Michael D. Swaine

Senior Associate
Asia Program
tel +1 202 939 2368 fax +1 202 939 2377
Swaine is a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and one of the most prominent American analysts in Chinese security studies.


PhD, AM, Harvard University
BA, George Washington University 


Japanese; Mandarin Chinese

Contact Information


Michael Swaine is a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and one of the most prominent American analysts in Chinese security studies. Formerly a senior policy analyst at the RAND Corporation, Swaine is a specialist in Chinese defense and foreign policy, U.S.-China relations, and East Asian international relations.

He has authored and edited more than a dozen books and monographs and many journal articles and book chapters in these areas, directs several security-related projects with Chinese partners, and advises the U.S. government on Asian security issues. He received his doctorate in government from Harvard University.

  • China Leadership Monitor February 8, 2016
    Chinese Views on Global Governance Since 2008–9: Not Much New

    China’s global governance ideology shows great continuity between pre- and post-2008–9 periods. All sources on Chinese views generally indicate that China’s proposed changes to the existing international order are adjustments of that order, not radical acts of departure or overturn.

  • Testimony Testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific July 23, 2015 中文
    America’s Security Role in the South China Sea

    Tensions over the South China Sea threaten to drive U.S.-China relations in a more adversarial direction and destabilize the region.

  • Op-Ed National Interest June 2, 2015 中文 Русский
    Averting a Deepening U.S.-China Rift Over the South China Sea

    The ongoing dispute threatens to drive U.S.-China relations permanently in a far more adversarial, zero-sum direction and destabilize the region.

  • Article April 20, 2015 Русский 中文
    Beyond American Predominance in the Western Pacific: The Need for a Stable U.S.-China Balance of Power

    Policymakers in the United States, China, and other Asian powers must choose whether to deal forthrightly and sensibly with the changing regional power distribution or avoid the hard decisions that China’s rise poses until the situation grows ever more polarized and dangerous.

  • Report April 2, 2015
    Conflict and Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific Region: A Strategic Net Assessment

    The Asia-Pacific region is undergoing enormous change, fueled by high levels of economic growth and deepening levels of integration. These and other forces are generating a shift in the distribution of economic, political, and military power across the region.

  • China Leadership Monitor March 2, 2015
    Xi Jinping’s Address to the Central Conference on Work Relating to Foreign Affairs

    Xi Jinping’s speech before the Central Conference on Work Relating to Foreign Affairs marks the most comprehensive expression yet of the current Chinese leadership’s more activist and security-oriented approach to diplomacy.

  • Op-Ed Diplomat January 14, 2015 中文
    China: The Influence of History

    Most Chinese apparently believe that China’s rightful place in the international order is as a major (not singularly dominant) power whose views must be respected but who exists in general harmony with other nations.

  • China Leadership Monitor September 5, 2014
    Xi Jinping's July 2014 Trip to Latin America

    Xi Jinping’s ten-day July 2014 trip to Latin America constitutes an important milestone in the development of China-Latin America relations.

  • China Leadership Monitor July 28, 2014
    Chinese Views and Commentary on Periphery Diplomacy

    It remains to be seen how Beijing will reconcile the contradictory policy imperatives of deepening positive relations with neighboring countries while more firmly advancing China’s territorial and resource interests and claims.

  • Podcast May 14, 2014
    The U.S.-Japan Alliance in East Asia (Part II)

    While the United States cannot and should not necessarily defer to all of China's core interests, it must recognize that China’s desire to have greater control over its immediate environment in the Western Pacific is a fundamental underlying issue in the bilateral relationship.

  • America's Challenge
    Washington May 31, 2011
    America's Challenge: Engaging a Rising China in the Twenty-First Century

    As the world’s predominant political, economic, and military force, the United States faces a significant challenge in responding to China’s rising power and influence, especially in Asia. This challenge will require more effective U.S. policies and a reassessment of America’s fundamental strategic assumptions and relationships.

  • Taiwan Elections
    In The Japan-U.S. Alliance and China-Taiwan Relations January 29, 2009
    Sino-American Crisis Management and the U.S.-Japan Alliance

    An assessment of the degree to which Washington and Beijing are willing or able to implement crisis management principles like maintaining direct channels of communication and preserving military flexibility.

  • Washington July 16, 2007
    Assessing the Threat: The Chinese Military and Taiwan's Security

    Bringing together experts from the U.S. and Taiwan, Assessing the Threat provides a comprehensive look at the dangers of military escalation in the Taiwan Strait, the latest advances in capabilities of the People’s Liberation Army, and China’s security relationship with the United States and the Asia-Pacific.

