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Conventional wisdom describes China as a rising power, and it was. No more: China’s economy is slowing, it is headed into a demographic catastrophe of its own design, it has a brittle and totalitarian political system, and it feels encircled by its neighbors. Our guests Hal Brands and Michael Beckley, authors of the new book Danger Zone: The Coming Conflict with China, assert that China is not “rising,” but rather that it has “peaked.” More troubling still, judging by the history of peaking powers (Germany pre-WWI, or Imperial Japan,) the US should be very nervous about a short-term grab for power or territory by a panicked Beijing.
Both Hal Brands and Michael Beckley are scholars at AEI. Hal is a senior fellow and the Henry A. Kissinger distinguished Professor of Global Affairs at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and a columnist at Bloomberg. Michael Beckley is a non-resident senior fellow, and is an associate professor at Tufts University.