Book talk: China’s Rupture with the West w/ Andrew Small

21 Feb 2023 – 19:00 – 20:30 GMT
Frontline Club
13 Norfolk Place
W2 1QJ

Emma Graham-Harrison will be in conversation with Andrew Small discussing China’s rupture with the West and ‘No Limits’ partnership with Russia.

One year ago, China’s intensifying competition with the United States, and its fraying relationship with Europe, tipped into overt rivalry. The Sino-Russian joint statement on a partnership without limits, signed during Putin’s visit to Beijing ahead of the Russian invasion, seemed to foreshadow an emerging authoritarian bloc in contest with the liberal democracies. Yet a year later, despite Xi Jinping’s consolidation of his own position as ‘leader for life’, the collapse of his zero-COVID policy amid protests and an economic downturn, Russia’s failures on the battlefield, and the squeeze on Chinese access to advanced technologies have left Beijing in a less confident position, struggling to deal with the fallout.

Andrew Small’s new book, The Rupture, named as one of the Financial Times ‘Best Politics Books of 2022’, tells the story of the big rethink on China in western capitals in recent years, and Beijing’s efforts to build a rival coalition of its own.

In conversation with Emma Graham-Harrison, senior international affairs correspondent at the Guardian, they will discuss how we tipped into a ‘new Cold War’ with China, the state of the Sino-Russian partnership, and how the Chinese leadership is looking at the world after a tumultuous year.

About Andrew Small’s book The Rupture 

This is the inside story of a revolution in China policy, from Washington
to Brussels, Berlin to New Delhi. The Rupture explains how many of the Western politicians, thinkers and business leaders closest to Beijing have become its sharpest opponents; how the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically accelerated this collective rethink; and why 5G represents the first test case as to whether China may win the battle for the future.

Noted China expert Andrew Small offers a kaleidoscopic picture of a rivalry ranging far beyond ‘great power’ politics. He traces US efforts to recast relations with old allies, as Washington realises that it cannot confront China alone, charting Europe’s growing role in the technological and economic contest, and Beijing’s attempts to build a coalition of its own, from Moscow to Taliban-run Kabul.

As competition grows between systems, the Western model itself is transforming—for China’s rise changes the balance of ideas as much as the balance of power.

About Andrew Small

Andrew Small is a senior transatlantic fellow with the German Marshall Fund’s Asia Program, which he established in 2006. The author of The China-Pakistan Axis (also published by Hurst), he lives in Berlin.

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