In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, we are joined by Dr. Jon B. Alterman to unpack the relationship between China and the Middle East. Dr. Alterman begins with an overview of China’s role in the region, detailing China’s varied individual relationships with different countries. He states that China’s growing presence in the region is mostly motivated by Chinese self-interest and China is not willing to commit large sacrifices to deepen its relations with the region or with particular countries like Iran. Dr. Alterman concludes that the future of China-Middle East relations is unpredictable, and the United States should not overestimate China’s power in the region.
In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Dr. Shen Ming-Shih joins us to discuss Taiwan’s views on the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the potential lessons Taiwan may learn. Dr. Shen begins by exploring what Taiwan’s defense community has learned and the inspiration Taiwan’s people have drawn from Ukraine. He then discusses the ongoing debates in Taiwan over how to reform the island’s defense and build on its relationship with the U.S. Finally, Dr. Shen argues that the most important factor in a potential Taiwan conflict will be the actions of the U.S. and international community, and that the U.S. should embrace “strategic-level clarity” with tactical ambiguity to deter China from aggression.
In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Dr. Tong Zhao joins us to discuss China’s views on the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the potential lessons China may learn. Dr. Zhao begins by describing the evolution of Chinese reactions to the invasion, from optimism of its impacts on China to uncertainty. He says that, in China, there is a common perception that Russia and Ukraine are comparable to China and Taiwan. Dr. Zhao then explains that the West’s comprehensive sanctions against Russia and military support for Ukraine reinforce China’s fear that the West seeks to strangle countries with different political systems. Finally, Dr. Zhao discusses how the invasion of Ukraine might change the global geopolitical landscape, and that he thinks the invasion will significantly impact China’s foreign policy going forward.
In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, we are joined by Mr. Kenneth W. Allen, Mr. Gerald C. Brown, and Mr. Thomas J. Shattuck to discuss China’s People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) flight incursions into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ). They first define the PLA’s incursions as a tactic for China to undermine Taiwan’s sovereignty and explain how such actions impact China and Taiwan’s policy goals. They reveal that the PLA launches these incursions to serve as punishment and intimidation when it is dissatisfied with Taiwan’s policies or engagement with the international community. Additionally, they note that these sorties are far from replicating the amount of air power or coordination that China would need to launch an invasion of Taiwan. However, they also point out that it is likely future PLA incursions will grow in sophistication as China sees the importance of air superiority in the Ukraine conflict. Lastly, they assess that there is no evidence so far that China is taking advantage of current US and European attention on the Ukraine crisis to significantly increase military pressure on Taiwan.
In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Dr. Charles Edel joins us to unpack the relationship between Australia and China. Dr. Edel begins by navigating key moments of closeness and tension in the China-Australia relationship. In terms of policies towards China, he highlights the moderate approach of the Australian business community versus the more forward-leaning approach from the Australian government and the public. He notes that when faced with great economic pressure, “Australian businesses were able to diversify and find other markets quickly”. Dr. Edel also examines Australia’s participation in AUKUS and the Quad. He explains that Australia believes it needs to build up power projection capabilities, especially as China increases its presence in the Indo-Pacific. Additionally, he explains that China’s closeness to Russia amid the invasion of Ukraine propels an overarching negative sentiment towards China and prompts the Australian government to consider potential responses if China attacks Taiwan. Lastly, Dr. Edel asserts that despite the current downward trend in China-Australia relations, the relationship will eventually stabilize.
In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Dr. Rana Siu Inboden joins us to discuss China’s role and influence in the international human rights regime. Dr. Inboden begins by explaining how China’s views on human rights have evolved starting with Mao, through the Tiananmen Square massacre, and now under Xi Jinping. She argues that, while the West emphasizes civil and political rights, China focuses on and favors economic rights, especially the right to development. In addition, she adds that China believes human rights should be contingent based on a country’s national conditions. Lastly, she breaks down how China has succeeded in diminishing the work of the UN Human Rights Council and suppressing its own activists from participating in the international human rights regime.
In this episode of ChinaPower Podcast, Dr. Rajeswari (Raji) Pillai Rajagopalan joins us to unpack the changing relationship between India and China. Dr. Rajagopalan begins by describing India’s view of China, emphasizing India’s continued wish for a stable and normalized relationship with China, despite conflicts that arise. She explains that China’s growing economic power and influence in India’s neighboring countries has heightened India’s insecurity and tension between the two countries. Furthermore, Dr. Rajagopalan discusses the fundamental differences in Chinese and Indian strategic objectives, specifically their goals for power dynamics in Asia. Additionally, she identifies the 2020 Galwan Valley skirmish as a turning point in the India-China relationship, arguing that China’s actions have shown that India can no longer afford to carry out ambivalence in its foreign policy. Lastly, Dr. Rajagopalan cautions India from relying too heavily on Russia for defense capabilities and urges the country to diversify its military capabilities.
In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Dr. Joseph Torigian joins us to discuss the historic and strategic dimensions of the China-Russia relationship. Dr. Torigian begins by describing the evolution of the China-Soviet relationship from its height as a formal alliance during the Cold War, to ideological disagreement, and then strategic competition. He explains how differences in perception led to mixed signals and Mao Zedong’s distrust of Soviet leadership and intentions. Dr. Torigian also discusses how China and Russia gradually repaired their relationship following the end of the Cold War. Lastly, he explores how the relationship may evolve, the effects of remaining tensions, and the forces that are pushing both countries towards strategic alignment.