What a Former CIA China Expert Has Learned from 30 Years in the Field

A China in the World Podcast

As tensions between the United States and China rise over security issues in the Asia-Pacific region, some are concerned about the possibility of conflict between the world’s two largest economies. Dennis Wilder, former Senior Director for East Asia on the George W. Bush administration’s National Security Council, has witnessed many high and low points in the U.S.-China relationship over his distinguished four-decade career in the U.S. government. In this podcast with Paul Haenle, Wilder acknowledges the real and difficult challenges facing Beijing and Washington today, but expresses optimism that the two governments can manage their differences and continue to advance relations along a peaceful and constructive path.

Wilder discusses the highlights and lowlights of his China-focused public service career, from joining former President George W. Bush at the 2008 Olympics to dealing with the aftermath of the accidental bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade in 1999. Looking toward the future of the U.S.-China relationship, Wilder explains that his optimism derives in part from a recognition that American and Chinese leaders will have to find ways to work together to address common global challenges if both countries are to achieve their own national objectives. He also notes that the American and Chinese people have many similarities, such as their entrepreneurialism, that could make future cooperation more likely.