Bonnie Glaser, senior adviser for Asia and director of the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, delivered the 2019 Hibbert Roberts Lecture. The Hibbert Roberts an annual public policy lecture hosted by the Department of Politics and Government and named in honor of Professor Hibbert Roberts, who served as Department Chair from 1969–1992. This year’s lecture, titled “US-China Relations: From Cooperative Partners to Strategic Competitors,” was also part of the Presidential Speaker Series and sponsored by the Harold K. Sage Foundation and the Illinois State University Foundation Fund.

Glaser began her lecture with an overview of U.S.-China relations since the 1970s, outlining the elements of the China consensus in U.S. foreign policy beginning in the 1970s. She then discussed how the China consensus shifted over the years, highlighting the importance of key historical moments, such as the end of the Cold War and the Tiananmen Square standoff, in understanding this shift. After this historical overview, the lecture focused on providing an analysis of contemporary U.S.-China relations in different policy areas, including international trade and international and regional security, highlighting the patterns of cooperation and conflict in those areas, and discussing the ways in which China is perceived in U.S. foreign policy circles and by the U.S. public and how the U.S. is viewed in China. Glaser concluded the lecture by offering and reflecting on different scenarios that may define U.S.-China relations in the future, explaining that managing this critical relationship well is of the utmost importance.

The lecture was followed by a lively Q&A and discussion in which students, faculty, and community members participated.