Bonnie S. Glaser is managing director of GMF’s Indo-Pacific program. She is also a nonresident fellow with the Lowy Institute in Sydney, Australia, and a senior associate with the Pacific Forum. She is a co-author of US-Taiwan Relations: Will China's Challenge Lead to a Crisis (Brookings Press, April 2023). She was previously senior adviser for Asia and the director of the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Glaser has worked at the intersection of Asia-Pacific geopolitics and US policy for more than three decades. 

From 2008 to mid-2015, she was a senior adviser with the CSIS Freeman Chair in China Studies, and from 2003 to 2008, she was a senior associate in the CSIS International Security Program. Prior to joining CSIS, she served as a consultant for various U.S. government offices, including the Departments of Defense and State. Ms. Glaser has published widely in academic and policy journals, including the Washington Quarterly, China Quarterly, Asian Survey, International Security, Contemporary Southeast Asia, American Foreign Policy Interests, Far Eastern Economic Review, and Korean Journal of Defense Analysis, as well as in leading newspapers such as the New York Times and Wall Street Journal and in various edited volumes on Asian security. She is currently a board member of the U.S. Committee of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific and a member of both the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute for Strategic Studies. She served as a member of the Defense Department’s Defense Policy Board China Panel in 1997. Ms. Glaser received her B.A. in political science from Boston University and her M.A. with concentrations in international economics and Chinese studies from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Media Mentions

China may view Biden as the “lesser of two evils,” said Glaser, of the German Marshall Fund, but Beijing likely sees benefits in Trump’s antagonism toward allies and partners — particularly in Europe and the Indo-Pacific.
Tensions are rising in the South China Sea again..."The risk of an accident that escalates to conflict is high," said Bonnie Glaser of the German Marshall Fund of the United States.
Analysts say the increase in Chinese coast guard activity is Beijing's way of normalizing its patrols in the area. "This suggests that they intend to continue conducting operations inside the 'restricted' zone around Kinmen," Bonnie Glaser, managing director of the German Marshall Fund of the United States think tank, previously told Newsweek.
“Beijing is probably aware and infuriated that the Philippines has successfully delivered construction materials...China has waited 25 years for the ship to disintegrate and slide off the reef and continued escalation against the Philippines suggests that they will not back down and admit defeat,” said Bonnie Glaser, a China expert at the German Marshall Fund.

“The potential for an armed conflict over this tiny, submerged feature is increasing.”
When asked about the likelihood that China would use the rules to target the thousands of Taiwanese living in China, Bonnie Glaser, managing director of the Indo-Pacific Program at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, told Newsweek that they are not the primary target.
Separately, German Marshall Fund Indo-Pacific program managing director Bonnie Glaser said that Xi might be trying to drive a wedge between the US and the EU, particularly on the issue of Taiwan’s defense. However, it is also possible that Xi genuinely believes the US trying to lure China into a conflict, she said.
Bonnie Glaser, a German Marshall Fund China expert, said the comment might have been part of China’s attempt to pull Europe away from the US on the Taiwan issue, but it was also possible that Xi believed it.
Taiwan President Lai Ching-te faced China's largest-scale military exercises in nearly two years during his first week in office, with one analyst telling Newsweek she expects more to follow.
"This is the exercise season, so I expect more military drills around Taiwan intended to intimidate and warn the new Lai administration against pursuing independence actions," Bonnie Glaser, managing director of the Indo-Pacific Program at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, told Newsweek.
In a diplomatic coup for China, the Pacific island nation of Nauru announced it was switching official ties from Taipei to Beijing, becoming the 10th Taiwan ally to do so during Tsai's two terms as president. This left only a dozen countries maintaining official ties with Taipei.
"Beijing also may poach one of Taiwan's 12 remaining diplomatic allies, if there is one that is willing to be bought off," Glaser said.
DPP politicians suggested that given Ko’s ineptness in negotiating, he could not be relied on if he were involved in high-stakes negotiations with China.
Hsiao stands out as doing a really outstanding job in... advancing the interests of Taiwan. She understands how Congress works, its key role in supporting Taiwan, but also how to work with the executive branch and Congress at the same time. Taiwan loses something by having Hsiao leave Washington.
It’s a little early to pop the cork on the Champagne. I’m not convinced that they are actually going to take serious action to prevent military accidents. They don’t want to eliminate all the risks for the U.S. military if it operates near their coastline. I’m not sure they’re going to answer the phone in an emergency.”
The US should provide credible assurances to Beijing that as long as China refrains from using force against Taiwan, Washington will not support the island’s independence nor return to its past defense treaty with Taipei.
China has signaled interest in joining discussions on setting rules and norms for AI, and we should welcome that. The White House is interested in engaging China on limiting the role of AI in command and control of nuclear weapons.
The suggestion that a resolution needs to be found in the near term is a worrisome sign, even if he emphasized that there are no plans for military action against Taiwan in the coming years.
