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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.

The Galwan Valley Clash and China’s Approach to Sovereignty Disputes: A Conversation with M. Taylor Fravel

In this episode, Dr. M. Taylor Fravel joins us to discuss the June 2020 deadly clash along the China-India border and China’s broader approach to sovereignty disputes. Dr. Fravel assesses China’s role in the incident, and analyzes what China’s increased willingness to aggressively advance its interests on sovereignty-related issues signifies about the changing nature of Chinese foreign policy. He also explains the potential role of the COVID-19 pandemic in Beijing’s decision-making in territorial and maritime disputes, and examines China’s potential reaction if the Galwan Valley incident pushes India closer to the US.

Rough Waters in the South China Sea: A Conversation with Greg Poling

In this episode, Greg Poling joins us to discuss China’s behavior, motivations, and strategy in the South China Sea, including recent incidents and escalating tensions with the Philippines and Vietnam. Mr. Poling analyzes whether China’s narrative in the South China Sea is a compelling one, and warns of the potential for unintended escalations of violence between claimant states. He also touches on China’s increasing militarization of the South China Sea, and critiques the Trump administration’s strategy to advance US interests in the region.

Are Maritime Law Enforcement Forces Destabilizing Asia?

Maritime disputes in the South China Sea present an array of potential flashpoints between countries. China in particular has actively employed its coast guard and other maritime law enforcement agencies to project power and assert sovereignty throughout the region.

Could China Seize and Occupy Taiwan Militarily?

Although both China and Taiwan maintain separate militaries and governments, China continues to assert sovereignty claims over Taiwan. Beijing officially seeks peaceful reunification, but has not ruled out using force to counter efforts to create an independent Taiwan.