Why Acute US-China Rivalry Will Endure and Cause Decline in US Influence in Southeast Asia


About the Webinar

This webinar explains the origins and evolution of US domestic politics underlying the remarkable hardening in US policy toward China, which began with the Trump administration and persists with the Biden administration. This domestic driver, which enjoys bipartisan consensus in both houses of Congress, has strong momentum going forward. Given Beijing’s firm response, the forecast is acute US-China competition in the Indo-Pacific region and elsewhere. Washington’s tough China policy is welcome among key Asian powers facing major challenges from Beijing, notably Australia, India and Japan. However, the US hard line toward China remains very controversial among Southeast Asian leaders, further complicating an already difficult situation for American policy-makers to improve relations with Southeast Asia after a period of decline. By contrast, China has steadily advanced its regional influence through hard and soft tactics. Regional elites often fear dominance by China but up to now, they steer clear of siding with the United States. The resulting US disappointment with the region comes with the likelihood that Washington may place a lower policy priority on Southeast Asia.

About the Speaker

Robert Sutter is Professor of Practice of International Affairs at George Washington University. With a PhD degree in East Asian History from Harvard University, he is an established specialist on US policy towards China and Asia. After serving for over 30 years with the US government, he taught for a decade at Georgetown University, before moving to his current appointment at George Washington University, where he has been for the past 12 years. His most recent books are Chinese Foreign Relations: Power and Policy on an Emerging Global Force fifth edition (Rowman & Littlefield, 2021) and US-China Relations: Perilous Past: Uncertain Present fourth edition (Rowman & Littlefield, 2022).


This webinar will be delivered online entirely. You can join the webinar at the specified date and time using devices (computer, phone, or tablet) with internet connection.

Please register here to receive your unique link for joining the webinar.

Limited spaces only, register early to avoid disappointment.

To join the webinar,
1. Install the Zoom client onto your computer or download the app on your mobile device.
2. Click on the unique link in your email.

If you have questions for the speaker, please key in your questions via the Q&A, stating your name and affiliation. The moderator will field them to the speaker during the Q&A session.


Sep 24 2021


9:00 am - 10:00 am