US–China Competition: Risks without Rewards?

The evolving US–China competition promises to become the defining feature of international politics in the foreseeable future. US objectives in the competition consist of preserving its global hegemony in diverse dimensions in concert with allies and friends, whereas China’s objectives consist of weakening the US security system in the Indo-Pacific en route to becoming a peer competitor of the United States globally. President Joe Biden’s approach to strategic competition with China has been framed in terms of ‘de-risking’ – protecting US and allied supply chains in order to secure resiliency – but his administration’s competitive strategy has deliberately focused on suppressing China’s capacity for technological advancement. Can this most recent turn in US strategy deliver? The talk will address the strengths and limitations of the Biden strategy in the context of the enduring US ambition to protect its hegemony.

Ashley J. Tellis is the Tata Chair for Strategic Affairs and a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, specializing in international security and US foreign and defence policy with a special focus on Asia and the Indian subcontinent.