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Creighton political science professor helps Department of Defense with China policy

A Creighton University political science professor recently delivered a talk on the future of U.S.-Chinese relations through a Chinese lens and is preparing a white paper on the outlook for global competition and conflict at the invitation of the U.S. Department of Defense.

Since January, Maorong Jiang, PhD, associate professor of political science and director of the Asian World Center at Creighton, has been participating in weekly discussions with fellow scholars and analysts with the Department of Defense on the trajectory of the U.S.-China relationship. Especially as an ongoing trade war continues between the countries, Jiang said his insight as a former Peoples Liberation Army officer has been a crucial component in the conversation.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to share what knowledge I have and to continue to search for the right solutions for both the United States and for China,” Jiang said. “The world is moving rapidly on several fronts: on trade, on sustainability, on digital platforms, on governance. How we manage these challenges in the U.S., and how we manage them in light of what is happening in China will be crucial in both the near and long term.”

In his talk at STRATCOM on May 2, Jiang highlighted more than 200 years of Western intervention in China and what that’s meant for China’s variegated history, culture and politics. The communist nation’s human rights record, authoritarianism and antagonism can be traced to the onset of colonialism. The present extension of the powers of Chinese President Xi Jinping and the subsequent approbation of U.S. President Donald Trump is another nod to the monolith the Chinese wish to present to the world.

“All this is a watershed moment in modern Chinese history,” Jiang said. “Head-of-state diplomacy is tremendously important and influential in China. Trump skillfully made a friend out of Xi, with whom it is vital to maintain a good relationship if positive relations between the U.S. and China are to continue: the relationship between the two men represents the two most powerful nations reassuring the world that there is global order and regional security.”

At the same time, as the U.S. pulls out of treaties and agreements with other allies, China is reaping the economic benefits and moving in to fill the perceived American void.

In his white paper for the Defense Department, Jiang is exploring China’s efforts to become a truly global power and how the U.S. could and should strategically respond to this push.

Jiang’s paper will be published at the end of June, along with the works of 21 other scholars, policy and military planners.

These are the most recent studies by Jiang to prove helpful to the U.S. Last year, he wrote and spoke extensively on American engagement with North Korea and the precepts for denuclearization. As in that study, Jiang is advocating a U.S. approach with China that remains flexible and allows both nations to benefit.

“We have to keep the lines of communication open,” he said. “There has to be relationship. If we don’t start from a position of willingness and trust, we won’t get far.”

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