As the Tagesschau reported, despite the major conflicts, both countries have a vested interest in ensuring that relations do not deteriorate again.
Translated from German
The restoration of military contact following the Biden-Xi meeting was important. She described the move as very significant, but whether concrete progress is made towards avoiding accidents remains to be seen.
U.S. restrictions on the shipment of advanced chips and chipmaking making equipment to China comes at a very bad time for Beijing. I think that they would like to slow that down.
One year ago the two leaders tried to stabilize the relationship and then the arrant Chinese spy balloon flew over the United States and the relationship really has been in a downturn since then. So these two leaders need to get together to talk about the differences that they have.
It is essential to keep a human in the loop in nuclear command and control given some of the problems we've seen so far with AI.
Importantly, the venue is not connected to the APEC summit, so it provides the appearance that the two leaders are having a bilateral summit that is distinct from the multilateral APEC summit.
It appears to be a quiet, secluded estate, where Biden and Xi can have an intimate conversation in a relaxed environment. Importantly, the venue is not connected to the APEC summit, so it provides the appearance that the two leaders are having a bilateral summit that is distinct from the multilateral APEC summit.
The tone has changed in the run-up to the meeting between Xi and Biden. And there have also been visits from politicians. Most recently, the Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, was even received extremely warmly by Xi Jinping. These are all signals from China to the USA to create the right atmosphere for a good meeting between the two heads of state.
Translated from German
It appears to be a quiet, secluded estate, where Biden and Xi can have an intimate conversation in a relaxed environment.
We're involved in two wars. And then a second layer of concern... is our presidential election next year and whether this emphasis on the Indo-Pacific and an emphasis on cooperating with allies, building these coalitions, whether that's really going to be sustained.
I doubt that Beijing will have any comments regarding a purported U.S. request not to interfere in Taiwan elections.
Beijing wants to buy time to cope with China’s economic problems and boost innovation in technologies hampered by American restrictions. The US wants to demonstrate the efficacy of its proposed model for managed competition with China.
Xi's team likely pushed for a venue away from the APEC site and talks lasting longer than those in Bali. The Chinese want a separate summit.
The Chinese are signaling that they will resume military-to-military communications, which is significant. It's a key priority for the Pentagon.
China's rhetoric and aggressive maneuvers should be viewed not as a sign of imminent attack, but for what they are: a demonstration of Chinese resolve that it will not accept Taiwan's permanent separation from China, and a chance for the P.L.A. to hone its skills—should Beijing one day feel compelled to use them.
There are several signs that Beijing is willing to resume some of the channels of dialogue and interaction between the U.S. and Chinese militaries.
The conversations will involve a full spectrum of issues, including Israel and Gaza, Ukraine, Taiwan, the South China Sea, US-China military interaction, AI, and fentanyl.
I don't think there's any conversation in the Biden administration about resuming the Strategic and Economic Dialogue. That is a thing of the past. The United States certainly wants to have good communication mechanisms with China but wants them to be more targeted and more focused.
No fixed date may have been set for a Taiwan invasion, and resolving this issue may not necessarily carry greater urgency for Xi than for his predecessors.
I don’t rule out that they are taking advantage of a distracted U.S. I expect this will escalate in the coming days and weeks.
Congress’ refusal to include the aid raises alarm bells in Taiwan. The Taiwanese government has argued that Ukraine’s victory is existential for Taiwan.
Just as in the case of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Beijing will avoid pinning blame, but instead will simply call for ending hostilities.
If Beijing decides to increase pressure on Taiwan, these platforms could operate even closer, including inside, Taiwan's territorial air and sea space.
It’s extremely unusual for a Chinese leader to show up in a country hosting a multilateral meeting – especially one that China is deeply invested in, like BRICS – and fail to show up at the opening event.
El fet que Qin passés per davant d'altres candidats amb més experiència, va ser vist com un senyal de confiança profunda de Xi. “Es creu àmpliament que Xi té un cercle intern molt petit de persones a qui consulta, i a més d'això, té massa confiança i pren decisions basades en els seus propis instints”, ha destacat Bonnie Glaser, directora gerent de German Marshall Fund's Indo- Programa Pacífic i recull la mateixa CNN.
Translated from Spanish
Qin’s access was reportedly limited to only a few high-ranking US figures, according to Politico, so he pivoted to lower levels of government, travelling around the country. “The story from the embassy even as recently as early [2022] was that Qin Gang wasn’t being seen by US officials and he was therefore spending time at the sub-national level … going to visit mayors and governors,” Bonnie Glaser, the Asia programme director at the US-based German Marshall Fund, told Politico in November.
Translated from English
“It is widely believed that Xi has a very small inner circle of people that he consults, and on top of that is over confident and makes decisions based on his own instincts,” said Bonnie Glaser, managing director of the German Marshall Fund’s Indo-Pacific program.

