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  • Author: Linda Zhang, Ryan Berg
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) engagement in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is drawing increased scrutiny from U.S. policymakers. The International Liaison Department of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (ILD) (中共中央对外联络部, zhonggong zhongyang duiwai lianluo bu) is one of the many Chinese organizations active in LAC. Although its footprint is relatively small compared to larger trade and governmental organizations, the ILD’s emphasis on ideology and on long-term relationship building in its engagements is noteworthy and should be monitored more closely within the context of China-Latin America relations.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Affairs, Political Parties, Chinese Communist Party (CCP)
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Paul A. Goble
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In most parts of the world, the lines on maps separating countries are true borders. That is, they are controlled by the governments on one or both sides. But in some places, they remain the quasi-open frontiers they were in the past or have reemerged as such because of recent political changes; those borders are highly porous zones, where people and goods can move more or less freely in one or both directions without much regard to the powers that be. Such situations invite outside involvement that can ramp up quickly and disturb preexisting international arrangements. One poignant example is the adjoining border area shared by Tajikistan and Afghanistan. In recent years, that frontier has attracted attention because of the danger that Islamist militants from Afghanistan could cross it to move north into Tajikistan and beyond. But another danger is emerging: China is establishing increasing control over Tajikistan and, thus, is putting itself in a position to project power southward from Tajikistan into Afghanistan. If Beijing does so, that could fundamentally change the security situation and geopolitical balance in Central and South Asia as a whole.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Territorial Disputes, Borders
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, China, South Asia, Central Asia, Asia, Tajikistan
  • Author: Branimir Vidmarovic
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Development and International Relations (IRMO)
  • Abstract: As the globally difficult 2020 came to an end, China is entering a challenging and perilous period unlike any other in its long history. COVID-19 pandemic, widely believed to have originated in Chinese Wuhan, severely damaged China’s international image, especially among Western democracies. At the beginning of the millennium, Chinese policymakers reached a conclusion that favorable political and security environment presented China with a ‘strategic window of opportunity’ for the next 15 to 20 years, during which the country should strive to achieve its economic, social and security development goals. It was believed that at some point, the West would become wary and agitated by China’s rise – which would in turn lead to a shift towards less favorable conditions.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Cooperation, Hegemony, Isolation
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Flavio Fusco
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Building on emerging debates on the need to develop de-escalation mechanisms for the Middle East, the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) and the Brussels-based Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS), with support from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, launched a one-year research and outreach project entitled “Fostering a New Security Architecture in the Middle East”. Connected to the research, an expert survey targeting European, US, Russian, Middle Eastern and Chinese experts and practitioners was conducted on key themes, principles and approaches associated with a potential new security architecture for the region. The results of the survey – first published in an edited book volume jointly published by IAI and FEPS in November 2020 – are analysed below, complete with tables and infographics on key themes associated with the research project and the search for new, inclusive mechanisms for dialogue and de-escalation in the Middle East.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Foreign Policy, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Middle East, United States of America
  • Author: Jai Chul Heo
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
  • Abstract: This study evaluated China's model of “One Country, Two Systems” (一國兩制) 20 years into operation and the bilateral relationship between Taiwan and Mainland China ‒ focusing on Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan ‒ and examined future prospects. The study is meaningful in that it conducts a more objective evaluation than the previous studies by empirically analyzing data accumulated over the past 20 years of implementation of the One Country Two Systems principle from various perspectives. In addition, it is also a timely study in that it analyzes how the One Country Two Systems arrangement is likely to develop in the future, and what impact this would have, making considerations for changes in China's national strategy during the Xi Jinping period and the competition for hegemony between the U.S. and China. The results of the analysis indicate that over the past 20 years China has been experimenting with the possibility of coexisting different systems in one country, and that the One Country Two Systems arrangement, as a new form of unification which has never been attempted in the history of mankind, has actually shown the possibility of success. However, in recent years, various political contradictions have been exposed in the process of implementing the arrangement, mostly in the Hong Kong society, and the resulting conflict has gradually intensified. While maintaining the current capitalist system for 50 years, Macau is expected to gradually progress in its “Sinicization,” with continuing active economic and social exchanges and cooperation with mainland China. As a result, Macau is expected to be fully incorporated into China's socialist system in 2049, 50 years after the return, but it is likely to remain a city of special character considering Macau's region and its economic structure. On the other hand, the One Country Two Systems arrangement with Hong Kong is expected to undergo a difficult process in the future. In the midst of various conflicts surrounding Hong Kong, the guarantee for Hong Kong’s autonomy is expected to end in 2047 amid efforts on the part of the mainland government to sinicize Hong Kong. And China wants to apply the philosophy of “One Country, Two Systems” to its reunification with Taiwan as well, but in reality this remains very low in possibility.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Politics, Bilateral Relations, Hegemony, Strategic Competition
  • Political Geography: China, Taiwan, Asia, Korea, Hong Kong, Macau
  • Author: Sungwoo Hong, Yeo Joon Yoon, Jino Kim, Jeewoon Rim, Jimin Nam
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
  • Abstract: The conflict between the United States and China may be the issue of most importance as well as interest to the world, prior to COVID-19. This conflict between the two countries is appearing not only in the economic sector, but also in various field such as politics, diplomacy, and military affairs. Such competition between the two countries is likely to escalate further as multilateral systems such as the WTO are threatened and protectionism intensifies in the post-COVID-19 world. Even within Latin America, the competition between the two countries frequently appears in a variety of forms. Conflicts between the United States and China in Latin America tend to occur mainly in the infrastructure sectors. Furthermore, the United States pressured Latin American countries to choose between the United States and China, with the results of this pressure depending on the political orientation of the ruling government. In order to investigate the impact of retaliatory tariffs between the two countries on Latin American countries’ exports and welfare, we employ an event analysis for exports and computational general equilibrium (CGE) model for welfare, with Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and Chile as the subject of our analysis. Based on the outcome of the event study, Brazil’s exports to the United States moderately increased due to the tariff imposition, and such an effect persisted for short term. Its exports to China rose considerably immediately after the tariff imposition, and then the impact tended to decrease over time. By contrast, it is difficult to conclude that the tariff imposition had a statistically significant and lasting effect on the exports of the remaining three countries to the United States and China. As a result of the analysis using the CGE model, meanwhile, the tariffs imposed between the United States and China trivially increased the welfare of Latin American countries.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economy, Tariffs, Exports, Trade, Rivalry
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, South America, Latin America, Korea, United States of America
  • Author: Kenneth I. Juster
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Ambassador's Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: The conventional wisdom is that the foreign policy of Donald Trump’s Administration severely damaged relations with U.S. allies and partners. Commentators point to repeated criticism by the United States of friends in Europe and Asia, as well as the abrupt withdrawal from trade and other arrangements. But such critics overlook the U.S. relationship with India, which made significant advances and will be an area of substantial continuity in Joseph Biden’s Administration. The U.S.-India partnership has grown steadily since the turn of the century, with the past four years seeing major progress in diplomatic, defense, economic, energy and health cooperation. The strengthened bilateral relationship has become the backbone of an Indo-Pacific strategy designed to promote peace and prosperity in a dynamic and contested region. The longstanding U.S. commitment to the Indo-Pacific has underpinned the stability and remarkable economic rise of this region over the last 70 years. While the concept of the Indo-Pacific has been many years in the making, in the past four years the United States and India have turned it into a reality. For the United States, the Indo-Pacific agenda meant working with India to provide coordinated leadership in addressing the threat from an expansionist China, the need for more economic connectivity and other challenges in the region.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Hegemony
  • Political Geography: China, India, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Vijay Gokhale
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: China and India struggle to comprehend each other’s international ambitions. The misperceptions that follow lead to a lack of trust, border skirmishes, and potentially worse. On June 15, 2020, Indian and Chinese troops engaged in a brawl that left twenty Indian soldiers dead while causing an unspecified number of Chinese casualties. The clash is a part of a broader border standoff along the Galwan River between the two forces on the Line of Actual Control that is yet to be resolved. The Indian strategic community is broadly in agreement that this border dispute marks an implacable decline in India-China ties. They argue that the very basis of relations that emerged after former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s visit to Beijing in 1988 has been shaken, if not destroyed. Yet, how did the two countries manage to reach this nadir in ties, and furthermore, what does the Galwan clash signify for the future of Sino-Indian relations? This paper argues that, long before the present border dispute occurred, Sino-Indian relations had been steadily declining due to rampant misperceptions of the other side, contributing to a lack of trust. The most fundamental misperception between the two countries is the inability to comprehend each other’s international ambitions, yielding the fear that their foreign policies are targeted against the other. This paper traces the impact and development of these misperceptions on Sino-Indian ties through three different phases before considering the future of the relationship after the Galwan dispute.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Bilateral Relations, Territorial Disputes, Borders
  • Political Geography: China, South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Julius Caesar Trajano
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The recent swarming of Chinese militia boats in Whitsun Reef may indicate that President Duterte’s appeasement strategy towards China does not really work. Asserting the Arbitral Ruling must therefore be explored by Manila.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Militias
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Vietnam, Philippines
  • Author: Rafał Lisiakiewicz
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Nowa Polityka Wschodnia
  • Institution: Faculty of Political Science and International Studies, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń
  • Abstract: Th e article presents an idea of the possible Russian - Chinese strategic economic partnership at the beginning of the 21st century. Th e author indicates the main factors infl uencing Russian Federation foreign policy towards China from the perspective of a neoclassical realism.Th e author stands that according to J. Rosenau, the main factors determining the Russian foreign policy are idiosyncratic and role. Th en he analyses the Russian documents of foreign policy, economic data and geopolitical ideas. On that ground, he makes a simple analyse using the neoclassical realism model, that’s integrates Foreign Policy Analyse and International Relations Th eory, joining independent and intervening variables, to support the article’s hypotheses. Th at hypotheses say that, fi rstly, Th e Peoples Republic of China (PRC) plays a role of diversifi cation of Russia’s international economic ties; and secondly, Th e PRC status as a Russia’s strategic partner is at issue, despite the official declarations of both sides.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Partnerships, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Eurasia, Asia
  • Author: Inga B. Kuźma
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Nowa Polityka Wschodnia
  • Institution: Faculty of Political Science and International Studies, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń
  • Abstract: In the second decade of the 21st century, the Middle Kingdom, which had huge financial surpluses, became the world’s largest exporter of money capital, which meant that investment policy became the main element of China’s foreign policy. In the case of Central and Eastern Europe, the 16+1 (17+1) format, containing both investment policy and soft power elements, has become the basic tool of the general policy of Middle Kingdom. Th is article aims to define the basic principles of China’s policy towards Central and Eastern Europe. For this purpose, the following general hypothesis was formulated: Chinese policy in Central and Eastern Europe consists of presenting the countries of this region with initiatives that do not go beyond the sphere of declarations and serve as a bargaining chip in relations with Germany, the country with the greatest potential in the European Union. The general hypothesis gives rise to detailed hypotheses that were verified in individual parts of the article with the use of the comparative method. Th e reasons most oft en mentioned in the literature on the subject, such as economic, cultural, social, and political differentiation of Central and Eastern European countries, legal barriers resulting from EU legislation, insufficient recognition of the region’s needs by the Chinese side and asymmetry of expectations of both parties, undoubtedly largely contribute to the lack of effective Sino-CEE cooperation. However, they cannot be considered decisive because similar problems occur wherever Chinese companies appear. However, in many regions of the world, despite these obstacles, mutual economic relations are more dynamic than in CEE. Th e reasons why the potential of the 16+1 (17+1) format has not been properly used can be found primarily in the context of German-Chinese relations.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, European Union, Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia, Germany, Central Europe
  • Author: Yousif Khalaf
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Nowa Polityka Wschodnia
  • Institution: Faculty of Political Science and International Studies, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń
  • Abstract: Th e article aims to present and evaluate the activities and politics of the People’s Republic of China in the Middle East, and to define its objectives through the Silk Project. It will provide an overview of the most important changes in the Chinese foreign and political policy, and the importance of the Middle East, particularly the Silk Road to China, and it will try to answer the following questions: How important is the Middle East for the Silk Road? Will the Chinese project bring stability to the region in light of the fierce competition between the great powers? Th e article adopted the hypothesis that China’s involvement in the Middle East will deepen the conflict between the countries of the region among themselves, and thus become a fertile ground for international conflicts to the international conflict.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Political stability, Conflict, Soft Power
  • Political Geography: China, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Anna Gelpern, Sebastian Horn, Scott Morris, Brad Parks, Christoph Trebesch
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: China is the world’s largest official creditor, but basic facts are lacking about the terms and conditions of its lending. Very few contracts between Chinese lenders and their government borrowers have ever been published or studied. This paper is the first systematic analysis of the legal terms of China’s foreign lending. The authors collect and analyze 100 contracts between Chinese state-owned entities and government borrowers in 24 developing countries in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Oceania, and compare them with those of other bilateral, multilateral, and commercial creditors. Three main insights emerge. First, the Chinese contracts contain unusual confidentiality clauses that bar borrowers from revealing the terms or even the existence of the debt. Second, Chinese lenders seek advantage over other creditors, using collateral arrangements such as lender-controlled revenue accounts and promises to keep the debt out of collective restructuring (“no Paris Club” clauses). Third, cancellation, acceleration, and stabilization clauses in Chinese contracts potentially allow the lenders to influence debtors’ domestic and foreign policies. Even if these terms were unenforceable in court, the mix of confidentiality, seniority, and policy influence could limit the sovereign debtor’s crisis management options and complicate debt renegotiation. Overall, the contracts use creative design to manage credit risks and overcome enforcement hurdles, presenting China as a muscular and commercially savvy lender to the developing world.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Debt, Government, Banking
