Over ten years after Xi Jinping ascended to China’s most powerful post, the country is in crisis. Economic stagnation, the fallout from “Zero COVID” policies, internal dissent, and hardening global opposition have all weakened China and made it more dangerous to the international order.

China has faced crises before—and emerged stronger. In 1969, China was in ruins, devastated by the excesses of Mao’s Cultural Revolution and on the brink of war with its erstwhile ally, the Soviet Union. Yet Mao and his deputy Zhou Enlai would manage to co-opt an American gambit to open relations with China, emerging from deep isolation to become a rising global power, and fight a war with Vietnam to re-establish its hegemony in Southeast Asia.

Then, in 1989, after a decade of rapid economic growth, China confronted the twin shocks of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the mass protests culminating in the massacre of protesters at Tiananmen Square. Paramount leader Deng Xiaoping and his successor Jiang Zemin reversed Chinese fortunes once again, returning China to the path of reform and ascension into the World Trade Organization, while ensnaring the U.S. in an engagement rather than containment policy.

Led by Asia expert and former defense official Dan Blumenthal, this weeklong seminar will examine three major geostrategic hinge-points in China’s history and how Chinese leadership responds to crisis.

Dan Blumenthal on America’s Role in the Pacific


Daniel Blumenthal

Daniel Blumenthal is the Director of Asian Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, where he focuses on East Asian security issues and Sino-American relations. Mr. Blumenthal has both served in and advised the U.S. government on China issues for over a decade.

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