Mackinder Forum Seminar #65: Professor Michael Charles Beckley, “The Coming Conflict with China”

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On Saturday, September 10, 2022, 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Eastern US time, Professor Michael Charles Beckley addressed the Mackinder Forum Seminar on “The Coming Conflict with China.”

ABSTRACT:  It is conventional wisdom that America and China are running a “superpower marathon” that may last a century. But the sharpest phase of that competition will be a decade-long sprint, and the moment of maximum danger could be just a few years away. China has entered the most perilous period in the life of a great power: it has gained the capability to upend the existing international order, but is not yet secure or powerful enough to build a new order, and soon its window to act will slam shut—unless it takes drastic action. China is behaving so aggressively in the Taiwan Strait, the South China Sea, and other areas not because it is a confident, rising power, but because it is a peaking power whose economy is slowing while its rivals multiply. America will still need a long-term strategy for competing with China. But first, it needs a near-term strategy for navigating the danger zone ahead.

BIOGRAPHY:  Michael Beckley is a leading expert on the balance of power between the United States and China. The author of two books* and multiple award-winning articles, Michael is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Tufts University and a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Previously, Michael was an International Security Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and worked for the U.S. Department of Defense, the RAND Corporation, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He continues to advise offices within the U.S. Intelligence Community and U.S. Department of Defense.

*His publications include:  Danger Zone: The Coming Conflict with China, coauthored with Hal Brands; and Unrivaled: Why America Will Remain the World’s Sole Superpower


Michael Beckley and Hal Brands, “The End of China’s Rise: Beijing is Running Out of Time to Remake the World,” Foreign Affairs (October 1, 2021).

Michael Beckley, “Enemies of My Enemy: How Fear of China is Forging a New World Order,” Foreign Affairs(March/April 2022).

Hal Brands and Michael Beckley, “The Coming War over Taiwan,” The Wall Street Journal (August 4, 2022):