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Decoding China’s Diplomacy Discourse: A Conversation with Malin Oud

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.

China and Myanmar after the 2021 Myanmar Coup: A Conversation with Derek Mitchell

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.

Small and Medium-sized Powers’ Response to China’s Rise: A Conversation with Luke Patey

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.

China’s Wolf Warrior Diplomacy: A Conversation with Peter Martin

In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Mr. Peter Martin joins us to discuss his new book China’s Civilian Army: The Making of Wolf Warrior Diplomacy. Chinese diplomacy in the past several years has become more assertive and its diplomats have used sharper language –hence the name “wolf warrior diplomacy,” which comes from a Chinese film. Peter Martin’s research traces the roots of wolf warrior diplomacy to the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 and its first diplomat, Zhou Enlai. Martin discusses China’s diplomacy today and its impact. He explains that although there are some critics in China of wolf warrior diplomacy, it is popular among the general public amid rising nationalist sentiment in the country. Mr. Martin describes the motivations behind wolf warrior diplomacy and how diplomats are being been rewarded for their aggressive rhetoric and posture.

The Genesis of Chinese Thinking on Sovereignty: A Conversation with Bill Hayton

In this episode, Mr. Bill Hayton joins us to discuss the genesis of China’s thinking about sovereignty and how this history shapes Chinese foreign policy today. He discusses the influence of Western notions of sovereignty on China during the Qing Dynasty and argues that the dynastic tribute system is still reflected to some extent in China’s current international relations. Mr. Hayton frames the volatile South China Sea situation in terms of sovereignty, describing control of the islands as a deeply emotional issue that is emblematic of national pride for China. He also explains how views of sovereignty could affect China’s approach to arms control, resulting in reluctance to accept third-party inspection of compliance with international treaties. Lastly, Mr. Hayton sheds light on China’s vision of an international stage characterized by relationships between individual and sovereign states rather than coalitions and blocs.

Mounting Tensions Between China and Sweden: A Conversation with The Honorable Carl Bildt

In this episode, The Honorable Carl Bildt joins us to discuss the deterioration of China-Sweden relations in recent years, as well as changing attitudes in Sweden toward China. Mr. Bildt explains the extent to which Sweden is economically dependent on China, and how it has worked to counter Chinese pressure and interference. He also discusses ongoing diplomatic disputes in the China-Sweden relationship, including the arrest and sentencing of Gui Minhai, and the potential impact on Sweden if the bilateral relationship continues its downward spiral moving forward.