As US-China trade tensions usher in a new era of US-China strategic rivalry, China’s expanding influence in Southeast Asia pose a challenge to US leadership in the region. The scope of US-China competition encompasses trade and investment, artificial intelligence, defense, energy, geopolitics, and global supply chains. Southeast Asia, and specifically Singapore, is increasingly playing a critical role in how the US-China contest unfolds as US-China trade and technology relations become increasingly restricted and contentious. The speaker will provide the strategic context of the US-China trade war and assess its impact on Southeast Asia from a US policy and industry perspective.
About the Speaker
Mercy A. Kuo is Vice President of Strategic Services at Pamir, a global risk intelligence consultancy in metropolitan Washington DC, and authors a weekly column on US Asia policy at The Diplomat, an international affairs magazine for the Asia Pacific. She is a member of the National Committee on US-China Relations and advisory council member of the Asia Pacific Institute at the American Jewish Committee. Dr Kuo was most recently president and executive director of the Washington State China Relations Council in Seattle. She was formerly managing director and research director of the Committee of 100, a New York City-based US-China leadership organisation founded by I.M. Pei and Yo-Yo Ma. She was also senior project director and director of the Southeast Asia Studies and Strategic Asia Programs at a US-based foreign policy think tank. Dr Kuo formerly served with the Central Intelligence Agency as a foreign policy analyst on Northeast and Southeast Asian political, security, and military issues. Her recent select publications include: “The Geopolitics of Energy in the South China Sea,” World Energy magazine (Summer 2019), “The China Factor in U.S. Foreign Policy,” The Strategy Bridge (April 14, 2016), and “China’s Strategic Orientation: Assessing Alternative Futures,” China in the 21st Century: History, Security and International Relations (Praeger, 2014). She holds a PhD in Modern History from Oxford University and is proficient in Chinese, Polish and Italian.