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Marcin Andrzej Piotrowski
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In April 2021, the U.S. intelligence community published the extensive report “Global Trends 2040: A More Contested World”. It analyses the main demographic, political, and strategic trends that will likely shape the world for the next two decades. The report will be intensively used by the Biden administration in the preparation of the new U.S. National Security Strategy and National Defense Strategy, as well as in new military doctrines. The “Global Trends” document reflects the main tendencies in American strategic thinking, such as the growing “Sinocentrism” and traditional U.S. attachment to transatlantic relations.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Climate Change, Intelligence, Strategic Planning
  • Political Geography: China, United States of America
  • Author: Łukasz Maślanka
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: France uses the idea of EU strategic autonomy as a tool in its own foreign policy. France’s aim is to redefine the Union’s partnership with the U.S. and NATO. Hence, the activity of President Emmanuel Macron in emphasising the differences between the positions of the U.S. and the EU, especially in relations with China and Russia. Macron’s rhetoric worries other European countries and hides the real problems in EU security policy, such as insufficient financing of the Common Security and Defence Policy as well as the lack of a clear definition of strategic autonomy.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, European Union, Strategic Autonomy
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, France, United States of America
  • Author: Wojciech Lorenz
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: During the meeting of NATO foreign ministers on 2–3 December 2020, a group of experts presented the report “NATO 2030. United for a New Era” about strengthening the political dimension and consultation mechanisms of the Alliance. The report indicates a possible consensus on the expansion of the Alliance’s tasks, including on a common policy towards China. The document increases the chances that the allies will decide to start work on a new NATO strategy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, NATO, Military Strategy, Alliance, Strategic Interests
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, United States of America
  • Author: Makysm Bielawski
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Razumkov Centre
  • Abstract: We are witnessing how the authoritarian states of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China are trying to destroy the unity of democratic Europe by means of economic expansion. Therefore, the infrastructure projects are used for this purpose. Consequently, it is appropriate to equate “Nord Stream-2” and "Belt and Road Initiative". If the projects are implemented, the EU security will be unbalanced; as a result, it will affect the interests of the USA. The American government, regardless the party affiliation, is aware of such challenges. Therefore, obviously, after the inauguration of the new President of the United States, the containment policy of JSC “Gazprom” will only enhance. This will be facilitated by the position of Joseph Biden, which he has voiced on several occasions since 2015 during negotiations with the EU leadership and which is generally described as “unprofitable agreement”.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Natural Resources, European Union, Gas
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Ukraine
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI)
  • Abstract: The Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI), with the generous support of the Korea Foundation, organized six “Vision Group” roundtable conversations with leading American scholars and commentators to discuss the United States’ relationship with the Republic of Korea. The first was held in December 2019, the last in November 2020. The intent was to consider the future of relations during a time of change. The Vision Group comprised a wide range of expertise and opinion. This record conveys some of the insights and recommendations that arose during the conversations.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, Economics, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, United States of America
  • Author: Maximilian Ernst
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI)
  • Abstract: This paper examines South Korea’s foreign policy towards China before, during, and after the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense dispute to investigate the limits of South Korea’s public diplomacy and soft power. South Korea’s official public diplomacy has the objective to “gain global support for Korea’s policies,” following Joseph Nye’s narrow definition of soft power. South Korea furthermore ranks high in the most relevant soft power indices. Based on the case of Chinese economic retaliation against South Korea in response to THAAD deployment, this paper argues that public diplomacy and soft power only work in the absence of traditional security contentions, but fail in the presence of such security contentions. The THAAD case also demonstrates the utility of traditional diplomacy, based on high-level summits and negotiations, to solve the very disputes that South Korea’s latent public diplomacy and soft power were unable to alleviate.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Economics, Weapons
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, South Korea, Korea
  • Author: Naoko Funatsu
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: The escalating confrontation between the United States and China has been one of the most important issues in American foreign policy in recent years. The weight of US foreign policy toward China has increased as China's presence in the international community has grown. This is due to China's remarkable economic growth, and many countries around the world sought to incorporate the booming Chinese economy into the international economy to promote their own economic growth; the United States had been no exception. As globalization and China's economy continued to grow, however, the trade imbalance between the US and China expanded, and the trade deficit with China became an issue in the US. In the US presidential election of November 2016, Republican candidate Donald J. Trump made correcting the trade deficit with China a policy priority and was elected. When the administration took office in January 2017, it was marked by a discourse based on economic nationalism, one of the characteristics of a Trump administration committed to putting "America first".
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Globalization, Bilateral Relations, Economy, Trade
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Masaaki Yatsuzuka
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: There is no question that China's presence in the Middle East is growing significantly. Will China continue to deepen its involvement in the region and play a role in shaping the regional order, taking the place of the United States? In other words, will China practice major power diplomacy in the Middle East? The view among researchers in China and elsewhere1 over this question is divided. To categorize their arguments into two camps, there is a cautious engagement theory that warns against the risk of getting caught up in the turmoil in the Middle East and recommends (or predicts) that China protect its economic interests while maintaining political neutrality vis-à-vis the Middle East as it has done so far. On the other hand, there is an active engagement theory advocating (or foreseeing) that China deepen its engagement, proactively participate based on the responsibility of a major world power in solving problems in the Middle East, and actively propose its own ideas in order to protect Chinese interests in the Middle East.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: China, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Malcolm Cook
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: China will not agree to a South China Sea Code of Conduct (COC) that is consistent with the 2016 South China Sea arbitral tribunal ruling, and therefore any COC which China agrees with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will harm Australia’s interests. But a lack of Australian support for such a Code would aggravate relations with Southeast Asian states and ASEAN, and with China. Australia should use the time afforded by the drawn-out Code of Conduct negotiations to coordinate with the five littoral Southeast Asian states affected by China’s unlawful maritime claims. Australia should emphasise the need for consistency with international law, especially the 2016 arbitral ruling. The Biden administration is likely to increase pressure on Australia to conduct freedom of navigation operations (FONOPS) in the South China Sea. Such action may risk a significant Chinese response against Australia.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Territorial Disputes, Maritime, Alliance, Freedom of Movement
  • Political Geography: China, Australia, Southeast Asia, Asia-Pacific, United States of America, South China Sea
  • Author: Yang Jiang
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: Almost every governmental policy decision made today has a China angle, and building understanding of China has become more pressing for Australian policymaking than ever. Despite the urgent demand within the Australian public service for China expertise and language skills, the existing skills of many Chinese-Australians are being overlooked. Australia has a significant, diverse, and growing population of Chinese-Australians, but they are underrepresented and underutilised in the public service. A better harnessing of the skills and knowledge of this community — including via improved recruitment processes, better use of data, skills-matching, and reviewing and clarifying security clearance processes and requirements — would have substantial benefits for Australian policymaking in one of its most important bilateral relationships.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government, Bilateral Relations, Public Service
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Australia
  • Author: Patrick Porter, Michael Mazarr
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: There is a growing bipartisan consensus in Washington on a tighter embrace of Taiwan, which may soon become a stronger implied US commitment to go to war in the event of a Chinese invasion. Taiwan matters to US security and the regional order, and the United States should continue to make clear that aggression is unacceptable. But those advocating a stronger US security commitment exaggerate the strategic consequences of a successful Chinese invasion. The stakes are not so high as to warrant an unqualified US pledge to go to war. American decision-makers, like their forebears confronting the seeming threat of communism in Indochina, may be trapping themselves into an unnecessarily stark conception of the consequences of a successful Chinese invasion of Taiwan. It would be irresponsible for the United States to leave itself no option in the event of Chinese aggression other than war. But nor should Washington abandon Taiwan. There is a prudent middle way: the United States should act as armourer, but not guarantor. It should help prepare Taiwan to defend itself, to raise costs against aggression, and develop means of punishing China with non-military tools.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Foreign Policy, Territorial Disputes, Crisis Management
  • Political Geography: China, Taiwan, Asia, United States of America
  • Author: Luke Patey
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Recommendations: The US, South Korea, Japan, and the EU can pool resources to level the playing field with China and offer new finance options for developing countries seeking to upgrade their communications and technology infrastructure. The US should look to the India and Vietnam model and help other nations develop domestic capacities that lower dependencies on Huawei and other foreign tech providers over time. Open RAN is no silver bullet to compete with China. Its potential will only be fully realized in the mid and long run, after high integration costs, security gaps, and other problems are worked out.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Development, Politics, Science and Technology, Power Politics, Economy, Cyberspace
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Kevin Rudd
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: The year 2020 was a devastating one, but also a year of great change and transformation as the world adapted with difficulty to meet challenges largely unprecedented in living memory, and the trends of global power appeared to shift dramatically. And it was a revelatory year — one that pulled the lid off the true extent and meaning of our globalized, interconnected world, revealed dysfunction present in our institutions of national and international governance, and unmasked the real level of structural resentment, rivalry, and risk present in the world’s most critical great power relationship — that between the United States and China. 2020 may well go down in history as a great global inflection point. It is thus worth looking back to examine what happened and why and to reflect on where we may be headed in the decade ahead. The Avoidable War: The Decade of Living Dangerously, the third volume of ASPI’s annual Avoidable War series, does precisely that. It contains selected essays, articles, and speeches by Asia Society and ASPI President the Hon. Kevin Rudd that provide a series of snapshots as events unfolded over the course of 2020 — from the COVID-19 pandemic, through an implosion of multilateral governance, to the impact on China’s domestic political economy. Finally, it concludes with a discussion of the growing challenges the world will face as the escalating contest between the United States and China enters a decisive phase in the 2020s. No matter what strategies the two sides pursue or what events unfold, the tension between the United States and China will grow, and competition will intensify; it is inevitable. The Chinese Communist Party is increasingly confident that by the decade’s end, China’s economy will finally and unambiguously surpass that of the United States as the world’s largest, and this will turbocharge Beijing’s self-confidence, assertiveness, and leverage. Increasingly, this will be a “decade of living dangerously” for us all. War, however, is not inevitable. Rudd argues that it remains possible for the two countries to put in place guardrails that can prevent a catastrophe: a joint framework he calls “managed strategic competition” that would reduce the risk of competition escalating into open conflict.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Power Politics, Governance, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: China, United States of America
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: After four years of U.S. absence from the global climate stage, a majority of voters—including a plurality of Republican voters—agree the United States should take ambitious actions to address climate change and lead the world in tackling the climate crisis, even if China and other countries do not increase their own ambition. With the exception of nuclear disarmament, a majority of voters see climate change as the most important issue for the United States and China to cooperate on—more so than tackling COVID-19. At the same time, competing with China to become the world leader in the development of clean energy technologies drives up support among voters across the political spectrum for the United States ramping up its own clean energy industry. Similarly, voter support for the United States enhancing its climate ambition increases if China takes additional steps. Despite voters expressing apprehension toward partnering with China on innovation and trade in a number of sectors like automobiles and healthcare, voters are also very receptive to a potential partnership around clean energy development. However, voters want President Biden to also uphold his campaign promise to devise policies that will hold China “accountable” for its climate commitments. Voters support this more than any of Biden’s other proposals for global climate action. With this in mind, voters support the idea of the United States providing competitive financing for renewable energy projects to Belt and Road Initiative countries and instituting a carbon border tax as possible ways to increase pressure on China to do more both at home and abroad. For instance, an overwhelming majority of voters think China should aim to achieve carbon neutrality much sooner than 2060. Notably, a near majority of voters are also supportive of the U.S. military and Chinese military working together even more to assess climate risks and improve disaster preparedness around the world. Though President Biden may face some roadblocks from Republicans who are less supportive of U.S.-China climate cooperation than Democrats and independents, messaging around maintaining U.S. leadership over China on climate action and clean energy development clearly resonates with Republican voters.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Climate Change, Public Opinion, Voting, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: China, United States of America
  • Author: Anubhav Gupta
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: The state of the U.S.-India relationship is strong, but two critical developments in 2020 have created a new inflection point for the relationship. Growing apprehension in both New Delhi and Washington about Chinese aggression has created the strategic convergence long sought by a U.S. defense establishment eager to enlist India to balance China. On the other hand, devastated by the Covid-19 global pandemic, the United States and India face challenging economic recoveries amid growing protectionist sentiments at home that could diminish the relationship’s promise. Having won the U.S. presidential election, Joe Biden has an opportunity to consolidate and accelerate the relationship by creating a substantive and broad partnership with India, which can undergird U.S. policy in Asia and support U.S. global interests for decades to come. this paper provides a blueprint for how the Biden administration can actualize what previous presidents have deemed a “natural partnership.”
