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.
In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, we are joined by Mr. Randall Schriver to discuss Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s recent transit of the United States and broader cross-Strait issues. Mr. Schriver explains the context behind President Tsai’s latest transit through the U.S. and what made this transit both in line with prior transits and unique and successful. Mr. Schriver suggests that it is still too early to see the full Chinese response, but concerns about Taiwan’s presidential election next year could cause Beijing to have a muted reaction to Tsai’s transit. Regardless of China’s reaction, he sees the Taiwan-United States relationship continuing to strengthen into the future.
In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, we are joined by Dr. Sameer Lalwani to discuss the evolving relationship between China and Pakistan. He explains that China has accumulated major leverage over Pakistan through both economic investment and arms sales. Dr. Lalwani also details how China might seek greater access to ports in the Indian Ocean through Pakistan. Looking forward, Dr. Lalwani argues that despite the close relationship, Pakistan has a different threat perception than China and values its autonomy. If possible, Pakistan does not want to pick sides in the emerging U.S.-China competition, opening the door to possible U.S. engagement with Islamabad.
In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Bonnie Glaser joins us to discuss the recent changes to U.S.-China relations. She first explains how a large Chinese surveillance balloon transited continental United States in early February 2023 with communications surveillance equipment on board, potentially collecting data from sensitive military installations. Ms. Glaser argues that Secretary Blinken’s trip to China was postponed due to a combination of domestic and international pressures resulting from the balloon incident. Lastly, she explains that despite potential meetings between U.S and Chinese leadership later this year, U.S.-China relations will likely face difficulties moving forward due to a lack of trust.
In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, we are joined by Dr. Victor Cha to discuss the changing dynamics on the Korean Peninsula and the relationship between China and North Korea. He explains that despite outward appearances, the China-DPRK relationship is deeply fraught and not as close as it may seem. Dr. Cha reveals that between a strict Covid-19 lockdown and the sanctions imposed between 2016-2017, North Korea’s dependence on China has fallen and Beijing may now lack adequate tools to place pressure on Pyongyang. Lastly, Dr. Cha challenges the notion that the United States and China share goals for a nuclear-free Korean peninsula. Rather, he contends, the two share common ground in wanting to prevent conflict on the peninsula.
In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Meia Nouwens and Veerle Nouwens join us to unpack the relationship between European countries and China. They begin with an overview of Europe’s relations with China, caveating that the relationship at large is similar, but different countries vary in their approaches to China. Meia explains that European views of China are shifting from seeing it as a potential partner to more of a competitor or systemic rival. Veerle also emphasizes that while European countries and Taiwan have maintained trade relations for years, China has grown more critical of these dialogues, and it is increasingly important for Europe to have clear and consistent messaging about its views on Taiwan. Lastly, they identify important factors that may impact the future of China-Europe relations, including U.S. policy towards China and China’s behavior itself.
In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Dr. Mara Karlin, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans, and Capabilities at the Department of Defense (DoD) joins us to discuss the latest National Defense Strategy (NDS). Dr. Karlin explains the nature of the new NDS, talking through its renewed focus on China. She states that the DoD views China as “the pacing challenge” for the U.S. military and addresses the range of ways the U.S. military is developing in light of China’s increasing power. Lastly, Dr. Karlin addresses PLA behavior around Taiwan and explains how individual DoD priorities will serve to address challenges presented by China down the road.
In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Dr. Susan Shirk joins us to discuss trends in China’s politics and how the U.S. can best manage its China policies. Dr. Shirk explains the recent history of China’s politics and how the political climate has shifted since the presidency of Hu Jintao. She also discusses the role of Xi Jinping within China’s government, arguing that Xi’s ongoing anti-corruption campaigns are meant not only to dispel corruption, but also to enforce discipline and centralize power around his leadership. Lastly, Dr. Shirk comments on the state of U.S. policy making towards China, presenting steps that could be taken in both Beijing and Washington to create more substantive and effective relations between both countries.