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’s Expanding Nuclear Capabilities: A Conversation with David Logan and Phil Saunders

In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, we are joined by David Logan and Phil Saunders, who’ve recently co-authored a new report titled Discerning the Drivers of China’s Nuclear Force Development: Models, Indicators, and Data. They lay out the six models developed in the report and explain which models are the most compelling for explaining China’s behavior. Dr. Logan dives into the expansion in size, structure, and capabilities of China’s nuclear stockpile in the last 10 years but highlights the fact that there has been no official announcement on China’s reasoning for this build-up. In the context of this expansion, Dr. Saunders points out that China is showing signs that its nuclear strategy could be shifting, and he notes that the prospects of strategic arms control have become more complicated.

Taiwan’s 2024 Presidential Elections: A Conversation with Eric Huang and Fei-fan Lin

In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, we are joined by Eric Huang and Fei-fan Lin. Representing the Kuomintang (KMT) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) respectively, they share their views on the upcoming 2024 Taiwan presidential election and Vice President Lai’s recent U.S. transit. They shed insight on the political agendas of the two parties and speak to approaches the candidates may take on cross-Strait relations. Both guests highlight the basis for a dialogue with China that each candidate proposes and provide the audience with pointers of what to pay attention to as the elections approach.

China’s Influence in Melanesia: A Conversation with Pete Connolly

In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, we are joined by Dr. Pete Connolly to discuss China’s activities in the Pacific Islands, specifically Melanesia. Dr. Connolly explains that through his field research, he observed a shift in Chinese engagement in Melanesia between 2017 and 2022, indicating the strategic importance that China attaches to region. He unpacks major Chinese political and economic efforts in Melanesia and argues that they have had a strong impact on the region. Moving forward, Dr. Connolly predicts growing PRC activity and influence in Melanesia.

Unpacking Secretary Yellen’s Trip to Beijing: A Conversation with Meg Rithmire

In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, we are joined by Professor Meg Rithmire to discuss U.S.-China economic relations and Secretary Janet Yellen’s recent visit to Beijing. Professor Rithmire explains that the main goal of Secretary Yellen’s visit was to convey the United States’ willingness to discuss difficult issues with Beijing and that the United States does not seek to contain or decouple with China. She explains China’s internal economic challenges and details that, in China’s perspective, its economic challenges can be tied to U.S. trade restrictions. The future of U.S.-China economic relations is still fragile and a long way from stable, Professor Rithmire argues, but both sides are attempting to make improvements by having more frequent meetings.

China’s Quantum Technology Development: A Conversation with Edward Parker

In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, we are joined by Dr. Edward Parker to discuss China’s advancement in quantum technologies. Dr. Parker explains that China is emerging as a leader in quantum technology and has underscored it as a “strategic priority.” Dr. Parker also reveals that China is heavily invested in quantum communications, whereas the U.S. is more focused on quantum computing and quantum sensing. In the context of U.S.-China competition going forward, Dr. Parker notes that broad export controls on quantum technologies run a risk of slowing down scientific progress.  

Managing Crises between the U.S. and China: A Conversation with Xin Qiang and Dennis Wilder

In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, we are joined by Professor Xin Qiang and Professor Dennis Wilder to discuss how the U.S. and China could manage potential crises from elevated military activities. Both speakers emphasize that tensions between the U.S. and China are at a new high due to increased levels of strategic competition and neither side is well-prepared to handle a military collision or accident. Professor Wilder explains quiet diplomacy is critical for managing crises and cultural differences between the U.S. and China should always be considered in order to prevent miscommunication. Professor Xin notes that U.S. military activity to challenge normal Chinese military exercises are viewed differently than U.S. activities to challenge PRC activities aimed at countering “sensitive” U.S. or Taiwan activities. The latter would be viewed as much more hostile by the Chinese side. On an ending note, they both agree that the establishment of communication channels are essential to de-escalate potential future crises.