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The PLA at 95 and the Current Crisis in the Taiwan Strait: A Conversation with Roderick Lee

In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Mr. Roderick Lee joins us to discuss the state of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) as it marks its 95th anniversary. He lays out President Xi Jinping’s unique relationship with the military, discussing Xi’s personal affiliation with the PLA early in his career and the reforms of the PLA Xi has enacted as President. Mr. Lee argues that current PLA exercises near Taiwan are part of a “textbook” PLA deterrence strategy meant to demonstrate PLA capabilities and intimidate Taiwan. He notes that despite the unprecedented PLA escalation, Beijing has demonstrated restraint and seeks to avoid a full confrontation. Lastly, Mr. Lee comments on the long-term impacts of the ongoing PLA exercises, believing that they will provide strong insights into the PLA, its strategy, and its capabilities going forward.

Taiwan’s View of the Invasion of Ukraine: A Conversation with Dr. Shen Ming-Shih

In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Dr. Shen Ming-Shih joins us to discuss Taiwan’s views on the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the potential lessons Taiwan may learn. Dr. Shen begins by exploring what Taiwan’s defense community has learned and the inspiration Taiwan’s people have drawn from Ukraine. He then discusses the ongoing debates in Taiwan over how to reform the island’s defense and build on its relationship with the U.S. Finally, Dr. Shen argues that the most important factor in a potential Taiwan conflict will be the actions of the U.S. and international community, and that the U.S. should embrace “strategic-level clarity” with tactical ambiguity to deter China from aggression.

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.

Assessing China’s Growing Air Incursions into Taiwan’s ADIZ: A Conversation with Kenneth W. Allen, Gerald C. Brown, and Thomas J. Shattuck

In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, we are joined by Mr. Kenneth W. Allen, Mr. Gerald C. Brown, and Mr. Thomas J. Shattuck to discuss China’s People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) flight incursions into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ). They first define the PLA’s incursions as a tactic for China to undermine Taiwan’s sovereignty and explain how such actions impact China and Taiwan’s policy goals. They reveal that the PLA launches these incursions to serve as punishment and intimidation when it is dissatisfied with Taiwan’s policies or engagement with the international community. Additionally, they note that these sorties are far from replicating the amount of air power or coordination that China would need to launch an invasion of Taiwan. However, they also point out that it is likely future PLA incursions will grow in sophistication as China sees the importance of air superiority in the Ukraine conflict. Lastly, they assess that there is no evidence so far that China is taking advantage of current US and European attention on the Ukraine crisis to significantly increase military pressure on Taiwan.

The Best of ChinaPower: Highlights of the 2020 DoD Report on Chinese Military Power: A Conversation with Chad Sbragia

This special “best of ChinaPower” episode examines the trajectory of Chinese military developments and national strategy, as well as key findings of the 2020 Department of Defense (DoD) annual report to Congress entitled Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China. Our guest, Mr. Chad Sbragia, then-Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for China, discusses a wide range of topics, including China’s capacity to launch an amphibious assault on Taiwan, China’s nuclear strategy, and the Belt and Road Initiative. Mr. Sbragia also highlights the growing alignment between the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and China’s broader national strategy, and he explores the implication of PLA modernization for stability and crisis prevention in the coming years.

Highlights of the 2020 DoD Report on Chinese Military Power: A Conversation with Chad Sbragia

In this episode, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for China Chad Sbragia joins us to discuss the 2020 Department of Defense (DoD) annual report to Congress entitled Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China. Deputy Assistant Secretary Sbragia discusses a range of topics including China’s capacity to launch an assault on Taiwan, China’s nuclear strategy, the Belt and Road Initiative, military-civil fusion, and China’s perception of global governance. Mr. Sbragia also highlights the growing alignment between the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and China’s broader national strategy, and he explores the implication of PLA modernization for stability and crisis prevention in the coming years.