When Elephants Fight: what does US-China conflict mean for the rest of Asia?

Lee Kuan Yew once stated "The 21st century will be a contest for supremacy in the Pacific." As US-China competition escalates, how should regional powers respond?

When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers. As US-China competition escalates from trade war through tech war to possibly a new cold war, what does it mean for geopolitical and economic stability in East Asia? How should individual powers and regional associations respond to this new reality? Hot on the heels of the US presidential elections, our panel of academic experts and former policymakers from the region will frame and debate the outlook for diplomacy in East Asia.



This event was held on 12 November.


Alex Capri is a research fellow at the Hinrich Foundation and a senior fellow and lecturer in the Business School at the National University of Singapore. He also teaches at the NUS Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. Alex has over 20 years of experience in value chains, logistics and global trade management, both as an academic and a professional consultant. From 2007‐2012, Alex was the Partner and Regional Leader of KPMG’s International Trade & Customs practice in Asia Pacific, based in Hong Kong.

Lynn Kuok is Shangri-La Dialogue Senior Fellow for Asia-Pacific Security at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, where she is co-Editor of the Asia-Pacific Regional Security Assessment, one of the Institute’s signature publications. She is also a visiting professor at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. Her research focuses on the international relations, security and law of the Asia-Pacific, with a focus on the South China Sea dispute. She sits on the World Economic Forum's Global Future Council on Geopolitics and was a Council Member on its Global Future Council on International Security.

Cesar Purisima is an Asia Fellow of Milken Institute, a global non-profit, non-partisan think tank. He is a founding partner at IKHLAS Capital, a pan-ASEAN private equity platform. He currently serves on the boards of the AIA Group, World Wildlife Fund-Philippines, De La Salle University, Ayala Land, Universal Robina Corporation, Jollibee Foods Corporation, and the International School of Manila. He is a member of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation’s Global Advisory Council and Singapore Management University’s International Advisory Council in the Philippines. From 2010 to 2016, Purisima was the Secretary of Finance of the Philippines and the Chair of Economic Development Cluster of the President’s Cabinet. He briefly served as Finance Secretary in 2005 and Trade and Industry Secretary from 2004 to 2005.   

Kotaro Tamura is an adjunct professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at National University of Singapore, and a former senator and parliamentary secretary for economic and fiscal policy in Japan who played a key role in elaborating Abenomics during Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's first administration. He also is an Asia fellow at the Milken Institute and a senior advisor to the China Europe International Business School in Shanghai. He published more than 10 books since 2012 and sold more than 1,000,000 copies. His latest book has been made into a TV drama in Japan. 

Lutfey Siddiqi is a Visiting Professor in Practice at LSE IDEAS, a co-investigator at LSE Inclusion Initiative and an advisory board member at LSE Systemic Risk Centre. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the National University of Singapore (Risk Management Institute) and advisory board member of the Centre for Governance (CGIO) at NUS Business School. He was previously Global Head of Emerging Markets for Foreign Exchange, Rates & Credit at UBS Investment Bank and prior to that, a Managing Director at Barclays Bank in charge of a business-line across Asia-Pacific.