“Qin is his protege, and therefore this will necessarily reflect badly on Xi. However, that doesn’t mean that this episode will pose a challenge to his power,” she said.
Translated from English
Bonnie Glaser, a China expert at the German Marshall Fund, said his absence would not affect US-China relations in the long term because the foreign minister implements, and does not set, foreign policy in the Chinese system. But she said it could have implications in the short term, noting that Blinken had invited Qin to visit Washington when they met in Beijing.

“Obviously that is on ice until there is greater clarity about whether or when Qin is returning to his position. So that’s an obvious example of an impact on US-China relations,” said Glaser. “Wang Yi can only do the job of two people for so long.”
Translated from English
Taiwan is not a member of the United Nations. Beijing took over its seat in 1971. Currently, only 13 countries, including Paraguay, have formal diplomatic relations with the island.

"Beijing distrusts Lai even more than they distrust Tsai Ing-wen," said Bonnie Glaser, the managing director of the Indo-Pacific program at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. She said Beijing believes U.S. support may embolden current or future leaders in Taiwan to pursue independence.


In addition, China’s foreign ministry said that Beijing opposes any official interaction between Taiwan and the U.S. and that the Taiwan issue is the insurmountable red line that cannot be crossed in U.S.-China relations.

"The Chinese are very alarmed about what could happen and they are warning that their red lines should be taken seriously," Glaser said.


Glaser said that while Beijing’s response will likely be determined by the agenda during Lai’s stopovers in the U.S., the outside world should not rule out any possible scenarios.

"[Even though] I don’t think Lai will do any public events, if he did give a speech or said something that is viewed as provocative by the Chinese leadership, that would give them a reason to do something in the military realm," she said.

Still, she said she thinks Beijing would have to be "very alarmed" by things that Lai did in order to execute a military response that matches what they did when Pelosi visited Taiwan.
Translated from English
“The fact that he’s a high-level diplomat means it will attract attention from countries around the world,” said Bonnie Glaser, director of the Asia programme at the German Marshall Fund. “People will make judgements and draw their own conclusions.”


Speculation has flourished about the cause, everything from alleged extramarital affairs to political infighting to genuine illness. Construction near the Foreign Ministry reportedly suggested that Qin might need accessible entries. Abruptly cancelled Chinese delegations to the US hint at political turmoil.

“It shows how people are just groping for anything,” said Glaser.
Translated from English
Europe is increasingly tied to the United States, because of its views on Ukraine. This is hampering China’s efforts to improve ties with Europe.
Translated from English
The paper contains a whole paragraph on the need for humanitarian assistance, but where is China in providing this aid? So, it’s not a peace plan and China is not playing the role of peacemaker.
Translated from English
Beijing claims to support Ukraine’s sovereignty, but it has not criticised Russia’s annexations of Ukrainian territory.
Translated from English
The Defense Department has since toned down the rhetoric. It has become aware that these statements were harmful. We now increasingly hear generals saying that they assumed that an attack by China on Taiwan was neither imminent nor inevitable.
Translated from German
Domestic politics is dominating the US response and heightened concern about our homeland security, so I really hope that the US, in a very short period of time, is able to collect enough information, analyse it, and tell the American public what’s going on.
Translated from English
The window of opportunity to put China-US relations ‘back on the track of steady development’, which Biden and Xi agreed to do in Bali, may be missed.
Translated from English
So I think the US sees itself as in a pretty strong position and would like to try and use that position to encourage China to establish some sustained dialogue mechanisms and to expand cooperation.
Translated from English
I support the administration’s approach, which is to really focus on doing things that meaningfully strengthen Taiwan’s security.
Translated from English
Cooperation on climate change, global public health, and even narcotics trafficking has stalled. Beijing has either set unworkable preconditions or suspended talks due to U.S. policies toward Taiwan.
Translated from English
The United States doesn’t know Lai as well as we knew Tsai when she ran for president because he hasn’t been in any notable national positions before premier and VP.
Translated from English
There is a little bit of shock across the continent. And this serves China’s interest in dividing Europe. There is concern in Washington, as well. The United States is feeling like this is a moment where we all have to be aligned
If President Biden plans to defend Taiwan, then he should make sure the U.S. military has the capability to do so. Rhetorical support that isn't backed up by real capabilities is unlikely to strengthen deterrence.
I doubt Xi's top concerns are related to foreign policy. As Xi is looking toward the Party Congress, I think he is most concerned about putting his own people on the Politburo Standing Committee and the Politburo.
I believe that they think that if they just let this continue, that there will come a time in the very near future that they will have to use force. And I believe that, for lots of reasons, they’re not ready to do so.
I do not see any evidence that a decision has been made to use force against Taiwan. I see substantial evidence to the contrary: that China has not made a decision but that it has not ruled it out.
