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Andrew Small

Andrew Small is a transatlantic fellow with GMF's Asia program, which he has helped lead since 2006. His research focuses on U.S.-China relations, EU-China relations, Chinese policy in South and South-West Asia, and China's role in "problem" and fragile states. He was based in GMF’s Brussels office for five years, where he established the Asia program and the Stockholm China Forum, GMF's biannual China policy conference.

He previously worked as the director of the Foreign Policy Centre's Beijing office, as a visiting fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and was an ESU scholar in the office of Senator Edward M. Kennedy. He has testified before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission and both the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Development Committee of the European Parliament. His articles and papers have been published in Foreign Affairs, the Washington Quarterly, The New York Times, and the International Herald Tribune as well as many other journals, magazines and newspapers. He is currently completing a book on China-Pakistan relations.

Small was educated at Balliol College, University of Oxford.

Follow @ajwsmall on Twitter.

News Articles

Casting light on a little-known friendshipJanuary 23, 2015When China sent swift condolences to Pakistan after the slaughter of over 130 schoolchildren in a terror attack in Peshawar last month, it was more than a perfunctory gesture. The two countries have such a long-standing and harmonious relationship that both sides sometimes come close to believing the official mantra that the ties that bind them really are higher than the highest mountains.
The Sino-Pakistani axis: Asia’s ‘little understood’ relationshipJanuary 15, 2015China and Pakistan have been described as "all weather friends," but the nature of their ties remains secretive. DW talks to analyst Andrew Small, about some of the most sensitive aspects of this strategic relationship.
South Asia Meets East AsiaJanuary 13, 2015Andrew Small of the German Marshall Fund, Stephen Tankel of American University and WOTR, and Joshua White of the Stimson Center joined Ryan Evans to talk about South and East Asian regional affairs.
China: two kinds of assertivenessJanuary 12, 2015Andrew Small writes on the implications of China’s assertiveness for European foreign policy – arguing that while Chinese assertiveness in East Asia is one of the principal sources of disorder in the region, elsewhere, a more assertive Chinese approach to addressing security threats is beginning to translate into constructive contributions to global security.
The Xinjiangistan ConnectionJuly 31, 2014After the worst series of terrorist attacks in China's recent history, why Beijing is pointing the finger at its old friend, Pakistan.
Afghanistan: the view from ChinaJanuary 31, 2014After more than a decade on the margins of international efforts to shape the country’s future, this summer China will take the diplomatic driving seat as it hosts the Istanbul Ministerial Process, the major regional conclave between Afghanistan and its neighbours, in Tianjin in July.
Why Is China Talking to the Taliban?June 21, 2013Karzai's derailment of this week's planned peace talks with the Taliban may have been a disappointment to Washington's hopes of ending its longest war-but it disappointed Beijing, too.
Look East, Act East: transatlantic agendas in the Asia PacificDecember 19, 2012Latest policy brief by GMF Fellows details transatlantic agendas in the region.
Untapped Trilateralism: Common Economic and Security Interests of the EU, the US and ChinaNovember 08, 2012Ties between the EU, China, and the U.S. are more interlinked than ever but a joint collaborative response remains elusive.
China’s Afghan MomentOctober 04, 2012The looming U.S. drawdown gives China a chance to move into Afghanistan.
Andrew Small Discusses China On Wikistrat’s “Ask a Senior Analyst”August 28, 2012Transatlantic Fellow Andrew Small engaged in a 24-hour Q&A with Wikistrat Facebook followers to answer questions on a number of international issues including China-Pakistan relations, China's role in a post-2014 Afghanistan, China's military clout, and the possibility of the RMB displacing the dollar as the dominant reserve currency.
What Next in a post-Doha World? – Lessons from EU, U.S., and Chinese Trade Policy StrategiesJune 27, 2012

With the WTO hamstrung and the Doha Round dead in all but name, the future directions of international trade and investment liberalisation will be largely determined by the policy strategies and initiatives of the world’s economic superpowers.

China: The Invisible Dragon in the RoomJune 06, 2012

At last weekend’s Shangri-La Dialogue, China did much to bear out James Joyce’s maxim that absence is the highest form of presence. In deciding not to send their defense minister and offering only an elliptical justification, China made itself the subject of even greater speculation and theorizing than usual. 

