HKS Authors

See citation below for complete author information.

Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs


American policymakers and China-watchers worldwide often parse Chinese President Xi Jinping’s words, looking for clues about whether the leader intends to fully untangle the web of institutions and norms that have governed so much of the last 70 years, or to merely reform it. A week ago, Xi spoke to a gathering of the so-called BRICS countries – which include Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – and urged them to take an active role in shaping a more “just” world order. While some might read this exhortation as a call to radical action, others could see it as a mere rallying of the troops to modify the existing order to be better suited to the needs and viewpoints of emerging power centers, China foremost among them. In short, the jury is still out on how disruptive China intends to be.


O'Sullivan, Meghan. "U.S. Energy Boom Can Bring China Into the Global Order." Bloomberg View, September 15, 2017.