May 08, 2017

In the News

China's Navy Modernization and Dynamics in Strategic Advantages

By Shane Tayloe

Highlighted Publications

This Isn’t Realpolitik. This is Amateur Hour. 
Stephen Walt
Foreign Policy, May 3, 2017

Walt sees Trump’s invitation to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to visit the White House as the antithesis of realpolitik. He argues that a truly realist policy in Asia would strive to contain China from becoming a dominant power in Asia. Thus far, Trump’s forays into Asian foreign policy, which include taking a call from the president of Taiwan, abandoning the TPP, berating Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, or pressuring South Korea to pay for the U.S.-deployed THAAD system–does nothing to help reinforce confidence in Washington’s judgment.

Cheap Chinese Aluminum is a National Security Threat
Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
Foreign Policy, May 8, 2017

The author argues that cheap Chinese aluminum has undermined the American high-purity aluminum industry, and poses a national security threat to the United States. It is dangerous to have only one domestic supplier of high purity aluminum (Century Aluminum’s Hawesville, Ky. plant), which is crucial to manufacturing many jets such as Boeing’s F-18 and Lockheed Martin’s F-35s, as well as armored vehicles. The U.S. has recently become more serious about addressing the problem. In January of 2017, the Obama administration launched a complaint to the World Trade Organization against Chinese aluminum subsidies. On April 26, 2017, the Trump administration launched an investigation that would determine whether the U.S. produces enough high purity aluminum to meet its needs during wartime.

China’s Approach to Disaster Risk Reduction: Human Security Challenges in a Time of Climate Change
Neil Renwick
Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs, April 10, 2017

This article analyzes China’s recent efforts to implement reforms that would reduce the risk of natural disasters caused by climate change.  Noting that, due to security reasons, China is increasingly willing to collaborate with other nations on reducing the risks of climate change induced natural disasters, the authors argue that the international community should use this opportunity to take action.

Crossover Point: How China’s Naval Modernization Could Reverse the United States’ Strategic Advantage
Shane Tayloe
Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs, April 10, 2017

This article makes a case for continued U.S. engagement in the Asia Pacific. Tayloe examines the defense balance in Asia by dissecting indicators such as comparative order of battle, military logistics capabilities, global basing infrastructure, alliance military power, personnel quality, stocks of modern military equipment and projectable military force.

The Korean Nuclear Issue: Past, Present, and Future: A Chinese Perspective
Fu Ying
Brookings, April 30, 2017

Fu Ying, chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee of China’s National People’s Congress, offers a unique perspective on the most uncertain factor for Northeast Asian security. Fu recounts the recent history of North Korea’s nuclear development—from the Three-Party Talks to Six-Party Talks and eventual breakdown of negotiations–and states that China believes peaceful negotiations to be the “Pareto optimal path” and remains committed to a nuclear-free Korean peninsula.

Issues & Insights Vol. 17 – No. 5 – China’s Role in Central Asia
Davis Florick
CSIS, May 2, 2017

This report analyzes and compares potential approaches of Beijing, Moscow, and Washington in Eurasian affairs. It urges the U.S., China, and four Central Asian states (Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) to respond to Russia’s advances in the region by fostering cooperative mechanisms with one another.


Articles and Commentaries

China’s Power Projection in the Western Indian Ocean
David Shinn
Jamestown Foundation, April 20, 2017

Shinn provides an overview of the recent increase in Chinese naval power in the Indian Ocean.

He discusses Chinese interests in the Indian Ocean and analyzes the geopolitical and economic motivations behind the increased naval presence. Noting that competition in the Indian Ocean is not in Washington, New Delhi or Beijing’s interest, Shinn calls for increased cooperation between the U.S. and India and for greater engagement with Beijing.

The Deterioration of the People’s Republics: China’s North Korea Problem
James Tunningley
The Diplomat, April 25, 2017

China finds itself at a diplomatic crossroads. The author observes that while Beijing has historically found itself stuck between Pyongyang and Washington, many policy makers in China are growing increasingly frustrated with Pyongyang. Noting that neither a nuclear-armed North Korea nor a collapse of the Kim regime are in Beijing’s interests, the author believes that China may be forced to choose which of its core interests it wants to protect.

What’s the Best Way for Trump to Persuade China to Up the Pressure on North Korea?
A Chinafile Conversation, April 25, 2017

In this article, several scholars discuss how the Trump administration should work with China to address the growing crisis on the Korean Peninsula. There is a general consensus that Washington, rather than taking a more hardline approach, should follow a diplomatic course. Several scholars note that China, increasingly concerned by North Korean aggression, may be willing to consider limited sanctions on North Korea. Other scholars encouraged dialogue between Washington, Beijing, Tokyo and Seoul.  A third camp argues for the need to engage with Pyongyang.

Showing Up is Not Enough: Trump’s First 100 Days in the Asia-Pacific
Michael Fuchs, Brian Harding and Melanie Hart
Center for American Progress, April 27, 2017

This article evaluates the Trump administration’s high-level diplomatic engagement with partners across the Asia Pacific, specifically in the following areas: personal engagement; regional security; economic engagement; alliances; Southeast Asia; China; India, and climate. Overall, the administration has dedicated significant time to the region, but the policies behind the engagement are lacking, and in some cases dangerous.

Shunning Rulebook, Trump Pursues “Art of the Deal” with China
Jessica Holzer
Foreign Policy, May 1, 2017

Holzer discusses the Trump administration’s decision to shift away from conventional foreign policy practice by directly linking economic and security issues, using concessions on one issue to incentivize the other party to make concessions on a separate issue. Experts note that while this strategy is risky, it signifies a potentially advantageous shift in America’s approach towards China.

Want to Wreck the Trump-Xi Bromance? Sell F-35s to Taiwan
Dennis Halpin
The National Interest, May 7, 2017

Halpin observes that while China has become the center of the Trump administration’s attempt to solve the North Korean nuclear crisis, whether or not China will actually rein in Kim Jong-un remains to be seen. The author notes that Americas’ continuing arms sales to Taiwan will likely prove to be a significant obstacle to in-depth cooperation with Beijing.

Events, Videos and Discussions

Rebalance, Reassurance, and Resolve in the U.S.-China Strategic Relationship
Brookings, April 26, 2017

On April 26, the Brookings Institute held an event on U.S.-Chinese relations designed to explore the themes of A Glass Half Full? Rebalance, Reassurance, and Resolve in the U.S.-China Strategic Relationship, a book recently published by Michael O’Hanlon, co-director and senior fellow of the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence at Brookings, and James Steinberg of Syracuse University.  In their book, O’Hanlon and Steinberg assessed the current U.S.-China relationship and provided recommendations on how to create a greater sense of stability. Kurt Campbell of The Asia Group and Mike Green from the Center for Strategic and International Studies joined O’Hanlon and Steinberg for this event.

Video: U.S.-China Relations After Mar-a-Lago
Robert Daly
The Wilson Center, April 24, 2017

Robert Daly, Director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States at the Wilson Center, assesses the future of U.S.-Chinese relations following the Mar-a-Largo summit. Daly discusses how the summit was perceived in China and Beijing’s interests going forward.  Analyzing China’s stance on the North Korean issue, Daly notes the divergence in American and Chinese interests on the peninsula.

Interview: Can China Become the World’s Clean Energy Leader?
Council on Foreign Relations, April 28, 2017

Jennifer Turner, Director of the Wilson Center’s China Environment Forum, was interviewed about China’s recent major investment in clean energy due to concerns with air pollution and energy security. Turner argues that China has the potential to surpass the United States as a leader in addressing the threat of climate change but faces several internal hindrances to making the necessary reforms.

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