U.S.-China Relations is the newest and fastest growing research branch of CPOST. Since the 1990s, the United States has been undergoing significant relative decline, while China has experienced a spectacular rise. Will these trends continue, leading to conflict beyond economic or diplomatic rivalry to include war fighting, nuclear alerts, or movement of large conventional forces during local crises? This new reality has become a central reason for concern within the scholarly community, though the future of the Sino-American relationship remains ultimately uncertain.

CPOST Research

As the world becomes increasingly focused on China’s rise and its potential consequences, CPOST has expanded its efforts to study this important trend. The crux of CPOST efforts in this field is to produce new, path-breaking scholarship to better understand the dynamics of conflict and cooperation between major powers in East Asia, especially as they relate to local crises.

In addition to producing its own scholarship, CPOST has sought to bring together major scholars from across the hemispheres in a series of conferences held in both China and the United States. These conferences are especially important, because China’s rise has divided the global academic community. Some see cause for tension and possibly even war, while others see reasons why the relationship will remain peaceful and even cooperative.

CPOST has been a critical moderator of this important debate, co-sponsoring its first annual academic conference in November 2013 in Beijing and Shanghai, Beyond Geopolitics: Building a New Framework for Sino-American Relations with Tsinghua University in Beijing, Fudan University in Shanghai, and the University of Chicago Beijing Center. At the conference, scholars presented papers on their new ideas for Sino-American strategic cooperation.

Current and Future Projects

Building on the success of the Beijing and Shanghai academic conference, CPOST will host a series of conferences focused on the future of U.S.-China relations, with the ultimate goal of publishing several academic articles presented at the conference, including one authored by Dr. Pape and the CPOST research team.

On April 30, 2014, CPOST co-sponsored a policy conference on Capitol Hill with Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), with a discussion centering on how to manage Asian security crises. Participants from the “Beyond the Pivot” conference presented short memos to policymakers describing their policy recommendations based on the research developed at the “Beyond the Pivot” conference. To learn more, please click here.

Additionally, from August 18-22, 2014, CPOST co-sponsored its first annual Summer Institute in Beijing. As the very field of U.S.-China Relations highlights unique differences within the scholarly community across the hemispheres, CPOST created this annual institute to bridge the ‘East-West’ divide. The goal of the conference was to share different approaches to the study of international relations (IR) with young Chinese graduate students and faculty. University of Chicago faculty who teach IR went to China to explain the University of Chicago approach to the study of international relations, while several scholars from elite Chinese universities explained how their approaches may align and differ. Learn more about the Summer Institute!

Finally, in 2015, CPOST will return to Beijing and Shanghai to host its second annual academic conference and the second Peking-UChicago Summer Institute, continuing its efforts to grow the intellectual community. Also in late 2015, CPOST is planning a conference with representatives from the Chinese and U.S. militaries to discuss U.S.-China military cooperation during World War II.