The overarching question imparting urgency to this exploration is: Can U.S.-Russian contention in cyberspace cause the two nuclear superpowers to stumble into war? In considering this question we were constantly reminded of recent comments by a prominent U.S. arms control expert: At least as dangerous as the risk of an actual cyberattack, he observed, is cyber operations’ “blurring of the line between peace and war.” Or, as Nye wrote, “in the cyber realm, the difference between a weapon and a non-weapon may come down to a single line of code, or simply the intent of a computer program’s user.”
Speaker: Anatol Klass, Ernest May Fellow in History & Policy, International Security Program
This presentation follows the careers of a group of Chinese foreign policy experts who were chosen as college students in the 1930s to receive specialized training at the ruling Nationalist Party's civil service school. The speaker traces this cohort from the shared experience of an experimental educational program meant to instill the expertise necessary for modern diplomacy, through its bifurcation after the 1949 revolution. Almost half of the Kuomintang-trained experts stayed in Mainland China to work for the foreign policy apparatus of the new communist state while the other half followed Chiang Kai-shek to Taiwan and continued to work for the Republic of China. The speaker argues that this group of 130 bureaucrats had an outsized impact on 20th century Chinese foreign policy and, unexpectedly, continued to work in parallel from Taipei and Beijing, across the political divides of Mao Zedong's revolution and the Cold War.
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