Chinese Power and Rail Connectivity in Southeast Asia



David M. Lampton, Oksenberg-Rohlen Fellow and Research Scholar, Shorenstein APARC

Date and Time

February 6, 2019 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM



Open to the public.

RSVP required by 5PM February 05.


Philippines Conference Room
Encina Hall, Third Floor, Central, C330
616 Jane Stanford Way, Stanford, CA 94305

This event is co-sponsored by Shorenstein APARC's China Program and the Southeast Asia Program

Analysts of China run two occupational risks: One is underestimating PRC capacities to achieve national objectives and the other is overestimating Chinese power. In this talk, David (Mike) Lampton will elaborate upon this observation by focusing on the PRC and Southeast Asian effort to build high speed- and conventional-speed rail connectivity between southern China and seven continental Southeast Asian neighbors, including Singapore. His talk will center on a research project he is undertaking with two Southeast Asian scholars involving field work in eight countries. In his preliminary assessment, “progress has been greater than widely realized, and the problems are very large.” Lampton will analyze: What factors in China and among its neighbors promote, and which retard, progress? Indeed, how do different countries define “progress” and what capacities do China's smaller neighbors have to shape and, in some cases, even resist developments? And, in light of all this, how might the United States think about appropriate economic, strategic, and diplomatic responses?

David M. Lampton is Oksenberg-Rohlen Fellow and Research Scholar at Stanford University’s Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center. He also is Hyman Professor and Director of China Studies Emeritus at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Having started his academic career at The Ohio State University, Lampton has been Chairman of the The Asia Foundation (2015-2018), president of the National Committee on United States-China Relations (1988-1997), and former Dean of Faculty at SAIS (2004-2012). He is the author of: Same Bed, Different Dreams: Managing U.S.-China Relations, 1989-2000 (2001); The Three Faces of Chinese Power: Might, Money, and Minds (2008); and, The Making of Chinese Foreign and Security Policy (editor, Stanford University Press, 2001). He received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University where, as an undergraduate student, he was a fireman. Lampton has an honorary doctorate from the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Far Eastern Studies. His newest book, Following the Leader: Ruling China, from Deng Xiaoping to Xi Jinping, was first published in January 2014 and will be reissued in paperback with a new Preface early in 2019 by the University of California Press. His current field research and book-length project focuses on Beijing’s effort to build high-speed and other rail lines to Singapore from southern China and involves interview and field research in eight countries. He is undertaking this research with two colleagues. 

This event is part of the China Program’s Colloquia Series entitled "A New Cold War?: Sharp Power, Strategic Competition, and the Future of U.S.-China Relations " sponsored by Shorenstein APARC's China Program.

A New Cold War?: Sharp Power, Strategic Competition, and the Future of U.S.-China Relations

Trade conflict has exploded. The media is rife with stories of China’s unfair trade practices, cyber theft, IP theft and forced technology transfers. Who will first scale the commanding heights of technological supremacy? Who will be the first mover in AI, robotics and biotechnology? What are the implications of Beijing’s ambitious infrastructure projects, including its Belt and Road Initiative? How is China’s “sharp power” deployed, and what are its implications for political and civic life in the U.S.? Can the Trump administration and Beijing’s leadership reach agreement on our trade disputes? Are these just the beginning salvos of an increasingly turbulent future? As U.S. policy towards China sharply veers away from “constructive engagement” to “strategic competition,” the Stanford China Program will host a series of talks by leading experts to explore the current state of our bilateral relations, its potential future, and their implications for the world order.

Share this Event