In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Bonnie Glaser joins us to discuss the recent changes to U.S.-China relations. She first explains how a large Chinese surveillance balloon transited continental United States in early February 2023 with communications surveillance equipment on board, potentially collecting data from sensitive military installations. Ms. Glaser argues that Secretary Blinken’s trip to China was postponed due to a combination of domestic and international pressures resulting from the balloon incident. Lastly, she explains that despite potential meetings between U.S and Chinese leadership later this year, U.S.-China relations will likely face difficulties moving forward due to a lack of trust.
China and the National Defense Strategy: A Conversation with Mara Karlin
In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Dr. Mara Karlin, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans, and Capabilities at the Department of Defense (DoD) joins us to discuss the latest National Defense Strategy (NDS). Dr. Karlin explains the nature of the new NDS, talking through its renewed focus on China. She states that the DoD views China as “the pacing challenge” for the U.S. military and addresses the range of ways the U.S. military is developing in light of China’s increasing power. Lastly, Dr. Karlin addresses PLA behavior around Taiwan and explains how individual DoD priorities will serve to address challenges presented by China down the road.
Evaluating Chinese Foreign Policy Decision-Making: A Conversation with Susan Shirk
In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Dr. Susan Shirk joins us to discuss trends in China’s politics and how the U.S. can best manage its China policies. Dr. Shirk explains the recent history of China’s politics and how the political climate has shifted since the presidency of Hu Jintao. She also discusses the role of Xi Jinping within China’s government, arguing that Xi’s ongoing anti-corruption campaigns are meant not only to dispel corruption, but also to enforce discipline and centralize power around his leadership. Lastly, Dr. Shirk comments on the state of U.S. policy making towards China, presenting steps that could be taken in both Beijing and Washington to create more substantive and effective relations between both countries.
Navigating U.S.-China Relations: A Conversation with Jessica Chen Weiss
In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Jessica Chen Weiss joins us to discuss the state of U.S.-China relations and her recent lengthy article in Foreign Affairs. Dr. Weiss evaluates the Biden Administration’s approach to China, from the nature of the growing U.S.-China competition to how both sides could approach tensions over Taiwan. She argues that both China and the United States must demonstrate “reciprocal restraint” in order to reduce the chance of conflict and facilitate substantive progress in their relationship. She also offers her perspective on the upcoming Party Congress, evaluating how Chinese President Xi Jinping may behave as he enters his presumed third term. Lastly, Dr. Chen Weiss gives recommendations on how U.S. policy can adapt in order to avoid a “catastrophic” conflict with China.
Evaluating U.S. Engagement with China: A Conversation with Dr. Aaron Friedberg
In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Dr. Aaron Friedberg joins us to discuss the current state and shortcomings of U.S. engagement with China. Dr. Friedberg argues that U.S. engagement with China has failed in several respects, highlighting China’s shift toward more repressive policies under Xi Jinping and its increasingly contentious relationship with the United States in the Asia-Pacific. He believes that, rather than becoming a “responsible stakeholder,” China has instead evolved into a “revisionist power” that is seeking to surpass American influence in Asia and challenge the global status quo. He offers that if the United States did not embrace the approach of engaging with China, it is possible that China would be more aggressive now, but China would also be a weaker power. Lastly, Dr. Friedberg lays out his view of how the United States can best strategize on China going forward, including offering his evaluation of the Biden Administration’s current policy toward China.
The View of China from the US Congress: A Conversation with Rep. Ami Bera
In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, US Representative Ami Bera joins us to discuss Congress’ view of China’s growing power. Rep. Bera explains that China has been an issue of bipartisan agreement in the US House of Representatives, Senate, and the Biden administration. Specifically, he says there is bipartisan support for Taiwan, the One China Policy, and the Taiwan Relations Act, and notes that there are more varying opinions on issues such as cooperating with China on climate change. Rep. Bera also examines how Congress views Afghanistan, the South China Sea, and Taiwan, and justifies the need to increase Taiwan’s participation in the international community. He argues that the best way for the US to compete with China is to invest domestically, specifically on issues related to infrastructure and immigration. Lastly, Rep. Bera describes a potential rocky future in US-China relations and explains that healthy competition between the two nations could improve both countries.
US-China Academic Exchanges: A Conversation with William Kirby
In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Professor William Kirby joins us to examine the changing dynamics in the US-China educational relationship. Professor Kirby explains that education has been one of the central parts of US-China relations since the 1870s and has internationalized education in the US. Professor Kirby describes the origins of China’s top universities, noting that many were created in partnership with the United States. He also argues that academic exchanges have benefitted American universities by attracting international talent. Lastly, Professor Kirby recommends that the Biden administration should restart the Fulbright Program and re-open previously closed Chinese consulates, and highlights the importance of academic exchanges in maintaining connections with China.
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.