The Liberal Order and the Chinese PublicJune 05, 2012

In thinking about which powers will sustain – or threaten – the liberal order, China is typically written off as a spoiler. But as China’s public assumes greater influence over its foreign policy in the years ahead, this should not be taken for granted. 

The Lid Cracks Open on Beijing’s Black BoxMay 09, 2012After a long period of stasis, Chinese politics have entered a dramatic new phase. While no one expects major change to arrive quickly, the previous sense of inevitability about China’s internal trajectory is beginning to give way to growing unpredictability. For a long time, the animating China challenge for policymakers in the United States and Europe had been the integration of a rapidly rising power into the global economic and security order. Now they will need to do that while navigating a nation in political transition.
China, the Euro Crisis and Transatlantic CooperationMay 02, 2012

In this testimony to the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, Andrew Small explains that, despite the euro crisis, the European Union has been toughening up its stance in its economic relationship with China. For the United States, the opportunities to coordinate with the EU on economic policy responses loom larger than the risks that Europe’s need for Chinese money will act as a constraint.

Andrew Small on China’s Role in AfghanistanJanuary 03, 2012

GMF Transatlatic Fellow Andrew Small discussed China's role in neighboring Afghanistan with the Danish political news magazine RÆSON.

All-Weather Concerns: How Much Can Pakistan Expect From China?October 24, 2011

The last few months have been rife with speculation about Beijing’s willingness to fill the void if American financial and military support for Pakistan were to be curtailed. Far from brimming with strategic potential, the China-Pakistan relationship is now increasingly pushing up against its limits

Will China’s Rise Spoil the Transatlantic Relationship?September 23, 2011

A new survey by the German Marshall Fund finds that China's rise is leading Americans to turn their attention away from Europe and to view China as more of a threat than Europeans do. But how much do these factors threaten the trans-Atlantic relationship, and how well can it adapt to changing circumstances?

How all-weather are Sino-Pakistani ties?August 10, 2011

Since the Abbottabad raid, each negative twist in ties with Washington has been followed by an upsurge of speculation about a deepening Sino-Pakistani partnership—much of it fanned by Islamabad. A recent statement that, following the suspension of US military aid, “China will help meet this gap” was of a piece with the Pakistani defence minister’s more theatrical claims about China’s takeover of Gwadar port. The message to the United States and the Pakistani public is clear: we have other options.This has put Beijing in a tricky spot.

Dealing with a more assertive ChinaApril 21, 2011In a hearing at the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, GMF's Andrew Small gave testimony on Beijing's increased international assertiveness. 
China in 2011 and beyondJanuary 19, 2011To coincide with President Hu Jintao's historic visit to Washington, DC, GMF has published three articles on the state of China's relations with transatlantic partners.
Beijing’s behavior increases risk of war on the Korean PeninsulaDecember 09, 2010Beijing's leadership role in the Six Party Talks on North Korea once embodied U.S. hopes that China would become a responsible stakeholder in issues of regional and global security. But its behavior toward an erratic and belligerent Pyongyang increasingly belies them.
NATO and the Asian powers: Cooperation and its LimitsSeptember 30, 2010The patchwork of initiatives established between NATO and Asia has never been framed by any overarching region-specific rationale. Insofar as there is a strategic imperative driving outreach in the region, it has been an effort to draw in "global partners" into closer cooperation with existing alliance operations - primarily in Afghanistan - rather than any broader process of identifying shared security concerns either with the major Asian powers or even with traditional partners in the region.
Beijing is Worth a Missed Dinner – Lady Ashton Goes to ChinaSeptember 02, 2010Baroness Catherine Ashton, the EU foreign policy chief, chose to pass up dinner at the White House and instead pressed ahead with her trip to China, where she inaugurated a new strategic dialogue with her Chinese counterpart. Despite some consternation in Paris, Ashton’s decision reflects a well-founded conviction that China policy is one of the few areas where the new post-Lisbon foreign policy machinery could make a real difference.
Afghanistan: The Consequences of a “Conceptual Withdrawal”July 29, 2010

"We have moved from a narrative, which lasted for years, that everything was fine when it wasn’t to a narrative that everything is going wrong when it isn’t.” This lament from a former Western official, who, like others quoted in this piece, did not speak for attribution, summed up the frustrations of many in Kabul about the growing disconnect between the political timetables inside and outside the country. The concern is not only that the various transition deadlines are unrealistic, but that their very existence is creating counterproductive pressures that will make them even harder to achieve.

