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First China-U.S.- Canada Young Scholars & Practitioners Dialogue held in Washington

2019-04-30 16:23:50       source:NISCSS

On April 26, the first China-U.S.- Canada Young Scholars & Practitioners Dialogue was co-hosted in Washington DC by the Institute for China- America Studies (ICAS), the National Institute for South China Sea Studies (NISCSS), the Carter Center, and the China Institute of University of Alberta. The closed-door, invitation-only, private roundtable dialogue featured two panels. The first panel focused on traditional security issues including politics, economics, and maritime developments, while the second panel discussion ranged over topics on energy, environment, education, culture, and technology. Around 20 scholars and practitioners from NISCSS, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, Guangdong Academy of Social Sciences, University of Denver, University of Alberta, University of Victoria, the Carter Institute, RAND Corporation, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, and from Teneo attended the dialogue.

 In his opening remark, Dr. Wu Shicun, President of the NISCSS and Chairman of the Advisory Board of ICAS,  emphasized that China and the United States will not  and shall not fall into the ‘Thucydides Trap’. He believed that the theory, put forward by Graham Allison, not only misinterprets China’s strategic intentions, but also overstates the risk of a preventive war waged by an established power. Dr. Wu pointed out that as a rising developing country, China has always been committed to peaceful national development. It has neither the intention nor the strength to challenge, or even further, to replace U.S. hegemony. The current conflict of interest between China and the United States is still limited within a certain area. The situation has neither escalated to a battle over hegemony or a zero-sum game, nor reached to a point where the conflict between the two countries has to be resolved through the means of war.

Dr Wu held that a U.S. containment policy towards China would only end up hurting both sides in a lose-lose situation. He called for an engagement and cooperation between China and the U.S. , which would bring new momentum to a benign interaction between the interdependent inseparables. Together with Canada, benign relations between the three countries could lead to China-U.S., China-Canadian, U.S.-Canadian, or perhaps even a China-U.S.-Canadian trilateral cooperation in Research and Development (R&D) of clean energy, combating climate change, promoting maritime security, and educational and cultural exchanges.

In addition to bringing into the fold the Canadian perspectives, the endeavor of the event is to tease out stimulating ideas that look beyond the immediate challenges of the day facing China-U.S.-Canada relations and develop longer-term horizons that could propel the relationships forward in the spirit of cooperation and healthy competition.