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This series features brief discussions with leading China experts on a range of issues in the U.S.-China relationship, including domestic politics, foreign policy, economics, security, culture, the environment, and areas of global concern. For more interviews, videos, and links to events, visit our website:

The National Committee on U.S.-China Relations is the leading nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that encourages understanding of China and the United States among citizens of both countries.

Oct 17, 2022

For several decades after “reform and opening” began in 1978, China’s leaders adopted a restrained approach to foreign policy, assuring the world of its peaceful intentions. Then, as Susan Shirk argues in her latest book, Overreach: How China Derailed its Peaceful Rise, China went from fragile superpower to global heavyweight, threatening Taiwan and its neighbors in the South China Sea, tightening its grip on Hong Kong, and openly challenging the United States for preeminence economically, technologically, and militarily.

In an interview conducted on October 13, 2022, Susan Shirk urges the United States and other countries to respond to China’s overreach with restraint. Understanding the domestic roots of China’s actions will enable the world to avoid the mistakes that could lead to war.

0:00 Introduction

6:05 How is China responding to changes in society?

11:13 The relationship between Beijing, Taiwan, and overseas

18:17 Confucius Institutes as symbols

19:53 Xi Jinping, popularity, and Zero-COVID

26:20 U.S. position on China

About the speaker:

Follow Susan Shirk on Twitter: @SusanShirk1

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