As China moves aggressively to establish bilateral trade relations with resource-rich states, it finds itself not in a tête-à-tête with its partners but in a ménage a trois. There's always a third party in the room: the United States.
The U.S. has interests in almost every country where China seeks resources. In some cases — Iran or Venezuela — the relationship is adversarial. In others, like Australia, Saudi Arabia, the relationship is friendly. And yet others — Russia and Nigeria — neutral. Regardless of which, Sino-American competition for resources is inevitably a triangular affair.
The dynamics of these three-sided relationships and their impact on long-term U.S.-China interests will be the topic of an Asia Society symposium on resource diplomacy featuring policy experts from both Asia and the United States.
Participants include: Susana Moeira, PhD candidate, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies; professor Nicholas Thomas, Department of Asian and International Studies, City University of Hong Kong; Professor Xu Xiaojie, director, Institute of Geopolitics of Energy, East China Normal University; professor David Zweig, associate dean, School of Humanities, and social science director, Center on Environment, Energy and Resource Policy, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; and as moderator, professor John Garver, Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, Georgia Institute of Technology.
The two-hour symposium will also be presented at Asia Society New York on Jan. 18.