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New Cold War: De-risking the US-China conflict


Published 16 September 2020

The rapid crumbling of Sino-US relations have led to some coining the situation a 'new Cold War'. Would this 'new Cold War' turn into major 'hot war'? What could be done to deescalate tensions? We partnered with the Asia Society Policy Institute to invite three experts to explore ways to de-risk the US-China conflict and find a path forward.

With tension between the US and China reaching an all-time high, warnings have been raised of a new Cold War developing over trade, economic ties, and technology that threaten geopolitical stability. Tensions between the two states have been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, fueling protectionist and nationalist sentiment.

While concerning headlines continue to raise the alarm over risks of diplomatic confrontations, how deep the fractures between the two largest economies go will ultimately impact the channels for cooperation and competition in the years to come. A key concern is that this new Cold War turns into a hot war. How then to de-risk the situation? What steps would lead to a de-escalation of tensions and confidence building measures?

The Hinrich Foundation and Asia Society Policy Institute invited three prominent experts, including our Research Fellow Dr Alan Dupont, one of Australia's leading security strategists and author of a new report titled New Cold War: De-risking US-China conflict, to discuss the future of Sino-US relations. Two other experts were:

  • Wendy Cutler, Vice President and Managing Director, Asia Society Policy Institute
  • Helen Qiao, Chief Economist, China, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

This session was moderated by Hinrich Foundation Director of Research and Outreach, Dr Andrew Staples.