Welcome to the 2021 Peace and War Virtual Summit

The Peace and War Summit at Norwich University, America’s oldest private military college and birthplace of the Reserved Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), examines significant international issues with an eye at recommending viable solutions. The inaugural summit, a two-day event in September 2018, addressed North Korea’s nuclear and missile challenges. In our 2021 summit, we discuss a most pressing issue in the current global community—escalation of the U.S.-China rivalry. Specifically, the 2021 summit highlights challenges derived from military/security, economic, and technological angles. Due to the ongoing pandemic, we offer the 2021 summit virtually. 

On the Path to Conflict?
Scrutinizing the U.S.-China Rivalry

March 3 through April 21, 2021
(seven-week series)

Live webinar and/or prerecording. Please register for access.
With the exception of the keynote, each session ends with a Q&A.


Yangmo Ku
Associate Professor, Political Science, Norwich University
Associate Director, John and Mary Frances Patton Peace & War Center


PAWC 2021 Summit Featured Speakers


Wednesday, March 3, 2021

9 a.m.: Keynote
Charles W. Hooper, Lieutenant General in the U.S. Army (Ret.) (prerecorded)

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

10-11 a.m.: Session I
China-Russia Military Cooperation and U.S.-China Rivalry (live)

In the light of growing tensions in the Asia-Pacific, the recently enhanced military cooperation between China and Russia has set new parameters for U.S. strategic planning and alliance-building in the region. This presentation examines the current stage of strategic partnership between Beijing and Moscow in the sphere of defense and security and lays out some options for the Biden administration to address potential shifts in regional balance of military power.

Welcome Remarks: Karen Hinkle, Norwich University
Moderator: Yangmo Ku, Norwich University
Presenter: Lyle Goldstein, Naval War College
Presenter: Vitaly Kozyrev, Endicott College

1-2 p.m.: Session II
China’s BRI and U.S.-China Rivalry (live)

Policy discourses on the U.S-China rivalry have focused on the two countries’ power transition, competing institutions, and separate coexistence. Such “bipolar” perspectives fail to capture complex interactions in the TPP, BRI, and FOIP, shaped by policy networks in the rival powers and third-world countries.

Moderator: Kyle Pivetti, Norwich University
Presenter: Min Ye, Boston University

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

1-2 p.m.: Session III
Chinese Military Strategy Towards Taiwan (live)

Deterring Taiwan’s independence and preparing to confront Taiwan by force, if necessary, are among the primary missions of China’s People’s Liberation Army. As the military balance across the Taiwan Strait changes due to Chinese military modernization, the threats posed to the island are evolving. This talk will explain how cross-Strait missions fit within the larger context of China’s military strategy, detail the PLA’s approaches and capabilities towards Taiwan, and discuss ramifications for Taiwanese and U.S. defense policy.

Moderator: David Ulbrich, Norwich University
Presenter: Joel Wuthnow, National Defense University

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

1-2 p.m.: Session IV
U.S.-China Maritime Disputes in the South China Sea (live)

For more than a decade, China has used legal claims and low-level provocations, seizing, and building artificial militarized islands in the South China Sea. The U.S., though not a claimant, has similarly used international law and conducted dozens of freedom of navigation operations and military exercises in the disputed waters. In this presentation, we explain how both countries have used international law regarding the South China Sea disputes as opportunities to justify their respective military presence in the region.

Moderator: Matthew Smith, Norwich University
Presenter: Krista Wiegand, University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Presenter: Hayoun Jessie Ryou-Ellison, University of Tennessee at Knoxville

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

1-2 p.m.: Session V
Israel and U.S.-China Strategic Rivalry (live)

The U.S.-China strategic rivalry not only affects relations between the two powers themselves but also has huge impact on other countries. U.S. allies and partners that enjoy close relations with both powers such as Israel increasingly face the dilemma of balancing their traditional security alliances with the United States and their growing economic ties to China. It’s imperative that all parties involved handle the U.S.-China power transition prudently.

Moderator: Travis Morris, Norwich University
Presenter: Zhiqun Zhu, Bucknell University

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

1-2 p.m.: Session VI
U.S.-China Economic Competition (live)

Despite continued deep economic engagement between the two great powers, the United States, under the Trump administration, primarily framed economic relations with China as competitive. The Trump administration increasingly linked economic issues to national security threats and broader political disagreements. This talk will explore how the United States’ approach to economic competition with China changed during the Trump administration and the possible future trajectories of economic relationship under the new Biden administration.

Moderator: Sethuram Soman, Norwich University
Presenter: Dawn Murphy, Air War College

3-4 p.m.: Student Debate
How should the U.S. deal with China? (live)

Moderator: Miri Kim, Norwich University
Presenter: Zachary Jenkins, Communications 
Presenter: Nicole Navarro, Political Science
Presenter: Faith Privett, History 
Presenter: Larenz Simpkins, Political Science 

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

1-2 p.m.: Session VII
Bringing the Sino-U.S. Technology Race Back Down to Earth (live)

In recent years, the narrative of a Sino-American race to be the first to harness game-changing technologies to gain national advantage has permeated scholarly and defense community conversations. National plans for "domination" in areas like machine learning and artificial intelligence, robotics, space exploration, new cellular communication architectures and quantum computing all feed the idea that these technology races are arms races. In reality, development in many new areas is reliant on Sino-American interdependencies whilst in others is as risky for first-movers as for stragglers.

Moderator: Karen Supan, Norwich University
Presenter: Christopher Whyte, Virginia Commonwealth University

3-4 p.m.: Session VIII
Domestic Sources of U.S.-China Technology-Security Competition (live)

At the center of the intensifying U.S.-China power competition stands the sprawling technology-security ecosystems of both countries. This presentation compares the nature and drivers of the U.S. and Chinese technology-security states to offer insights as to what lies ahead and what kinds of outcomes can be expected in this long-term endurance race.

Moderator: Michael Thunberg, Norwich University
Presenter: Tai Ming Chung, U.C. San Diego

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

1-2 p.m.: Session IX
U.S.-China Cyber Warfare (live)

Moderator: Huw Read, Norwich University
Presenter: Cheri Caddy, U.S. Department of Energy

3-4 p.m.: Session X
Chinese Interference in Democracies (live)

Since 2017, China has been stepping up disruptive and malicious informational attacks on Western and democratic countries in efforts to influence domestic politics and advance Chinese interests. How can these attacks be categorized and understood? How can democracies frame their objectives, and, ultimately, become more resilient to their influence?

Moderator: Eddie W. Habeck, Norwich University
Presenter: Bryce Barros, German Marshall Fund
Presenter: Peter Marino, New School for Social Research

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