In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, we are joined by Professor Meg Rithmire to discuss U.S.-China economic relations and Secretary Janet Yellen’s recent visit to Beijing. Professor Rithmire explains that the main goal of Secretary Yellen’s visit was to convey the United States’ willingness to discuss difficult issues with Beijing and that the United States does not seek to contain or decouple with China. She explains China’s internal economic challenges and details that, in China’s perspective, its economic challenges can be tied to U.S. trade restrictions. The future of U.S.-China economic relations is still fragile and a long way from stable, Professor Rithmire argues, but both sides are attempting to make improvements by having more frequent meetings.
In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, we are joined by Ms. Kari Bingen to discuss U.S.-China competition in space and Beijing’s ambitions in the domain. Ms. Bingen explains that space has become a more important domain for a variety of actors with security and economic interests. China has rapidly expanded its space program and, as Ms. Bingen details, seeks a preeminent position among countries with space capabilities. Lastly, Ms. Bingen reveals the need for cooperation in space to establish norms for behavior and counter malign actors.
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 Philip O’Keefe to discuss China’s changing demographic composition and challenges the country might face as a result. He explains that China’s falling population and low birth rates are the result of decades of population control measures, including the one-child policy. Mr. O’Keefe describes that, despite the rollback of these kinds of policies and new government incentives to have children, China’s birth rate remains low due to the high cost of child rearing in the country and economic development. Looking forward, Mr. O’Keefe discusses the role that automation might play in alleviating some demographic pressures and mounting health and economic challenges China will face as its population shrinks and ages.
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.
In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, we are joined by Dr. Yanzhong Huang to discuss the impact of China’s zero-Covid policy and how reopening has affected the country. He explains that China’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic evolved over three phases, the most recent of which occurred in December 2022 with the end of strict controls. Dr. Huang argues that mounting social and economic pressure pushed the Chinese government to make a dramatic policy shift without warning. Lastly, he examines how the end of zero-Covid could contribute to China’s economic recovery, but could also undermine the public’s confidence in Chinese leadership.
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.
This special episode of the ChinaPower Podcast is the second of two featuring the audio from the China Power Project’s seventh annual conference. This debate took place on November 17, 2022 and featured two experts debating the following proposition: “Beijing views a strong China-Russia relationship as a net strategic asset.”