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ILC2021 North America Sessions I and II - Opening and the State of Relations between U.S., China and Russia

North America—The opening session on June 24 was one of nine ILC webinars that were held from June 24 to June 29 under the theme “Toward Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula: Peace and Security.”


  • Kaeleigh Moffitt (Moderator)
  • Michael Jenkins, President, Universal Peace Federation International
  • Chung Sik Yong, North American President, Family Federation for World Peace
  • The Work of the Universal Peace Federation (video)
  • Dan Burton, U.S. House of Representatives (R-IN) (1983 –2013), International Co-Chairman International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP)

Thursday, June 24

Session 2: The State of Relations between U.S., China and Russia

(Special Joint Session: US and Russian experts)

  • Michael Jenkins, President, Universal Peace Federation International (Moderator)
  • Doug Bandow (“Bondo”), Senior Fellow, Cato Institute
  • Guy Taylor, National Security Team Leader, The Washington Times
  • Georgy Toloraya, Director of the Center for Russian Strategy in Asia, Institute of Economics, Russian Academy of Sciences

Session Report

Mr. Doug Bandow pointed out that, during the Cold War, our fear was that we would have to face a united Russia and China in dealing with Northeast Asia tensions. In the 1960s the two countries drew apart from one another and we were able to deal with them separately. However, the what we are seeing today is that, unintentionally, our policies are pushing them together again. We are allowing our policies toward them to push overcome their natural dislike for each other.  They are not united in a military alliance but we must be aware on how we can keep them apart.  Some say there is nothing we can do – they are both communist, however Russia has moved away from communism and China has strengthened their communist ideology.  The main thing that brings them together is their animosity toward the U.S.   We have to really focus on where we can improve the relations with Russia and China that can keep them from uniting.  Russia is a great power but not a superpower – it is not an existential threat to the U.S.  It wants to be respected.  However China is an existential threat.  There are ways we can work together with Russia and improve relations with China.

Mr. Guy Taylor is an expert on security for the U.S. in Asia and around the world. His remarks focused on how the strategic equation has changed over time. “Today,” he said, “is not like the Cold War whether we talk about trade, military friction, cyber warfare, AI or space. It’s wise to slow down and look carefully at how the three-way dynamic between Washington, Moscow and Beijing has changed.” The nature of the danger shifted after WWII and the Korean conflict. In the 60s, Beijing pushed Moscow away. In 1991 the U.S. vs. U.S.S.R. Cold War ended. It’s important to look as this as a way to understand the situation today, and how we find ourselves in a new era where the dynamics have shifted again.

Taylor spoke of Graham Allison, former Dean of the Harvard Kennedy School, and an important voice in American foreign and security policy, who wrote the geopolitical best-seller (in both the U.S. and China), Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap? The premise of the book, based on historical precedent, is that the current dominant power and a rising power will eventually go to war.

Taylor said, “It is claimed that, by 2050, China will dominate economically – however I’m not so sure – but the this conflict is escalating. I could see that this three-way dynamic of Moscow, Beijing and Washington loomed over the Biden-Putin summit. There is a growing push in the intelligence community to try to drive a wedge between Russia and China. We are trying to bring Russia closer. Many in the current administration say this is a lost cause. However the Biden administration is very strongly trying to reduce the tensions between Russia and the U.S., with the hope that we can focus on China and build an alliance with the “Quad,” Japan, Australia, India and the U.S., to balance China. Nuclear Arms control that was used to bring balance of power, is now called “strategic stability.” Now the balance between Russia and the U.S. is being eroded. New technology has really changed the situation. Before, China wasn’t even considered a part of strategic arms Contro. China is not a party to START (Strategic Arms Reduction Talks). Previously, China’s 300 nuclear warheads wasn’t considered such a threat because it had no economic power. Now, however, China is the biggest threat and there needs to be a balance of power effort to engage them. 

Dr. Georgy Toloraya is a former diplomat (rank of Minister) and a scholar with decades-long experience in Asian and global issues. He is concurrently Director of the Asian Strategy Center at the Institute of Economy in the Russian Academy of Sciences, while also serving a CEO of Russian National Committee on BRICS Research. (BRICS is an acronym for the powerful grouping of the world's leading emerging market economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.) Since 2008 he has been working for the "Russkiy Mir" (Russian World) Presidential Foundation in Moscow as chair of Projects and Analysis. 

Prof. Toloraya diplomatic career has included two postings to North Korea (1977-1980 and 1984-1987); worked for trade promotion agencies related to Asia; served at the Russian Foreign Ministry; was Deputy Chief of the Russian Embassy in South Korea (1993-1998); First Asian Department Deputy Director-General (1998-2003) and Consul General of Russia in Sydney (2003-2007). He collaborated with a number of academic institutes, among which are the Institute of Economics and the Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), a leading institute of applied socio-economic, political and strategic research founded by the Russian Academy of Sciences. He has also been a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, Washington, DC.

Professor Toloraya, was an excellent panelist, most knowledgeable and respectful of the differing views of the U.S. panelists, while clarifying the Russia view of North Korea and Northeast Asia as quite different from the U.S. view. One key point during the Q&A session was his response to the question, “Does Russia support the DPRK becoming a nuclear power with deliverable long range ICBMs that can reach the U.S.” His reply was unequivocally, “No.” 

Dr. Toloraya said that the great powers don’t see a unified Korea coming easily – maybe a “Korean Region” with two sub-nations. He agreed that tensions must be reduced: “I appreciate the presentations of Doug Bando, and Mr. Guy Taylor, but the Russian’s viewpoint is not fully compatible with yours. I do believe war can be avoided. However, now China is becoming the economic superpower, and though it tries to have dominance in the world, it does so without force. There are efforts to bring Russia and China together. The U.S. and China are locked in a struggle to be the leader of the world. That struggle doesn’t exist for Russia and China. Russia and China are close in that Russia created North Korea and China has developed it. Russia and China have borders with North Korea and both have interests there. North Korea has become self-sufficient in its defense and also with the economy. I think we are now at a point where tensions are reduced.”  

NOTE: Due to the UPF of Russia helping develop this program we enjoyed the participation of 110 Russians who registered.

Russian audience & Russian social networks statistics (with interpretation) – Session 2:

Total Russia views approximately 5,700

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