The Trump Administration and the United States’ China post-1972 Engagement Policy

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The longstanding post-1972 consensus supporting a US policy of engagement with China has been eroded by increasing dissatisfaction with developments in China’s domestic and foreign policies. As a consequence, a policy of near full-spectrum US engagement has been replaced by a more conditional posture where conflict increasingly outweighs cooperation. This talk describes the relationship’s breakdown during the Trump administration. It then evaluates two major competing explanations for the deterioration. These emphasize either the role of the concept of identity, or aspects of power politics, specifically, state interests and the distribution of capabilities. The talk concludes with a discussion of the implications of a more confrontational Sino-US relationship for New Zealand.

About the speaker

Portrait of Dr Nicholas Khoo

Nicholas Khoo is Associate Professor in the Politics Programme at the University of Otago. His research focuses on Chinese foreign policy, Asian security, security studies, international relations theory, and the international politics of the Cold War. Nicholas’s publications include: Collateral Damage: Sino-Soviet Rivalry and the Termination of the Sino-Vietnamese Alliance (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011); Return to Power: China and East Asia Since 1978 (Edward Elgar, 2020); Security at a Price: The International Politics of U.S. Missile Defense (with Reuben Steff, University of Waikato) (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017); and, Asian Security and the Rise of China: International Relations in an Age of Volatility (Edward Elgar, 2013) (co-authored with David Martin Jones and Michael LR Smith (both from King’s College, University of London). He is currently working on a four-author study (with Ching Chien-peng, Andrew Tan, and Andrea Benvenuti) on Chinese foreign policy since 1949, to be published with Routledge in 2021.

Date: Friday 9 April 2021
AMLT106 Alan MacDiarmid Building, Kelburn Campus, Victoria University of Wellington [Map of venue]
In-person attendance:  Register Here