Since 2010, China’s improving maritime capabilities have enhanced its ability to develop a proactive policy that can both defend its sovereignty claims and resist adverse regional security trends. This new situation has created a more difficult policy making process for both China and the United States. On the one hand, China must balance its efforts to achieve greater foreign policy successes without over-loading the U.S.-China relationship and undermining its interest in U.S.-China cooperation. On the other hand, the United States must reassure China’s neighbors of U.S. security commitments without undermining its own interest in U.S.-China cooperation. Neither country has managed well the challenges of balancing their competing interests. The combined result of U.S. and Chinese foreign policy missteps has been mutual recriminations and heightened tension. Given the difficulty for both countries of striking a balance between their respective competing interests, there will likely be recurring cycles of great power tension.
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.
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