In 2012, the year he took the reins of power, China’s President Xi Jinping spoke of “the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation,” as part of his speech on the “Chinese Dream.” As President Xi pursues that vision in various ways and newly-minted U.S. President Donald Trump promises to “Make America Great Again,” many believe the two powers are destined for conflict. Why is this? According to distinguished scholar and historian Dr. Graham Allison, the world is witnessing a potentially dangerous iteration of what historians call the “Thucydides Trap,” a period when a rising power like China is able to challenge the ruling global power — in this case, the U.S. Allison’s new book, Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?, argues that in the history of geopolitics this is the 17th instance of the “Trap,” and that most of the previous instances have resulted in war. Are a rising China and a Trump-led United States destined for conflict? What are the pathways to peace — the roads that lead these great powers away from the “Thucydides's Trap”?
Join us for a breakfast discussion with Dr. Allison and the Hon. Kevin Rudd, President of the Asia Society Policy Institute, as they take up one of the most important foreign policy questions of our time.
On the campaign trail, Donald Trump repeatedly denounced the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — the “Iran Deal” to dismantle that country’s nuclear program — and said he would withdraw from the agreement. Just days after the inauguration, Iran conducted missile tests, drawing a warning from President Trump that Iran “was playing with fire.” Relations between the two countries have remained contentious, and the escalation and potential for conflict are causes for concern. Against this backdrop, Iran holds its presidential elections on May 19. President Hassan Rouhani and the reformists in Iran won the 2013 vote on a promise to improve Iran’s economy and integrate more broadly with the global economy — aligning with the aspirations of Iran’s restive and politically active young population. Further complicating matters, the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is expected to step down in the near future, and there is much speculation about his successor and its implications.
Join us for a high-level discussion on the rapid changes and high stakes in the Iran-U.S. relationship, and the challenges that lie ahead.
Soon after taking office, President Donald Trump reassured the Republic of Korea of the “ironclad commitment” of the U.S. to the alliance in the face of North Korean threats and provocations. Previous comments made by Mr. Trump—both on the campaign trail and after—had called into question core principles of the alliance, from long-standing U.S. military commitments to the support of regional free-trade agreements. President Trump’s reaffirmation of the decades-long friendship provided a measure of stability during a period of repeated threats from North Korea, and domestic political turmoil in the South. On May 9, 2017 Korea will elect a new President and begin a discussion on possible changes to foreign policy that may be at odds with the U.S. Meanwhile North Korea appears on the brink of a profoundly upgraded missile capacity and the Trump administration has sent a US Navy strike group into nearby waters.
Join us for a special breakfast program featuring opening remarks by former South Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs Ro-Myung Gong, followed by a panel discussion with Chung-in Moon, and Sue Mi Terry. What does the future hold for the U.S.-Korea alliance, the Korean Peninsula and the security of Northeast Asia?