How the EU is seen in Asia, and what to do about itJuly 28, 2010In Asia's major capitals, the last few years have seen marked shifts in perspectives on the European Union. Not so long ago the EU was viewed as everything from a rising political power to a model for regional order. The combination of economic stagnation and the painful process of fixing the EU's institutional arrangements has been part of the problem.
Intensifying China-Pakistan TiesJuly 07, 2010On Wednesday, China and Pakistan signed pacts on cooperation in agriculture, healthcare, justice, media, economy, and technology. Both sides also vowed to step up joint efforts against terrorism. But while the relationship between the two countries is strong, it's shadowed by Beijing's concerns about Pakistan's security threat and its impact on Chinese investment and personnel in Pakistan.
China in Check? The Limits to Beijing’s AssertivenessJuly 07, 2010The U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue capped off a three-month period that has returned the Sino-U.S. relationship to a state of fragile equilibrium. Strategic mistrust remains pervasive and there are few issues on which the two sides genuinely see eye-to-eye. But the missteps of 2009 provided some important lessons for better management of future differences.
China presses ahead with Pakistan nuclear deal – and contemplates U.S. withdrawal from AfghanistanJuly 06, 2010GMF's Andrew Small blogs on his recent trip to China to discuss Afghanistan and Pakistan, including interviews on the Chashma-3 and 4 deal with Pakistan.
Zardari’s Visit to China (audio interview)July 05, 2010Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari is traveling to China on Tuesday for high-level talks on nuclear cooperation. Andrew Small talks to Deutsche Welle Radio about the effects Zardari's visit is likely to have on the balance of power in the region.
China’s Caution on Afghanistan-PakistanJune 30, 2010Although the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan and Pakistan looks like a prime candidate for closer cooperation between the United States and China, prospects of pursuing complementary policies will remain limited until China fundamentally reappraises its strategy for dealing with extremism in the region.
‘No-One Is Going to Be Bought Off by a Tiny Revaluation’June 26, 2010In the run-up to the G-20 summit, China has tried to placate the United States with a revaluation of its currency. But the move is not a real change of course, explains the German Marshall Fund's Andrew Small in a Spiegel Online interview. He argues that the Chinese leadership is more concerned with deflecting external criticism than with the health of the global economy.
Beijing blinks first: the Currency Debate in Diplomatic ContextApril 16, 2010While the U.S. Treasury's decision on whether to label China a currency manipulator is inevitably political in nature, rarely has it ever been so geopolitically loaded. In previous years, it has mainly been the economic relationship at stake. This time the implications run from Middle Eastern security to nuclear proliferation, and will do much to define the broader shape of the U.S.-China relationship in the coming years.
Dealing With a More Assertive ChinaFebruary 08, 2010The mood on China in Western capitals is beginning to darken. From cyber-attacks to obstinacy in Copenhagen, Beijing's assertiveness and the hardening tone of its diplomacy are prompting a rethink. If the competitive aspects of the relationship with China are going to dominate in the years ahead, have the United States and Europe got their strategies right? And if not, what are the options?
The New Superpower: ‘The Chinese Are Unready by Their Own Admission’ for Global LeadershipJanuary 29, 2010The United States and China have grown so powerful that people around the world speak reverentially of a "G-2." But there are cracks in the alliance, as the German Marshall Fund's Andrew Small explains in a Spiegel Online interview. Frustration is growing in the United States over Beijing's lack of cooperation on economic issues.
A Gift (in Disguise) to Europe and Japan: the G2November 18, 2009A 'G2' is unlikely. Substantial difference between the United States and China make accord difficult to reach, but discussion about the concept puts pressure on China to be more globally responsible - and that is a good thing for Europe and Japan.
Afghanistan-Pakistan: Bringing China (Back) InOctober 23, 2009Of all the regional actors engaged in Afghanistan and Pakistan, China's role is perhaps the most opaque. Alternately coaxed as a potential savior and condemned as a parasitic free-rider, the transatlantic allies have not yet worked out how to harness Beijing's undoubted influence and economic clout. This is not altogether surprising: China's motives are complex and at times contradictory. But if the United States and Europe play their hand well, an opening exists - Beijing's security calculus is changing in ways that are increasingly favorable to greater cooperation.
Fidel’s choiceNovember 27, 2008It was once said of Fidel Castro that his "stomach is in Moscow but his heart is in Beijing." Now the opposite seems to be true.
“Preventing the next Cold War” revisitedApril 21, 2008

