CNAS conference hits (VIII): Things I learned about Chinese foreign policy
The last panel of the day was about China and what it is doing nowadays in East Asia. I haven’t paid a lot of attention to China since 9/11 and so felt like I was playing catch-up ball. Here is what intrigued me: –The Chinese concept of a forward defense line of an "island chain" ...
The last panel of the day was about China and what it is doing nowadays in East Asia. I haven’t paid a lot of attention to China since 9/11 and so felt like I was playing catch-up ball. Here is what intrigued me:
–The Chinese concept of a forward defense line of an "island chain" grows out of an army-like, ground-pounding way of looking at the world, and is just not the way a naval officer thinks, said retired Navy Capt. Bernard "Bud" Cole.
–I thought Douglas Paal, who served on the national security staffs of Presidents Reagan and Bush, was surprisingly supportive of the Obama Administration’s handling of China.
–Over the last couple of years, China got a little bit too loud and overconfident in its foreign policy, said my CNAS colleague and office neighbor Patrick Cronin, who is very tolerant of the loud music he sometimes hears through the thin wall separating our workspaces. "I think they did overreach," he said. "They’re wondering whether we’ve reached our high water mark, and many of them think we have."
–Moves by the United States and South Korea to pressure North Korea financially to give up nukes have been undercut by Chinese economic support for Pyongyang, Cronin added. Professor Cole added that the Chinese are more worried about a collapsing North Korea than they are about a nuclear North Korea.
–Water is becoming an issue between China and its southern neighbors, Cole said, because China has serious water shortages in its northeast, so is diverting water out of the Tibetan plateau, the birthplace of the Mekong and several other major Asian rivers.
–Off the books "zombie debt" is a problem to watch in China, Paal warned.
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