‘The China Challenge’ launches East Asia speaker series

A former State Department official will lead off the IU School of Global and International Studies’ “East Asia and the World” speaker series with a talk next week on U.S.-China relations.

Thomas J. Christensen

Thomas J. Christensen

Thomas J. Christensen, a professor at Princeton University and a former deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, will speak at 4:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2, in the atrium of the Global and International Studies Building.

In addition to having served in the State Department from 2006 to 2008 with responsibility for relations with China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Mongolia, Christensen is the author of “The China Challenge: Shaping the Choices of a Rising Power.” The new book argues China is not powerful enough to be considered a “peer” to the U.S. but is strong enough to destabilize East Asia and influence world affairs. From the publisher’s site:

Many see China as a rival superpower to the United States and imagine the country’ s rise to be a threat to U.S. leadership in Asia and beyond. Thomas J. Christensen argues against this zero-sum vision. Instead, he describes a new paradigm in which the real challenge lies in dissuading China from regional aggression while encouraging the country to contribute to the global order. Drawing on decades of scholarship and experience as a senior diplomat, Christensen offers a compelling new assessment of U.S.-China relations that is essential reading for anyone interested in the future of the globalized world.

The “East Asia and the World” speaker series was founded and is directed by Adam Liff, assistant professor of East Asian international relations in the School of Global and International Studies. Liff said the series will provide diverse perspectives on the region and will enable IU students and faculty and the Bloomington community to engage in discussions with leading scholars and policymakers on East Asia.

The series will continue with a talk Dec. 7 by Mark Minton, a professor of practice at the School of Global and International Studies and former U.S. ambassador to Mongolia and deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in Seoul, Korea. A spring semester series will launch Feb. 12 with a talk by MIT professor Richard Samuels, a leading scholar of Japanese politics and foreign policy. Additional speakers will be announced as they are confirmed.

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