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Bilateral Relations, Partnerships, COVID-19, Joe Biden
  • Political Geography: China, India, United States of America
  • Author: Wendy Cutler, Anubhav Gupta, Nathan Levine, Richard Maude, Elina Noor, Jing Qian, Alistair Ritchie, Kevin Rudd, Daniel R. Russel, Thom Woodroofe
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: The Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) Notes for the Biden Administration is designed to offer creative and practical ideas for how the United States might re-engage in the Asia Pacific, particularly in the critical first six months of the new administration. The administration will immediately face a range of challenges and opportunities in this important region, including on climate change, public health, and the global economy. President-elect Biden and his team have signaled the need for the United States to lean into and deepen its engagement with friends and allies. This will mean leveraging the Asia Pacific’s multilateral architecture as well as using global forums such as the G20 and international organizations. Trade policy will also figure importantly in any effort to renew and expand America’s engagement. Additionally, the U.S.-China relationship will loom large from the outset. Tensions with China will surely linger, whether in the South China Sea or the Taiwan Strait, complicating the task of establishing a new framework of “managed strategic competition” – a combination of each side's "red lines," continued competition, plus agreement on areas of mutually beneficial cooperation. ASPI Notes for the Biden Administration provides a diverse package of 20 actionable proposals to address specific risks or objectives in reconnecting with the Asia Pacific. These notes carefully reflect the views, perspectives, and expectations of the region itself – a hallmark of ASPI’s approach.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Climate Change, Economy, Trade, Public Health, Joe Biden
  • Political Geography: China, Taiwan, Asia, Asia-Pacific, United States of America
  • Author: Arzan Tarapore
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Australian Strategic Policy Institute
  • Abstract: More than a year has passed since Chinese troops began to occupy previously Indian-controlled territory on their disputed border in Ladakh. The crisis has cooled and settled into a stalemate. This report warns that it could escalate again, and flare into a conflict with region-wide implications. The report assesses the risk of conflict by analysing its likelihood and consequences. A possible war would be costly for both India and China. But a possible war could also risk stirring Indian distrust of its new partners, especially in the Quad – Australia, Japan, and the United States. The report outlines some conditions under which a war would disrupt or dampen those developing partnerships. The report concludes by offering a framework for policymakers to shape India’s expectations and the strategic environment before and during a possible war.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, National Security, Strategic Planning
  • Political Geography: China, India, Australia, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Daniel Ward
  • Publication Date: 07-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Australian Strategic Policy Institute
  • Abstract: Country agnosticism, under which Australia’s laws treat all foreign influence efforts in the same way, regardless of their source country, is the key failing of Australia’s statutory response to foreign governments’ influence activities. It has imposed sweeping, unnecessary regulatory costs. It has caused waste of taxpayer-funded enforcement resources. It has diverted those resources from the issues that really matter. And it has brought unnecessary legal complexity. Yet for all that, nobody believes that the laws are truly country agnostic. Not the Australian media, which routinely describe them as ‘aimed at’ China. Nor, presumably, the media’s audience. Nor, certainly, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which regards itself as the target, explicitly citing the laws as a key grievance. Perhaps the greatest cost of country agnosticism is that the current statutory framework isn’t as effective as it needs to be. Why? In adopting a country-agnostic stance, we blinded ourselves to the very factor that matters most in evaluating and responding to foreign influence—its source country. It’s time to remove the blindfold. We should recognise this basic truth: foreign influence transparency requirements must be more stringent in relation to some source countries than others.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, National Security, Strategic Interests
  • Political Geography: China, Australia, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: David Uren
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Australian Strategic Policy Institute
  • Abstract: hat if China were to attempt to seize Taiwan by force and the US and allies responded militarily? One consequence would be the disruption of China’s trade with many countries, including Australia. While strategic analysts have been working over such scenarios for years, there’s been little study of the likely economic consequences. This study is focused on the short-term shock to Australia’s economy. The objective is to contribute to an understanding of the nature of Australia’s economic relationship with China and the likely paths of adjustment should that trade be severed. It also explores the options available to the Australian Government to ameliorate the worst of the effects of what would be a severe economic shock. The conclusion of this report is that the disruption to the Australian economy would be significant. There would be widespread loss of employment, along with consumer and business goods shortages that would be likely to necessitate rationing.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Economics, National Security, Conflict
  • Political Geography: China, Taiwan, Asia-Pacific, United States of America
  • Author: Charlie Lyons Jones, Raphael Veit
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Australian Strategic Policy Institute
  • Abstract: The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has become increasingly willing to project military power overseas while coercing and co-opting countries into accepting the objectives of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Beijing’s greater willingness to flex its muscles, both politically and militarily, is supported by its overseas investments in critical infrastructure, which provide the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) with the logistical enablers needed to project military power beyond the ‘first island chain’ in the Western Pacific. ‘Controlling the seas in the region, leaping across the ocean for force projection’ (区域控海,跨洋投送) is the term Chinese naval commentators use when referring to the PLA Navy’s bid to project power across the world. Australia should build its research and analytical capacity to better understand the nexus between the CCP and SOEs. That due diligence, building on open-source research conducted for this report, will better illuminate the PRC’s global expansion, potential grey-zone operations and the companies and individuals involved.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, National Security, Navy
  • Political Geography: China, Asia-Pacific, South China Sea
  • Author: Carla Freeman, Cengiz Günay
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Austrian Institute for International Affairs (OIIP)
  • Abstract: THIS EVENT WAS PART OF THE "A BRAND NEW WORLD? SHIFTING POWERS IN INTERNATIONAL POLITICS OIIP ONLINE SERIES. Ever since President Obama’s "pivot to Asia" it has become clear that the US foreign and security policies are increasingly focused on China’s regional and global ambitions as a challenge to US interests in the Asia-Pacific. The Trump administration extended US security policy vis a vis Beijing to the economic arena through a protracted trade war, also banning several online apps and platforms such as TikTok, as well as the telecommunications giant Huawei. The European Union and its member states have remained silent and refrained from harsh rhetoric and policies towards China. What is the difference between US and European policies? What might change or remain the same under the Biden administration and what can be expected from China in the near future? We will discuss these and more questions with Carla Freeman, Executive Director of the Foreign Policy Institute and Associate research professor in China Studies at Johns Hopkins SAIS. Conversation with: CARLA FREEMAN Executive Director of the Foreign Policy Institute of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Moderated by: CENGIZ GÜNAY Austrian Institute for international Affairs. Supported by the U.S. Embassy Vienna.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Trade Wars, Telecommunications
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia, United States of America
  • Author: Andrew Chubb
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: China Maritime Studies Institute, U.S. Naval War College
  • Abstract: This volume examines the role of popular nationalism in China’s maritime conduct. Analysis of nine case studies of assertive but ostensibly nonmilitary actions by which the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has advanced its position in the South and East China Seas in recent years reveals little compelling evidence of popular sentiment driving decision-making. While some regard for public opinion demonstrably shapes Beijing’s propaganda strategies on maritime issues, and sometimes its diplomatic practices as well, the imperative for Chinese leaders to satisfy popular nationalism is at most a contributing factor to policy choices they undertake largely on the basis of other considerations of power and interest. Where surges of popular nationalism have been evident, they have tended to follow after the PRC maritime actions in question, suggesting instead that Chinese authorities channeled public opinion to support existing policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Nationalism, Public Opinion, Military Affairs, Navy, Maritime, Oceans and Seas
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Giorgio Bilanishvili
  • Publication Date: 09-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgian Foundation for Strategic International Studies -GFSIS
  • Abstract: Lately, the discussions about a possible weakening of US influence in international politics has become more frequent. Parallel to this, there is talk about the activation of Russia and, especially, China in this regard with their influence growing on the international stage. The increasing confrontation between these two countries and the United States has also become one of the most pressing matters. Given all of this, it is now stated more frequently that the world order is changing and a new multi-polar international system is being formed which will be followed by the redistribution of the spheres of influence in the world, leading to increased roles played by China and Russia. The US withdrawal from Afghanistan is considered to be a development of such importance that it could influence the aforementioned international processes and, therefore, commands special attention in that regard as well. Apart from this, the political and security situation in Afghanistan concerns a multitude of states which includes the great powers of the region such as India, China, Russia, Iran and Turkey that play important roles regionally or globally. The interests of these countries, including with regard to Afghanistan, converge in certain cases while diverging in others. At the moment, it is largely unclear how the relations of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan created by the Taliban may develop with its neighbors. Experts assess the prospects of Afghan-Indian and Afghan-Iranian relations especially unfavorably. The return of the Taliban in Afghanistan’s leadership is also important in terms of international security. In this regard, the main cause of concern is the threat of the activation of international terrorism. All of the things mentioned above comprise an incomplete list of the important aspects of the current situation in Afghanistan which, as a whole, create a complex and multi-dimensional picture. For Russia, therefore, Afghanistan also does not have a single dimension. It is, on the one hand, a certain opportunity for the Russian Federation in order for it to bolster influence on the international arena. At the same time, however, the threats that have increased in Afghanistan given the new realities naturally cannot stay outside of Moscow’s attention.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Conflict, International System
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, China, South Asia, United States of America, Russian Federation
  • Author: András Rácz, Milan Nič
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
  • Abstract: In 2020, DGAP’s Strategy Group on Russia focused on Moscow’s long-term efforts to diversify its foreign policy portfolio, turn away from Europe, and build-up other non-Western vectors in its diplomacy. Against this background, this report assesses Russia’s relations with the EU, China, and the United States. While Russian relations with the West are unlikely to improve in 2021 – especially ahead of this fall’s Duma election – there is still a chance for limited engagement on issues of mutual interest.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, European Union, Democracy, International Order
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Eurasia, United States of America
  • Author: Markus Jaeger
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
  • Abstract: The Biden administration has just issued its Interim National Security Strategic Guidance. The guidance document states the need to “build back better at home” and acknowledges that “international economic policies must serve all Americans” – a theme often referred to as “foreign policy for the middle class”. While the interim guidance does not preclude cooperation with China in selected policy areas, it is unambiguous in considering China a strategic competitor. The prospect of intensifying China-US geopolitical and (geo)economic competition is bad news for Germany, which has high value trading and investment relationships with both countries.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, National Security, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia, Germany, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Craig Kafura, Dina Smeltz, Joshua W. Busby, Joshua D. Kertzer, Jonathan Monten
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: Craig Kafura, Dina Smeltz, Joshua Busby, Joshua D. Kertzer, Jonathan Monten, and Jordan Tama analyze recent surveys of foreign policy professionals and the American public on the degree of threat posed by China and how the United States should respond. As President Joseph Biden returns to the White House, this time to sit behind the Resolute desk, perhaps no foreign policy question looms larger than that of US-China relations. The results of the 2020 Chicago Council Survey and the 2020 Chicago Council on Global Affairs-University of Texas at Austin survey of foreign policy professionals and the American public find there are significant partisan differences among leaders and the public on the degree of threat posed by China and how the United States should respond. When it comes to defending Taiwan, however, the divisions are not between partisans but between the public and opinion leaders, with the public in opposition and leaders in support of an American defense of Taiwan.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Bilateral Relations, Public Opinion
