News + Media

President Joe Biden and US secretary of state Antony Blinken participate in a virtual meeting with leaders of Quadrilateral Security Dialogue countries on 12 March 2021

In the News

April 21, 2021

Can the United States work with India to counter China?

Emily TamkinNewStatesman

Vipin Narang quoted: And on a practical level, “You can’t unwind trillions of dollars of front-line equipment that come from Russia,” said Vipin Narang. “You need spare parts for that, you need maintenance for that.”...“For Biden, it’s not a winning hand, especially for Democrats in Congress, to paint it as an alliance of democracies,” Narang said. “If this is about China, let’s just say it’s about China.”

Manmohan Singh speaking at a podium

In the News

April 20, 2021

Covid-19: All-adult vaccine ploy on day of ingratitude

GS Mudur, JP Yadav The Telegraph

Vipin Narang quoted: “India doesn’t have nearly enough supply to vaccinate everyone over 18 starting 5/1, especially since those approved are double dose. GoI knows this. So it buckpasses to states, rich ones will hoard, poor ones will die. And Modi will wash his hands of a colossal federal failure,” MIT associate professor Vipin Narang tweeted.

People of different ethnicities wearing Covid masks

In the News

April 18, 2021

Covid-19 disparities and policy preferences


NPR's Michel Martin speaks with professor Evan Lieberman about the study he co-authored looking at how sharing information about the pandemic's racial disparities affect peoples' policy opinions.

David Miliband

In the News

April 15, 2021

Miliband receives the Robert A Muh Alumni Award


Rt Hon David W Miliband SM ’90, president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), has been recognized with the 2021 Robert A Muh Alumni Award. The biennial award recognizes the tremendous achievements of MIT degree holders who are leaders in one of the Institute’s humanities, arts, and social science fields. Miliband is being recognized for his long and distinguished political career in the United Kingdom and his leadership in addressing the global refugee crisis. He earned an SM in political science at MIT as a Kennedy Scholar and more recently served as a Robert E Wilheim Fellow at the MIT Center for International Studies. 

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (2nd right), joined by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan (right), speaks while facing Yang Jiechi (2nd left), director of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission Office, and Wang Yi (left), China's State Councilor and Foreign Minister, at the opening session of US-China talks in Anchorage, Alaska, U.S. March 18, 2021.   © Reuters

In the News

April 14, 2021

Sought-after ambassador posts unfilled under Biden. Will they go to political allies or veteran diplomats?

Deirdre Shesgreen and Courtney SubramanianUSA Today

M Taylor Fravel quoted: M Taylor Fravel, an expert on China with MIT's security studies program, said the Biden administration may have good reason to hold off on its ambassadorial nominations, noting the wide range of legislative priorities the White House is juggling. “It's America's most consequential diplomatic relationship at the moment, without a doubt,” Fravel said. “If you get China wrong, you get many other things wrong. If you get China right, you solve a lot of other problems.”

Map of Iran with the flag and nuclear symbol

In the News

April 12, 2021

Natanz sidelined by another Israeli attack

James JoynerOutside the Beltway

Vipin Narang quoted: MIT’s Vipin Narang thinks otherwise, tweeting “Setting back part of Iran’s nuclear program by nine months but hardening its resolve to potentially reconstitute its nuclear weapons program seems like a bad trade unless you’re supremely confident you can keep sabotaging it indefinitely before a nuke gets out of the barn.” But, honestly, it’s not as if the regime lacked “resolve” previously.

Happymon Jacob and Taylor Fravel

In the News

April 5, 2021

China miscalculated in provoking a standoff with India

Happymon JacobThe Wire

Happymon Jacob interviews Taylor Fravel about China’s military strategy. Fravel unpacks China’s concept of a world class military and provides a rich understanding of its strategy of fighting local informalized wars and situates it within the Chinese grand strategy.

Globe on a table, with someone on a laptop in the background


April 1, 2021

CIS awards 17 summer study grants

Seventeen doctoral students in international affairs at MIT were awarded summer study grants. Each will receive up to $3,500. Apekshya Prasai was awarded the second annual Guillemin prize.  “The awards were made to an outstanding cohort of MIT students from across the Institute. We're so pleased that the appeal of these grants has broadened and students are responding,” said John Tirman, CIS executive director and principal research scientist.

People hiking with mountains in distance, Feature China/Barcroft Media/Getty Images

In the News

March 29, 2021

The mysterious user editing a global open-source map in China’s favor

Vittoria Elliott and Nilesh ChristopherRest of World

M Taylor Fravel quoted: Altering OpenStreetMap to advance national interests could be considered an extension of what experts call “cartographic warfare” when countries enforce territorial claims via maps. “In the ’50s and ’60s, China and India were engaged in this and would publish competing maps to bolster the strength of their claims to territory,” said M Taylor Fravel, director of the Security Studies Program at MIT, who has studied China’s borders and territorial disputes. “What we are seeing now in open source I would characterize as the latest manifestation of the ways in which states have sought to advance their claims through maps and mapmaking.”

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches the launch of a ballistic missile at an unknown location in the nuclear-armed country on July 31, 2019. | KCTV / VIA AFP-JIJI

In the News

March 28, 2021

Loaded language: US denuclearization phrasing puts progress on North Korea in jeopardy

Jesse JohnsonThe Japan Times

Vipin Narang quoted: “The inconsistency is frustrating,” Vipin Narang, a North Korea expert and professor of international relations at MIT, said of the apparent shift in language. “These phrases are not interchangeable, at least as far as Pyongyang is concerned...”  “It seems unnecessary to insist on the ‘denuclearization of North Korea’ if it will simply torpedo attempts to jump-start talks,” MIT’s Narang said. “Of course, it’s possible Pyongyang is just using this as an excuse, but it’s an easy excuse for them to use.”