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, CSIS Japan Chair Christopher Johnstone joins us to discuss the current state of Japan-China relations. Mr. Johnstone argues that Prime Minister Kishida’s policies have picked up from where his predecessors left off in terms of taking a more hardline China policy. He states that China’s deepening relations with Russia and its assertive behavior in Asia are alarming Tokyo, weighing on Japanese public sentiment toward China, and fueling proposals to increase defense spending. Despite these tensions, however, Mr. Johnstone notes that he has not seen significant Chinese economic coercion toward Japan in recent years, which speaks to the close economic relations that persist between the two countries. Lastly, Mr. Johnstone comments on rising Japanese support for Taiwan, discussing the growing Japanese consensus that Japan’s security and Taiwan’s are increasingly linked.
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. 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, 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 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.
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.