|TALK The Thucydides Trap: China’s Rise and What it Means for World Peace|
Peace in the world today will depend on two questions. How will the United States cope with decline and how will China fulfill its potential as a superpower. How new powers rise and old powers fall has been one of the prime determinants of peace throughout history. China’s rapid emergence has given new urgency to the debate. Until a few years ago, some China watchers argued that China’s economic liberalisation might be followed by political and social liberalisation. Now, the discussion on China is dominated by questions on: What does Xi Jinping’s core leadership mean for political, social and economic reforms? What does it mean for the rule of law and basic freedoms? What does it mean for Hong Kong? What does it mean for the world?
Paddy Ashdown studied Mandarin in Hong Kong in the ‘60s, took part in the Hong Kong demonstrations related to the Tiananmen square protests during spring 1989 and led the call for British passport holders in Hong Kong to have Right of Abode. He is a member of the UK House of Lords, a former leader of the Liberal Democrats and was the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina and the European Union Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Ashdown served as a Royal Marines Officer in Belfast, Borneo and the Persian Gulf. After leaving the armed forces he joined the UK Foreign Office and later entered parliament. He is the author of seven books and is a frequent commentator on UK and international affairs.
Speaker: Paddy Ashdown,Member, House of Lords Former Leader, the Liberal Democrats