  • Political Geography: China, East Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Dina Smeltz, Brendan Helm, Denis Volkov, Stepan Goncharov
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: As Russia and China grow closer through economic ties, a joint Chicago Council on Global Affairs-Levada Analytical Center survey finds that the Russian public sees little downside to the growing bilateral relationship. With China and Russia on the outs with the United States, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping have broadened bilateral economic and military cooperation over the last few years. Recent cooperation has included energy and infrastructure projects, and even a little bit of panda diplomacy. While some observers warn about the potential risk that Russia may grow too dependent on Beijing, a joint Chicago Council on Global Affairs-Levada Analytical Center survey finds that the Russian public sees little downside to the growing bilateral relationship.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Politics, Bilateral Relations, Public Opinion, Survey
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Eurasia, Eastern Europe, Asia
  • Author: Karl Friedhoff, Lea Chang
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: In picking fronts that offer the paths of least resistance, trilateral cooperation will maximize the presence of all three countries in ASEAN, maintaining balance in the region and making collective progress toward economic and development goals. Despite its size, economic dynamism, and geographic position, Southeast Asia has received comparatively little attention in US foreign policy. Even as American policy becomes more focused on China, the United States lacks a coordinated strategy to respond to and compete with China’s vast trade and investment in Southeast Asia. But most ASEAN countries are wary of China’s growing influence and would be open to US involvement as they look to diversify. To take advantage of this opportunity, the United States must supplement its focus on the South China Sea with diplomatic and financial efforts on land. These efforts should offer an alternative to China’s largesse but should not seek a direct competition in hard infrastructure or in terms of dollar amounts invested. Nor should the United States go it alone. Instead, it should seek to cooperate with its allies—Japan and South Korea in particular—to pursue their respective competitive advantages. These include identifying and investing in small- and medium-sized enterprises in ASEAN, developing human capital in the region, and conducting joint maritime cleanup activities in coordination with ASEAN countries. Creating coordinated activities with Japan and South Korea in Southeast Asia should be the first step for the United States to roll back China’s influence in the region. But these efforts will need to be calibrated to ensure that they focus on the needs of countries in the region and not just engulf the region in the US-China competition.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Infrastructure, Investment, Trade
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Asia, North America, Southeast Asia, United States of America
  • Author: Karl Friedhoff, Craig Kafura, Dina Smeltz
  • Publication Date: 08-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: American, Japanese, and South Korean publics see China as a more of a threat than a partner. Trilateral cooperation will be key to managing China's rise. Against a backdrop of growing regional rivalry, March and April 2021 surveys conducted in the United States, Japan, and South Korea show that publics in all three countries share similar views of China’s growing influence and intentions. But the data also show that internal divisions within the US-Japan-South Korea relationship will pose challenges to deeper cooperation.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Cooperation, Public Opinion
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, East Asia, South Korea, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Dina Smeltz, Ivo H. Daalder, Karl Friedhoff, Craig Kafura, Emily Sullivan
  • Publication Date: 10-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: While the Biden administration seems to understand where Americans stand on China and domestic renewal to support global competitiveness, the data disproves their assumptions that Americans are skeptical about trade and weary of US global engagement and leadership.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Politics, Public Opinion, Trade, Survey
  • Political Geography: China, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Karl Friedhoff, Suh Young Park
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: Chicago Council survey data find majorities in South Korea view China as more of a security threat than a security partner and as more of an economic threat than an economic partner. On May 21, South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in will meet President Joe Biden at the White House. In his first 100 days in office, Biden’s foreign policy has focused on repairing alliances and setting the administration’s policy toward China—in March and April alone, the administration participated in US-China talks in Alaska, 2+2 meetings in South Korea and Japan, trilateral talks among national security advisers, and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's visit to Washington. Moon’s visit will add North Korea to the agenda. The two leaders meet at a time when there are significant gaps on their preferred paths forward to dealing with Beijing and Pyongyang. However, recent Chicago Council surveys find that attitudes among publics in South Korea and the United States are remarkably similar when it comes to China and North Korea.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Economics, Public Opinion
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, South Korea, North America, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Ichiro Fujisaki, Han Sung-Joo, Karl Friedhoff
  • Publication Date: 07-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: The US-China relationship will be one of the most important in defining the international order in the 21st century. As the two countries enter an increasingly competitive phase in relations, both must manage the policy mix of confrontation, competition, and cooperation. If mismanaged, competition could quickly tilt toward miscalculation and armed conflict. For the United States, a poor mix of these policy elements could also lead to a hastened US decline, rapidly ceding the Asia-Pacific to China’s leadership, leaving regional allies at risk of coercion under the threat of China’s military and economic power. The nature of the challenge posed by China, the economic interdependence in the region, and serious questions about US leadership necessitate a fundamental reevaluation of trilateral cooperation. Effective US policy in the region hinges on getting policy right with the two most important US allies in the region—Japan and South Korea. While alliances are among the most important advantages the United States holds in its competition with China, South Korea and Japan hold particular importance given the values they share with the United States, as well as their dynamic economies, growing military capabilities, influence in the region, and geostrategic location. But the inherent advantages of these allies can only be drawn upon if the United States recommits itself to the region and to investing in and upholding these long-standing relationships. The persistent doubts about US commitment to and leadership in the region involve not only political will and competence but growing questions of economic feasibility as well. Doubts about the United States are leading Japan and South Korea to consider all options in terms of their security. Unlike the Cold War with the Soviet Union, the United States will not be able to draw a line in the sand, demand that its allies and partners toe that line, and still expect to compete effectively. Such an approach will further erode US credibility and confidence in US leadership. This reality will necessitate a deep mutual trust between the trilateral partners and greater tolerance for the distinct needs and interests of all three countries. A better understanding of how each country views its role in the region, its relationship with China, areas of cooperation, and the limits for each country in dealing with China is vital.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Public Opinion
  • Political Geography: China, East Asia, Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Jyrki Kallio
  • Publication Date: 09-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Chinese external and internal politics have manifested increased ideologization in recent years, presumably laying the groundwork for the Communist Party’s 100th anniversary this year. The trend is likely to continue at least until the completion of the 20th Party Congress in 2022. In China’s foreign policy, this ideologization has taken the form of increased emphasis on the realization of China’s “Grand Rejuvenation” and heightened sensitivity to anything that might stand in its way. This is in line with the Party’s historical narrative emphasizing the “century of humiliation” and the ensuing efforts to curb China’s rise. The resulting prestige-driven foreign policy has proved harmful to China’s external image. An easing of Chinese politics may thus be conceivable once the Party has left the current sensitive times behind to its satisfaction. Countries with vital economic ties to China, and which depend at the same time on continued US support in security policies, have little choice but to continue tightroping for a few more years at least.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Hegemony, Conflict, Economic Cooperation
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Ivan Krastev, Mark Leonard
  • Publication Date: 09-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR)
  • Abstract: A majority of European citizens believe a new cold war with both China and Russia is under way – but they mostly do not think that their own country is involved. Most believe the US is already taking part in these confrontations, and they consider EU institutions as more likely than their own governments to be in a cold war with China and Russia. An optimistic interpretation sees the outsourcing of such great-power competition to Brussels as the arrival of a true EU foreign policy – but a more pessimistic analysis sees a gap emerging between Brussels on the one hand and member state capitals and EU citizens on the other. This difference in views between whether one’s own country is taking part in the brewing conflict, as opposed to whether America and the EU are, suggests there is no European public consensus that the world of tomorrow will be one of growing competition between democracy and authoritarianism. Given this risk, policymakers should find a different, less ideological, framing to generate public support for a strong transatlantic alliance.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War, Authoritarianism, European Union, Democracy, Alliance, Strategic Competition
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, United States of America
  • Author: Ivan Krastev, Mark Leonard
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR)
  • Abstract: Most Europeans rejoiced at Joe Biden’s victory in the November US presidential election, but they do not think he can help America make a comeback as the pre-eminent global leader. Europeans’ attitudes towards the United States have undergone a massive change. Majorities in key member states now think the US political system is broken, and that Europe cannot just rely on the US to defend it. They evaluate the EU and/or their own countries’ systems much more positively than that of the US – and look to Berlin rather than Washington as the most important partner. There are geopolitical consequences to American weakness. A majority believe that China will be more powerful than the US within a decade and would want their country to stay neutral in a conflict between the two superpowers. Two-thirds of respondents thought the EU should develop its defence capacities. There is a great chance for a revival of Atlanticism, but Washington cannot take European alignment against China for granted. Public opinion will have a bigger effect on the relationship than it once did, and needs to be taken into account.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Politics, Public Opinion, Transatlantic Relations
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, United States of America
  • Author: Vladimir Shopov
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR)
  • Abstract: China has become the most prominent third actor in the Western Balkans. The country’s activities are spread unevenly across the region, but they follow a common approach. This approach is marked by China’s wide-ranging efforts to establish itself in key economic areas and to gradually position itself as an indispensable actor. China is slowly transforming its interactions with Western Balkans countries in sectors such as culture, media, and politics into long-term and institutionalised relationships. As European and US ambivalence towards the Western Balkans persists, the region will be in increasing danger of falling into an endless spiral of competition between various foreign actors. Western policymakers should address the widening developmental gap between the region and the EU through initiatives such as targeted investment plans in energy and infrastructure, sectoral integration frameworks, and the frontloading of EU law in the accession process.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Infrastructure, European Union, Investment
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Eastern Europe, Balkans, United States of America
  • Author: James Sherr, Frank Jüris
  • Publication Date: 09-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Centre for Defence and Security - ICDS
  • Abstract: Since the conclusion of the Treaty on Good-Neighbourliness and Friendly Cooperation in 2001, the balance of power between China and Russia has appreciably shifted in favour of the former, but their common definition of the enemy and the complementarity of their core interests remains as strong as it ever was. If the China-Russia relationship is not an alliance, then what is it, and what are its limits? In the Xi-Putin era, apprehension and ambition have transformed the ‘axis of convenience’ into an axis of necessity. But will ‘strategic partnership’ prove important or irrelevant to potential conflicts in Taiwan, Belarus or Ukraine? How much should be made of divergences of approach in Central Asia and the Arctic, where China’s rise leaves no stone unturned? To what extent will Russia continue to welcome the growth of China’s power — to the point of nuclear parity with the United States and, by extension with Russia itself?
