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 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. 

The G7 Summit and U.S.-China Competition for Influence: A Conversation with Michael J. Green

In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, we are joined by Dr. Michael J. Green to discuss U.S.-China competition for influence in the Pacific Islands and broader Indo-Pacific region following President Biden’s trip to Asia. Dr. Green begins with an overview of countries’ expectations ahead of Biden’s trip. Despite Biden’s shortened trip, the trip was still substantive, maintains Dr. Green, with major breakthroughs and agreements struck. He highlights the varying attitudes and approaches G7 countries have towards China and describes the difference between decoupling and de-risking. Lastly, Dr. Green reveals that the People’s Liberation Army’s recent actions have been damaging to its overall grand strategy.  

China’s Approach to Artificial Intelligence: A Conversation with Gregory C. Allen

In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, we are joined by Mr. Gregory C. Allen to discuss artificial intelligence (AI), China’s thinking on AI technology, and U.S.-China competition in this realm. Mr. Allen explains that over the last decade, the approach to AI technology has greatly shifted with a new emphasis on machine learning. He describes the steps of the AI value chain and how different stages are more computationally intensive than others. He assesses that China has responded to U.S. export controls on certain advanced computing chips to China through several measures, including foreign technology acquisition and restriction evasion. However, Mr. Allen points out that chip making equipment is central to AI technology, and China does not yet possess this capability. Lastly, he reveals that the Chinese military views AI capabilities as foundational to China’s economic and military power. 

China’s Capabilities in Space: A Conversation with Kari Bingen

In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, we are joined by Ms. Kari Bingen to discuss U.S.-China competition in space and Beijing’s ambitions in the domain. Ms. Bingen explains that space has become a more important domain for a variety of actors with security and economic interests. China has rapidly expanded its space program and, as Ms. Bingen details, seeks a preeminent position among countries with space capabilities. Lastly, Ms. Bingen reveals the need for cooperation in space to establish norms for behavior and counter malign actors.

TikTok and U.S.-China Technology Competition: A Conversation with Caitlin Chin

In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, we are joined by Ms. Caitlin Chin to discuss the debate around TikTok in the United States and the question of China’s influence over the platform. Ms. Chin explains the conversation around the U.S.’ proposed ban of TikTok, describing that supporters worry that user information will fall into the hands of the Chinese government, while opponents worry about restrictions on free expression. Despite TikTok’s denial that Beijing has or would obtain access to its data, Ms. Chin suggests deep mistrust between the U.S. and China has prevented U.S. lawmakers from accepting these claims. Lastly, Ms. Chin looks to India as an analogue for what could happen if the United States banned TikTok, noting that TikTok’s exit in India caused an increase in users for domestic social media platforms.