  • Washington December 4, 2006
    Managing Sino-American Crises: Case Studies and Analysis

    Sensitivities and suspicions between Washington and Beijing have heightened as China’s global power and influence have grown. Arguably, this new international order could increase the chances of a political-military crisis—or perhaps outright conflict—between the two powers.

  • Strategic Asia 2005-06: Military Modernization in an Era of Uncertainty September 30, 2005
    Military Modernization in Taiwan

    Taiwan’s military is clearly modernizing and will improve in the near- to mid-term. A reorientation away from an army-centric focus has led to such improvements as joint warfighting capabilities among branches of the military and improvements in missile defense systems, front-line military units, and naval defense capabilities.

  • EastBridge June 30, 2005
    Managing Relations with the United States

    Chen Shui-Bien focused excessively on electoral politics in Taiwan, allowing them to trump a careful consideration of the long-term strategic importance of its delicate relationship with the United States.

  • The Okinawa Question and the U.S.-Japan Alliance March 25, 2005
    U.S.-China Relations and the Implications for Okinawa

    An examination of the broad context of U.S.-China relations, highlighting both the current strengthened foundation for cooperation that exists between the two countries and the continued presence of factors that could produce confrontation and even conflict in the future.

  • Carnegie July 21, 2002 Washington, D.C.
    Ballistic Missiles and Missile Defense in Asia
  • Cover - Interpreting China's Grand Strategy
    RAND Corporation January 1, 2000
    Interpreting China's Grand Strategy

    The book reveals why managing the rise of China constitutes one of the most important challenges facing the United States in the early 21st century.

  • Diplomat October 6, 2015
    U.S.-China Relations: What Now?

    Both President Xi and President Obama recognize the importance of a good Sino-U.S. relationship and the need to cooperate despite differences.

  • Diplomat July 11, 2014
    China and the U.S.-Japan Alliance

    With Japan’s recent embrace of collective self-defense, the U.S.-Japan alliance is once again in the spotlight.

  • May 13, 2015 Washington, DC 中文
    The Future of American Predominance in the Western Pacific

    Beijing’s growing influence across the region, along with its preference for a multi-polar security environment free from conventional alliances, calls into question the future of the U.S.-led, post-WWII regional order.

  • April 2, 2015 Washington, DC 中文
    Cooperation and Conflict in the Asia-Pacific

    The Asia-Pacific region is undergoing a dynamic process of change, from patterns of military and economic power to social and political behavior.

  • March 24, 2015 Washington, DC
    Managing Strategic Friction on China’s Periphery

    How should China's neighbors respond to Beijing’s rise? Which sources of tension could potentially escalate to direct confrontation and consequently are most in need of active management? What opportunities are there to build trust? | VIDEO | TRANSCRIPT

  • May 14, 2014 Washington, DC 中文
    India, China, and Russia: Prospects for Cooperation

    India, China, and Russia are all set to play a major role on the global stage throughout the rest of the twenty-first century. The relationships between the three nations are complex, however, with opportunities for cooperation in areas of convergent interests often being hamstrung by long-standing disputes and rivalries.

  • April 8, 2014 Washington, DC 中文
    China’s Hypersonic Weapons Development

    China tested a hypersonic gliding weapon for the first time on January 9. Although details of the test are murky, it confirms a long-suspected Chinese interest in developing hypersonic weapons.

  • January 22, 2014 Washington, DC 中文
    Managing China’s Rise

    The United States must confront the uncomfortable reality that China’s economic and military might may eventually rival or even surpass its own.

  • December 12, 2013 Washington, DC 中文
    Public and Elite Views of the U.S.-China Relationship

    Mutual perceptions in the United States and China have a growing influence on the bilateral security relationship, affecting how policymakers manage conflicts and seek cooperation.

  • December 5, 2013 Beijing
    Regional Security in East Asia

    China’s influence in East Asian security has grown with its economic rise. However, in order to resolve maritime territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas, China will have to work constructively alongside regional powers to find mutually beneficial multilateral solutions.

  • December 4, 2013 Beijing 中文
    Carnegie-Tsinghua Global Dialogue

    This day-long conference explored China's evolving foreign policy and global role with a view to identifying effective solutions to shared global challenges.

  • October 4, 2013 Washington, DC
    The Asia-Pacific Region and Cross-Strait Relations

    This panel examined how cross-strait relations fit into broader strategic trends, as well as the important regional implications from such developments.

Source: http://carnegieendowment.org/experts/index.cfm?fa=expert_view&expert_id=119

Areas of Expertise

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
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