The U.S. strategic interest in a divided East Asia requires the United States to compete with China in balance of power politics. The U.S. strategic competition with China not only requires the United States to continue to modernize its military capabilities. It also requires the United States, the region’s outside power, to develop a regional policy that sustains its strategic partnerships in East Asia, even as East Asia’s local powers experience greater threat perception from a rising China. But simultaneously, the United States must develop a policy toward China that contributes to U.S.-China cooperation and regional stability. These competing U.S. policy imperatives require the United States both to reassure and restrain its regional security partners, whose interests vis-à-vis China will frequently diverge from U.S. interests in U.S.-China relations. The intrinsic difficulty in achieving an appropriate balance in U.S. policy will frequent lead to either unnecessary U.S.-China tension or to excessive insecurity among U.S. security partners.
About the Speaker:
Robert S. Ross is Professor of Political Science at Boston College and Associate, John King Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University. He received his B.A. in History from Tufts University in 1976 and his Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University in 1984. He also received graduate training in international relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He has taught at Columbia University and at the University of Washington. Since 2009 he has been Adjunct Professor, Institute for Defence Studies, Norwegian Defence University College.
Professor Ross has been a Guest Scholar at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., Visiting Senior Fellow at the Institute of International Strategic Studies, Qinghua University, Visiting Scholar, School of International Relations, Peking University Beijing and Visiting Scholar, Institute for Strategy, Royal Danish Defence College. In 1994-1995 he was Fulbright Professor at the Chinese Foreign Affairs College.
Professor Ross’s research focuses on Chinese security policy, East Asian security, and U.S.-China relations. His recent publications include Chinese Security Policy: Structure, Power, and Politics, China’s Ascent: Power, Security, and the Future of International Politics, and New Directions in the Study of Chinese Foreign Policy. His other major works include Normalization of U.S.-China Relations: An International History; Great Wall and Empty Fortress: China’s Search for Security, Negotiating Cooperation: U.S.-China Relations, 1969-1989, and The Indochina Tangle: China’s Vietnam Policy, 1975-1979. Professor Ross is the author of numerous articles in World Politics, The China Quarterly, International Security, Security Studies, Orbis, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The National Interest, and Asian Survey. His books and articles have been translated in China, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, and various European countries.
Professor Ross has been the recipient of research fellowships from the University of Washington and Columbia University. He has received research and collaborative project grants from the Social Science Research Council, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Ford Foundation, the Smith-Richardson Foundation, the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX), The Asia Foundation, and The United States Institute of Peace.
Professor Ross has testified before various Senate and House committees and the Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee, he advises U.S. government agencies, and he is amember of the Academic Advisory Group, U.S.-China Working Group, United States Congress. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the National Committee for U.S.-China Relations. Professor Ross is a member of the executive committee of the John King Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University, Senior Advisor of the Security Studies Program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Senior Advisor to the Institute for American Studies, Shanghai. He is a founding member and former board member of the United States Committee of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific and former co-chair of the Committee’s task force on Confidence Strategic Building Measures. He is on the editorial board of Security Studies, Journal of Contemporary China, Journal of Cold War Studies, Issues and Studies, Asia Policy, Journal of Chinese Political Science, the Security Studies book series of Shanghai People’s Press, and the Grand Strategy book series of Peking University Press.
Organised by IDSS China Programme and RSIS Events Unit.