Trans-Pacific Dialogue 2021
New Era of the Pacific

2021.12.06 - 08

On December 6-8, the Chey Institute for Advanced Studies invited esteemed scholars, opinion leaders, and present and former government officials to participate in the first annual ‘Trans-Pacific Dialogue,’ a forum of experts from the Republic of Korea, Japan, and United States, to focus on addressing the most pressing global challenges and crises the world faces today. The Dialogue consisted of five main sessions, each centering on increasingly critical, global issues.

The first session, entitled ‘Intensifying U.S.-China Strategic Competition,’ focused on critical questions surrounding the growing rivalry between the United States and China. First, transformations in the world order were discussed in the light of sustained competition between the two powers. Then, the battle for technological primacy between the U.S. and China was highlighted, with scholars covering issues from economic decoupling to the securitization of technology. Prospects for cooperation between the two countries, predictions for relations under Xi Jinping, and the trajectory for China domestically was discussed. Finally, scholars covered the implications for Taiwan and China in the relation to the now-Ukraine Crisis.

The second session was titled: ‘Indo-Pacific Strategy and U.S.-Korea-Japan Trilateral Cooperation.’ Discussion commenced on the nature and trajectory of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy, with mixed conclusions on its relation to China. The U.S. Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) was also reviewed, with a U.S. official providing his/her perspective on its progress. One of the most pressing issues in Asia today is the Quad- numerous questions in the second session revolved on the possibility of expanding the Quad to encompass South Korea, to heated debate. Finally, the future of U.S.-Korea-Japan trilateral cooperation in the Indo-Pacific was debated amongst the panelists.

The third session, ‘North Korean Denuclearization and U.S.-ROK Alliance,’ focused on Kim Jong-un’s build-up of military capabilities, with a majority of panelists viewing prospects for denuclearization as bleak. Overwhelmingly, panelists from all three countries agreed that maintaining U.S.-ROK alliance solidarity and robust deterrence capabilities was of critical importance. China’s role in dealing with the DPRK was also covered; although critical, many agreed that convincing China to play a constructive role in denuclearization would be difficult. Finally, the importance of sanctions was emphasized by the scholars as the last remaining leverage the U.S. has against the North.

The fourth session was entitled ‘Scientific Innovation and Geopolitical Impact.’ Evaluating the influence of advanced technologies on geopolitical dynamics, panelists noted that China has demonstrated dominance in advanced-technology industries, emerging as a serious competitor with the United States. American panelists discussed numerous methods to evolve U.S. policy and innovation in order to compete with China, with suggestions for ROK and Japan to lead in innovation as well. Finally, panelists discussed how to leverage technological innovation to reach carbon net-zero goals, with a focus on nuclear energy and EV (electric vehicle) batteries.

The final session, ‘The Future of Global Supply Chains and Sustainability,’ first focused on the securitization of the global supply chain, with scholars reviewing strategies to rebuild supply chains and strengthen cooperation bilaterally and trilaterally. Next, experts discussed the advanced semiconductor industry, noting the need for education, collaboration, and an understanding of the multitude of shifts that have occurred in the industry. The EV battery market was also assessed in depth, noting global changes in the market. Finally, panelists focused on the government’s role in supporting research and partnerships to enhance competitiveness.

