SOAS University of London

SOAS China Institute

The China Debate 2019: Will China’s Rise be Peaceful?

IMG - China Debate 2019

Date: 7 May 2019Time: 6:00 PM

Finishes: 7 May 2019Time: 8:30 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre (BGLT)

Type of Event: Annual Lecture


The rise of China will have a major impact on the world in the 21st century. Graham Allison may or may not be right in arguing that China and the USA are at serious risk of being caught in a ‘Thucydides Trap’, in which an incumbent hegemonic power feels compelled to respond forcefully to a rising new peer competitor, with potentially dire consequences.  The future is not written in stone. Nevertheless, in the light of recent developments, the question of whether China’s rise will prove peaceful has assumed a renewed sense of urgency.

China is poised to generate sufficient capacity to compete with and overtake the USA. The steady and impressive increase in China’s capabilities is matched by President Xi Jinping’s commitment to bring about a national rejuvenation.  The hardening of the US attitude to relations with China under President Donald Trump reflects the emergence of a bipartisan approach in the USA, even if many have reservations about his insouciance to a trade war with China.  Whether China’s rise will be peaceful ultimately depends on a range of variables that will transcend Chinese policy and actions.  It is a known unknown.  But whatever its manifestation, it will shape the future of China, the USA and much of the rest of the world.


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The China Debate 2019: Will China’s Rise be Peaceful?


  • Moderator: Steve Tsang (SOAS China Institute)
  • David M. Lampton (Johns Hopkins-SAIS and Stanford University)
  • Evan S. Medeiros (Georgetown University)
  • Katherine Morton (University of Sheffield)
  • Zhu Feng (Nanjing University)

Speakers biographies

The debate will be followed by a drinks reception to which all guests are invited.


This event is open to the public (age guidance 14+). Registration is required of all participants.

£10 Standard
£3 Full time students
Free SOAS staff

*SOAS students, non-SOAS students and SOAS staff must show a valid student/staff ID card on the day.

Online registration closes at 11am, 7 May 2019.

All tickets sold are final and are non-refundable and non-exchangeable. 

Image credit: Deng Wei Wei (Courtesy: InkDance Chinese Paintings)

Organiser: SOAS China Institute

Contact email:

Contact Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4823