Jacob Stokes is a senior policy analyst in the China Program at the U.S. Institute of Peace, where his work focuses on China’s foreign and security policies and U.S. policy in Asia. He previously served in the White House on the national security staff of Vice President Joe Biden, where he was senior advisor to the national security advisor as well as acting special advisor to the vice president for Asia policy. He has also worked in the U.S. Congress as a professional staff member on the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission and as foreign and defense policy advisor for Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).

Outside of government, Stokes has been a fellow at the Center for a New American Security and an analyst at the National Security Network. His writing has appeared in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Guardian, and Politico Magazine, and his analysis has been featured in The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and Bloomberg. He is a fellow with the Truman National Security Project, where he co-leads the Asia Expert Group. Stokes holds a master's from the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and undergraduate degrees from the University of Missouri.

Publications By Jacob

India and China Come to Blows in the Himalayas

India and China Come to Blows in the Himalayas

Thursday, June 4, 2020

By: Vikram J. Singh; Jacob Stokes; Tamanna Salikuddin

In early May, a fistfight broke out between Chinese and Indian soldiers along the disputed border between the world’s two most populous, nuclear-armed nations. A few days later, Chinese soldiers confronted Indian soldiers at several other points along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), which has served as the de facto border between the two countries since the 1962 Sino-Indian war. Both countries have more recently ramped up their military presence in the region. This escalation of tensions comes as China has turned increasingly assertive in its neighborhood, and as the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic. USIP’s Vikram J. Singh, Jacob Stokes, and Tamanna Salikuddin look at the causes behind the flare-up and its potential consequences.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

Jacob Stokes on China’s Hong Kong Policy

Jacob Stokes on China’s Hong Kong Policy

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

By: Jacob Stokes

After Beijing passed a new law curtailing freedom in Hong Kong, protests have again erupted in the territory. USIP’s Jacob Stokes says Hong Kong’s democracy poses a threat to Beijing’s legitimacy, and that if China “can’t produce enough economic growth … then that threat … becomes much more acute.”

Type: Podcast

Democracy & Governance

China’s Periphery Diplomacy: Implications for Peace and Security in Asia

China’s Periphery Diplomacy: Implications for Peace and Security in Asia

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

By: Jacob Stokes

China’s foreign policy is expanding in scope and depth and now reaches across the globe. Yet its diplomatic efforts focus on its own complex neighborhood. To advance these interests, China’s leaders practice an interlocking set of foreign affairs activities they refer to as “periphery diplomacy.” This report details the main tools Beijing uses to engage the countries with which it shares borders, assesses the campaign’s effectiveness, and lays out the implications for peace and security in Asia.

Type: Special Report

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

Who Cares if the U.S. is in a ‘New Cold War’ with China?

Who Cares if the U.S. is in a ‘New Cold War’ with China?

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

By: Jacob Stokes

Enough already. It is time to stop debating whether the United States stands at the threshold of a “new Cold War” with China. The question has become an obsession among China watchers and foreign policy analysts. But the debate’s poorly defined nature sheds little light on the excruciating choices policymakers face when dealing with Beijing.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

How the Coronavirus Impacts China and its Foreign Policy

How the Coronavirus Impacts China and its Foreign Policy

Thursday, February 13, 2020

By: Jacob Stokes; Rachel Vandenbrink; Paul Kyumin Lee

China hit a grim landmark earlier this week when the death toll from the coronavirus outbreak surpassed 1,000 with over 40,000 recorded cases of infection—and those numbers are rising every day. The outbreak, which originated in Wuhan, China, has rattled global markets and catalyzed concern over a widespread epidemic beyond China’s borders. The suffering has been immense, and people in China and those with family or friends there are frightened about what’s next. Meanwhile, there are shortages of masks and supplies and hospitals are overrun, with rising anxiety due to travel restrictions and quarantine policies.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy

View All