Richard ARMITAGE, Robert D. ATKINSON, Kurt CAMPBELL, Victor CHA, Tarun CHHABRA, Cynthia COOK, Wendy CUTLER, Robert EINHORN, Evan A. FEIGENBAUM, Edwin FEULNER, Michael GREEN, Chuck HAGEL, Bill HAGERTY, John IKENBERRY, Seth JONES, Edgard Kagan, Tsu-Jae King LIU, Bruce KLINGNER, Marc KNAPPER, John J. Mearsheimer, Evan MEDEIROS, David MOSCHELLA, Joseph NYE, Jon OSSOFF, Nirav PATEL, Daniel PONEMAN, Stapleton ROY, Daniel RUSSEL, Rexon Ryu, Gary SAMORE, Susan THORNTON, Kurt TONG, Stanley WHITTINGHAM, Joseph YUN, KANG Kisuk, KIM Byung-yeon, KIM Sung-han, KIM Hong Kyun, NA Suk Kwon, PARK In-Kook, PARK Cheol-Hee, SOHN Jie-ae, SHIN Changhwan, AHN Ho Young, Wi Sunglac, Jeong Joon Yu, LEE Seok-Hee, LEE Sook Jong, LEE Jae-Seung, LEE Hong-koo, CHUNG Jae Ho, CHEY Tae-won


  • Richard ARMITAGE, Armitage International; CSIS


  • Robert D. ATKINSON, Information Technology & Innovation Foundation


  • Kurt CAMPBELL, The Asia Group


  • Victor CHA, CSIS (Center for Strategic and International Studies)


  • Tarun CHHABRA, U.S. National Security Council


  • Cynthia COOK, Center for Strategic and International Studies(CSIS)


  • Wendy CUTLER, Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI)


  • Robert EINHORN, Brookings Institution


  • Evan A. FEIGENBAUM, Caarnegie Endowment for International Peace


  • Edwin FEULNER, The Heritage Foundation


  • Michael GREEN, CSIS (Center for Strategic and International Studies)


  • Chuck HAGEL, 24th Secretary of Defense for the U.S.


  • Bill HAGERTY, U.S. Senate


  • John IKENBERRY, Princeton University


  • Seth JONES, Center for Strategic and International Studies(CSIS)


  • Edgard Kagan, US National Security Council


  • Tsu-Jae King LIU, University of California, Berkeley


  • Bruce KLINGNER, The Heritage Foundation


  • Marc KNAPPER, U.S. State Department


  • John J. Mearsheimer, the Department of Political Science, the University of Chicago


  • Evan MEDEIROS, United States Institute of Peace(USIP)


  • David MOSCHELLA, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation


  • Joseph NYE, Harvard University


  • Jon OSSOFF, U.S. Senate


  • Nirav PATEL, The Asia Group


  • Daniel PONEMAN, Centrus Energy


  • Stapleton ROY, (Former) US Department of State


  • Daniel RUSSEL, Assistant Secretaries of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (2013-2017)


  • Rexon Ryu, Managing Partner of The Asia Group and Board Chair of the Asia Group Foundation


  • Gary SAMORE, Brandeis University


  • Susan THORNTON, Former U.S. State Department


  • Kurt TONG, U.S. State Department


  • Stanley WHITTINGHAM, 2019 Chemistry Nobel Laureate


  • Joseph YUN, (Former) US Department of State


  • KANG Kisuk, Seoul National University


  • KIM Byung-yeon, Seoul National University


  • KIM Sung-han, GSIS, Korea University


  • KIM Hong Kyun, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ROK


  • NA Suk Kwon, Center for Social Value Enhancement Studies


  • PARK In-Kook, Chey Institute for Advanced Studies


  • PARK Cheol-Hee, GSIS, Seoul National University


  • SOHN Jie-ae, Ewha Womans University


  • SHIN Changhwan, Sungkyunkwan University


  • AHN Ho Young, University of North Korean Studies


  • Wi Sunglac, Chairman of the Prgmatic Foreign Policy Committee of the Presidential Campaign of Lee Jae-myung


  • Jeong Joon Yu, SK E&S


  • LEE Seok-Hee, SK Hynix


  • LEE Sook Jong, Sungkyunkwan University


  • LEE Jae-Seung, GSIS, Korea University


  • LEE Hong-koo, Former South Korean Prime Minister


  • CHUNG Jae Ho, the Department of Political Science and Diplomacy, Seoul National University


  • CHEY Tae-won, Chey Institute for Advanced Studies / SK Group