The ChinaPower Podcast dissects critical issues underpinning China’s emergence as a global power. By bringing together the leading experts on China and international politics, the series offers our listeners critical insights into the challenges and opportunities presented by China’s rise. These extended discussions are hosted by the director of the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

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China and the National Defense Strategy: A Conversation with Mara Karlin

In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Dr. Mara Karlin, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans, and Capabilities at the Department of Defense (DoD) joins us to discuss the latest National Defense Strategy (NDS). Dr. Karlin explains the nature of the new NDS, talking through its renewed focus on China. She states that the DoD views China as “the pacing challenge” for the U.S. military and addresses the range of ways the U.S. military is developing in light of China’s increasing power. Lastly, Dr. Karlin addresses PLA behavior around Taiwan and explains how individual DoD priorities will serve to address challenges presented by China down the road. 

A Chinese Reporter’s View of the 20th Party Congress: A Conversation with Chungyan Chow

In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Chungyan Chow joins us to discuss China’s recent 20th Party Congress. Mr. Chow explains the procedures of the Party Congress, explaining how reporters gain access and how major speeches are choreographed. He also analyzes Xi Jinping’s speech, arguing that the relative brevity of the speech, when compared to his 19th Party Congress speech, demonstrates Xi’s power. Lastly, Mr. Chow discusses the implications of China’s new leadership on U.S.-China relations, as U.S. policymakers will have to forge relationships and negotiate with new faces in China’s foreign policy establishment.

Controlling China’s Access to Semiconductors: A Conversation with Emily Benson and Gerard DiPippo

In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Emily Benson and Gerard DiPippo join us to discuss the recent U.S. export technology controls targeting China’s access to chips. Ms. Benson and Mr. DiPippo explain these recent export control regulations and note that they will impact large portions of China’s technology industry. They also discuss the important role that U.S.-based semiconductors play in the U.S.-China relationship and explain that they have become an essential tool in U.S. economic policy targeting China. Lastly, Ms. Benson and Mr. DiPippo comment on the economic and political impact these export controls will have not only in China, but also on semiconductor firms around the world that rely on China as a key export market.

Evaluating Chinese Foreign Policy Decision-Making: A Conversation with Susan Shirk

In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Dr. Susan Shirk joins us to discuss trends in China’s politics and how the U.S. can best manage its China policies. Dr. Shirk explains the recent history of China’s politics and how the political climate has shifted since the presidency of Hu Jintao. She also discusses the role of Xi Jinping within China’s government, arguing that Xi’s ongoing anti-corruption campaigns are meant not only to dispel corruption, but also to enforce discipline and centralize power around his leadership. Lastly, Dr. Shirk comments on the state of U.S. policy making towards China, presenting steps that could be taken in both Beijing and Washington to create more substantive and effective relations between both countries.

The 20th Party Congress and the PLA: A Conversation with Joel Wuthnow

In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Dr. Joel Wuthnow joins us to discuss emerging future trends in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Dr. Wuthnow explains the key patterns of the structure of the PLA and how it has changed under Xi in the context of increasing emphasis on military modernization. He also discusses the potential impact of the 20th Party Congress on the PLA modernization process, believing that the Party Congress is unlikely to introduce dramatic changes, but we should pay attention to the new composition of the Central Military Commission (CMC). Lastly, Dr. Wuthnow comments on the implications of the key trends within the PLA, arguing the leadership reshuffle could affect the PLA’s assessment of its readiness and capabilities and those of its adversaries.

What to Know Ahead of China’s 20th Party Congress: A Conversation with Lingling Wei

In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Lingling Wei joins us to discuss China’s upcoming 20th Party Congress that is scheduled to take place in October. Wei explains that during Party Congress meetings new leadership and constitutional changes are formally approved. Wei presents candidates likely to be promoted to senior positions during the upcoming Party Congress and highlights how these potential personnel shifts may impact China’s future economic and foreign policies. She argues that despite President Xi’s great power, he is willing to course correct when needed, pointing to how some of Xi’s economic policies have been dialed back during China’s recent economic downturn. Lastly, Wei concludes that the results of the Party Congress are important in shaping the future of U.S.-China relations.

Navigating U.S.-China Relations: A Conversation with Jessica Chen Weiss

In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Jessica Chen Weiss joins us to discuss the state of U.S.-China relations and her recent lengthy article in Foreign Affairs. Dr. Weiss evaluates the Biden Administration’s approach to China, from the nature of the growing U.S.-China competition to how both sides could approach tensions over Taiwan. She argues that both China and the United States must demonstrate “reciprocal restraint” in order to reduce the chance of conflict and facilitate substantive progress in their relationship. She also offers her perspective on the upcoming Party Congress, evaluating how Chinese President Xi Jinping may behave as he enters his presumed third term. Lastly, Dr. Chen Weiss gives recommendations on how U.S. policy can adapt in order to avoid a “catastrophic” conflict with China.

The State of Chinese Food Security: A Conversation with Wendy Wu

In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Wendy Wu joins us to discuss Chinese food security. Ms. Wu argues that Chinese food security is a matter of national security for the Chinese government and that assuring food security is critical for China’s stability. She explains the state of domestic Chinese food production and evaluates Chinese efforts to provide food access for its 1.4 billion people. She also discusses how Chinese food security is closely tied to its diplomatic relations, arguing that China’s strained relations with foreign countries, including the United States, presents major challenges to its food security going forward.