Posted February 2, 2017
On February 1, 2017, the Center for International Strategy, Technology, and Policy (CISTP) and the Office of International Initiatives hosted a panel discussion on Chinese Foreign Policy featuring Dr. Hao Yufan and Dr. Da Hsuan Feng from Macau University and Dr. Fei-Ling Wang from the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs. The panel was moderated by Dr. Adam Stulberg, Professor at the Sam Nunn School and Co-Director of CISTP. Dr. Stulberg noted the timeliness of the issues being discussed as well as the great opportunity to better understand the strategic forces at play between two major powers on the world stage.
Dr. Hao Yufan presented the Chinese perspective under Xi Jinping and noted the presence of both pessimism and optimism among the Chinese people, but stated that a growing number are pessimistic after recent American remarks on Taiwan. He continued by stating that before Xi Jinping’s time in office, Chinese foreign policy tended to be reactive and passive, but under Xi Jinping’s leadership this outlook has become proactive with an eye on the “big picture.” Yufan finished by saying that China faces multiple challenges from a variety of global players as they shape their foreign policy goals. Domestically, there are long overlooked social factors that China must address, and many are due to inequality.
Dr. Da Hsuan Feng discussed the China’s “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) policy. This network of infrastructure and trade intends to connect Asia, Europe, and Africa, creating a super-continent and ushering in a new Renaissance. OBOR has the potential to break the deeply rooted mindset that Europe and Asia are separate, and Feng believes OBOR should lead to and enhance greater understanding between cultures. Xi Jinping himself has said that “Cultural Communication” is a fundamental part of OBOR. In this vein, the relationship between China and India will be crucial for OBOR, and Feng believes a mutual understanding between these two countries must be reached in order for it succeed. He concluded by stating that China must view OBOR as a global endeavor, not simply a China endeavor.
Finally, Dr. Fei-Ling Wang spoke about the nature of Chinese Power. He acknowledged that rising Chinese power led to many of the themes his colleagues discussed. Wang pointed to a number of Chinese peculiarities and how growing Chinese power related to exciting ideas such as cultural communication, a super-continent, and a new Renaissance. He concluded by saying that how China views itself, and how China views the world, will be crucial to the future of both Chinese power and global geopolitics.