This special episode of the ChinaPower Podcast is the sixth of six featuring the audio from the China Power Project’s sixth annual conference. The third debate took place on December 17, 2021 and featured two experts debating the following proposition: “Given China’s growing power, China will have a sphere of influence in the Indo-Pacific by 2027.”
China is increasingly utilizing its growing diplomatic, economic, and military power to shape developments along its periphery. Beijing has pushed in recent years to advance its economic agenda through the Belt and Road Initiative, and it has frequently sought to coerce countries through targeted economic and trade actions. China has also used its growing military power to assert its interests amid sovereignty and territorial disputes with a number of its neighbors. Yet Chinese officials have repeatedly emphasized that China is not seeking to establish a sphere of influence in the region, and instead is seeking to foster stability and economic growth in the Indo-Pacific. Among analysts of China, Beijing’s intentions and capabilities remain hotly debated. Some view Chinese activities as simply defending Beijing’s interests, while others argue that Beijing is actively making progress toward establishing a sphere of influence along its periphery.
Dr. Graham Allison, Douglas Dillon Professor of Government at Harvard University, argued that China will establish a sphere of influence in the Indo-Pacific by 2027. The Hon. David Stilwell, Former Assistant Secretary of State, East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the US Department of State, argued that China will not establish a sphere of influence in the Indo-Pacific by 2027.
This event was made possible by the generous support of the Carnegie Corporation of New York.