Against the backdrop of a shifting international order and the resurgence of strategic competition among powerful states, USIP’s work on China has two primary objectives: averting crisis or conflict between the United States and China and mitigating the potential for violence in countries and regions where China is extending its influence.
Learn more in USIP’s fact sheet on The Current Situation in China.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and its four partner countries in the Indo-Pacific—Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea (ROK), and New Zealand—have entered a period of increased engagement. This engagement is taking shape in the context of the war waged by the Russian Federation (Russia) against Ukraine, NATO’s growing awareness of the security challenges posed by the People’s Republic of China (China), and important structural changes in the international system, including the return of strategic competition between the United States and China and Russia. It is occurring not only in bilateral NATO-partner relations but also between NATO and these Indo-Pacific countries as a group.
This month marks the second anniversary of the Biden administration’s Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS). USIP experts Carla Freeman, Mirna Galic, Daniel Markey, and Vikram Singh assess what the strategy has accomplished in the past two years, how it has navigated global shocks and its impact on partnerships in the region.
In 2019, Malaita Province in Solomon Islands made geopolitical headlines when its former premier, Daniel Suidani, came out against the country’s closer bilateral relations with China. As a result of his stance, Suidani was removed from his position in February 2023.
To increase understanding of these changes and their impacts, USIP convened an expert study group consisting of experts from NATO countries and from NATO’s formal partner countries in the Indo-Pacific: Australia, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand, which are informally known as the Indo-Pacific Four (or IP4).
Intensifying strategic competition has left U.S.-China ties at a historic low, and the resulting geopolitical tensions have turned Taiwan into a potential flashpoint for a military confrontation between the two great powers. Amid this complex diplomatic landscape, USIP is working to improve U.S. and Taiwanese officials’ decision-making during a potential crisis by convening “peace games” and “tabletop exercises”; to build a deeper understanding of China’s coercive strategies and capabilities; and to help policymakers develop strategies to deter Beijing from taking military action in the Taiwan Strait.
In today’s era of strategic competition between the United States and China, crises are more likely than ever in the Indo-Pacific region. Effective mechanisms are therefore needed to prevent such crises from escalating into armed conflict. To this end, USIP is examining crisis communication mechanisms and negotiations between China and its regional neighbors to identify common issues and themes across countries to provide lessons that can be learned and shared.