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Tai Ming Cheung

Tai Ming Cheung is the director of IGCC and a professor at the School of Global Policy and Strategy at UC San Diego, where he teaches courses on Asian security and Chinese security and technology.

As the leader of IGCC's work on science, technology, and innovation, with a special emphasis on China's strategic ambitions and their implications for the United States, Cheung has built a solid reputation as an expert on Chinese and East Asian defense and national security affairs, especially related to economic, industrial, technology and innovation issues. He also manages the institute’s Northeast Asia Cooperation Dialogue, bringing together senior foreign ministry, defense officials and academics from around the globe.

Cheung is a long-time analyst of Chinese and East Asian defense and national security affairs and was based in Asia from the mid-1980s to 2002 covering political, economic, and strategic developments in greater China. He was also a journalist and political and business risk consultant in northeast Asia.

Cheung received his PhD from the War Studies Department at King’s College, London University. Recent publications include The Gathering Pacific Storm: Emerging US-China Strategic Competition in Defense Technological and Industrial Development (ed., with Thomas Mahnken, Cambria, 2018), China and Cybersecurity (ed., with Jon Lindsay and Derek Reveron, Oxford, 2015), and Fortifying China: The Struggle to Build a Modern Defense Economy (Cornell, 2009).

Recent Publications

Between Conflict and Cooperation: The World in 2021
Jan. 8, 2021 | Essay by Tai Ming Cheung
From the COVID-19 pandemic to spiraling geo-strategic competition and the continuing spread of strident domestic nationalism, the international system endured severe and overlapping challenges over the course of 2020. In this commentary, IGCC director Tai Ming Cheung looks back at the convulsions of 2020, and at the opportunities to restore order and prosperity in 2021.

Tai Ming Cheung on the New Era of Chinese Technology and Innovation
Jan. 7, 2021
In this interview, conducted by the 21st Century China Center, Tai Ming Cheung, a leading expert on China and East Asia and director of the UC Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, analyzes China's efforts to boost its innovation capabilities, as well as the response by Western countries in key sectors such as 5G, artificial intelligence, quantum physics, and biotech.

North Korea’s Nuclear and Missile Programs
July 1, 2020 | By Stephan Haggard and Tai Ming Cheung
How has an economically impoverished, technologically backward, and internationally isolated state been able to establish robust and increasingly competent nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs? In this policy brief, UC San Diego experts Stephan Haggard and Tai Ming Cheung synthesize what we know about the development of North Korean nuclear and missile capabilities and what it will take to dismantle the program.

What’s the Role of the Academic in Times Like These?
June 8, 2020 | By Tai Ming Cheung
“The world is facing the very real danger of spreading authoritarian rule, and that the democratic forces that have so successfully resisted this trend have been seriously weakened.” IGCC Director Tai Ming Cheung reflects on recent global and national high-impact events, and on the role of think tanks and academics in a turbulent world.

Q&A with IGCC Director Tai Ming Cheung
March 5, 2020 | By Lindsay Morgan | IGCC News
Since 1982, the UC Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation (IGCC) has addressed global challenges to peace and prosperity through rigorous research, training, and policy engagement. In this interview, IGCC director Tai Ming Cheung shares his vision for the next chapter of IGCC’s history, and his forecast for what to watch in Northeast Asia in 2020.

  • China
  • technology and national security
  • defense innovation
  • East Asian security
  • geo-economics, innovation, and national security
  • great power competition