Nuclear Issues

45 Items

Chinese President Xi Jinping is displayed on a big screen in Beijing as Chinese battle tanks roll by during a Sept. 3, 2015 parade commemorating the 70th anniversary of Japan's surrender during World War II.

(AP Photo)

Magazine Article - The Atlantic

The Thucydides Trap: Are the U.S. and China Headed for War?

| September 24, 2015

The defining question about global order for this generation is whether China and the United States can escape Thucydides’s Trap. The Greek historian’s metaphor reminds us of the attendant dangers when a rising power rivals a ruling power—as Athens challenged Sparta in ancient Greece, or as Germany did Britain a century ago. Most such contests have ended badly, often for both nations, a team of mine at the Harvard Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs has concluded after analyzing the historical record. In 12 of 16 cases over the past 500 years, the result was war. When the parties avoided war, it required huge, painful adjustments in attitudes and actions on the part not just of the challenger but also the challenged.

U. S. President Barack Obama (R) and Chinese President Xi JinPing review the guard of honor during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China on Nov. 12, 2014.

AP Images

Analysis & Opinions - Financial Times

America and China are rivals with a common cause

| April 16, 2015

When China’s economic output eventually surpasses America’s some time in the next decade, it will be the first time since the reign of George III that the world’s largest economy belongs to a country that is not western, not English-speaking and not a liberal democratic state. Yet, in the asymmetric world that is emerging, the US will remain the dominant military force. The fulcrums of economic and military power are separating. Can these changes in the distribution of power occur peacefully?

- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center Newsletter

Belfer Center at IDEASpHERE 2014

Fall/Winter 2014 - 15

Belfer Center at IDEASpHERE 2014

Incisive questions and ambitious answers marked Harvard Kennedy School’s IDEASpHERE celebration in late spring. Belfer Center thinkers shared their big ideas in more than a dozen sessions, ranging from China's rise to nuclear weapons.

Below is a sampling of notable thoughts from those sessions. For more, including summaries and video highlights, see belfercenter.org/ideasphere2014.

Analysis & Opinions - Asia Times

China Frets Over Japanese Nuclear Program

| May 30, 2014

Many Chinese worry that as Japanese politics moves rightward, it could result in the country seeking its own weapons. Beijing's concerns have intensified with its confrontation with the Abe administration over historical recognition and territorial issues. In this op-ed, Hui Zhang argues that it is time for Tokyo to stop reprocessing and eliminate its surplus plutonium as soon as possible. Tokyo should address concerns over its reprocessing plans and plutonium stocks. To reduce suspicions, Tokyo should take specific steps to abide strictly by its "no surplus plutonium policy".

Could the Ukraine Crisis Spark a World War?

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

Could the Ukraine Crisis Spark a World War?

| May 7, 2014

The thought that what we are now witnessing in Ukraine could trigger a cascade of actions and reactions that end in war will strike most readers as fanciful. Fortunately, it is, writes Graham Allison. But we should not forget that in May 1914, the possibility that the assassination of an Archduke could produce a world war seemed almost inconceivable. History teaches that unlikely, even unimaginable events do happen.

Confronting the Reality of a Rising Nuclear-armed China

Shadowfox CC

Paper - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

Confronting the Reality of a Rising Nuclear-armed China

| April 2013

"The military buildup by China, its Asia-Pacific neighbors and the United States is creating a classical security dilemma that is increasing the potential for military conflict in the region. Although history is replete with conflicts between existing and rising powers, conflict between China and the United States is not preordained. Opportunities exist in both the diplomatic and military arenas for both countries to actively engage the other in open and direct communication to increase transparency, reduce tensions, and improve understanding. It is in the best interest of the United States, China and countries around the world to confront the reality that is a rising nuclear-armed China and, in doing so, manage its accession into the regional and world order without conflict."

Harvard Kennedy School's Tony Saich and Dean David Ellwood at a formal meeting with Li Wei, director of the Development Research Council, and Wang Jingqing, vice minister of the Organization Department of the Peoples Republic of China.

(Laura Ma Photo)

- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center Newsletter

Belfer and Ash Centers Expand U.S.-China Bridge-Building

Spring 2013

Sponsored by the Institute for China-U.S. People-to-People Exchange and by Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer and Ash Centers, the “Challenge and Cooperation” conference at Peking University in January dissected the implications of China’s new leadership and President Obama’s second term. Participants examined the roles the two countries should play in international security and in trade and investment issues.

News - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

New Book by Graham Allison and Robert Blackwill Explores Global Insights of “Grand Master” Lee Kuan Yew

| February 1, 2013

When Lee Kuan Yew speaks, who listens? Presidents, prime ministers, chief executives, and all who care about global strategy.

Graham Allison and Robert D. Blackwill, two leading strategic thinkers, asked Lee Kuan Yew the toughest questions that matter most to thoughtful Americans weighing the challenges of the next quarter century. The result is their new book, Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States, and the World – published today by MIT Press.

Analysis & Opinions - The Diplomat

Russia, China on 'Wrong Side of History' in Arab World

| October 29, 2012

"China, a great power in the making, and Russia, a fading but nonetheless aspiring power, have repeatedly positioned themselves on 'the wrong side of history' in regard to the Iranian nuclear program, events in Syria, and more. Great power status confers not just prestige and influence, but also a need to share responsibility for international security and the 'global good.' With their uncaring pursuit of narrow national interests, neither is demonstrating a predilection to do so."