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The Slide into Great Power Competition with China: Can it be Stopped Short of War?

June 7, 2023 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Thom Shanker, former New York Times Pentagon Correspondent, and Andrew Hoehn, Senior Vice President for Research & Analysis at The RAND Corporation Think Tank will deliver an address titled “The Slide into Great Power Competition with China: Can it be Stopped Short of War?” before the Baltimore Council on Foreign Affairs on Wednesday, June 7, 2023. The program will be held on the 21st floor of the World Trade Center Baltimore, 401 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore, Maryland, 21202 at 6:00 p.m.
Two of Washington’s best-informed defense analysts have just published Age of Danger: Keeping America Safe in the Age of New Superpowers, which calls for big changes in defense spending to deal with a far more dangerous world than seemed possible when the Cold War ended in 1991. The authors are Thom Shanker, a veteran former New York Times Pentagon correspondent, and Andrew Hoehn, senior vice president for research and analysis at the RAND Corporation think tank. The authors address many threats in their new book, but we’ve asked them to focus on China.
Not so long ago, China was a key manufacturing, trade and investment partner for the United States, but today, it looms as America’s main geopolitical competitor.
Tensions are growing, and top-level contacts are few and far between. President Joe Biden has maintained Donald Trump’s punitive trade tariffs, and “strategic ambiguity” has given way in President Biden’s offhand remarks to a defense commitment to Taiwan that’s not grounded in a treaty. Should the U.S. come to the defense of Taiwan, which hasn’t adequately prepared its own defense?
Meanwhile, Xi Jinping signaled in March that he’s preparing for war.
But no one knows if he really means it.
How did we wind up in a Great Power competition that, like the Chinese-Russian collaboration, seems to know no bounds? To what extent are American missteps responsible – an intense focus on terrorism, an ill-managed “pivot” of defense forces to the Far East and the political disarray of the past seven years at home? Is China’s drive to take on the U.S.-dominated free world a historical redress of grievances to end centuries of humiliation? Or is Xi thrusting for world power?
Join us June 7 for what is sure to be an enlightening discussion with Andrew Hoehn and Thom Shanker about the slide into confrontation.
Andrew Hoehn is senior vice president for research and analysis at the RAND Corporation. He is the former deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy, where he was responsible for developing and implementing U.S. force planning and assessments in addition to long- range policy planning.
Thom Shanker is director of the Project for Media and National Security at George Washington University. He is the former national security and foreign policy editor for The New York Times’ Washington Bureau, and a longtime Pentagon correspondent for The Times. He is coauthor of The New York Times bestseller Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America’s Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda.
We will also be hosting a book sale at the presentation.
Reservations are required. Members may attend free of charge and membership is open to the public. Membership, event information, and reservations may be obtained by email ([email protected]).


June 7, 2023
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
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Baltimore Council on Foreign Affairs
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World Trade Center Baltimore
401 East Pratt Street
Baltimore, MD 21202 United States
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