Xiang Lanxin

Xiang Lanxin

Chair Professor, Security Policy, Shanghai University of Political Science and Law

Xiang Lanxin is Chair Professor of Security Policy, Shanghai University of Political Science and Law. He is also Professor of International History and Politics at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, and Director of the Center of One Belt and One Road Security Studies at the China National Institute for SCO International Exchange and Judicial Cooperation, Shanghai. His research interests include China’s relations with great powers and he has published several books including The Quest for Legitimacy in Chinese Politics — A New Interpretation (2019) and Recasting the Imperial Far East: Britain and America in China, 1945–50 (2016). He is working on a new book, Xi’s World and China’s Future.


The flags of the US and China fly from a lamppost in the Chinatown neighbourhood of Boston, Massachusetts, US, on 1 November 2021. (Brian Snyder/Reuters)

How the weakening of major powers affects the world

Chinese academic Xiang Lanxin believes that over the past few years, not only have the relationships between the major powers deteriorated, but these powers are also becoming weaker in different ways. How will such changes impact the world and the powers?
This file photo taken on 15 March 2012 shows US Army M109A6 Paladin self-propelled howitzers of the Second Infantry Division of the US Forces Korea attending a live firing drill at the US army's Rodriguez range in Pocheon, south of the demilitarised zone that divides the two Koreas. (Kim Hong-Ji /Pool/ AFP)

Will the US’s ‘integrated deterrence’ keep China in check?

US Defence Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III has recently stressed the importance of “integrated deterrence”, ostensibly against China. This involves all-around coordination with allies and preparation across fields such that the opponent will think twice or thrice before making rash moves. Xiang Lanxin assesses, however, that the conditions for integrated deterrence to work are lacking and there is a high chance that various parties will misjudge the Taiwan Strait issue.
In this file photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) shakes hands with US President Joe Biden prior to the US-Russia summit at the Villa La Grange, in Geneva, Switzerland, on 16 June 2021. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP)

The real reset of US-Russia relations has begun?

While international opinion has largely been negative about the outcomes of the Biden-Putin summit in Geneva, Xiang Lanxin remains positive, saying that the US nursed Russia’s psychological wound by referring to the two countries as “two great powers” and paved the way for the US and Russia to work together against the China threat.
A woman holds the US and China flags at a Lunar New Year ceremony in Chinatown on 12 February 2021 in New York City. (Spencer Platt/AFP)

China must understand the 'tragedy complex' of Biden's team

Understanding the psyche of Biden’s team will help China in its strategic calculations. First of all, members of Biden’s inner circle are different from the hawkish officials in the Trump administration, but they do have a “tragedy complex” that could leave them expecting the worst to happen. Could the upcoming China-US dialogue in Alaska be a first step towards re-orienting bilateral relations? Switzerland-based academic Xiang Lanxin takes a look at the factors at play.
This handout photo taken and released by the Indian Navy on 18 November 2020 shows ships taking part in the second phase of the Malabar naval exercise in the Arabian sea. India, Australia, Japan and the US started the second phase of a strategic navy drill on 17 November in the Northern Arabian sea. (Indian Navy/AFP)

The Indo-Pacific strategy could turn into an empty shell under Biden

The Indo-Pacific strategy, with the China threat at the back of its mind, was a vital plank of the Trump administration’s foreign policy. Professor Xiang Lanxin considers the flaws of the concept when put into practice, and wonders if the policy will become something of a white elephant under the Biden administration.
Paramilitary police officers wearing face masks patrol on a street in Beijing on 13 October 2020. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP)

China's wolf warrior tactics confusing, misleading and unprofessional

When it would have been advantageous to watch and wait while the US leadership transition is carried out, China has decided to up the ante with a high-profile show of wolf warrior diplomacy. Is it setting itself up for a boomerang effect?
This photo taken on 21 October 2020 shows a mural painted on a wall on Taiwan's Kinmen Island. (Sam Yeh/AFP)

China-US relations: ‘Strategic clarity’ on Taiwan may lead to hot war

The three communiques in US-China relations gave both the US and China a certain cloak of strategic ambiguity, but with senior members of the US government appearing to go against the tenets and China stubbornly holding the US to its clauses, what is left seems to be stark, opposing positions that make drifting into hot war all the more likely.