Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?

destined for war

Dinner and Dialogue
Reception 6:30pm
Dinner 7:00pm
Dialogue 8:15pm
Close 10:00pm

A panel discussion with Dr. Graham Allison on the major geopolitical issue of the 21st century. The event will be hosted by Ronnie C. Chan, chairman of the Asia Society Hong Kong Center and Kiril Sokoloff, chairman and founder of 13D Global Strategy & Research. Allison is the Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, Harvard Kennedy School. He was the founding dean of the Kennedy School and former director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Relations there. For the last four years under Allison’s direction, the Belfer Center was voted the best university-affiliated think tank in the world.

‘Thucydides’s Trap’ describes how a rising power can threaten the supremacy of an existing power. It is this very Trap that caused war between Athens and Sparta, resulting in the end of Greek civilization. As Henry Kissinger writes on the Trap: “I can only hope that the U.S.-China relationship becomes the fifth case to resolve itself peacefully rather than the thirteenth to result in war.”

In 1980, China’s economy was only a tenth the size of the U.S. economy. By 2040, Allison reckons it could be three times larger. Being overtaken by a rival who shares common values — such as Britain grudgingly watching an upstart America surpass its power but largely preserve its cultural, religious and political beliefs — is one thing. It would be quite another to be surpassed by an adversary whose values are so strikingly different. Stressing that war is not inevitable, Allison also reveals how rising and ruling powers have kept the peace in the past — and what painful steps the U.S. and China can and must take to avoid disaster.

Join us to hear the views of these influential individuals who have predicted and responded to change over decades.


Graham Allison is a leading analyst of U.S. national security and defense policy, and currently serves as Douglas Dillon Professor of Government at Harvard Kennedy School. He was Director of Harvard's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs (1995-2017) and "Founding Dean" of the modern Harvard Kennedy School (1977-1989). Allison served as Assistant Secretary of Defense in the first Clinton Administration and Special Advisor to the Secretary of Defense under President Reagan.

Mugshot of Keril Sokoloff

Kiril Sokoloff is the chairman of 13D Research which he established in 1983. Mr. Sokoloff has been an advisor to many of the largest pools of global capital for over 30 years. Beginning in 2001, Mr. Sokoloff and his team began to write What I Learned This Week, later adding What Are The Markets Telling Us?, agnostic interpreters of the markets, and dedicated to detecting change and disruption before others. He is the author of five investment books.

Ronnie Chan

Ronnie C. Chan is chairman of the Hong Kong publicly listed Hang Lung Properties, which develops, owns and manages commercial complexes in Hong Kong and key tier one and tier two Chinese cities. Mr. Chan is Chairman of the Asia Society Hong Kong Center and Chairman Emeritus of the Asia Society. He serves or has served on the governing or advisory bodies of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, World Economic Forum, University of Southern California, Yale University and Tsinghua University. (Moderator)

Regular Menu

San Daniele Ham with Figs, Burrata Cheese and Balsamic Pearls
Grass-fed Beef Fillet Mignon with Baked Potato and Piquillo Pepper Sauce
Green Tea and Vanilla Panna Cotta with Red Beans

Vegetarian Menu

White Asparagus Gratin with Parmesan Cheese and Baby Cress
Roasted Vegetable Napoleon Stick of Portobello Mushroom, Eggplant and Herb Oil
Green Tea and Vanilla Panna Cotta with Red Beans

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Event Details

Tue 24 Apr 2018
6:30 - 10 p.m.

Asia Society Hong Kong Center, 9 Justice Drive, Admiralty


Click here for PDF file

Buy Tickets
$2,500 Asia Society members/ Harvard Club members (one seat); $4,200 Non members (one seat); Asia Society members table $40,000; Non members table $50,000
Add to Calendar 20180424T103000 20180424T140000 UTC Asia Society: Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap? Asia Society Hong Kong Center, 9 Justice Drive, Admiralty   Click here for PDF file