Upheavals and changing political dynamics across the Middle East are threatening to destabilize the region. External powers, notably the United States and China, are shifting their tactics, as Washington rebalances its presence and Beijing expands its economic interests. In this episode, Paul Haenle spoke with Brett McGurk, former special presidential envoy for the global coalition to defeat ISIS and nonresident senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, on his extensive background working in the Middle East and the implications of shifting U.S. and Chinese policy for the region.
In May 2018, President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi met in Wuhan for an informal summit that many said helped reset the relationship following the Doklam crisis. In this episode, Paul Haenle spoke with Rudra Chaudhuri, director of Carnegie India, and Srinath Raghavan, senior fellow at Carnegie India, about the state of China-India relations one year after Wuhan, as well as the implications of Trump’s “America First” policies on New Delhi-Beijing relations.
As the United States reassess its involvement in the Middle East, China is stepping up its economic engagement with the region. In this podcast, Paul Haenle spoke with Marwan Muasher, vice president for Studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and former deputy prime minister for Jordan, on difficult transitions Middle Eastern countries face following the Arab Spring, as well as the challenges for China as its grows its presence in the Arab world,
In recent weeks Beijing has both won victories and suffered defeats during important summits and dialogues with France and Italy, as well as the European Union. Paul Haenle sat down with Tomas Valasek, director of Carnegie Europe, and Pierre Vimont, senior fellow at Carnegie Europe, to discuss underlying issues driving China-Europe relations, the outlook for China’s engagement with the European Union (EU), and the implications for transatlantic relations.
Over three years into Trump’s presidency, U.S.-China trade and economic issues remain unresolved while security concerns are creeping into the bilateral agenda. In this podcast, Paul Haenle spoke with Susan Thornton, former assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, on the trajectory for bilateral ties and the potential for a crisis in U.S.-China relations.
President Xi Jinping travels to Italy and France this month for his first overseas trip of 2019. His visit comes soon after the European Commission labeled China a “systemic rival” and “economic competitor.” In this podcast, Paul Haenle spoke with Philippe LeCorre, nonresident senior fellow in the Europe and Asia programs at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, on Xi Jinping’s upcoming trip and shifting perceptions of China across Europe.
The upcoming Hanoi Summit and the United States’ withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) are two important developments in the area of nuclear arms control with significant implications for the Asia-Pacific region. In this episode, Tong Zhao spoke with Li Bin, senior fellow in the Carnegie Endowment’s Nuclear Policy and Asia programs, about the importance of these two critical nuclear arms control issues and their implications for China.
To commemorate the fifth anniversary of the China in the World podcast, Paul Haenle is interviewing five of the most influential Chinese scholars to discuss this important inflection point in U.S.-China relations. For the fifth and final episode in this series, Haenle spoke with Professor Yao Yang, one of China's top economists and Dean of the National School of Development at Peking University.
Kim Jong-un’s New Year’s address and fourth visit to Beijing quickly put Pyongyang back in the spotlight in 2019. His meeting with Xi Jinping also likely foreshadowed a meeting with President Trump in the near future. On this episode of the China in the World podcast, Paul Haenle spoke with Tong Zhao, a fellow at the Carnegie–Tsinghua Center for Global Policy, on the implications of Kim’s New Year’s address and meeting with Xi Jinping, as well as the outlook for North Korea’s relations with China and the United States in 2019.
Zhao said Kim’s threats to take a “new path” if the U.S. does not lift sanctions does not mean a return to nuclear and missile tests. Instead, Pyongyang will likely strengthen ties with Beijing, departing from its focus on balancing relations between the United States and China. Zhao agreed with Haenle that the North Korea nuclear problem is not solved, as President Trump has claimed. North Korea appears committed to maintaining its intercontinental ballistic missile and nuclear programs. The fundamental barrier preventing progress on denuclearization is that Pyongyang will not trust any U.S. security guarantees, as such commitments are reversible. Instead, Zhao pushed for a long-term process that builds trust and transforms the relationship from hostile to friendly. The Kim-Xi relationship is one of convenience, rather than actual friendship, Zhao said. As Kim prepares for a second summit with Trump, he is not confident he can secure sanctions relief and is more willing to cozy up to Beijing. However, building a long-term relationship with the United States remains Kim’s priority. Washington’s support is key to lifting UN sanctions that prevent the North Korean economy from developing quickly. Zhao said China supports a second meeting between Trump and Kim because there is real hope that it could lead to actual progress on a deal. However, if the meeting does not go well, China is likely to blame the United States for not accommodating North Korean demands, widening the gap between Washington and Beijing during a delicate period in the relationship. If the situation on the Korean Peninsula deteriorates, China might even accuse the United States of deliberately precipitating a crisis to advance its own interests in the region.
How can the United States and China peacefully manage growing bilateral competition? In this podcast, Paul Haenle spoke with Graham Allison, Douglas Dillon Professor of Government at Harvard University, on the concept of the Thucydides Trap and its relevance to the U.S.-China relationship.
Allison said the Thucydides Trap is the best framework to understand why there is potential for conflict between the United States and China. As China grew stronger, the U.S. failed to recognize Beijing would increasingly assert its own vision for the international order, thereby challenging the American-led global system. China now represents both a strategic rival and partner for the United States. The bilateral relationship needs a new framework that accounts for significant areas of competition and cooperation. Allison said the United States and China share vital national interests in ensuring the survival of their respective nations and must work to resolve issues clouding the economic relationship. This includes devising a new set of rules that accounts for China’s unprecedented economic development and status as a global power. For guidance, policymakers should look to John F. Kennedy’s post-Cuban Missile Crisis call for a world “safe for diversity.” This would allow nations with different political systems, economic development models, and ideologies to compete in peaceful co-existence.