It’s impossible to do an accurate assessment of how well the PLA performed in conducting joint operations. It’s not clear who was doing command and control … They rehearsed imposing a blockade and carrying out strikes on the island, but the exercises didn’t contain all the elements that would be needed to invade the island.
Prospects are extremely low for holding talks on risk reduction measures or stability. The specific talks called off this week would resume over time, but right now, China has to signal toughness and resolve.
Over the coming days and months, China will conduct provocative and escalatory exercises that may include [more] live missile fires in Taiwan’s air space. It may try to flip one of the 14 remaining countries that still recognize Taiwan diplomatically. And it will put more economic pressure on Taiwan. Beijing will assess the impact of its actions and warnings on the US and Taiwan. If they believe that the message hasn’t been heard and if they don’t see some restraint, I expect they will take more aggressive measures.
The Chinese feel that if they don’t act, that the United States is going to continue to slice the salami to take incremental actions toward supporting Taiwan independence. China does feel under pressure to do more to signal that this is an issue in which China cannot compromise.
I think the Chinese are determined to demonstrate strength and resolve. They perceive the need to bolster their redlines. They want to credibly warn the US of the risk of further incremental actions that they see as ‘salami slicing’ the US ‘one China’ policy.
The Chinese just see [Pelosi] as rabidly anti-China, and believe that no good can come out of her.
Xi must show resolve. He has to shore up Chinese red lines and prevent further drift toward an unacceptable outcome — US support for Taiwan independence.
But the probability that the PRC will take a series of military, economic, and diplomatic actions to show strength and resolve is not insignificant. Likely it will seek to punish Taiwan in myriad ways.
We all know how bad this relationship has been in the past year. And I just think that this visit by Nancy Pelosi is just going to take it to a new low. And I think that it’s going to be very difficult to recover from that.
[Xi] may particularly feel that he can't be seen as soft on the United States and therefore react even more strongly than he might otherwise.
How forcefully mainland China’s military responds will depend in part on how Speaker Pelosi handles the visit. Will she do things publicly or privately?... Will there be some footage of her meeting with President Tsai? I think all of those will have some impact on how the Chinese react at this point. But I am confident that their reaction will be beyond what they did in 1996, firing missiles around the Taiwan Strait.
The probability that the PRC will take a series of military, economic, and diplomatic actions to show strength and resolve is not insignificant. Likely it will seek to punish Taiwan in myriad ways. The probability of war or a serious incident is low.
There’s still jockeying for various personnel selections, and Xi Jinping cannot be seen as weak on an issue like Taiwan.
I think the Chinese have to do more than they did in 1997 – Xi Jinping can’t be seen as weak on this. It’s a very dangerous moment. I think few people actually realize how dangerous this is.
I think the US government is right to be concerned about a mishap. We don’t know if Xi Jinping appreciates that there is a growing risk of miscalculation and, potentially, conflict. Let’s hope he is paying attention.
The United States and the world need clarity from the Biden administration on how it views US-Taiwanese relations , so that the president's off-the-cuff remarks don't inadvertently come to define policy.
Translated from French
Both leaders should prevent that from happening. They should establish an action plan for discussion of risk reduction measures . . . Biden should bolster the credibility of the US ‘one China’ policy and the US position of not supporting Taiwan independence.
The PLA [People’s Liberation Army] would certainly not simply repeat what they did in 1995-96 by firing missiles near Taiwan. It is certainly possible that a PLA aircraft could ‘escort’ Pelosi’s plane and fly directly over Taiwan or at least into the territorial airspace. That would be unprecedented and dangerous. I think it is unlikely that they would shoot down the aircraft.
I think Xi will go to G-20 having secured his third term in office and in a strong political position.
We are at an increasingly dangerous point in the U.S.-China relationship, particularly on Taiwan, with both sides determined to demonstrate resolve in the region.
China has become convinced that Congress and the executive branch are colluding to contain its rise. Since Speaker Pelosi is a Democrat and from the same party as President Biden, her trip is interpreted as part of a strategy of using Taiwan as a card against China and providing official support for Taiwan independence.
[China and Russia share a common interest in weakening U.S. global influence and they] seek to change the international order.
Taiwan’s existence as a separate entity threatens Xi Jinping's claim that China is now a powerful country and the CPC can defend Chinese interests.
Beijing has harshly criticized the Quad and will not be happy if (South Korea) becomes involved, but it will probably voice its concerns in a way that sends a warning signal but leaves the door open for a positive bilateral relationship.
The exclusion of Taiwan from IPEF dealt a hard blow. This step is welcome, but it falls short of both IPEF and a bilateral FTA. Nevertheless, if agreements are reached in all these areas, they could comprise future chapters of a bilateral trade deal if the politics become more favorable.
I think that the PLA lacks full confidence that it can seize and control Taiwan. The PLA itself talks about some of the deficiencies in its capability. And obviously, the war in Ukraine highlights some of the challenges that China could face; it is certainly much harder to launch a war 100 miles across a body of water than it is across land borders, (such as those) between Russia and Ukraine.
