In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, we are joined by Dr. Michael J. Green to discuss U.S.-China competition for influence in the Pacific Islands and broader Indo-Pacific region following President Biden’s trip to Asia. Dr. Green begins with an overview of countries’ expectations ahead of Biden’s trip. Despite Biden’s shortened trip, the trip was still substantive, maintains Dr. Green, with major breakthroughs and agreements struck. He highlights the varying attitudes and approaches G7 countries have towards China and describes the difference between decoupling and de-risking. Lastly, Dr. Green reveals that the People’s Liberation Army’s recent actions have been damaging to its overall grand strategy.
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, 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.