Camden Conference In the World-April 2023
Robert Daly, director of the Wilson Center’s Kissinger Institute on China and the United States, provided quick takeaways of Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s recent state visit to Moscow. A speaker at Camden’s last conference on China, in 2019, Daly noted that the summit was short on action but long on symbolism, including Putin’s willingness “to make himself a poor younger brother to Xi and to China.” Addressing US claims that China may soon send arms to Russia, Daly said he doesn’t think Xi is yet willing to make a move that would ignite “the first proxy war of the new cold war.” This would violate a lot of China’s “sacred diplomatic principles” and ruin its changes for a “comprehensive agreement on investment with Europe, which China very much wants.”
2018 Camden keynoter Stephen Walt argues in his latest Foreign Policy column that the Biden administration is “too scared of the multipolar world.” The unipolar world of the 1990s wasn’t that great for the United States and probably can’t be restored. Instead, we face either a bipolar world with the US and China as the two poles, or “a lopsided version of multipolarity where the United States is first among a set of unequal but still significant major powers (China, Russia, India, possibly Brazil, and conceivably a rearmed Japan and Germany)” A lengthier version is available to FP subscribers.
“After years of bitter hostilities and escalating crises in the region, the era of diplomacy and wisdom has now arrived. It is time for Iran, Iraq and the Gulf states to embrace and cooperate, to collectively create a powerful region,” 2013 Camden Conference speaker Seyed Hossein Mousavian wrote in Middle East Eye of the Chinese-mediated accord to normalize relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Writing on the 20th anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq, Mousavian, recounted his personal experience in helping negotiate a mid-1990s agreement between the Iranian government of then-President Hashemi Rafsanjani and then-Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud that provides part of the base for the recent agreement.
In another indication of the fundamental changes taking place at the moment in both global relations and US society, New York Times global economics correspondent and 2023 conference keynoter Peter S. Goodman explores “the lure of the Made in America sales pitch” and how Made in China has become such a “net negative.” One of Goodman’s sources suggests the US is “headed to a state of hyper-localization.”
Brown University economics and international affairs professor, author, and 2022 Camden Conference Mark Blythe talked to the EUObserver last month about surging profits and falling real wages. “The EU is a disinflation machine designed to drive exports… If you’re going to be competitive in this way, your inflation tolerance is much lower than in a large consumption-driven economy like the US,” explains this critic of and expert on the “austerity” approach to economic policy favored in Germany and Northern Europe’s other export-oriented economies.
Kathleen Hall Jamieson, a favorite at Camden’s 2020 Media conference, has been elected to the board of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In welcoming her to the board, the AAAS said Jamieson’s advice to those working in the trenches of science communication is, “Communicate the science well in the beginning and knock fraudulent claims out with the facts.”