When countries have put their own interests ahead of Chinese interests, that has been interpreted by Beijing as disrespect.
The Chinese military maneuvers and drills are a reminder to Taiwan and the US not to cross Beijing's red lines. Those red lines include campaigning for formal Taiwan independence or a decision to deploy large numbers of US troops to the island.
[Taiwan’s government] focuses on the president’s declaration that he will defend Taiwan, which they welcome because it provides reassurance to their public and boosts support for the ruling party. They ignore the rest.
Are we clear about what deters China and what provokes China? The answer to that is ‘no,’ and that’s dangerous territory. We need to think long and hard on how to strengthen deterrence.
Wang Yi will be seeking to strengthen ties with the Pacific and counter US and Australian efforts to make inroads at China’s expense. He will sign the pact with the Solomons and likely announce another accord with Kiribati.
People say, ‘This is good, it will deter China,’ but how do we know that? Maybe Xi will see this as challenging Beijing’s core interests and be moved to attack Taiwan sooner. Xi is under great pressure, with the economy, with COVID. It’s not clear Biden’s statements would intimidate him. They could just aggravate his pressures.
I think this trend started in the Trump administration. It has continued in the Biden administration. It is in large part, a result of growing concern about the potential for a Chinese attack on Taiwan.
The level of concern in Beijing about US policy toward Taiwan is already very high, and this episode will further heighten that concern, especially since it was said in Tokyo.
If [Xi] feels backed into a corner, he may be forced to act in a way that would be contrary to what President Biden actually wants to see.
A senior official from the Biden administration should give a comprehensive speech on US policy toward Taiwan. The confusion and misstatements are more likely to undermine deterrence than strengthen it.
I don’t think that you’re going to hear anything in the Tony Blinken speech that hasn’t been said before and I don’t think that the goal is to come out and say something different because we have observed what the administration has done over the last 15 months. I think the main emphasis is how we’re going to do this alongside our partners.
I think that is the right objective, but I believe the confusion surrounding US policy could undermine deterrence – it could provoke the attack that we seek to deter.
A senior official from the Biden administration should give a comprehensive speech on U.S. policy toward Taiwan. The confusion and misstatements are more likely to undermine deterrence than strengthen it.
Biden's remark [is] a gaffe and [it is] patently not true that the United States had a commitment to defend Taiwan.
[Biden] has weakened the policy of strategic ambiguity and I think that's deliberate. [But the remarks left unanswered questions and that it was problematic to suggest that the United States would defend Taiwan in all circumstances.] I think confusion in our policy undermines deterrence.
Nationalism is very infectious in China and most people don’t want to be buying from a company that’s seen as damaging the country’s interests.
It is important for the focus to remain on the provision of public goods in the region. But it is, of course, not true to say that there is no security component to the Quad. I think we will see that grow a bit in this upcoming meeting.
In practice, this would mean the use of weapons like coastal defense cruise missiles and short-range, mobile air defenses, smart naval mines or drones.
Taiwan is watching the war in Ukraine closely. Many civilians in Taiwan are expressing a greater desire to learn how they can play a role in defending their island and resisting Chinese forces if necessary, but it’s not yet clear how far the Taiwanese military will go to help prepare the civilian population.
It started before the invasion of Ukraine, but I think it has really, really solidified since then. There has been this wake-up call in the Pentagon to make sure Taiwan is serious, and we need to get serious too.
I sense there has been a shift. It started before the invasion of Ukraine, but I think it has really, really solidified since then. There has been this wake-up call in the Pentagon to make sure Taiwan is serious, and we need to get serious too.
There has been consistent messaging that if China does so it will face severe consequences. It appears that so far, the Chinese have not. It is feasible that the Chinese planned to provide military assistance and changed their minds.
I think the main emphasis is how we’re going to do this alongside our partners … and how we’re going to integrate our economic statecraft and technological capabilities with our diplomatic and military-slash-defense toolboxes to advance a set of objectives vis-à-vis China.
The speech [is] likely to be the only public articulation of the China strategy, unlike the Indo-Pacific strategy, which was released as a 12-page document.
There were growing worries about China’s policies during COVID-19, when it supplied substandard testing kits and medical masks to many European countries, including Germany. There’s also been growing concern about China’s human rights policies in Xinjiang and Hong Kong and there was anger when China imposed sanctions on German parliamentarians and NGOs.
I believe that at the outset of this war, Xi had hoped that this conflict would help to accelerate the decline of the West and the friction between the US and its allies and drive a wedge between them. It has of course had quite a contrary impact, and so I think that has been very unfavourable to China.
It’s in China’s interests to identify the cause of the crash. There is no doubt that including Boeing representatives will aid in doing so.