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Treaties and Agreements, Bilateral Relations, Partnerships, Geopolitics, Alliance, Emerging Powers
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Eurasia, Taiwan, Asia, Arctic, United States of America
  • Author: Nadège Rolland
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Centre for Defence and Security - ICDS
  • Abstract: After seven decades of liberal order and three decades of American unipolarity, it may be difficult to imagine that the current rules-based international system, supported by liberal norms and values and organised around a set of multilateral institutions, could eventually give way to something radically different. But in Beijing, political and intellectual elites have engaged in intense discussions about building a new world order. This latest brief of China Awareness Series casts light on this discussion and outlines the emerging contours of vision and strategy pursued by China in building a new world order.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Politics, International Affairs, Unipolarity, Emerging Powers, International System
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Douglas A. Ollivant
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: American policy in the Middle East is based on outdated assumptions. There are at least four novel elements in or impacting the Middle East that require an adjustment in strategy: North American Oil Independence: The United States no longer relies on the Middle East for its supply of energy and could choose to act without that significant tie. Rise of China: The People’s Republic of China is now a near-peer to the United States and is taking steps to protect its own interests in the Middle East. Diminishing Conventional Threats to Israel: All conceivable regional enemies are now peace signatories, wrestling with internal instability, or both. Unconventional threats continue to challenge Israel’s security, but a ground invasion is now a remote possibility. Rise of Sub-State Actors: In addition to widely recognized terror and insurgent groups, other actors, such as financial firms, technology firms, and private military firms, interact with power that rivals that of weak states. These new factors—alone and in concert—make legacy strategies at least suboptimal, if not unsuitable. Today’s Middle East exhibits very different characteristics than that of the Middle East of the past century. An acceptable and suitable strategy must incorporate these new data points.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Oil, Non State Actors, Geopolitics, Strategic Competition
  • Political Geography: China, Middle East, Israel, North America, United States of America
  • Author: John Lee
  • Publication Date: 09-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: Evergrande is one of the top-two real estate developers in a still highly fragmented Chinese sector. Its main strategy is to achieve ever-increasing scale (rather than profitability) in order to move ahead of and crowd out commercial competitors. It has also amassed the largest land reserves of all Chinese developers, which were financed through massive borrowings. By 2018, Evergrande held 822 pieces of undeveloped land in 228 cities, with a planned gross floor area of 3.28 billion square feet of new homes—the equivalent of 10 percent of Germany’s entire housing stock. It paid $75 billion just for this undeveloped land. Although Evergrande’s market share is only around 4 percent, its borrowings stand out. Its current balance sheet liabilities amount to an estimated 2 percent of China’s gross domestic product (GDP), while its off-balance-sheet liabilities could be another 1 percent of China’s GDP. This makes Evergrande the most indebted property developer in the world. Burdened by this debt, struggling to meet its debt interest and repayment obligations, and viable only if property asset values and sales continue to increase, Evergrande faces possible financial collapse—an event bound to have flow-on effects for the Chinese economy. However, the unusually high global interest in Evergrande has arisen because its woes are increasingly seen as symptomatic of those faced by the broader Chinese economy, which is struggling with enormous levels of indebtedness and overreliance on the real estate sector. Debt held by nonfinancial institutions in China increased from about 115 percent of GDP in 2010 to around 160 percent of GDP currently. This is the most rapid and largest increase in a 10-year period for any major economy and makes the level of debt held by Chinese nonfinancial institutions one of the highest in the world. The real estate sector accounts for around 15 percent of GDP, while property services account for another 14 percent—the highest in any developing economy. The share of the real estate sector as a proportion of GDP was only about 4 percent in 1997 and 9 percent in 2008. Since 2008, up to a third of all domestic fixed investment has gone into real estate, and up to half of total national debt is linked to the real estate sector.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Debt, Economics, Markets, Business
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Nury Turkel
  • Publication Date: 11-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: Acts of genocide are currently underway against the Uyghur people in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of northwestern China, also known as East Turkistan. As part of a campaign of persecution and cultural eradication, Chinese authorities have, according to former detainees and prisoners, subjected millions of Uyghurs and other minorities to rape, torture, forced labor, arbitrary detention, involuntary abortion and sterilization in state-run facilities, and the separation of around half a million Uyghur children from their families. Although both Republicans and Democrats in the United States have acknowledged these horrifying acts as genocide, the rest of the world has been slow to follow, whether because they find the evidence to be inconclusive or because they are reluctant to antagonize China. Regardless, now that the Biden administration is on record declaring the actions of the Chinese government to be genocide, the United States has a legal and moral obligation to do what it can to end the mass atrocities that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is committing against the Uyghur people. While both the Trump and Biden administrations and Congress have already taken steps to address this human rights disaster, more can and should be done to defend the Uyghur people, address their humanitarian needs, promote accountability, and ensure that individuals and entities within the United States—including private businesses—are not complicit in the abuses underway. A strong response to the ongoing genocidal campaign would send a powerful message to Beijing that America will not tolerate efforts to destroy ethno-religious groups, either as a whole or in part. Conversely, failure to act would render the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (which the United States ratified in 1988) and its implementing legislation null and void. Through the three Cs—competition, confrontation, and cooperation—the Biden administration can act in coordination with US friends and allies abroad to end these atrocities. The Biden administration is now on record as recognizing this repressive campaign as genocide, a move that must trigger a response toward Beijing that departs from business as usual. Although China’s significant global influence supports the assumption that effective levers to influence its behavior with respect to human rights issues are lacking, international attention and pressure have already caused Beijing to backpedal to a certain degree. This attention and pressure resulted from US-led efforts to rally international support coupled with US legislative and executive responses, including sanctions, visa restrictions, and trade restrictions. This policy memo outlines the nine areas of action that, performed in coordination with complementary actions of partners and allies, could alleviate the Uyghur human rights crisis, pressure China to reverse course, and ensure that the West and corporate America are not complicit in genocide.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Genocide, Human Rights, Religion
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, United States of America, Xinjiang
  • Author: Timothy A. Walton, Bryan Clark
  • Publication Date: 11-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: The US military’s aerial refueling enterprise is a critical component of its ability to project power globally in defense of American interests. As the US military adopts new concepts to enhance its lethality and gain decision advantage, aerial refueling is increasingly necessary to enable a more distributed and dynamic force. However, with an aging inventory of tanker aircraft and stiff budgetary headwinds, it is an open question whether the US Air Force is capable of fielding the aerial refueling force that the nation needs. This study assesses the current and programmed US aerial refueling enterprise and has found that it likely would be unable to support US strategy and operational concepts at scale against peer adversaries such as the People’s Republic of China. However, the US military could address these shortfalls and improve the operational resilience of its aerial refueling enterprise by adopting new concepts, capabilities, capacities, and posture.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, National Security, Science and Technology, Military Spending
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Miles M. Yu
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: The Chinese economy and the philosophical roots of China’s system have greater implications for the United States economy than many assume. The one critical fact to understand about the People’s Republic of China is that it is a communist dictatorship ruled by a Marxist-Leninist party. The Party is dedicated to maintaining and strengthening its monopoly on all powers in the world’s most populous country and to mounting the most serious challenge to the free world since the Cold War. This policy memo will examine the Chinese economy’s distinct traits, how it operates, and why it thrives under a monopolistic government that exploits and challenges the global free market system, along with possible policy recommendations for the United States and its allies. Unlike most other communist countries, China has been afforded the benefits of a global free-market system and enjoys largely open access to international trade, capital markets, and advanced technologies. The paradox of a communist nation fully participating in a largely capitalist system has enriched and strengthened the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), to the point where Beijing poses a mortal threat to the United States and to the international free market economic system that has enabled the rise of the communist state. The West played a role in creating the current state of play. But too many conversations in the United States focus only on our own strategic thinking. In his historic speech at the Richard Nixon Library in July 2020, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo aptly described the situation and how we got here: “Our policies—and those of other free nations—resurrected China’s failing economy, only to see Beijing bite the international hands that were feeding it.” As President Richard Nixon admitted in his later years, his initiative to open up China in 1972 might have created a Frankenstein.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Communism, Economics, Chinese Communist Party (CCP)
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, United States of America
  • Author: Peter Rough
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: When Xi Jinping, the chairman of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), dreams of global domination, he worries about one thing above all else: a hostile United States backed by its allies—and on the Eurasian landmass, the US has no more important ally than Europe. As a result, Xi has worked to weaken the transatlantic alliance through a two-pronged economic stratagem. First, under the guise of globalization, China has insinuated itself into the European economy, creating dependencies. Second, Beijing is manipulating those dependencies to hollow out and supplant Europe’s advanced economies. To give this deception cover, China has built a vast political network across Europe, from basic sympathizers to outright spies. Until recently, barely anyone took notice, but the financial crisis and forever wars of the past two decades, culminating in the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States, lured the self-confident Xi out into the open. During the coronavirus pandemic, China revealed an aggressive attitude toward Great Britain’s former colonies that shocked the United Kingdom. In the span of mere months, London shifted from cooperation to confrontation. In July, it became the first country in Europe to block the Chinese telecommunications giant, Huawei, from its next-generation networks. Germany, the continent’s most important country, still sees China as key to post-pandemic recovery and economic growth, however. Xi has exploited this attitude to strike an investment agreement with the European Union (EU), the chief purpose of which is to forestall a transatlantic approach under the new US president, Joe Biden. Together, the United States and Europe have unparalleled advantages against any competitor. Now is the time for cooperation, before Xi’s dreams become our collective nightmare.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Chinese Communist Party (CCP)
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Aparna Pande, Husain Haqqani
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: The US ought to counteract the influence of Chinese authoritarianism early and often. One relatively low-cost way is to encourage India to engage more deeply as a competitor with China in the global economy. A democracy since its independence in 1947, with a population about the same as that of China, India is that country’s natural rival in Asia. Beginning with India’s decision in 1990-91 to liberalize its economy, the nation has gradually opened its vast market to global trade. Fueled by fresh access to foreign capital and technology, India’s economy grew over six percent during the first decade of the 21st century. In May 2014, this progress was further advanced by the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. For the first time in India’s history, a conservative administration had a clear parliamentary majority, making it possible to legislate foundational, market-positive reform. India has adopted a new insolvency and bankruptcy code and replaced multiple taxation regimes across its states with a federal goods and services tax, which is welcome. But India has done little to end its excessive protectionism. Its distrust of foreign corporations, a legacy of colonial rule, endures. Indian policy makers may believe that the US is so eager for Indian competition with China that Washington will grant them a pass on restrictive trade and investment policies. But there is a better choice. India is nowhere near its full economic potential, and the fix isn’t complicated. The Biden agenda for India should encourage India to lower tariffs, to remove barriers to foreign retail, to roll back unnecessarily restrictive data privacy rules, and to provide economic incentives for foreign investment.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Bilateral Relations, Trade
  • Political Geography: China, South Asia, India, United States of America
  • Author: John Lee
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: Since around 2016, Australia has been transitioning away from a “small target” hedging mindset toward a more proactive countering and balancing approach vis-à-vis the People’s Republic of China. This is largely a response to the increasingly assertive and coercive activities of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which is the predominant cause of instability, uncertainty, and anxiety in Canberra and throughout the Indo-Pacific region. The CCP has implemented a sustained and cascading array of economic and diplomatic punishments against Australia in an attempt to intimidate Australia and force changes in Australian policy. Beijing is explicit that this is the purpose of the ongoing series of punishments against Canberra. In November 2020, its embassy in Canberra went to the extraordinary lengths of releasing the infamous “14 grievances” against the Australian government[i] to justify the ongoing punitive measures. These included mainly domestic Australian policies such as restrictions on Chinese investment, the funding of Australian think tanks critical of the PRC, the passing of foreign interference legislation to root out Chinese interference in Australian institutions, and the banning of Chinese firms from the Australian 5G telecommunications roll-out. Australia is widely seen as the proverbial canary in the mine and needs American support. If Australia can hold its ground and continue to find the courage and creativity to pursue its national interest, then the PRC will suffer an enormous blow. On the other hand, if Australia is eventually cowed by the PRC and relents on key policy settings, then other sovereign nations might well lose the courage to stand firmer against the PRC’s coercion and intimidation. Strengthening the fortitude of Australian leaders is the assurance that the United States is behind its ally. That assurance was previously given to Canberra by the Donald Trump administration and has been continued by the Joe Biden administration. Indeed, the Biden administration has declared it will go further and do better than the previous administration in reinvigorating and deepening its alliances and friendships with Indo-Pacific nations to better manage the PRC challenge and threat. This brief has been prepared to assist the Biden team in doing just that. It gives some context to Australia’s evolving Indo-Pacific strategy: how a nation that is not a superpower is thinking about the PRC’s policies and activities in the region, why Canberra is taking proactive and forward leaning actions to counter and balance the PRC, and what Canberra is hoping will be some priority areas for the Biden administration with respect to the Indo-Pacific approach and strategy by the US.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Joe Biden, Strategic Planning
