Amidst a problematic response to COVID-19 and anemic growth, some commentators have begun speculating that China may have reached the peak of its economic and geopolitical influence. But is this true? And if so, what does it mean for the rest of the world and for China’s role in addressing shared challenges like climate change?
This talk draws on a recently-published book, China’s Next Act: How Sustainability and Technology are Reshaping China’s Rise and the World’s Future (Oxford 2022) to argue that China does face profound economic and political challenges – but even more severe technological and ecological ones. Faced with these compound risks and challenges, Beijing has relied on a mix of authoritarianism, nationalism, and protectionism, complicating cooperation and collective action with other countries to address shared global challenges. But despite these barriers, China has become increasingly indispensable to addressing climate change, regulation of emerging technologies, and other pressing global challenges. The necessity of collective action in response to these issues must now contend with growing rivalry between China and other major powers.
This talk probes the implications of this reality, and how China and the rest of the world can make progress in providing global public goods against the backdrop of rising geopolitical tensions.
Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Scott Moore is a political scientist, university administrator, and former policymaker whose career focuses on China, sustainability, and emerging technology. As Director of China Programs and Strategic Initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania, Scott Moore works with faculty members from across the University to design, implement, and highlight innovative, high-impact global research initiatives in areas including sustainability and emerging technology.
- Paul and Marcia Wythes Center on Contemporary China
- Center for Policy Research on Energy and the Environment
- High Meadows Environmental Institute