On December 12, 2018, the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies and the Shanghai People's Publishing House jointly held a roundtable dialogue on " Searching Clues for Peaceful Co-development: China-U. S. Relations in the New era". Professor Graham Alison, founding dean of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and former assistant secretary of defense of the United States, was invited to have a dialogue with leading Chinese scholars and media representatives on how China and the United States seek peaceful co-development in the new era.
The opening session was presided by Prof. Chen Dongxiao, president of SIIS, and Mr. Fan Weiwen, deputy chief editor of SPHH, delivered an opening speech. In his opening remarks, President Chen Dongxiao indicated that the peaceful development of China and the United States is the shared vision of the two peoples. As is well-known to all, some colleagues of SIIS have made their contributions in the process of normalization of China-US relations. This seminar is aimed to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the normalization of China-US relations and to commemorate the efforts made by our predecessors. Mr. Fan Weiwen expressed his gratitude and warm welcome to all the participants. He also introduced Prof. Allison's book " Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?" whose simplified Chinese version has just been published. At such an important time of the 40th anniversary of the normalization of China-US relations, the organizers hope that invitees would share their insights and wisdom on how to expand cooperation and manage risks in the future.
In his keynote speech, Professor Allison pointed out that the 40 years of development between China and the United States is indeed fascinating, and the tremendous development and changes in China are impressive. He came to China hoping to discuss with Chinese colleagues how to escape the Thucydides’s trap. Prof. Allison also reminded all the participants of President Xi Jinping’s speech at the 2017 Davos Forum that the idea of a new form/model of win-win relationship between great powers was mentioned. Prof. Allison believed that before we could understand the new form, we must first understand what the old form is, and the old form is the traditional "Thucydides’s trap" in the history. That is why President Xi pointed out that we should avoid Thucydides' trap by maintaining communication, managing differences and disagreements, and respecting each other’s major concerns etc. The Chinese side has put forward some positive and far-sighted ideas, and the United States needs some similar expressions and creative ideas. Finally, Prof. Allison suggested that there was a request for strategic imagination in creating a new form of great power relations. Maybe the new strategic rationale would include shared vital interests and searching for clues for co-development.
During the free discussion session, Nearly 10 scholars from research institutes such as SIIS, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, and Jinan University, as well as representatives from the media such as thepaper.cn, the Global Times, and Wenhui Daily, held in-depth discussions with Professor Allison. Nearly 20 young researchers and graduate students from SIIS and Shanghai University of Finance and Economics attended the meeting.