U.S.-China Strategic Competition

U.S.-China Strategic Competition

Podcast with Richard J. Ellings and Aaron L. Friedberg
October 1, 2019

In this episode of NBR’s Asia Insight podcast series, Richard J. Ellings and Aaron L. Friedberg assess the state of the U.S.-China strategic rivalry and underscore the need for the United States to develop a more effective approach to China and the Indo-Pacific region. The discussion, moderated by Laura Junor, took place at the Asia Policy Assembly on June 18, 2019.

Richard J. Ellings is Co-founder, President Emeritus, and Counselor at NBR.
Aaron L. Friedberg is Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University and Co-director of the Woodrow Wilson School’s Center for International Security Studies. He is also a Counselor at NBR.
Laura Junor is the Director of Research and Strategic Support at the National Defense University, Institute for National Strategic Studies.

Time Stamps

[2:18] Junor introduces the panelists and topic.

[5:16] Friedberg discusses how the rise of China has affected U.S. strategy.

[7:17] Ellings delineates the United States’ economic “twin” goals.

[9:03] Friedberg discusses China’s opening of its markets and how the United States perceived China’s reform.

[10:48] Ellings explains strategic cooperation by contrasting China with the Soviet Union.

[12:20] Friedberg expounds on how China and the United States mobilize their resources for their individual strategic purposes.

[15:18] Ellings compares the United States’ and China’s economic capacities and recommends how the United States should act moving forward.

[17:28] Ellings discusses how to boost U.S. capacity.

[19:21] Friedberg explains the need for increased defense spending to mobilize resources while in competition with China.

[24:08] Ellings introduces market mechanisms as a means to attract citizens to participate in one economy rather than another.

[25:53] Friedberg comments on the importance of the IP Commission.

[28:33] He explains the process of “disentanglement.”

[32:55] Ellings elaborates on China’s industrial policies and theft of U.S. nuclear secrets.

[35:16] Friedberg discusses misperceptions of Xi Jinping.

[36:43 Ellings explains how the Belt and Road Initiative is a global policy with long-term implications.

[40:50] Friedberg addresses China’s interest to expand the initiative to other regions.

[43:43] He discusses how other countries assess China.

[46:35] Ellings discusses the influence of North Korea on China’s actions.

[52:08] He emphasizes the importance of nurturing area specialists.

[56:03] He addresses the threat of a Sino-Russian alliance.

[59:41] Friedberg discusses how Russia and China share an “anti-ideology.”

[1:03:06] Ellings enumerates his suggestions to deter Russia.

[1:06:30] Friedberg explains the different challenges that China and Russia present.

Related Event

Asia Policy Assembly 2019 was held on June 18–19 in Washington, D.C. Learn more.

About Asia Insight

The NBR podcast series Asia Insight features interviews with top Asia experts about key issues affecting the Indo-Pacific region, with a focus on implications for U.S. policy and businesses. Subscribe to Asia Insight on Podbean and Apple Podcasts and let us know what you think of the podcast on Twitter.

Media Contact: Dan Aum, [email protected] or (202) 347-9767.

Asia Insight theme music is by Laura Schwartz of Bellwether Bayou.

This podcast was edited by Simone McGuinness and Owen Nguyen at NBR.