US-China Rivalry: Security Dilemma or Power Transition?

Event details

SDSC Public Lecture

Date & time

Wednesday 03 May 2023


Acton Theatre, Crawford School of Public Policy, Lennox Crossing Acton, ACT 2600


Professor Khong Yuen Foong


Bell School Marketing Team

The defining security challenge of our times is the US-China geopolitical rivalry, the intensity of which seems to be growing by the day. International relations scholars have resorted to two paradigms to describe and analyze the rivalry: the security dilemma paradigm and the power transition paradigm. Which paradigm better reflects the nature of the competition today? This presentation will argue that the China-US competition in the last decade hews closer to power transition than it does to security dilemma dynamics.

Speaker: Professor Khong Yuen Foong, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore.

Discussants: Associate Professor Amy King and Dr Iain Henry, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, The Australian National University.

Yuen Foong Khong is Li Ka Shing Professor of Political Science at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore. His is author of Analogies at War: Korea, Munich, Dien Bien Phu, and the Vietnam Decisions of 1965 (Princeton, 1992; sixth printing 2006; Chinese translation 2021). Selected publications include “How Not to Learn from History” (2022), “Power as Prestige in World Politics” (2019) International Affairs, and “The American Tributary System,” The Chinese Journal of International Politics (2013). He is the Principal Investigator of The Anatomy of Choice: Southeast Asia between the Superpowers, a multi-year project supported a Singapore Social Science Research Thematic Grant.

Amy King is Associate Professor in the Strategic & Defence Studies Centre at The Australian National University, and Deputy Director (Research) in the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs. She is the author of China-Japan Relations after World War Two: Empire, Industry and War, 1949-1971 (Cambridge University Press, 2016). The holder of an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellowship and a Westpac Research Fellowship, she leads a team researching China’s role in shaping the international economic order.

Dr Iain D Henry is a Senior Lecturer in the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University. He is the author of Reliability and Alliance Interdependence: The United States and Its Allies in Asia, 1949-1969 (Cornell University Press, 2022). His research has been published in International Security, Contemporary Politics, and the Australian Journal of International Affairs.

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