China prefers a negotiated end to the conflict that results in a neutralized Ukraine that remains a sovereign entity, and greater security for Russia, a divided and weakened NATO, and reduced US credibility and influence.
China prefers a negotiated end to the conflict that results in a neutralised Ukraine that remains a sovereign entity, and greater security for Russia, a divided and weakened NATO, and reduced US credibility and influence.
That’s the real lesson of Ukraine for Taiwan: You need civilians who know how to use a rifle. Taiwan could easily do something like that, but they haven’t.
[China] may have believed that this conflict would drive wedges between the US and Europe. Maybe they thought that Europe wouldn’t cut off gas from Russia and wouldn’t want to join in the U.S. and the sanctions.
What Taiwan is doing with the reservists is long overdue. I don't know how long it will take to apply this pilot program to the entire reserves and bring everybody up to that level. I think it's important that they are doing it.
China’s policy is based on Xi Jinping’s view of China’s interests, and he sees the United States as implacably hostile. He sees Russia as his only ally against the United States and the other democracies. … I don’t think China can in any way be neutral.
Once we get on the other side of [the Chinese Communist Party’s 20th Party Congress this fall], there’s a real concern that China will move against Taiwan.
The Chinese have made it clear that they think Russia has legitimate security concerns, they have blamed NATO’s expansion as the cause of the problem, they won’t even call it an invasion.
[Russia’s war on Ukraine] has underscored the importance to countries like Japan and Australia of alliances — how important they are in protecting their interests and potentially deterring but also pushing back against a similar kind of aggression in Asia.
The Chinese have made it clear that they think Russia has legitimate security concerns. They have blamed NATO's expansion as the cause of the problem, [and] they won’t even call it an invasion.
The cohesiveness of US alliances, the seismic shift in Germany’s policy, and the willingness of many countries to impose sanctions should give China pause.
Mullen and the delegation would probably impress upon Taiwan’s leaders that they needed to become more serious about boosting defenses and implementing reforms.
Beijing is making it clear that it does not want to be directly associated with Moscow’s moves. The costs of doing so, in terms of relations with the US and Europe, and its global reputation, are too high.
China has always prized sovereignty in its foreign policy; it does not want to be associated with Moscow’s action. The costs of doing so, in terms of relations with the US and Europe, and its global reputation, are too high. Yet, it has an important relationship with Russia that it doesn’t want to damage. I see this as a major foreign policy challenge for Xi Jinping.
The 20th Party Congress will be extremely important even though and maybe because there will be no leadership change. Xi Jinping will likely lay out his priority agenda, which will provide insights into the legacy items he hopes to achieve.
China wants to preserve its ties with Moscow, abide by its principles and avoid harming relations with the United States and the European Union. Navigating this crisis may be one of the toughest diplomatic challenges that [Chinese leader] Xi Jinping has had to face.
This [statement from Chinese permanent representative, Zhang Yun] reads like a placeholder. China hasn’t decided what its policy response should be yet.
In a wider strategic context where Beijing sees itself in an intensifying rivalry with the United States, consolidating a partnership with Russia is now worth the price of some unhappy European leaders and modest potential economic costs in Ukraine.
In 2008, China was still emerging as a global player. Now, it has the ambition to be a global superpower, but how much the Olympics are going to get them there, I’m personally a little skeptical.
If Beijing lent stronger support to Moscow, that could create more tensions with the US, including a clearer democracy versus autocracy split.
Letting this crisis fester is likely to have a bad outcome for Lithuanian interests, and perhaps for Taiwan’s as wel. The establishment of a new office and the rapid expansion of Lithuania-Taiwan ties is a big win for Taipei regardless of what they call the office.
I don’t think these messages are resonating much with Western countries anymore. There is growing realization that Xi’s language and vision for world order as expressed in his speeches doesn’t match up with China’s policies and actions.
The importance of RCEP for China is primarily in strengthening the trend toward intraregional trade, with China as every country's number one or number two trading partner. RCEP also strengthens China's narrative that it is an active participant in multilateral trade deals, while the US is not.
Translated from Chinese (Mandarin)
The risk of a PRC attack on Taiwan prior to the 20th Party Congress in the fall of 2022 is very low. Xi Jinping is unlikely to take such a risk that might put in jeopardy securing a third five-year term in power.
There was a high level of concern within the Tsai administration that this pork referendum would pass. [If the pork import ban had been approved by Taiwan’s voters,] it just would have been very consequential for the U.S.-Taiwan trade relationship.
I think the Chinese would be ill-advised to assume that if the United States did not intervene militarily in a Ukraine crisis, that means the United States would not intervene militarily in a Taiwan crisis. They really are different.
[I do] not believe war is imminent, despite the ramped-up military presence. The Chinese are training in a very realistic way. A rehearsal doesn't mean that they have the intention to invade.
It seems to me that a decision was made at the outset that Taiwan could/should be included in the Summit for Democracy, but only in ways consistent with U.S. policy.
