In the third episode of our four-part U.S. Presidential Election Series, Professor John Mearsheimer discusses the rise of China as a global superpower and the escalating security competition between the U.S. and China. Mearsheimer begins by laying out his theory on international policy and regional hegemons; he describes the international political system as anarchic as opposed to hierarchal, and discusses the implication of the fact that one political state cannot be certain about another state’s intentions. Mearsheimer moves on to give a historical overview of U.S. foreign policy and then touches on the ramifications of a Trump or Biden presidency on U.S.-China relations. Finally, Mearsheimer addresses questions from audience members, including topics such as an Asian perspective on foreign policy, the inevitable escalation in tension between the U.S. and China and what factors might accelerate this escalation, and Trump’s strategy, or lack-there-of, regarding foreign relations. Finally, Mearsheimer considers the position of Hong Kong in U.S.-China relations within the context of his theories.
Professor John Mearsheimer
R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science,
University of Chicago