Lewes Speakers Festival: Ian Williams
The Fire of the Dragon: China’s New Cold War
Sunday 22nd January 14.20 – 15.30
Under President Xi Jinping, China’s global ambitions have taken a dangerous new turn. Bullying and intimidation have replaced diplomacy, trade and investment. Beijing has strengthened its alliance with Vladimir Putin, supporting Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, and brooks no criticism of its own flagrant human rights violations against the Uyghur population in western China.
Western leaders say they don’t want a cold war with China, but it’s a little too late for that. Beijing is already waging a more complex, broader and more dangerous cold war than the old one with the Soviet Union. And it is intensifying.
This thought-provoking and alarming talk examines this new cold war’s many fronts – from Taiwan and the South China Sea to the Indian frontier, the Arctic and cyberspace. In doing so it proclaims the clear and sobering message that we must open our eyes to the reality of China’s rise and its ruthless bid for global dominance.
Ian Williams was foreign correspondent for Channel 4 News, based in Russia (1992–1995) and then Asia (1995–2006). He then joined NBC News as Asia Correspondent (2006–2015), when he was based in Bangkok and Beijing. As well as reporting from China over the last 25 years, he has also covered conflicts in the Balkans, the Middle East and Ukraine. He won an Emmy and BAFTA awards for his discovery and reporting on the Serb detention camps during the war in Bosnia.