Middle Power Countries' Perspective on U.S.-China Relations


Date: April 20th, 2022 | 8:00 MT
Duration: 90 minutes via ZOOM

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Event Summary

As the United States and China find themselves caught in a great power struggle, the rest of the world is left watching. Middle power countries–such as Australia, Canada, India, Japan, and South Korea–now find themselves caught between the toxic struggle between the United States and China for global prominence and power. These countries have been left to wage their own diplomatic battles as they try to balance decades–or even centuries–of historic relations with economic priorities, security initiatives, and their own national values; all while aiming to maintain global stability and foster their own national growth.




Nong Hong

Executive Director, Institute for China-America Studies

Dr. Nong Hong holds a PhD of interdisciplinary study of international law and international relations from the University of Alberta, Canada and held a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the University’s China Institute. She was ITLOS-Nippon Fellow for International Dispute Settlement and Visiting Fellow at Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security, the Center of Oceans Law and Policy, University of Virginia, and at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law.

She is concurrently a research fellow with China Institute, University of Alberta, Canada, and the National Institute for South China Sea Studies. She is also a China Forum expert.


Olga Alexeeva

Ron MacIntosh

Senior Fellow, China Institute, University of Alberta

Ron MacIntosh is a former officer with Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, now called Global Affairs Canada. Mr. MacIntosh holds a BA from Dalhousie University in Political Science. He also holds an interdisciplinary MA in International Affairs (Development) from Carleton University.

In 2010, Mr. MacIntosh completed his 35 year foreign service career as Director General, Strategic Planning, Resources and Coordination. In addition to several development-related assignments, his career focused largely on Asia Pacific, especially on trade and economic issues. At headquarters, he was an early leader in developing Canada's approaches to China following the "opening" in the late '70s and early '80s, in framing Canada's involvement in Pacific institutions notably APEC, and later in the charting of Canada's emerging markets strategy. 


Deepa Ollapally

Professor, George Washington University

Deepa M. Ollapally is Research Professor of International Affairs and the Director of the Rising Powers Initiative at the Sigur Center for Asian Studies, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University. She is a specialist on Indian foreign
policy, Asian regional and maritime security, and comparative foreign policy outlooks of rising powers.

Ollapally has published widely on rising powers including the edited book, Worldviews of Aspiring Powers: Domestic Foreign Policy Debates in China, India, Iran, Japan and Russia (Oxford, 2012). Her most recent books are two volumes, Energy Security in Asia and Eurasia (Routledge, 2017) and Nuclear Debates in Asia: The Role of Geopolitics and Domestic Processes (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016). She is currently writing a book on big power competition for influence in the Indian Ocean.


Rumi Aoyama

Director, Waseda Institute of Contemporary Chinese Studies,
Waseda University

Rumi Aoyama is the director of Waseda Institute of Contemporary Chinese Studies, and the Professor at the Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies at Waseda University. She has been a visiting scholar at Stanford University (2005-2006) and George Washington University (2016-2017).

She earned her Ph.D. in Law from the Graduate School of Law, Keio University. She specializes in China’s contemporary foreign policy and politics. Her publication, "Contemporary China’s Foreign Policy" (Keio University Press, 2008), was honored with the 24th Masayoshi Ohira Foundation Memorial Prize.


Yoon Sukjoon

Senior Fellow, Korea Institute for Military Affairs

Sukjoon Yoon is a Navy Captain, Republic of Korea Navy (retired), and is currently a senior fellow of the Korea Institute for Military Affairs (KIMA).

Before joining KIMA, Captain Yoon’s more than thirty-five years of commissioned service included thirteen years at sea as a principal surface warfare officer and several command and staff appointments. He has been director of maritime strategy studies at the Naval War College, commanding officer of the ROKS WONSAN, chief of policy analysis section and director of policy division, ROKN Headquarters.


Sourabh Gupta

Senior Fellow, Institute for China-America Studies

Sourabh Gupta is a senior Asia-Pacific international relations policy specialist with two decades of Washington, D.C.-based experience in a think tank and political risk research and advisory capacity.

His key area of expertise pertains to the intersection of international law, both international trade and investment law and international maritime law (Law of the Sea), with the international relations of the Asia-Pacific region. His areas of specialization include: U.S.-China trade and technology competition; analysis of developments in World Trade Organization and Asia-Pacific economic regionalism; analysis of major power relationships (China-U.S., China-Japan, China-India, U.S.-Japan, U.S.-India, Japan-India; Russia-Japan relations) and key flashpoint issues in the Asia-Pacific region; and analysis of outstanding territorial disputes and maritime law-related developments. He is a member of the United States Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific (USCSCAP).


Ren Libo

Ren Libo

Founder, Grandview Institution

REN Libo graduated from Shandong University with a bachelor’s degree in international politics and is currently an EMBA student in Tsinghua University.

In his previous decade-long service to Xinhua News Agency, Libo has been leading various divisions, including the Cankao Xiaoxi, the Xinhua Pyongyang Bureau, the Reference News Department, and the CNC. From 2001 to 2011, he was appointed to draft special reports to CPC Central Committee and the State Council. And he has conducted a large amount of in-depth field research and reports on significant political and economic issues, therein his suggestions and work were highly appreciated and have influenced the decision-makers.


Jia Wang

Jia Wang

Interim Director, China Institute, University of Alberta

Jia Wang is currently the Interim Director of the China Institute at the University of Alberta, where she manages research, programs, and government and media relations since 2011. Jia has over 15 years of direct management experience focusing on the economic and political dimensions of contemporary China and Canada-China relations in various capacities. At the China Institute, in addition to overseeing the operations, she leads policy research initiatives examining Canada's diplomatic, trade, investment and energy linkages with China. Jia also provides strategic and policy advice on China to University senior leaders as well as executives at public and private sector organizations. She is a frequent media commentator, speaker and moderator at community, national and international events.