  • Political Geography: China, Australia, United States of America, Indo-Pacific
  • Author: Robert Greenway
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: The Abraham Accords constitute the beginning of a transformation of a region that has confounded many, and that will continue to be a vital battleground astride the security and economic interests of world powers. American leadership was a necessary but alone insufficient condition to the emergence of this agreement. American leadership will remain essential to its growth and evolution. The alignment of our regional partners and allies in both economic and security domains will ensure that the agreement endures. It will also incentivize others to join us in pooling critical capacities to advance and defend mutual interests. This transformation serves to constrain Iran – the threat from which has been recognized as causal – even as it constrains the malign influence and predatory practices of China and Russia. They will continue to manufacture and exploit fissures among the U.S. and its regional partners if we fail to exploit the favorable shift in the region’s security and economic architecture. On the other hand, appropriate support will allow the Abraham Accords to advance and secure America’s interests with the use of significantly fewer resources and with more capable partners integrated as never before.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Economics, Negotiation
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Marcos Caramuru, Philip Yang
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI)
  • Abstract: China’s post-Covid plans regarding national investment and foreign policy are ambitious and its success depends on the ability to build trustworthy relations with its Asian neighbors and the great powers. The XXII China Analysis Group meeting gathered experts to discuss China’s positioning and the ways in which it could overcome challenges and aim for a positive bilateral agenda with the USA during the Biden administration.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Bilateral Relations, Investment, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, United States of America
  • Author: Anna Jaguaribe, Kamila Aben Athar
  • Publication Date: 08-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI)
  • Abstract: At the 24th China Analysis Group Meeting, experts analyzed the contrasting views of innovation policies in China and in the United States. The 14th five-year plan continues most of the economic efforts that characterized the last decade while also challenging some certain well-established elements. Internet development is still the dominant focus, but we can also observe the shift towards a service-based economy and high investment in infrastructure. According to the participants, one of the most relevant differences between the US and China is the way non-state actors are connected to the national government. American innovation efforts heavily feature research groups and private corporations having an active role, while in China the government puts up barriers that distort the market and influence it more directly. The tension between the two countries is stronger than ever and the new Biden administration brings a new set of uncertainties to the table, but at the same time, both China and the US are heavily dependent on each other economically. China’s efforts to expand its influence worldwide by negotiating with multiple countries will most likely exacerbate the conflict and talks regarding a decoupling, which currently seems unlikable.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Markets, Infrastructure, Innovation
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, United States of America
  • Author: Philip Yang, Carlo Ratti, Kamila Aben Athar, Yung Ho Chang
  • Publication Date: 09-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI)
  • Abstract: Considering the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on our everyday life, the XXV China Analysis Group Meeting focused on the organization of large cities and the reordering of urban agglomerations. According to the participants, the maintenance of this model and the rearrangement, focused on urban sprawl, are valid alternatives, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Another issue discussed was the impact of technologies on how cities are shaped in the 21st century, to which participants responded by mentioning the role of artificial intelligence and big data in making the architecture behave like a living organism. However, they also warned about the importance of developing a balance between the natural and the artificial world. Finally, the participants said that for achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, it is necessary for each city to adopt specific policies that suit its own reality, because there is not a universal formula.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Climate Change, Science and Technology, Cities, Carbon Emissions, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Global Focus
  • Author: Jim Townsend, Andrea Kendall-Taylor, David Shullman, Gibbs McKinley
  • Publication Date: 09-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: The last several years have seen a worrisome increase in tensions in the Mediterranean involving age-old rivals such as Turkey, Greece, and Cyprus, as well as increased involvement from newer players like Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and China, or returning players in the case of Russia. Many analysts have noted an increase in power struggles between some of these actors in the region. It is against this backdrop of competition that observers have questioned whether the Mediterranean will become a new arena for increased collaboration between China and Russia. In the last several years, the two countries have increased their presence and influence in the Mediterranean, creating opportunities for growing cooperation at odds with U.S. interests and objectives in the region. As the authors have argued in previous CNAS research, the increasing depth of Russia and China’s partnership creates challenges for U.S. interests and increases the risk that both countries pose to the United States. For this reason, the United States should not write off Russia-China relations as just an uncomfortable or unnatural partnership. But nor should Washington seek to counter their cooperation in every dimension of their partnership or compete intensely in every region.1 The alignment between Russia and China presents a comprehensive challenge; addressing it will require policymakers to prioritize and address their cooperation in the areas likely to pose the greatest threats to U.S. interests, and conversely, avoid focusing on areas of lesser concern. The Mediterranean is a region where U.S. policymakers should not overstate the potential for Russia-China cooperation, nor the significance of the implications of their partnership. As Russia and China have increased their activities in the Mediterranean, they have done so largely through parallel and complementary efforts, rather than explicit cooperation. Russia and China share an interest in dividing the European Union and NATO and increasing their own image and influence in the region, especially at the expense of the United States’ influence. However, the Mediterranean is not a priority for Russia or China; the two countries have divergent priorities in the region, and they pursue these priorities differently, limiting the common ground for active engagement between them. Russia has prioritized its security presence and relationships, while Beijing is focused on advancing its economic interests.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Cooperation, Bilateral Relations, Partnerships
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Eurasia, Asia, Mediterranean
  • Author: Jacob Stokes
  • Publication Date: 10-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: China and North Korea pose intertwined challenges for U.S. and allied policy. The Korean Peninsula constitutes just one area among many in U.S.-China relations. Meanwhile, issues on the peninsula remain central to the future stability and security of Northeast Asia and implicate many broader questions about regional and global order. Dealing with China and North Korea as an interlocking pair requires integrated policies that balance the risks and rewards of various possible approaches. This policy brief explains how to develop such policies and why they are the best option for the current regional landscape. North Korea plays several roles in China’s foreign policy. These include diverting geopolitical attention away from China, providing Beijing with an opportunity to cooperate with other states, creating a point of leverage for China to extract concessions on separate issues, and acting as a flashpoint with the potential for a regional war that directly affects China’s security. At any given time, some roles will be more pronounced than others, but each of them is always present to some degree. Any integrated U.S. strategy toward the pair will have to account for a volatile geopolitical landscape in Northeast Asia. Major trends include closer ties between Beijing and Pyongyang, deteriorating U.S.-China relations, and South Korea’s desire, especially under the government of President Moon Jae-in, to engage North Korea while balancing ties with China and the United States. The United States should employ a strategy toward China and North Korea that blends calibrated pressure and results-oriented engagement. The goal of this strategy should be problem-management rather than problem-solving. Washington should implement this approach across four areas: shaping U.S.-China relations regarding the Korean Peninsula; engaging North Korea on political and security issues; promoting stable deterrence in the region; and coordinating a shared inter-Korean and foreign policy with South Korea. Key recommendations for the United States include acknowledging that major breakthroughs are unlikely with either China or North Korea; proposing four-party nuclear and peace talks with South Korea, North Korea, China, and the United States; and standing up a Nuclear Planning Group that includes Washington, Seoul, and Tokyo to bolster deterrence and stem nuclear proliferation pressures.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, International Relations, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North Korea, United States of America
  • Author: Emily Kilcrease, Emily Jin, Rachel Ziemba
  • Publication Date: 12-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: As the United States and China seek to manage an increasingly tense relationship, both sides have turned to coercive economic statecraft as a core part of their broader foreign policy, with disruptive impacts on the global economic order. A growing body of research examines the use of coercive economic tools, including prior work by the CNAS Energy, Economics, and Security program. This report adds to that literature by specifically examining the use of coercive economic tools during periods of geopolitical crisis to assess their value in de-escalating tensions or deterring further economic coercion. The researchers developed scenario exercises to examine these dynamics, supported by a literature review and extensive engagement with subject matter experts. The insights from the research informed the development of two overarching strategic concepts intended to guide U.S. policymakers when deploying economic tools as part of a crisis management situation.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Economics, Bilateral Relations, Crisis Management
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Vahram Ter–Matevosyan
  • Publication Date: 09-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Contemporary Eurasia
  • Institution: Institute of Oriental Studies, National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia
  • Abstract: CONTENTS SONG YANHUA, SHEN XINGCHEN, WANG YINGXUE INVESTIGATION OF CHINESE STRATEGIES DURING THE PANDEMICS THROUGH THE LENSES OF MOZI AND GALTUNG ............... 5 DAVIT AGHABEKYAN TORN BETWEEN LOYALTY AND IDENTITY: THE CRIMEAN ARMENIANS IN THE POST-SOVIET ERA ........................... 24 KARINE MKHITARIAN PUBLICLY DECLARED POSITIONS IN THE CONTEXT OF THE KARABAKH PROCESS: PROBLEMS OF CONSISTENCY AND CONTINUITY ....................................................................................................... 43 LOUISA KHACHATRYAN MEDIA FRAMING AND OFFICIAL PROPAGANDA IN ARMENIA DURING THE 45-DAY ARTSAKH WAR ........................................................... 65 AUTHORS LIST .................................................................................................... 84 ANNEX .................................................................................................................. 85
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Affairs, Military Affairs, Conflict, Propaganda
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Eurasia, Asia, Armenia
  • Author: Chris Alden, Stephen Paduano, Mzukisi Qobo, Lukas Fiala, Iginio Gagliardone, Yu-Shan Wu, Gidon Gautel, Lina Benabdallah
  • Publication Date: 10-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: The China-Africa relationship has continued to evolve over the last years. In light of the 8th Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) that will take place later in 2021, the latest report from LSE IDEAS China Foresight brings together an international team of experts to shed light on emerging and consolidated areas of engagement between China and Africa that will likely shape the relationship in the years to come.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Engagement
  • Political Geography: Africa, China
  • Author: Vuk Vuksanovic
  • Publication Date: 07-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: In recent years, the partnership between Serbia and China has been elevated to a historically unprecedented level. This partnership manifests itself through Chinese economic statecraft, technological partnership, security partnership, with political ties reaching an unprecedented degree during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as Vuk Vuksanovic examines, the future of this partnership will be dependent on the trajectory of China’s relationship with the West. As US-China relations are becoming adversarial, and as China’s relations with the EU are shaken, it will become increasingly difficult and risky for Belgrade to maintain its ties with Beijing. From ‘vaccine diplomacy’ to ‘debt-trap diplomacy’, this Strategic Update examines the Sino-Serbian partnership we are witnessing and what the future has in store for Serbian policymakers.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Economics, Partnerships, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Serbia
  • Author: Yee-Kuang Heng
  • Publication Date: 11-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: In this Strategic Update, Professor Yee-Kuang Heng investigates European power projection and presence in the Indo-Pacific, and its converging nature with Japan’s attempt to shape the regional environment in its favour. While UK threat perceptions have converged significantly with Japan’s since former Prime Minister David Cameron’s promulgation of a “golden era” in relations with China, managing expectations of Japan’s attempt to ‘shape’ and encourage Europeanisation remains crucial. But is it fair to conclude that Japan has been successful in encouraging a stronger European presence to help it shape the Indo-Pacific order?
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Europeanization, Strategic Competition
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, United Kingdom, Europe, Indo-Pacific
  • Author: Jack Kelly
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis (IFPA)
  • Abstract: Our twelfth IFPA National Security Update examines the current status of the U.S. defense authorization, appropriations, and budget process with a focus on the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and assesses its strengths and weaknesses in light of key programs and policies discussed in previous Updates. Topics addressed in our National Security Update series include hypersonic missiles, missile defense priorities, nuclear modernization issues, President Trump's Executive Order on Electromagnetic Pulse, the status of the Space Force, China’s actions in the South China Sea and U.S. options, and the military applications of artificial intelligence. In early 2017, the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis initiated an online series entitled National Security Update. Its purpose is to examine key foreign policy/defense issues and to set forth policy options. These updates are made available to the broad policy community within and outside government, including key policy makers in Washington, D.C.; members of Congress and their staffs; academic specialists; and other members of the private-sector security community. Future National Security Updates will address a range of topics in an effort to provide timely analyses and policy options.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Government, National Security, Budget, Weapons , Missile Defense, Artificial Intelligence
  • Political Geography: China, North America, South China, United States of America
  • Author: Mehdi Khalaji
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The clergy’s ambitions for global Shia revolution made the city of Qom uniquely vulnerable to the disease, and their resistance to modern medical science weakened the state’s ability to combat its spread. On February 19, two days before the Iranian government officially announced the arrival of coronavirus, an infected businessman who had recently returned from China to Qom passed away. The location and timing of his death illustrate how the Shia holy city and the religious leaders and institutions who call it home have played an outsize role in the disease’s disproportionately rapid spread inside Iran compared to other countries. How did this situation come to pass, and what does it say about the current state of the clerical establishment, its relationship with the regime, and its alienation from large swaths of Iranian society? (Part 2 of this PolicyWatch discusses the regime's role in the outbreak and its resiliency to such crises.)
