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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.

China’s Lessons Learned from Ukraine: A Conversation with Dr. Tong Zhao

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.

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.

How India Views China: A Conversation with Dr. Rajeswari Rajagopalan

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.

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.

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.

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.