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Upstart: How China Became a Great Power

November 16, 2023
La Jolla, CA
Malamud Conference Room, Institute of the Americas

Thirty years ago, the idea that China could challenge the United States seemed unfathomable. Yet today, China is considered another great power in the international system. How did China manage to build power from a weaker resource position and in an international system dominated by the U.S.? What factors determined the strategies Beijing pursued? Please join us on November 16, 2023 at 4 p.m. PST for a hybrid lecture by Oriana Skylar Mastro as she uses elite interviews, granular data, and authoritative Chinese sources to demonstrate that China was able to climb to great power status through a careful mix of strategic emulation, exploitation, and entrepreneurship on the international stage. This “upstart approach”—determined by where and how China chose to compete—allowed China to rise economically, politically, and militarily without triggering a catastrophic international backlash that would stem its rise. Beyond explaining the unique nature of China’s rise, this talk provides policy guidance on how the U.S. can maintain a competitive edge in a new era of competition.


Oriana Skylar Mastro, Center Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and Courtesy Assistant Professor of Political Science at Stanford University



Victor Shih, Director, 21st Century China Center; Ho Miu Lam Chair in China and Pacific Relations at the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS)

If you are planning to attend this lecture online, please register via Zoom here.

This webinar is organized by the 21st Century China Center at the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy and the UC Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation.