s Good War: How World War II is Shaping a New Nationalism (Harvard, 2020). His recent documentary on contemporary Chinese politics “Meanwhile in Beijing” is available on BBC Sounds. He is co-author, with Sophia Gaston, of the report “Conceptualizing a UK-China Engagement Strategy” (British Foreign Policy Group, 2020). He won the 2020 Medlicott Medal for Service to History, awarded by the Historical Association. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.
Michael Auslin is the Payson J. Treat Distinguished Research Fellow in Contemporary Asia at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. A historian by training, he specializes in US policy in Asia and geopolitical issues in the Indo-Pacific region. Previously, Auslin was an associate professor of history at Yale University and a visiting professor at the University of Tokyo. He is a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, the senior advisor for Asia at the Halifax International Security Forum, and a fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Among his honors are being named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, a Fulbright Scholar, and a German Marshall Fund Marshall Memorial Fellow. He serves on the board of the Wilton Park USA Foundation. Auslin is the author of six books, including Asia’s New Geopolitics: Essays on Reshaping the Indo-Pacific (2020) and the best-selling The End of the Asian Century: War, Stagnation, and the Risks to the World’s Most Dynamic Region (2017). He is a longtime contributor to the Wall Street Journal, and his writing appears in other leading publications, including the Financial Times, The Spectator, and Foreign Policy. He is the co-host of the “Pacific Century” podcast with John Yoo.