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China’s Relationship with the Middle East: A Conversation with Dr. Jon B. Alterman

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.

The Evolving Nature of China-Australia Relations: A Conversation with Dr. Charles Edel

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.

The History Behind Growing China-Russia Relations: A Conversation with Dr. Joseph Torigian

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.

The View of China from the US Congress: A Conversation with Rep. Ami Bera

In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, US Representative Ami Bera joins us to discuss Congress’ view of China’s growing power. Rep. Bera explains that China has been an issue of bipartisan agreement in the US House of Representatives, Senate, and the Biden administration. Specifically, he says there is bipartisan support for Taiwan, the One China Policy, and the Taiwan Relations Act, and notes that there are more varying opinions on issues such as cooperating with China on climate change. Rep. Bera also examines how Congress views Afghanistan, the South China Sea, and Taiwan, and justifies the need to increase Taiwan’s participation in the international community. He argues that the best way for the US to compete with China is to invest domestically, specifically on issues related to infrastructure and immigration. Lastly, Rep. Bera describes a potential rocky future in US-China relations and explains that healthy competition between the two nations could improve both countries.

China’s Sharp Power: A Conversation with Kevin Sheives and Jessica Ludwig

In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Ms. Jessica Ludwig and Mr. Kevin Sheives join us to discuss China’s sharp power. Ms. Ludwig and Mr. Sheives first define sharp power and contrast it with other forms of influence, such as soft and hard power, and explain notable differences in China’s sharp power strategy toward mature democracies and developing nations. They argue that a clear line between China’s domestic propaganda and global media projections does not exist, and that China has emerged as a trendsetter in sharp power that can take advantage of younger democracies’ inability to recognize propaganda and disinformation. Ms. Ludwig and Mr. Sheives also analyze the dynamics of China’s sharp power at work through foreign media partnerships and social media disinformation campaigns. They then contrast the sharp power strategies of authoritarian governments such as Russia and China. Finally, Ms. Ludwig and Mr. Sheives emphasize the relative strengths of democratic nations in projecting global power and offer options for countering Chinese sharp power.

China’s Involvement in Afghanistan: A Conversation with Laurel Miller

On this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Laurel Miller joins us to discuss the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan and to assess China’s next steps in the region. Ms. Miller argues that China will continue to be cautiously involved with Afghanistan to fulfill its long-term vision of establishing peace and stability in the nearby region. Although Afghanistan was a bright spot for US-China cooperation in peace-process issues, Ms. Miller says that previous collaboration was exaggerated and that the brightness has been dimmed in recent years. Lastly, she weighs the likelihood of US-China cooperation on Afghanistan going forward.

China’s Global Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic: A Conversation with Dr. Yanzhong Huang

In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Dr. Yanzhong Huang joins us to discuss China’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on China’s power. Dr. Huang assesses how China’s handling of the pandemic is viewed within China and around the world. He also discusses China’s Health Silk Road and its role in advancing China’s interests amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Lastly, Dr. Huang evaluates China’s influence within international health organizations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), and provides recommendations for how the United States can work with China to combat the pandemic.

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.