The Chinese campaign to pry countries away from Taiwan was starting to backfire because it was making other nations, such as U.S. allies Japan and Australia, more supportive of efforts to boost Taipei’s security. Taiwan’s isolation isn’t in the interests of the EU, Japan, Australia and many other countries, so they may take steps to strengthen their ties with Taiwan.
Unless other countries joined the boycott, it would undermine the message that China's human rights abuses are unacceptable. The only option really that is available to us is to try to get as many countries as we can to stand with us in this coalition.
There was no doubt that Taiwan was going to be invited. However, some details of its participation had been planned to avoid upsetting China more than necessary. For example, Taiwan’s digital minister and its representative to the U.S. are joining the summit, but its president is not. China’s reaction is calibrated based on what the United States does. And I think the U.S. has carefully managed this.
The Biden administration had no choice but to follow through on a diplomatic boycott. The decision to label China's actions in Xinjiang a genocide meant that no U.S. official could attend the Games. Other countries have not used such provocative terminology.
For the first eight months, the Chinese just refused to engage. They hoped that there would be a return to Obama-era policies.
The Chinese Communist Party likely feels threatened by the Biden democracy narrative and feels compelled to reaffirm that it puts the people first. Of course, the people come after the party and the preservation of its role, but that is left unsaid.
The US has been keen to touch base with New Zealand on issues including China, supply chain resilience, the Pacific Islands and South East Asia. It is always really good to reconnect, to have officials sit down in person and talk about the challenges and opportunities especially where there is so much taking place in the world.
China will likely respond in some way, but it will not lead to a major setback in the relationship. Taiwan will not be referred to as a country, its president will not participate.
I’m really not sure if Beijing’s bottom line is simply that Tsai not be allowed to participate. But she won’t be invited, so maybe they can tell their domestic audience that the U.S. backed down in the face of Chinese pressure.
If the apology [from JPMorgan Chase CEO, Jamie Dimon] was effusive, the Chinese Communist party might let it go. The longevity of the party isn’t a topic that China likes to call attention to.
We need to have an ambassador in place in Beijing. There are areas of friction that, if not a dealt with, if they are left to fester, could potentially spiral out of control. We could end up in a confrontation with China if we have an accident, for example, between our two militaries in the South China Sea.
These patrols have multiple objectives, including testing Taiwan’s responses, training PRC pilots, sending warning signals to Taiwan’s government, and stoking nationalism at home.
Having the president say Taiwan is independent would really be of concern to China... It appears that [President Biden's] heart is in supporting stronger relations with Taiwan and maybe even independence.
Biden’s statements haven’t consistently signaled an ironclad guarantee that the U.S. would come to Taiwan’s defense. Most of them have simply made no sense. These statements have sent confused signals and have not advanced American interests in preserving peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
People are nervous because they don't really understand what Xi Jinping's endgame is, what his strategy is, and how we can put in place some understanding or risk reduction measures to avoid conflict. And we have a history of knowing that when there's a crisis, the Chinese don't answer the phone.
It is important that the U.S. have a clear policy and consistent messaging to China, Taiwan, and the rest of the world on this issue because it is likely the only issue that could lead to a U.S.-China military conflict.
Beijing is eager to use the summit to signal to its domestic audience and other countries that the US-China relationship is back on track. But the Biden administration wants to avoid a scenario in which the Chinese spin this summit as a reset of the relationship.
Xi has sent contradictory signals on Taiwan. It is difficult to disaggregate which signals Xi intends for the party elite, the general domestic audience, Taiwan audiences or the United States.
Beijing will object to the landing of yet another U.S. military aircraft on Taiwan. Although the visit by U.S. congressmen to Taiwan is certainly not unusual, it comes against the background of a slew of pro-Taiwan and anti-China legislation, which the Chinese view as contributing to a hardening of U.S. policy toward China.
[Adm. Davidson] inferred too much from a recent goal, set by Chinese President Xi Jinping, to achieve “national rejuvenation” by 2027. That year is the 100th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army. There is “no evidence” of Xi or anyone else tying this date to a takeover of Taiwan.
Beijing could impose sanctions on EU officials who met with Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu. It could also postpone a planned meeting between Xi Jinping and European Council President Charles Michel, and a 27+1 meeting that has been broached.
No member of the Politburo Standing Committee has traveled out of China since the onset of Covid-19 … the risks of infection and the potential attendant political consequences are deemed to be too great.
Tsai has sought to maintain the status quo on the Taiwan Strait and is not guilty of any particular provocation. However, China's government is concerned by the strengthening of defense ties between Taiwan and the United States, among other issues.
Biden’s gaffes are weakening deterrence, U.S. policy should be clear and consistent, or we are not likely to successfully deter or reassure. [Beijing is] likely seeking to clarify quietly. There is always a tendency in Beijing to make the worst case interpretation, and the lack of mutual trust will make it difficult to credibly walk back.