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Health, Religion, Shia, Coronavirus
  • Political Geography: China, Iran, Middle East, Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Natasha Kassam, Richard McGregor
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: China has lost the battle for public opinion in Taiwan. Saturday’s elections are likely to reflect strong anti-Beijing sentiment China is already looking past the elections to weaken the island’s democracy through overt and covert means Whatever the result, Beijing will increase pressure on Taipei to open talks on unification
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Politics, Elections, Democracy
  • Political Geography: China, Taiwan, Asia, United States of America
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: This policy paper sets out the various interests and goals of global powers (the US, Russia, China and the EU) in the Mediterranean, and the measures they are undertaking to implement them. The document also describes Israeli policies vis-àvis the powers’ activities in this region, and points to the principles that should guide them. The paper is based on a July 2019 meeting in Jerusalem of the research and policy working group on Israel in the Mediterranean, held at the initiative of the Mitvim Institute, the Hebrew University’s Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations and Haifa University’s National Security Studies Center.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Middle East, Israel, United States of America, Mediterranean
  • Author: Emil Avdaliani
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: The Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies (BESA)
  • Abstract: Many argue that the coronavirus pandemic will ultimately benefit China more than the rest of the world, especially the US. After all, America is now the worst-hit country on earth in terms of human casualties. But the crisis could in fact help the US reorganize its geopolitical thinking toward the People’s Republic, resulting in a radical break in which Washington’s political and economic elites are newly unified against a rising Beijing.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Bilateral Relations, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Marcin Przychodniak
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: China’s cooperation with the Western Balkans through the “17+1” format and Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), among others, is primarily political. In the economic sphere, Chinese investments are to a large extent only declarations, and trade is marginal in comparison to cooperation with the EU or others. China’s goals are to gain political influence in future EU countries and limit their cooperation with the U.S. Competition with China in the region requires more intense EU-U.S. cooperation, made more difficult by the pandemic.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Trade and Finance, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Investment, Strategic Competition
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia, Balkans
  • Author: Paweł Markiewicz
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Arctic has become another contested area between the U.S., Russia, and China. The region’s growing importance for global trade and American security means the U.S. goal is largely to maintain freedom of navigation in the Arctic. For this reason, the Trump administration strives to increase American capacities to operate in the Arctic. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will delay implementing these plans; nevertheless, they will be achieved in the long term and the U.S. will also expect support in the Arctic from NATO allies.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, NATO, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Arctic, United States of America
  • Author: Choong Yong Ahn
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI)
  • Abstract: India and South Korea, Asia’s third- and fourth-largest economies, respectively, established a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in 2010 and upgraded their relationship to a special strategic partnership in 2015. South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s “New Southern” policy and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Act East” policy share important objectives and values through which Korea and India can maximize their potential to pursue high tech-oriented, win-win growth. Both countries face the great challenge of diversifying their economic partners in their respective geo-economic domains amid newly emerging international geo-economic dynamics as well as rapidly changing Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies. Given the two countries’ excessive dependence on the Chinese market and potential risks and uncertainties involved in the U.S.-China trade war and related security conflicts, South Korea and India need to deepen bilateral linkages in trade, investment, and cultural contacts. South Korea-India cooperation is crucial in promoting plurilateralism, prosperity, and harmony in East Asia. This paper suggests a specific action agenda to fulfill mutual commitments as entailed in the “Special Strategic Partnership” between these two like-minded countries of South Korea and India.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Science and Technology, Bilateral Relations, Industry
  • Political Geography: United States, China, South Asia, India, Asia, South Korea, Korea
  • Author: Jagannath P. Panda
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI)
  • Abstract: Both India’s and South Korea’s strategic choices are deeply influenced by the rapidly evolving Indo-Pacific construct, particularly amid a mounting U.S.-China rivalry. With India’s “Look/Act East” policy and South Korea’s “New Southern Policy” offering a perfect stage for deepened mutual cooperation, both nations need to further their relations to build Asia’s future while advancing their respective national interests. With both countries following stringent foreign policies as a result of the actions of their immediate neighbors, they present a geopolitically strategic complementarity for their relationship to prosper and emerge as one of the most important relationships in the region. Seoul’s hesitation to overtly embrace the “Indo-Pacific” concept is not really a barrier; rather a geo-political overture to discard the balance of power politics and pursue an autonomous foreign policy. India’s preference for the “Indo-Pacific” is equally based on strategic autonomy, imbibing universal values and an inclusive regional order. Both countries emphasize a free and rules-based Indo-Pacific and have immense potential to establish security and connectivity partnerships as the keystone of their bilateral ties. With India and South Korea understanding the economic importance versus security ramifications of China, and with Japan’s reemergence as a key regional, if not global actor, both countries need to bring serious strategic intent to their relationship. Making use of the ASEAN platform and bilateral dialogues, South Korea and India have the potential to become one of the strongest Indo-Pacific partners of the 21st century
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Bilateral Relations, Partnerships, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: China, South Asia, India, Asia, South Korea, Korea, United States of America, Indo-Pacific
  • Author: Alex Joske
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Australian Strategic Policy Institute
  • Abstract: What’s the problem? The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is strengthening its influence by co-opting representatives of ethnic minority groups, religious movements, and business, science and political groups. It claims the right to speak on behalf of those groups and uses them to claim legitimacy. These efforts are carried out by the united front system, which is a network of party and state agencies responsible for influencing groups outside the party, particularly those claiming to represent civil society. It manages and expands the United Front, a coalition of entities working towards the party’s goals.1 The CCP’s role in this system’s activities, known as united front work, is often covert or deceptive.2 The united front system’s reach beyond the borders of the People’s Republic of China (PRC)—such as into foreign political parties, diaspora communities and multinational corporations—is an exportation of the CCP’s political system.3 This undermines social cohesion, exacerbates racial tension, influences politics, harms media integrity, facilitates espionage, and increases unsupervised technology transfer. General Secretary Xi Jinping’s reinvigoration of this system underlines the need for stronger responses to CCP influence and technology-transfer operations around the world. However, governments are still struggling to manage it effectively and there is little publicly available analysis of the united front system. This lack of information can cause Western observers to underestimate the significance of the united front system and to reduce its methods into familiar categories. For example, diplomats might see united front work as ‘public diplomacy’ or ‘propaganda’ but fail to appreciate the extent of related covert activities. Security officials may be alert to criminal activity or espionage while underestimating the significance of open activities that facilitate it. Analysts risk overlooking the interrelated facets of CCP influence that combine to make it effective.4 What’s the solution? Governments should disrupt the CCP’s capacity to use united front figures and groups as vehicles for covert influence and technology transfer. They should begin by developing analytical capacity for understanding foreign interference. On that basis, they should issue declaratory policy statements that frame efforts to counter it. Countermeasures should involve law enforcement, legislative reform, deterrence and capacity building across relevant areas of government. Governments should mitigate the divisive effect united front work can have on communities through engagement and careful use of language. Law enforcement, while critically important, shouldn’t be all or even most of the solution. Foreign interference often takes place in a grey area that’s difficult to address through law enforcement actions. Strengthening civil society and media must be a fundamental part of protecting against interference. Policymakers should make measures to raise the transparency of foreign influence a key part of the response
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Science and Technology, Foreign Interference, Chinese Communist Party (CCP)
  • Political Geography: China, Australia, Australia/Pacific
  • Author: Anthony Bergin, Tony Press
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Australian Strategic Policy Institute
  • Abstract: Given recent broader tensions in the China–Australia relationship, China’s global ambitions, lack of progress on key Antarctic policy initiatives and the potential for significant geopolitical consequences for the future of Antarctica and for Australia’s strategic interests, it’s important that Australian policymakers reconsider our long-term Antarctic policy settings. The report found no clear evidence that China is violating the Antarctic Treaty. But it argues we should apply a more sharply focused assessment of the costs and benefits of cooperation, given China’s more assertive international posture and increasing interests in Antarctica. The recommendations in the report are designed to maximise the value and mitigate the downside risks of China engagement for our Antarctic and broader national interests. Overall, we should adopt a more transactional approach in our Antarctic engagement with China, making it clear what we require from cooperation and what we expect from China. Given the track record Beijing has in moving rapidly on a broad front, as it’s done in the South China Sea, we need to be prepared to respond to a rapid increase in the speed and scale of China’s actions in Antarctica.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Climate Change, National Security, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Australia, Australia/Pacific, Antarctica
  • Author: Luke Patey
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Much of Europe’s attention to Asia is currently being captured by China. However, if the European Union and its member states are serious about maintaining a rules-based global order and advancing multilateralism and connectivity, it should increase its work in building partnerships across Asia, particularly in the Indo-Pacific super-region. To save multilateralism, go to the Indo-Pacific. RECOMMENDATIONS: ■ Multilateralism first. Unpack and differentiate where the United States and China support the rules-based order and where not, but also look to new trade deals and security pacts with India and Southeast Asia partners. ■ Targeted connectivity. The EU should continue to offer support to existing regional infrastructure and connectivity initiatives. ■ Work in small groups. EU unanimity on China and Indo-Pacific policy is ideal, but not always necessary to get things done. ■ Asia specialists wanted. Invest in and develop career paths for Asia specialists in foreign and defence ministries and intelligence services.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Emerging Markets, International Organization, Science and Technology, Power Politics, European Union
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Camilla Tenna Nørup Sørensen
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: U.S.-China strategic rivalry is intensifying – and nowhere more so than in the Indo-Pacific. This is likely to result in new US requests to close allies like Denmark to increase their security and defense policy contributions to the region. French and British efforts to establish an independent European presence in the Indo-Pacific present Denmark with a way to accommodate US requests without being drawn directly into the US confrontation with China. RECOMMENDATIONS ■ The importance of the Indo-Pacific region for Danish security and defense policy is likely to grow in the coming years. The focus and resources should therefore be directed towards strengthening Danish knowledge of and competences in the region. ■ Several European states, led by France and the UK, are increasing their national and joint European security and defense profiles in the Indo-Pacific by launching new initiatives. Denmark should remain closely informed about these initiatives and be ready to engage with them. ■ Regarding potential requests to the Danish Navy for contributions to the Indo-Pacific, Denmark should prioritize the French-led European naval diplomacy.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Politics, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia, Denmark, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Cristina Gherasimov
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
  • Abstract: The EU is set to adopt a new Eastern Partnership (EaP) policy at a summit in June. This is strategically important for it and for its eastern neighborhood, where other powers like Russia and China pursue competing interests. As the policymaking process stands and given the tight deadline, however, the EU will only update and not upgrade the EaP framework due to EU states’ diverging interests. Brussels and Berlin will need to keep the EaP on the agenda after the summit to safeguard the EU’s transformative power in the region.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, European Union, Partnerships
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Didi Kirsten Tatlow
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)
  • Abstract: The Communist Party of China (CPC) plans for China to achieve effective global dominance by 2049. It is using the major global crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to secure strategic advantage through propaganda and disinformation, assertive, sometimes aggressive diplomacy, pursuing targeted investments, and offering “health cooperation.” The CPC has long targeted European business and political elites to build constituencies of support. Europe must counter by building robust societies based on core democratic values.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, COVID-19, Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Health Crisis
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Christopher A. McNally
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: With both the US and China facing a long economic slowdown, the bilateral relationship between the globe's two largest economies faces massive challenges. Making matters worse, Washington and Beijing have attempted to divert domestic attention away from their own substantial shortcomings by blaming each other. Given the economic uncertainty, each side has limited leverage to force the other into making concessions. Harsh rhetoric only serves to inflame tensions at the worst possible time. For better or worse, the US and China are locked in a messy economic marriage. A divorce at this time would exact an enormous cost in an already weakened economy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Bilateral Relations, Economy, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Rebecca Strating
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: The seas are an increasingly important domain for understanding the balance-of-power dynamics between a rising People’s Republic of China and the United States. Specifically, disputes in the South China Sea have intensified over the past decade. Multifaceted disputes concern overlapping claims to territory and maritime jurisdiction, strategic control over maritime domain, and differences in legal interpretations of freedom of navigation. These disputes have become a highly visible microcosm of a broader contest between a maritime order underpinned by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and challenger conceptions of order that see a bigger role for rising powers in generating new rules and alternative interpretations of existing international law. This issue examines the responses of non-claimant regional states—India, Australia, South Korea, and Japan—to the South China Sea disputes.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Territorial Disputes, Geopolitics, Maritime, Jurisdiction
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America, South China Sea
  • Author: H. H. Michael Hsiao, Alan H. Yang
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: The elections in January 2020 marked a new era for Taiwan, clearly demonstrating citizens’ resistance to China. The results showed that incumbent President Tsai Ing-wen, leader of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), was re-elected with a landslide victory of 8.17 million votes (57.1%) which is higher than the previous record high of 7.65 million votes obtained by the Kuomintang (KMT) President Ma Ying Jeou in 2008. Michael Hsiao and Alan Yang, Chairman and Executive Director, respectively, of the Taiwan‐Asia Exchange Foundation in Taiwan, explain that “The Taiwanese people firmly defended Taiwan’s sovereignty and cherished democracy through free and open elections.”
