Susan Shirk: The fragile superpower and trepidation over Trump


A discussion on the continuing anxieties among China’s leaders and the current difficulties of U.S.-China relations with a leading scholar of Chinese politics.

A top diplomat during the Clinton administration, author of the influential book China: Fragile Superpower: How China’s Internal Politics Could Derail Its Peaceful Rise, research professor and chair of the 21st Century China Center at the School of Global Policy and Strategy at UC San Diego, and co-author of a new high-level task force report on U.S.-China policy, Susan Shirk is one of the most sought-after voices on Chinese politics and U.S.-China relations.

Today’s Sinica Podcast features an interview with Susan recorded live on January 30 during the Chinese New Year celebrations at the Long US-China Institute at UC Irvine. Susan talks about how China and its role in the world have dramatically changed in the last decade; how the country’s leaders have grown increasingly fragile and fearful of disloyalty even as their power has grown; and how those leaders likely share her trepidation that the Trump administration may recklessly “trash the entire relationship” between the two countries.

You can read a recent article by Susan on Trump and China on Foreign Affairs


Jeremy: His new hometown of Nashville, Tennessee, a wonderful place to visit, contrary to the misconceptions that many coastal Americans have about the South. Also Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where Kaiser lives.

Susan: The School of Global Policy and Strategy at UC San Diego, which has a special focus on Asia and a strong group of China scholars. The China Focus blog, written by students at UC San Diego. The China 21 Podcast, produced by the 21st Century China Center.

Kaiser: The Sellout, a satire novel by Paul Beatty, the first American author to win the Man Booker Prize for Fiction.