He’s been called the “leading authority” on America’s trade war opponent by none other than President Donald J. Trump. Washington veteran, Michael Pillsbury, has quietly become a key figure behind Trump’s confrontational China policy, to the dismay of Beijing — and some fellow China experts. Michael Pillsbury has become “The China hawk.”
Pillsbury is the author of the bestselling books, The Hundred-Year Marathon: China’s Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower (Henry Holt, 2015), China Debates the Future Security Environment (NDU Press, 2000) and editor of Chinese Views of Future Warfare (NDU Press, 1998).
His most recent #1 national bestseller, The Hundred-Year Marathon, reveals China’s secret strategy to supplant the United States as the world’s dominant power, and to do so by 2049, the one-hundredth anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic. James Woolsey, former CIA Director said "This book is based on the work that Michael Pillsbury did for the CIA that landed him the Director's Exceptional Performance Award. It is a fascinating chronicle of his odyssey from the ranks of the panda-huggers to a principled, highly informed, and lonely stance alerting us to China's long-term strategy of achieving dominance." Foreign Affairs called it “pungently written and rich in detail, this book deserves to enter the mainstream of debate over the future of U.S. Chinese relations.”
Michael Pillsbury is a fluent Mandarin speaker who has served in senior national security positions in the U.S. government for the past four decades, with years of contact with the “hawks” in China’s military and intelligence agencies.
Pillsbury was educated at Stanford University (B.A. in History with Honors in Social Thought) and Columbia University (M.A., Ph.D.). Dr. Pillsbury has held multiple positions including: Assistant Political Affairs Officer at the United Nations, a doctoral dissertation Fellow for the National Science Foundation in Taiwan, analyst at the Social Science Department at RAND and a research fellow at the Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University.
During the Reagan administration, Dr. Pillsbury was the Assistant Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Planning and responsible for implementation of the program of covert aid known as the Reagan Doctrine. While an analyst at the RAND Corporation, Michael Pillsbury published articles in Foreign Policy and International Security recommending that the United States establish intelligence and military ties with China. The proposal, publicly commended by Ronald Reagan, Henry Kissinger, and James Schlesinger, later became US policy during the Carter and Reagan administrations.
Under President George H. W. Bush, Pillsbury was Special Assistant for Asian Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, reporting to Andrew W. Marshall, Director of Net Assessment. Michael Pillsbury is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
Pillsbury now serves as Director for Chinese Strategy at the Hudson Institute, which challenges conventional thinking and helps manage strategic transitions to the future through interdisciplinary studies in defense, international relations, economics, health care, technology, culture, and law.