President Trump of the USA and President Xi of China

The Challenges of Trump's America and Xi's China: perspectives and strategies in Northeast and Southeast Asia

Friday 8th September 2017, 2.00 - 5.30pm; Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building

In collaboration with the Department of International Relations at LSE

How much continuity is there between the Obama administration’s ‘rebalance’ to the Asia-Pacific and Washington’s current policy objectives and priorities? In what ways has China’s ‘assertive’ foreign policy toward its periphery given way to a new charm offensive and the lure of economic advantage? This double-panel event will compare and contrast old and new priorities and policy instruments pursued by the US and China vis-a-vis East Asia. It will examine how states in Northeast and Southeast Asia are manoeuvring in reaction to the various challenges brought forth, against the current dynamics of great power relations between Washington and Beijing.

Panel One will explore how the presidential transition in the US has impacted Washington’s alliances with its Northeast Asian partners, examine China’s use of economic statecraft in the pursuit of its main policy objectives in Asia, and assess the implications for the international politics of the region that stem from recent developments in US-Russia ties.

Panel Two will examine Southeast Asian ‘hedging’ strategies with an additional focus on Indonesia’s reaction to rising Sino-US tensions, and explore perspectives on the evolving debates in Washington regarding the South China Sea.

Join the conversation using #LSETrump

Find the full programme here
See the storify of the event here

Speakers - Panel One

Tomila Lankina Photo Cropped

Tomila Lankina is a Professor at the LSE’s Department of International Relations. Her research specialisms include Russia and Eurasia domestic politics and foreign policy; and regionalism, federalism, sub-national governance in Russia, India, and China.

Adam Liff Photo

Adam Liff is Assistant Professor of East Asian International Relations in Indiana University’s School of Global and International Studies. His research focuses on international security and the Asia-Pacific.

John Hemmings Photo Cropped

John Hemmings is Director of the Asia Studies Centre at the Henry Jackson Society, a transatlantic think tank based in London, and an adjunct fellow with the Japan Chair at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

Darren Lim Photo Cropped

Darren Lim is a Lecturer in International Relations in the College of Arts and Social Sciences at Australian National University. His research focus is primarily on economic statecraft, and the mechanisms through which trade and investment links can affect states’ security and foreign policies.


Speakers - Panel Two 

Cheng Chwee Kuik Photo Cropped

Cheng-Chwee Kuik is an Associate Professor at the Strategic Studies and International Relations Program at the National University of Malaysia (UKM). He researches on regional multilateralism, East Asian security, and China-ASEAN relations.

Ann Marie Photo Cropped

Ann Marie Murphy is an Associate Professor at the School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University, New Jersey; Senior Research Scholar at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University; and Associate Fellow, Asia Society.

Aileen Baviera Photo 1 Cropped

Aileen San Pablo-Baviera is a Professor at the Asian Centre, University of the Philippines. Her research interests include contemporary China, Southeast Asia-China relations, Asia-Pacific security, and regional integration


Panel Chairs


Jürgen Haacke is Director of the Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre and Associate Professor of International Relations at LSE.