Managing Crises between the U.S. and China: A Conversation with Xin Qiang and Dennis Wilder

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In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, we are joined by Professor Xin Qiang and Professor Dennis Wilder to discuss how the U.S. and China could manage potential crises from elevated military activities. Both speakers emphasize that tensions between the U.S. and China are at a new high due to increased levels of strategic competition and neither side is well-prepared to handle a military collision or accident. Professor Wilder explains quiet diplomacy is critical for managing crises and cultural differences between the U.S. and China should always be considered in order to prevent miscommunication. Professor Xin notes that U.S. military activity to challenge normal Chinese military exercises are viewed differently than U.S. activities to challenge PRC activities aimed at countering “sensitive” U.S. or Taiwan activities. The latter would be viewed as much more hostile by the Chinese side. On an ending note, they both agree that the establishment of communication channels are essential to de-escalate potential future crises. 

Xin Qiang is the Inaugural Director of the Center for Taiwan Studies and Deputy Director of the Center for American Studies at Fudan University. He is currently a visiting fellow at Paul Tsai China Center, Yale Law School and conducting research on how to manage turbulent Taiwan issue amid intensifying US-China Strategic Competition. 

Dennis Wilder is a Professor and Senior Fellow for the Initiative for U.S.-China Dialogue on Global Issues at Georgetown University, where he previously served as the managing director. Prior to this, he served as the Deputy Assistant Director for East Asia and the Pacific for the Central Intelligence Agency from 2015 to 2016. He also was the Director for China as well as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for East Asian Affairs at the National Security Council.  

Bonny Lin
Director, China Power Project and Senior Fellow, Asian Security