China has reached great power status. But not in the ways we expected. In this talk, Dr Mastro argues that China has built power differently from the United States over the past twenty-five years of its rise. Through an analysis of Chinese foreign policy, she shows that China does not emulate the United States, but instead pursues different pathways to power, exploits U.S. blind spots and leverages its comparative advantages. Understanding China’s competitive strategy provides insights into potentially effective U.S. and regional responses.
Oriana Skylar Mastro is a Center Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University where her research focuses on Chinese military and security policy, Asia-Pacific security issues, war termination, and coercive diplomacy. She is also non-resident Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and continues to serve in the United States Air Force Reserve for which she works as a strategic planner at INDOPACOM J56. For her contributions to U.S. strategy in Asia, she won the Individual Reservist of the Year Award in 2016. She has published widely, including in Foreign Affairs, International Security, International Studies Review, Journal of Strategic Studies, The Washington Quarterly, The National Interest, Survival, and Asian Security. Her book, The Costs of Conversation: Obstacles to Peace Talks in Wartime, (Cornell University Press, 2019), won the 2020 American Political Science Association International Security Section Best Book by an Untenured Faculty Member. She holds a B.A. in East Asian Studies from Stanford University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Politics from Princeton University. Her publications and other commentary can be found at www.orianaskylarmastro.com and on twitter @osmastro.