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

Event Details

16 September 2020 | 8 PM HKT / 8 AM EST

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 have 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.

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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?

Join us as we invite three prominent experts, including our Senior 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.

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


Three experts will discuss ways to de-risk the US-China conflict.

Alan Dupont Portrait

Alan Dupont

Senior Research Fellow, Hinrich Foundation and CEO, Cognoscenti Group

Dr. Alan Dupont is one of Australia's best-known strategists, Asianists and thought leaders on geopolitical risk, foreign policy, defense and national security.

Dr. Dupont AO is CEO of the geopolitical risk consultancy the Cognoscenti Group. His work on geopolitical risk, foreign policy, defense and national security has earned him an international reputation as an Asia specialist.

He has been an advisor to a number of Australian ministers of defense and foreign affairs. In 2013/14, Alan established and led the Abbott Government’s Defense White Paper team. He has received commendations for his work from the governments of Japan and East Timor and was named by the Australian Financial Review as one of Australia’s top strategists. He was appointed as an Officer in the Order of Australia for “distinguished service to the international community through security analysis and strategic policy development.”

Following 25 years of service in government as an army officer, defense intelligence analyst and diplomat, Alan took his talents to academia. Some of his appointments include: Senior Fellow at the Lowy Institute for International Policy; Councillor with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute; the inaugural holder of the Michael Hintze Chair in International Security at the University of Sydney and Director of the Centre for International Security Studies; CEO of the US Studies Centre and, most recently, Professor of International Security at the University of NSW. He has also written for the Atlantic Council.

In the private sector, his clients have included British Aerospace, British Telecom, Boeing Australia, KPMG, Northrop Grumman, and Shell.

Alan is also a much sought-after commentator. He is Contributing National Security Editor for The Australian newspaper and frequently comments on defense and security issues for the media including the ABC, SBS, Sky, CNN, CNBC Asia, the BBC, Voice of America and Reuters. The author of nearly 100 books, monographs and articles on defense and international security, his book East Asia Imperiled, published by Cambridge University Press, is considered an authoritative work on the non-military, transnational challenges to East Asian Security.

Alan holds a PhD in international relations from the Australian National University and is a graduate of the Royal Military College Duntroon and the US Foreign Service Institute.

Wendy Cutler

Wendy Cutler

Vice President and Managing Director, Asia Society Policy Institute

Wendy joined the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) as vice president in November 2015. She also serves as the managing director of the Washington D.C. Office.

In these roles, she focuses on building ASPI’s presence in Washington — strengthening its outreach as a think/do tank — and on leading initiatives that address challenges related to trade and investment, as well as women’s empowerment in Asia.

She joined ASPI following an illustrious career of nearly three decades as a diplomat and negotiator in the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR). Most recently she served as Acting Deputy US Trade Representative, working on a range of U.S. trade negotiations and initiatives in the Asia-Pacific region. In that capacity she was responsible for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, including the bilateral negotiations with Japan. She also was the chief negotiator to the US-Korea (Korus) Free Trade Agreement.

Wendy received her master’s degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and her bachelor’s degree from the George Washington University.

Helen Qiao

Helen Qiao

Chief Economist, China, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Helen Qiao is a managing director and chief economist for Greater China and head of Asia Economics Research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, based in Hong Kong. Prior to that, Qiao spent more than six years at Goldman Sachs as senior China economist and four years at Morgan Stanley as chief Greater China economist.

Previously, she worked at the World Bank Group (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development) in Washington DC and Lehman Brothers in Tokyo. Helen has written a wide range of thematic research papers on China. Her work has been published in media and in academic journals, such as The Journal of Policy Modeling.

Helen's team has been ranked top-three in the Institutional Investor All Asia research team surveys in 2013-18 consecutively and No. 1 in Asia economic research in the Institutional Investor Global Fixed Income survey in 2019. Qiao holds a BA degree in international trade from the Renmin University of China, and master’s degree and a PhD in economics from Stanford University.