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Politics, Sovereignty, Elections, Democracy
  • Political Geography: China, Taiwan, Asia
  • Author: Alicia Campi
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Dr Alicia Campi, President of the Mongolia Society, explains that “The [“Third Neighbor”] policy was reinterpreted in content and meaning to include cultural and economic partners as diverse as India, Brazil, Kuwait, Turkey, Vietnam, and Iran. With increased superpower rivalry in its region, Mongolia has expanded this basic policy.”
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Partnerships, Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Turkey, India, Mongolia, Asia, Kuwait, Brazil, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Dina Smeltz, Craig Kafura
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: Do Republicans and Democrats Want a Cold War with China? OCTOBER 13, 2020 By: Dina Smeltz, Senior Fellow, Public Opinion and Foreign Policy; Craig Kafura, Assistant Director, Public Opinion and Foreign Policy American Views of China Plummet; Public Split on Containment or Cooperation For the first time in nearly two decades, a majority of Americans describe the development of China as a world power as a critical threat to the United States, according to the 2020 Chicago Council Survey. At the same time, American feelings towards China have fallen to their lowest point in Council polling history, dating back to 1978. Reflecting these changing attitudes, Americans are now split on whether the US should cooperate and engage with China or actively seek to limit its influence. This is a significant change. Over the past four years, US-China relations have lurched from one crisis to another. Despite the sharp downturn in relations, and the growing consensus in Washington on pursing a more confrontational approach to China, Chicago Council Survey data through January 2020 showed that this consensus and the growing US-China rivalry had yet to make a deep impact on American views of China.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War, Politics, Public Opinion, Political Parties
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Brendan Helm, Dina Smeltz
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: Millennials, the oft-referenced generation born in the ’80s and ’90s, are the first generation to have access to the internet in their youth and are the largest and most diverse generation in American history. Now for the first time, Millennials are running for US president: Pete Buttigieg and Tulsi Gabbard were born in 1982 and 1981 respectively, putting them at the upper limit of the Millennial range. The 2019 Chicago Council Survey data provide insight into how this group views key foreign policy issues compared with previous generations. While there is some evidence that younger Americans are more hesitant to engage in the world and more likely to oppose the use of force than their elders, time will tell whether the post-Cold War and 9/11 experiences have shaped a new generation with enduring preferences for a more restrained, less military-focused foreign policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Affairs, Public Opinion, Youth
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Niranjan Jose
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on International Policy (CIP)
  • Abstract: This year’s border stand-off in the Galwan Valley between China and India following China’s encroachment into Indian territory, is a reminder of India’s perennial problems with Beijing. The latest violation is an example of the staunch stance China has adopted against India. Neither nation is interested in a full-fledged confrontation. In this scenario, New Delhi has no option but to engage with Beijing to resolve the dispute through dialogue; however discussion and confidence-building initiatives by itself will not lead India towards problem-solving. China’s confrontational approach towards India and the border disagreement set the right background as to why it could not be a better opportunity for India to meaningfully engage with Taiwan. India and Taiwan both are Asian democracies pursuing an effective resolution of dynamic social and ethnic problems, and both face aggressive Chinese security policies aimed at establishing regional hegemony. From a strategic security perspective, both India and Taiwan are deeply concerned about the rising assertiveness of Beijing in the region. The China element can become a tool for moving closer to the strategic communities in New Delhi and Taipei. India and Taiwan have a variety of mutual concerns, ranging from controlling China’s growth to a political and economic partnership. For Taiwan, China’s current trade war with the US has made several Taiwanese firms keen to reduce their vulnerability on China. Indian government initiatives such as Smart Cities, Make in India, Digital India, and Start-up India were launched to increase India’s viability for foreign investors, making it an attractive destination for Taiwanese corporations.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: China, India, Taiwan, Asia
  • Author: Joshua Cavanaugh
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: A select delegation of leaders from the U.S. Democratic and Republican Parties and the global business community traveled to Beijing, China to meet with senior officials from the Communist Party of China (CPC) on November 18-21, 2019. The discussions were part of the 11th U.S.-China High-Level Political Party Leaders Dialogue organized by the EastWest Institute (EWI) in partnership with the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (IDCPC). Launched in 2010, the U.S.-China High-Level Political Party Leaders Dialogue seeks to build understanding and trust between political elites from the U.S. and China through candid exchanges of views on topics ranging from local governance to foreign policy concerns. The dialogue process consistently involves sitting officers from the CPC and the U.S. Democratic and Republican National Committees. In the 11th iteration of the dialogue, the CPC delegation was led by Song Tao, minister of IDCPC. Gary Locke, former secretary of the United States Department of Commerce, former governor for the state of Washington and former United States Ambassador of China; and Alphonso Jackson, former secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development; lead the U.S. Democratic and Republican delegations, respectively. Throughout the dialogue, members of both delegations spoke freely on relevant topics including foriegn policy trends, trade disputes and emerging areas of economic cooperation. EWI facilitated a series of meetings for the U.S. delegation, which included a productive meeting with Wang Qishan, vice president of the People’s Republic of China at the Great Hall of the People. The delegates also met with Yang Jiechi, director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs; Dai Bingguo, former state councilor of the People’s Republic of China; and Lu Kang, director of the Department of North American and Oceanian Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The U.S. delegates visited the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and met with their president, Jin Liqun, as well as the Schwarzman College at Tsinghua University to engage prominent scholars on the future of the U.S.-China relationship.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, International Trade and Finance, Economic Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia, North America
  • Author: Susi Dennison, Livia Franco
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR)
  • Abstract: Portugal’s plans for the EU presidency centre on European priorities for the pre-coronavirus world. These include the completion of the monetary union, the UK-EU relationship after Brexit, the EU’s relationships with Africa and India, climate change, digital transformation, and social inequality. The Portuguese EU presidency should handle these issues in line with European voters’ perceptions of the new reality created by the coronavirus. Many Europeans have lost confidence in the transatlantic relationship, fear for Europe’s place in a world dominated by US-China competition, and want the EU to provide global leadership and shape the international order. Portugal can help the EU develop a foreign policy strategy that takes account of these changes.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, European Union, Transatlantic Relations, Strategic Competition, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Portugal, United States of America
  • Author: Frank Jüris
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Centre for Defence and Security - ICDS
  • Abstract: China’s influence activities aim to create a positive image of China and to counter any kind of criticism. Influence activities in countries with big Chinese communities can mobilise the Chinese diaspora for the party’s benefit—there are plenty of examples from Finland and Sweden. But where this is not possible, propaganda work may fall to the CPC Central Committee’s International Liaison Department, which is responsible for exchanges with foreign parties. The International Liaison Department has been active in its interactions with Estonian politicians. Today, three former government ministers work for Powerhouse, which offers lobbying services for the Chinese company, Huawei. To a large extent, China’s influence activities in Estonia have so far gone unnoticed. This article aims to fill this gap.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Science and Technology, 5G
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Estonia, Baltic States
  • Author: Joseph de Weck
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: Do you want to know how Beijing would like Europe to act? Take a look at Switzerland. Switzerland and China have been close for decades. It was the first Western nation to establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in January 1950. Bern wanted to protect investments in the new People’s Republic from nationalization and hoped Swiss industry could lend a hand in rebuilding China’s infrastructure after the civil war. Being friendly to China paid off, but only 30 years later, once reformer Deng Xiaoping took the reins of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). In 1980, Swiss elevator producer Schindler was the first foreign company to do a joint venture in China. Today, Switzerland is the only continental European country to have a free trade agreement (FTA) with China.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia, Switzerland, Sweden
  • Author: Mariette Hagglund
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: A key issue dominating Iran’s foreign policy agenda is the future of the Iran nuclear deal with regard to the next US president. Non-state armed groups mark the core of Iran’s leverage in the region, but Iran is currently looking into diversifying its means of influence. Although Iran considers its non-aligned position a strength, it is also a weakness. In an otherwise interconnected world, where other regional powers enjoy partnerships with other states and can rely on external security guarantors, Iran remains alone. By being more integrated into regional cooperation and acknowledged as a regional player, Iran could better pursue its interests, but US attempts to isolate the country complicate any such efforts. In the greater superpower competition between the US and China, Iran is unlikely to choose a side despite its current “look East” policy, but may take opportunistic decisions.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Military Strategy, Elections
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Iran, Middle East, Asia, North America
  • Author: John Lee
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: The first monograph in this series, China’s Economic Slowdown: Root Causes, Beijing’s Response and Strategic Implications for the US and Allies, examined the structural problems in the Chinese economy that have led to a recent permanent slowdown after three decades of double-digit growth rates. The monograph focused on the political and economic costs of the slowdown and efforts to stabilize an economy that has poured far too much national wealth into commercially unproductive areas. Yet the Communist Party is not passively awaiting an unhappy economic fate in connection with its mounting imbalances and domestic economic dysfunction. In many respects, its leaders have been highly creative in seeking solutions that do not entail a weakening of the party’s hold on economic power. On the contrary, the party has been busily shaping and pursuing grand strategic policies such as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and Made in China 2025 (MIC 2025) to solve or alleviate many of its domestic political-economic problems. This monograph, part two in the series, examines how the US and its allies can confront and counter these Chinese strategies and initiatives. It will do so by taking seriously the challenge they present and suggesting responses that take into account Chinese vulnerabilities and the points of leverage available to the US and its allies. This linking of China’s vulnerabilities and weaknesses, on the one hand, and its ambition and purpose with respect to its outward-focused policies, is essential for effective policy responses. If the domestic is not linked with the external, US policies are much more likely to become complacent, counterproductive, or susceptible to overreaching. In linking analyses of Beijing’s domestic political economy with its external policies, the monograph will challenge some enduring but incorrect grand narratives that play into the hands of the CCP.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Science and Technology, Trade
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: John Lee
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: Throughout the United States, it is becoming increasingly clear that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is exploiting COVID-19 in an effort to reshape the global order and enhance China’s international leadership at the expense of the US. A range of prominent commentators further assert that the Trump administration bears much of the blame for this turn of events. This argument tends to rest on twin assumptions:1 China is winning the battle of narratives when it comes to comparative national competence and its decisiveness in responding to its COVID-19 outbreak. The Trump administration is damaging America’s standing by getting off to a bad start in its response to the pandemic, exposing the underlying weaknesses of American institutions and preparedness for such a crisis. These arguments correctly acknowledge that the global pandemic is occurring within a context of US-China strategic, political, and economic competition and/or rivalry. This is the point of warnings to the administration that there is more at stake than containing and managing the virus, even if that is the immediate priority.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Economics, Health, National Security, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: China, East Asia
  • Author: Eric B. Brown, Patrick M. Cronin, H.R. McMaster, Husain Haqqani, Aparna Pande, Satoru Nagao, John Lee, Seth Cropsey, Peter Rough, Liselotte Odgaard, Blaise Misztal, Douglas J. Feith, Michael Doran
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: The outbreak of the novel coronavirus has introduced a series of new stresses and factors in the US-China relationship. While the world has struggled to contain the pandemic and its tragic repercussions, the People’s Republic of China has used the outbreak to launch a global campaign of misinformation, further its economic coercion through the Belt and Road Initiative, and continue military expansion efforts in the South China Sea. China’s attempt to exploit the pandemic for political, strategic, and economic gain is problematic in the current environment, yet it is consistent with, and a continuation of, China’s long-term strategy. This report offers a global survey and assessment of attempts by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to expand its influence, including by exploiting the pandemic. As the United States and its allies focus on combatting the virus and salvaging their economies, there is an opportunity to better understand China’s strategy and develop a unified response.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Economics, Strategic Competition, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: China, South Asia, Asia, North America, United States of America