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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The View of China from the US Congress: A Conversation with Rep. Ami Bera

In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, US Representative Ami Bera joins us to discuss Congress’ view of China’s growing power. Rep. Bera explains that China has been an issue of bipartisan agreement in the US House of Representatives, Senate, and the Biden administration. Specifically, he says there is bipartisan support for Taiwan, the One China Policy, and the Taiwan Relations Act, and notes that there are more varying opinions on issues such as cooperating with China on climate change. Rep. Bera also examines how Congress views Afghanistan, the South China Sea, and Taiwan, and justifies the need to increase Taiwan’s participation in the international community. He argues that the best way for the US to compete with China is to invest domestically, specifically on issues related to infrastructure and immigration. Lastly, Rep. Bera describes a potential rocky future in US-China relations and explains that healthy competition between the two nations could improve both countries.

China’s Sharp Power: A Conversation with Kevin Sheives and Jessica Ludwig

In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Ms. Jessica Ludwig and Mr. Kevin Sheives join us to discuss China’s sharp power. Ms. Ludwig and Mr. Sheives first define sharp power and contrast it with other forms of influence, such as soft and hard power, and explain notable differences in China’s sharp power strategy toward mature democracies and developing nations. They argue that a clear line between China’s domestic propaganda and global media projections does not exist, and that China has emerged as a trendsetter in sharp power that can take advantage of younger democracies’ inability to recognize propaganda and disinformation. Ms. Ludwig and Mr. Sheives also analyze the dynamics of China’s sharp power at work through foreign media partnerships and social media disinformation campaigns. They then contrast the sharp power strategies of authoritarian governments such as Russia and China. Finally, Ms. Ludwig and Mr. Sheives emphasize the relative strengths of democratic nations in projecting global power and offer options for countering Chinese sharp power.

Analyzing China’s Commitment to Climate Change: A Conversation with Joanna Lewis

In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Dr. Joanna Lewis joins us to discuss China’s commitment to addressing climate change. Dr. Lewis provides an overview of major domestic and international policies that China has implemented to combat climate change, including its dual-carbon goals, newly launched emissions trading scheme, and commitment to end new coal-fired financing abroad. Dr. Lewis also assesses China’s role in the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow and discusses how China’s performance impacted international progress in combating climate change and China’s desire to be seen as a global leader on climate issues. Lastly, Dr. Lewis highlights the new joint working group between the U.S. and China as an important step in making meaningful progress on climate change during an era of strategic competition between the two countries.

Artificial Intelligence and the People’s Liberation Army: A Conversation with Ryan Fedasiuk

In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Mr. Ryan Fedasiuk joins us to discuss the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) efforts to adopt artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Mr. Fedasiuk explains the findings of his new report, which analyzes critical AI defense industry suppliers to the PLA and the implications for China’s ability to compete with the US on AI defense technology. Mr. Fedasiuk says AI technology will be central to the PLA’s goal of becoming a “world-class” military force and for preparing the PLA for “intelligentized” warfare. In addition, Mr. Fedasiuk argues that through AI technology, the PLA has the potential to compensate for areas where it has historically been vulnerable, such as undersea warfare. He also discusses PLA’s procurement of different AI technologies, including intelligent autonomous vehicles. Lastly, he explains that only a small portion of identified AI suppliers to the PLA are subject to US export controls or sanctions regimes, and he analyzes the corresponding policy implications for the United States.

US-China Academic Exchanges: A Conversation with William Kirby

In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Professor William Kirby joins us to examine the changing dynamics in the US-China educational relationship. Professor Kirby explains that education has been one of the central parts of US-China relations since the 1870s and has internationalized education in the US. Professor Kirby describes the origins of China’s top universities, noting that many were created in partnership with the United States. He also argues that academic exchanges have benefitted American universities by attracting international talent. Lastly, Professor Kirby recommends that the Biden administration should restart the Fulbright Program and re-open previously closed Chinese consulates, and highlights the importance of academic exchanges in maintaining connections with China.