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Thursday 4 November 2021

Debate: It’s Time to Treat China Like an Adversary not a Partner

Foreign
Policy

We are in a second Cold War with China. That’s the conclusion many experts have come to as they observe China’s increasingly aggressive behaviour beyond its borders – its suppression of democracy in Hong Kong, its sabre-rattling towards Taiwan, the vast espionage offensive against the West’s technology, not to mention the confrontational tone of its new ‘wolf warrior’ diplomacy.  

So how should the West respond? Some say that giving President Xi and his elites a slap on the wrist is not enough: we need to get tough with deeds, not just words. We should sanction the Chinese leaders responsible for the abuse of human rights, both on the mainland and in Hong Kong, and our political leaders should boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022. If we really care about maintaining the liberal democratic world order we should be prepared to take a hit and stop prioritising our supply chains over our values. 

That’s the argument of the China hawks, but not everyone agrees. Some believe that coexistence with China, not confrontation, should be the West’s goal. After all, allowing tensions to escalate to an actual war is too horrific to contemplate. We should put our faith in diplomacy and work to persuade the Chinese leadership that it is in their best interests to cooperate within the existing world order, instead of trying to dominate it.  

Which side is right? Join us at the debate, hear the arguments and decide for yourself.

Event Name

Debate: It’s Time to Treat China Like an Adversary not a Partner



Speakers for the motion
  • Nathan Law

    Hong Kong activist and former legislator, currently in exile

  • Edward Lucas

    Columnist at The Times and National Security Expert

Against the motion
  • Shirley Yu

    Political Economist and Fellow at The Harvard Kennedy School

Remaining speakers to be announced.

 

Speakers subject to change.


Location
  • Kensington Town Hall
  • The Town Hall Hornton Street
  • London
  • W8 7NX
Time
  • Thursday 4 November 2021
  • 7pm to 8:30pm BST



Speakers

For the motion

Nathan Law

Hong Kong activist and former legislator, currently in exile


Hong Kong activist, currently in exile. He is the author of the forthcoming book Freedom: How we Lose it and How We Get it Back. During the Umbrella Movement in 2014, he was one of the five representatives who took part in the dialogue with the government, debating political reform. Upholding non-violent civic actions, Nathan, Joshua Wong and other student leaders founded the political party Demosistō in 2016 and ran for the Legislative Council election. Nathan was elected with 50,818 votes in the Hong Kong Island constituency and became the youngest Legislative Councilor in history. Yet his seat was overturned in July 2017 following Beijing’s constitutional reinterpretation, despite international criticism. Nathan was later jailed for his participation in the Umbrella Movement. Due to the risk imposed by the 2020 National Security Law, Nathan left Hong Kong and continues to speak up for Hong Kong people on the international level. In 2020, he was listed as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME. 

Edward Lucas

Columnist at The Times and National Security Expert


Columnist for The Times and consultant specialising in European and transatlantic security. Formerly a senior editor at The Economist, he is now a senior vice-president at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA). He has written several books including The New Cold War, a prescient account of Vladimir Putin’s Russia, Deception, an investigative account of East-West espionage, and Cyberphobia, about the phenomenon of cybercrime. He is an advocate for Magnitsky Law sanctions against Chinese officials.
Against the motion

Shirley Yu

Political Economist and Fellow at The Harvard Kennedy School


Fellow at the Ash Center, Harvard Kennedy School. Formerly a China National Television News Anchor, senior executive and board member, she has been a frequent speaker on China’s political economy, in particular, China’s recent Belt and Road Initiative and its geopolitical implications. She has a Ph.D. in political economy from China’s Peking University, and a master’s degree in government from Harvard University. She has published three books in Chinese, including On China, by Ambassadors, and the Rise of the RMB and the Fall of the Yen.
Remaining speakers to be announced.

 

Speakers subject to change.