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

Hong Kong’s Turn to Violence Divides the Movement

Hong Kong’s Turn to Violence Divides the Movement

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

By: Jacob Stokes; Jennifer Staats ; Rachel Vandenbrink

The weeks of peaceful protests by millions of Hong Kong residents opposed to the erosion of their civil liberties turned violent Monday. After days of aggressive police crackdowns that injured protesters and drew criticism from international human rights groups, hundreds of protesters bashed through doors into the city’s legislature yesterday. USIP specialists discuss the escalation of the conflict between residents and the city’s authorities—and the implications for one of the territory’s largest protest movements since Britain handed it over to Chinese control two decades ago.

Democracy & Governance; Nonviolent Action

As U.S.-China Ties Slide, Trump and Xi Look to Bridge Divide

As U.S.-China Ties Slide, Trump and Xi Look to Bridge Divide

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

By: Patricia M. Kim; Jacob Stokes

President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are set to have an “extended meeting” on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan this week. The summit comes amid an escalating trade dispute and a recent U.S. decision to ban five Chinese tech companies from buying U.S. equipment without government approval. Beyond trade and technology issues, Trump and Xi are expected to discuss nuclear negotiations with North Korea—following Xi’s meeting last week with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un—and increased U.S.-Iran tensions. USIP’s Patricia Kim and Jacob Stokes analyze how the trade dispute has impacted the bilateral relationship and prospects for cooperation between Washington and Beijing.

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

Jacob Stokes on China and Sovereignty

Jacob Stokes on China and Sovereignty

Thursday, June 6, 2019

By: Jacob Stokes

Under the Trump administration, the U.S. has made protecting sovereignty a core principle of its foreign policy and U.S.-China relations. While Beijing prioritizes protecting sovereignty at home, “its actions abroad raise questions about whether it’s interested in protecting the sovereignty of other countries,” says USIP’s Jacob Stokes.

Global Policy

In Global Hotspots, China and Russia are Stepping Up Coordination

In Global Hotspots, China and Russia are Stepping Up Coordination

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

By: Jacob Stokes

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin are in the middle of a rapid-fire series of bilateral meetings. Beijing and Moscow’s relationship spans a number of areas including energy, defense, infrastructure, trade, and finance. A shared sense of geopolitical competition with the United States over issues ranging from nuclear weapons to sanctions to human rights propels bilateral ties as well.

Global Policy

India-Pakistan Tensions Test China’s Relationships, Crisis Management Role

India-Pakistan Tensions Test China’s Relationships, Crisis Management Role

Thursday, March 7, 2019

By: Jacob Stokes; Jennifer Staats

The latest India-Pakistan crisis has put China in a difficult position, as it tries to balance its relationships with both countries, while helping to stave off a conflict and demonstrate its ability to manage and resolve crises. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke to leaders in both Pakistan and India last week, urging them to practice restraint and find a way to deescalate the situation. Despite Pakistan’s request for China to play a more active role, competing priorities constrained the degree to which Beijing could lead—highlighting a chronic challenge for Chinese diplomacy in South Asia. China’s decision to keep a low profile is likely deliberate and in keeping with longstanding practice, but it is inconsistent with Beijing’s aspirations to lead in Asian crisis diplomacy.

Conflict Analysis & Prevention; Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

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