Bonnie S. Glaser is director of the Asia Program at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. She was previously senior adviser for Asia and the director of the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Ms. Glaser is concomitantly a nonresident fellow with the Lowy Institute in Sydney, Australia, and a senior associate with the Pacific Forum. For more than three decades, Ms. Glaser has worked at the intersection of Asia-Pacific geopolitics and U.S. policy.

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 International Herald Tribune and in various edited volumes on Asian security. She is also a regular contributor to the Pacific Forum web journal Comparative Connections. 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

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
[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 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.
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.
I think the hope is that it will lead to a Biden-Xi Jinping meeting, which may have to be virtual.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.'
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.