Bringing Europe's Leaders Together

Club of Three/Stimson Center Roundtable Discussion
“The Taiwan Conundrum – What’s Next for US-China Relations?” - 09 March 2023

This off-the-record online discussion on the topic of Taiwan and US-China relations was organised in collaboration with the Washington DC-based Stimson Center. It involved some 35 senior figures from business and the policy field in the United States, France, Germany and the UK.

US-China relations were deteriorating at breathtaking speed, with the Taiwan question at the centre of the debate. A lack of trust and communication between the two powers, remarks around a potential end of strategic ambiguity, and Russia’s war in Ukraine have made the situation even more fragile. Some voices in the United States warned openly about an escalating power competition — with grave consequences for the world. The participants exchanged views on the underlying causes of the current state of play from both American and European perspectives and discussed likely scenarios for what might come next.

The discussion was moderated by Mathew Burrows, Director of the Strategic Foresight Hub at the Stimson Center, with opening remarks by Brian Finlay, President and CEO of the Stimson Center and Michael Maclay, Chairman of the Club of Three.

The main speakers were:

*Lanxin Xiang, Professor Emeritus, Graduate Institute of International Development Studies, Geneva; Distinguished Fellow, Stimson Center; and Senior Adviser, Club of Three

*Andrew Scobell, Distinguished Fellow, China program, U.S. Institute of Peace; Formerly a Senior Political Scientist at the RAND Corporation, focusing on China and the Indo-Pacific

*Isabel Hilton, Founder and Senior Adviser, China Dialogue; British Writer and Broadcaster and Contributing Editor, Prospect Magazine

Participants included: Reinhard Bütikofer (Chair of the Delegation for Relations with China, European Parliament); Jeffrey DeLaurentis (Ambassador, US Mission to the United Nations); Michael Schaefer (German Ambassador to China, 2007-13); General (Ret.) Sir Christopher Deverell (Former Commander of the UK Joint Force Command and Member of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, 2016-19); Wolfgang Niedermark (Member of the Executive Board, Federation of German Industries); Sir John Sawers (Chief of Secret Intelligence Service MI6 (2009-2014); Peter Jones (Distinguished Fellow, Royal United Services Institute);  Christian Schubert (Vice President and Head of Corporate Government Relations, BASF); and Katie Lee (Senior Advisor, China Affairs, HSBC).