Chinese President Xi Jinping opened the 20th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party in October - with a speech that makes clear where his party stands on its future ambitions, to include the reunification of the self-governing island of Taiwan.
But tensions between the US and China over Taiwan’s future are really just one part of the story. Beijing has made clear that it has a thorough and organized strategy to achieve its ambitious goals while the US – in part because of a democratic system that can change leadership every four years – is realizing that it must do something different if it wants to remain a dominant power in the world.
I can’t imagine anyone better on this issue that my guest in this episode: former assistant secretary of defense turned Harvard Professor Graham Allison. Allison is the Douglas Dillon Professor of Government and Harvard and he is also the author of the book, Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’ Trap? If you haven’t read it, it’s a master class in understanding just where both countries are coming from and what advantages they hold in this great power competition.
Here's my State Secrets conversation with Harvard Professor Graham Allison.