Some are suggesting a deliberate effort to send unclear signals, but in my view, that makes no sense. A confused U.S. policy weakens deterrence.
China wants to keep Taiwan in a box and it is using more and more coercion against Taiwan...They want to intimidate Taiwan.
Xi didn’t place urgency on unification. With so many domestic issues, there’s little motivation for Xi to “rock the boat.
I personally would have advised Tai to continue to communicate in English, just to ensure that nothing is misconceived in Beijing. It's a bit of a dance that's going on between China and the United States and we'll have to see how far it goes.
Activities such as this — for training purposes — have been going on for years. In the past, these activities have been kept under wraps. If they are now being made public deliberately, that’s new. And it will undoubtedly provoke a reaction from China.
Given how much [China has] ratcheted up pressure in the past week, we should worry that they will want to send a stronger signal, and therefore do something more destabilising than simply increase the number of sorties around Taiwan.
[The spike in China's military activity is] destabilizing, but not alarming and undoubtedly intended to intimidate Taiwan.
The PRC's national day and the training cycle are important factors. Of course, the flights are also intended to warn Taiwan and the U.S. not to cross Beijing's red lines.
I think the hope is that it will lead to a Biden-Xi Jinping meeting, which may have to be virtual.
The Chinese flights were also designed to test Taiwan’s response time and to wear down its air force. But, the flights were not a prelude to war; they were occurring in international air space.
Of course, there are other things that China is trying to achieve and those are obviously stressing Taiwan’s air force, putting their pilots on edge, increasing the cost of maintenance, inducing psychological despair within the people. They are testing the response times of Taiwan’s air defences and they are probably rallying domestic support because it is popular to be seen as reminding Taiwan that it is part of China.
The other purposes they serve is to signal to the United States and Taiwan not to cross Chinese red lines. And to stress Taiwan’s air force, to force them to scramble, to stress the aircraft, the pilots, force them to do more maintenance and test the responses of Taiwan’s air defence system.
This has become the new normal in the Taiwan Strait, this is part of the training for the PLA air force, and the naval air assets as well.
It stresses Taiwan’s force, tests the (Taiwanese Air Force) response time, warns the DPP not to cross Beijing’s red lines, and provides opportunities for … training.
[PLA flights are] not flying over Taiwan. They're not even flying within Taiwan's territorial airspace, within 12 nautical miles of its shore.
Beijing thinks the U.S. needs China's cooperation more than China needs cooperation from the United States. So, by insisting that there are preconditions for any kind of cooperation, China thinks it can get some concessions from the U.S.
The biggest difference on China is that the Trump administration was more unilateralist and even weakened some of our alliances and partnerships, but the Biden administration has come in determined to build coalitions with the countries that share our values and interests.
The devil is in the details. If China did stop its financing of coal-fired power plants via its Belt and Road Initiative, a multibillion-dollar global investment plan, it 'will be welcomed' by the EU. But it won't remove European concerns about many other issues such as China's human rights and predatory trade policies.
I believe that the deal that the PRC made to get Meng [Wanzhou] released was on the table during the Trump administration. She had to acknowledge wrongdoing and ultimately that is what she did. I don't see capitulation.
Between the Quad and Aukus, 'we’re seeing the emergence of a new security architecture, it sends a signal to Beijing that other countries are willing to stand up together and defend a rules-based international order.'
The reason why countries are willing to stand up more and do things, whether that is India in the Quad or Australia in AUKUS, is because of concern about China's behavior and its challenges to the rules-based order. So I think even before they actually start doing anything, just announcing that they have this new mechanism is very significant.
To prevent the outcome of Chinese regional hegemony, it is necessary for countries to take diplomatic and military actions, which will inevitably lead to greater tensions and military confrontation.
The Chinese believe that the U.S. needs cooperation from China more than China needs the United States, [and like others see the United States as weaker now than in the past.]
Beijing will view this as part of the Biden administration’s effort to build coalitions to hem China in and contain its rising power.
There are numerous ways that the EU and the U.S. can work together to advance their shared interests in peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific and strengthen the rules-based order.
It may be politically risky for Xi to engage with President Biden without certainty that he can get something from Biden. He may calculate that it is safer to only have interactions in this period at lower levels. But there is also the Covid factor, and we don’t know how much weight to attach to that.
My understanding from people in the administration - having talked to allies and partners who have an interest in peace and security in the Indo-Pacific - is that there was nothing negative. There is support in the region for deterrence and for having U.S. presence and military presence in the region.
There is a shared understanding that we need to strengthen deterrence and actually be prepared to fight a conflict if one occurs. It reflects growing concern about Chinese military capabilities and intentions.
Southeast Asia always has a degree of angst about US staying in power in the region, but I don't think that Afghanistan moves the needle of their concerns very much.
I think there's growing awareness in the United States about Taiwan and the challenges that it faces.