Is U.S.–China Conflict Inevitable? A Debate Between Jake Werner and Michael Beckley

There is a growing consensus within Washington that the flurry of recent diplomatic contacts between the United States and China mark a significant step in stabilizing relations between the world’s two greatest economic and military powers. Jake Werner, research fellow at the Quincy Institute, and Michael Beckley, nonresident senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), both take issue with this view but draw very different conclusions on the nature of U.S.–China tensions and what that means for U.S. policy. This debate will explore contrasting visions of the relationship, a question on which the future of the international order turns. Jessica Tuchman Matthews, distinguished fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, will moderate.                                                               Download the full webinar transcript here.  


Michael Beckley

Michael Beckley is a nonresident senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he focuses on US-China competition, long-term trends in the US-China power balance, US alliances and grand strategy, and US economic and defense policy in East Asia. Concurrently, Dr. Beckley is an associate professor of political science at Tufts University and the director of the Asia Program at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. Previously, Dr. Beckley worked at the Harvard Kennedy School, the US Department of Defense, the RAND Corporation, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is the coauthor with Hal Brands of "Danger Zone: The Coming Conflict with China" (W. W. Norton & Company, 2022)

Jake Werner

Jake Werner is a Research Fellow at the Quincy Institute. His research examines the emergence of great power conflict between the U.S. and China and develops policies to rebuild constructive economic relations. Prior to joining Quincy, Jake was a Postdoctoral Global China Research Fellow at the Boston University Global Development Policy Center, a Harper-Schmidt Fellow at the University of Chicago, a Fulbright Scholar at National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan, and a Fulbright-Hays Fellow at East China Normal University in Shanghai. He is a cofounder of Critical China Scholars, a network of academics engaged in public education on Chinese politics and society.

Jessica Tuchman Matthews (Moderator)

Jessica Tuchman Mathews is a distinguished fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where she served as president for 18 years. Before her appointment in 1997, her career included posts in both the executive and legislative branches of government, in management and research in the nonprofit arena, and in journalism and science policy. She was director of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Washington program and a senior fellow from 1994 to 1997. While there she published her seminal 1997 Foreign Affairs article, “Power Shift,” chosen by the editors as one of the most influential in the journal’s seventy-five years.