The war in Iraq may yet prove to have one lasting and little-noticed benefit: reducing the threat of a new cold war between the United States and China. The weakening of the U.S. global power position that the war induced has led officials in the second Bush administration to turn again and again to seek the support of the country that they labeled a strategic competitor only a few years earlier.

China’s changing policies towards rogue statesMarch 18, 2008Chinese policy towards rogue states has undergone a quiet revolution in the last few years. While China is far from being a genuinely like-minded partner to the United States in dealing with these countries, its cooperation is becoming an increasingly central factor in diplomatic efforts to find solutions to the crises in North Korea, Iran, Sudan, and Burma. The testimony sets out the nature of the shift in Chinese policy, the driving factors, the constraints on its scope, and the implications for U.S. policy.
The U.S. Factor in Sino-European RelationsDecember 01, 2007For Europe and China alike, the most important bilateral relationship is with the United States. Although often described as a ‘strategic triangle’, neither the Chinese impact on the transatlantic relationship nor Europe’s role in the Sino-US relationship is remotely comparable to the significance of the United States for the Sino-European relationship.
China’s New Dictatorship DiplomacyJuly 21, 2007China is often accused of supporting a string of despots, nuclear proliferators, and genocidal regimes, shielding them from international pressure and thus reversing progress on human rights and humanitarian principles. But over the last two years, Beijing has been quietly overhauling its policies toward pariah states.
Beijing Cools on MugabeMay 02, 2007

China, which once perceived the West's condemnation of Mugabe and sanctions against his regime as an economic opportunity, now views its involvement in Zimbabwe as a liability both for its investments and its international reputation.

China, the Unlikely Human Rights ChampionFebruary 14, 2007

Each time President Hu Jintao concludes a trip to Africa, he leaves a bigger Chinese footprint on the continent. Yet the imprint left by this February's visit is not just a result of the usual choreographed procession of trade deals, largesse, and south-south brotherhood. It also reflects a quiet revolution in Chinese attitudes toward non-interference, exemplified by Hu's most visible push yet for settlement of the Darfur crisis.

China Jumps InFebruary 02, 2007

We are getting used to seeing new faces of Chinese diplomacy and on President Hu Jintao's latest trip to Africa we will see the unlikeliest of all. In making his most visible push for the settlement of the Darfur crisis, Hu will signal a quiet revolution in Chinese attitudes to sovereignty and noninterference, and position China as the protector of the repressed citizens of the region.


A Transatlantic Pakistan PolicyNovember 20, 2014

This policy paper identifies ways in which the United States and Europe can better work together to address the complex challenges related to Pakistan.

Ukraine, Russia, and the China OptionMay 30, 2014

This policy paper outlines the challenges for the EU and United States in China’s role in mitigating the impact of Western sanctions on Russia.

China and India: New Actors in the Southern AtlanticNovember 29, 2012

This policy paper examines the role of China and India in Latin America and Africa, and the implications for the United States and Europe.

A Europe that Can Still Say No? China and the Eurozone CrisisJanuary 09, 2012

China’s potential involvement in the eurozone crisis has triggered a wave of speculation about the political, economic, and strategic implications of China “buying up” or “bailing out” Europe. But the reality has been less dramatic. China did not swing in behind the European Financial Stability Facility. There has been no sign of the EU offering major concessions to China in the hope that this will smooth the way for Chinese cash. The broader state of EU-China relations will depend significantly on how China and the EU deal with each other through a period that is not just an economic crisis for Europe but an existential one.

China’s Af-Pak MomentMay 20, 2009

As the United States and Europe look for additional sources of leverage in Pakistan and Afghanistan, a heightened role for China is one of the most promising-and the least discussed. China's substantial strategic interests in Pakistan, its major investments in both countries, and security concerns that range from narcotics flows to terrorist bases give it many shared stakes with the West. But translating common interests into complementary policies will be a challenge.

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