This special “best of ChinaPower” episode examines the trajectory of Chinese military developments and national strategy, as well as key findings of the 2020 Department of Defense (DoD) annual report to Congress entitled Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China. Our guest, Mr. Chad Sbragia, then-Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for China, discusses a wide range of topics, including China’s capacity to launch an amphibious assault on Taiwan, China’s nuclear strategy, and the Belt and Road Initiative. Mr. Sbragia also highlights the growing alignment between the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and China’s broader national strategy, and he explores the implication of PLA modernization for stability and crisis prevention in the coming years.
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.
In this special “best of ChinaPower” episode, Dr. Kevin Desouza joins us to discuss China’s plans to create a national digital currency. Dr. Desouza explains Beijing’s underlying motivations for developing its own Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), and how it aligns with China’s broader goal to become a leader in technology and innovation. He highlights the key benefits of using digital currencies and the possible effects on the Chinese economy, as well as discusses the potential impact of COVID-19 on the roll-out of a CBDC in China.
In this special “best of ChinaPower” episode, Mr. Ankit Panda joins us to discuss China’s growing conventional missile arsenal and associated implications for military strategy and security in the Indo-Pacific region. He highlights the role of China’s ground-based missiles in the projection of military power, noting that an increased arsenal can hamper U.S. forces in the region and give the People’s Liberation Army increased maneuverability. Mr. Panda talks about the consequences of the U.S. withdrawal from the INF treaty and the political obstacles to an increased U.S. arsenal around China’s periphery. In addition, he explains the strategic implications of China’s dual-capable missile force, and specifically the DF-26 missile’s ability to rapidly convert between nuclear and conventional warheads. Finally, Mr. Panda analyzes the role of hypersonic glide vehicles, noting that while the underlying technology is not new, advances in materials science have allowed more countries to develop HGV systems.
In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Malin Oud joins us to discuss the importance of language in understanding China’s diplomatic and international cooperation strategies. Ms. Oud breaks down China’s efforts to both redefine international values and standards, such as “democracy,” “rule of law” and “human rights,” and promote its own definitions when interacting with other nations via diplomacy and international cooperation. She argues that China’s efforts to both weaken current international norms and promote its own norms on the global stage indicate that China has growing confidence in itself and its political system. Lastly, Ms. Oud states that when Western nations engage with China, they need to not only understand what China means when it uses the language of international values and standards, but also strengthen their own domestic capabilities so as to meaningfully defend current standards and international norms.
In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Dr. Agatha Kratz joins us to discuss how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Dr. Kratz provides background on the history and past successes of the BRI from 2013-2020. She argues that, prior to the pandemic, China’s BRI was at a low point. There were fewer contracts and increased scrutiny on past unsustainable projects and loans. Dr. Kratz contends that those pre-existing trends were further accentuated by the Covid-19 travel restrictions, deteriorated financial conditions, and disruptions in trade. Lastly, Dr. Kratz identifies the core problem with the BRI to be long-lasting debt – which can lead to debt crises – in recipient countries.
In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Stella Hong Zhang joins us to discuss China’s new model of international development cooperation. Ms. Zhang analyzes China’s January 2021 white paper titled “China’s International Development Cooperation in the New Era,” the shift in China’s international development policy, and the implications that this shift has for both China and other nations around the world. She argues that the policy changes reflect China’s goal to be seen as a leader in global governance and its aim to shape discourse on China’s domestic governance model and development achievements. Lastly, Ms. Zhang explains that China’s decision to frame its international development cooperation policy in moral language plays strongly to a domestic audience that is skeptical of providing resources to other countries while China itself is still developing.
In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Ambassador Derek Mitchell joins us to discuss the implications of the 2021 Myanmar coup for China-Myanmar relations. Ambassador Mitchell analyzes the current state of China-Myanmar relations, describes its historical development, and outlines China’s interests within the region after the coup. He argues that while China faces widespread public antagonism amongst the population in Myanmar, it still commands significant influence due to the investments that it has made in Myanmar as part of the Belt and Road Initiative, as well as its continued association with communist groups in northeastern Myanmar. Nonetheless, Ambassador Mitchell contends that Myanmar is not without leverage when it comes to interacting with China, as it can make use of its relations with Japan, Europe, the United States, and even Russia to prevent China from developing a monopolizing influence.
In this episode, Dr. Luke Patey joins us to discuss the implications of China’s rise in a dynamic world and how the rest of the world should respond. Dr. Patey challenges the idea that an ascendant China will lead to a world in which small developing countries become a sphere of influence for China. Alternatively, he contends smaller nations are not content to play a subservient role and there is room for pushback when China overreaches. He stresses that middle powers such as Japan and India can play a significant role in shaping global affairs and the global economy. Lastly, Dr. Patey argues national leaders should escape the hawks-and-doves dichotomy, explaining that the importance of China demands more nuance because various countries’ business, political, and security relations with China are interconnected.