What is the most accurate way to depict the current relationship between the global hegemon and the world’s most potent rising power? How did US‐China relations get to this point? Where is the relationship headed? In 2022, the US‐China relationship is best characterised as full‐blown great‐power rivalry. This rivalry has been building for decades with many tensions submerged and simmering, bursting to the surface in recent years. The future of US‐China relations is shrouded in uncertainty but the possibility of a near term thaw seems most unlikely. Major theories of international relations alone do not seem to account fully for this trajectory. Political psychology illuminates the central role that perception, misperception, and image have played in US‐China relations.
About the Speaker
Andrew Scobell is Distinguished Fellow in the China program at the United States Institute of Peace. He was previously Senior Political Scientist at the RAND Corporation. His publications include Crossing the Strait: China’s Military Prepares for War with Taiwan (National Defense University Press, 2022); China’s Grand Strategy: Trends, Trajectories, and Long-Term Competition (RAND, 2020) and China’s Search for Security (Columbia University Press, 2012).