Michael R. Auslin

Williams-Griffis Fellow in Contemporary Asia

Michael Auslin is the inaugural Williams-Griffis Fellow in Contemporary Asia at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. A historian by training, he specializes in contemporary and historical U.S. policy in Asia and political and security issues in the Indo-Pacific region.

A best-selling author, Dr. Auslin’s latest book is The End of the Asian Century:  War, Stagnation, and the Risks to the World's Most Dynamic Region (Yale). He is a longtime contributor to the Wall Street Journal and National Review, and his writing appears in other leading publications, including The Atlantic, Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, and Politico. He comments regularly for U.S. and foreign print and broadcast media. 

Previously, Dr. Auslin was an associate professor of history at Yale University, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, and a visiting professor at the University of Tokyo.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and has been named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, a Fulbright Scholar, and a Marshall Memorial Fellow by the German Marshall Fund, among other honors, and serves on the board of the Wilton Park USA Foundation. He received a BSc from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and his PhD in History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Recent Commentary

Policy BriefsFeatured

Michael Auslin On Spying And National Security

by Michael R. Auslinvia PolicyEd
Wednesday, December 12, 2018

It is important to understand the scope of foreign infiltration in order to prevent it.


China’s Crackdown On Muslims In Xinjiang Is Sure To Backfire

by Michael R. Auslinvia The Spectator
Monday, November 19, 2018

After repeated denials, Chinese officials finally admitted last month that they have set up internment camps in the far-western province of Xinjiang, where up to one million ethnic Uighurs, almost all of whom are Muslim, are being held. Under China’s anti-terrorism law and ‘religious affairs regulation,’ the government in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region publicly introduced the ‘Regulation on De-extremification.’ What it describes is a new gulag, where re-education and the suppression of Uighur identity is its main goal.

Analysis and Commentary

China Plays The Japan Card

by Michael R. Auslinvia National Review
Friday, November 2, 2018

The heralded meeting last week between Chinese president Xi Jinping and Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe was touted by both leaders as opening a new era in Sino–Japanese relations.


Backlash Builds Against Beijing

by Michael R. Auslinvia The Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

After nearly three decades of unprecedented growth, Chinese leaders, borrowing Barack Obama’s favorite cliché, would say they were on the right side of history. That was a few years ago. Then Donald Trump’s election seemed to offer them another boost.

Analysis and Commentary

Elizabeth C. Economy’s The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping And The New Chinese State

by Elizabeth Economy, Michael R. Auslinvia The National Bureau Of Asian Research
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Elizabeth Economy’s book The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State examines Xi Jinping’s top political, economic and foreign policy priorities and his reform efforts to date. Reviewers David Shambaugh, Liselotte Odgaard, Yongjin Zhang, and Michael Auslin discuss the themes of the book and whether a true revolution is taking place in Chinese politics, with a response from Elizabeth Economy.


Can The Pentagon Win The AI Arms Race?

by Michael R. Auslinvia Foreign Affairs
Friday, October 19, 2018

[Subscription Required] When the stingray-shaped object took off and landed lightly on the deck of the USS George H. W. Bush in July 2013, some hailed it as a moment in aviation history to rank with the first heavier-than-air powered flight, at Kitty Hawk, in 1902. The X-47B drone flew itself, decided its own flight path, and completed on its own a mission given to it by humans. The dawn of autonomous weapons systems seemed undeniable.

Featured AnalysisFeatured

The Long Encounter: China And Islam’s Irreconcilable Tensions

by Michael R. Auslinvia The Caravan
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

China’s relationship with Islam goes back to the 7th century, when Arab merchants and envoys traveled to Canton (Guangzhou) to discuss trade ties with the Tang dynasty. Building mosques and madrassas, hosting preachers, and creating largely homogenous enclaves within China, Muslim communities persisted throughout repeated disintegration and reformation of Chinese dynasties. 


The New China Rules

by Michael R. Auslinvia National Review
Thursday, September 27, 2018
In July, Palau Pacific Airways shuttered its doors. The small airline had found itself the collateral damage in a battle between its archipelago of 21,000 persons and China. Palau is one of only 18 countries to maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan. As a result, the Chinese government had banned all tour groups to Palau, imposed fines on those who defied the edict, and thereby crushed revenue for the airline.

The End of the Asian Century

by Michael R. Auslinvia Books by Hoover Fellows
Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Since Marco Polo, the West has waited for the “Asian Century.” Today, the world believes that Century has arrived. Yet from China’s slumping economy to war clouds over the South China Sea and from environmental devastation to demographic crisis, Asia’s future is increasingly uncertain. Historian and geopolitical expert Michael Auslin argues that far from being a cohesive powerhouse, Asia is a fractured region threatened by stagnation and instability.

Analysis and Commentary

Brexit Britain Is Eager For A Sweet Deal With Beijing. But At What Price?

by Michael R. Auslinvia The Spectator
Thursday, August 2, 2018

Most reporting on Jeremy Hunt’s visit to China this week went little further than his slip of the tongue in describing his wife as Japanese rather than Chinese. Preoccupied by that trivial matter and any offence it might have given the new foreign secretary’s hosts (which seemed to be none), commentators missed the somewhat more substantial issue of why China is so keen to oblige Britain’s requests for a trade deal.