Just World Podcasts

Dr. Lyle Goldstein discusses US-China relations with Helena Cobban

October 10, 2020 Helena Cobban
Just World Podcasts
Dr. Lyle Goldstein discusses US-China relations with Helena Cobban
Show Notes Transcript

At a time when US-China tensions seem to be increasing, Just World Educational is launching a new project on the shifting balance between the two countries, as Phase 2 of its continuing "World After Covid" project. In this phase of the project, JWE will be releasing the materials from each of the sessions held in podcast format as well as video and text. To see all the materials produced during this phase and the previous phase of the project, visit the "Resources" section of our website, www.justworldeducational.org.

In today's episode, Ms. Cobban discusses key aspects of the strategic balance between the United States and China with Dr. Lyle Goldstein, who was the founding diorector of the China Maritime Studies Institute at the Naval War College in Newport, RI and author of a seminal 2015 book, Meeting China Halfway. Upcoming episodes of the podcast will present the audio from a groundbreaking public dialogue on US-China relations that Just World Edis organizing in collaboration with the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Beijing's Renmin University. More details of this dialogue can be found here.

Support the show (http://justworldeducational.org/donate/)
Speaker 1:

Hello everybody. I'm Helena carbon . I'm the president of just world educational. I'd like to welcome you to phase two of our world after COVID project, which we're in which we'll be focusing on the U S China relationship and ways to deescalate. What sometimes seems to be an endlessly escalating , um, balance between the two powers later in this phase of the project, we'll be presenting some sessions that are an exciting new collaboration we have with the Chung yang Institute for financial studies. And when men university in Beijing, China, I'll tell you more about those U S China dialogue sessions later on, but for now it's my pleasure to welcome dr. Lyle Goldstein, who is a professor of strategic studies at the U S Naval war college in Newport Rhode Island, and the founding director of the Naval war college is China maritime studies Institute, Lyle . It's good to have you with us. Oh , I'm so glad to be here, Helena . Thanks for the invite. So now, just before we get into our discussion with Lyle, I want to remind you that as with the first phase of this world, after COVID project, all the materials in this phase will be archived and made available on a dedicated resource page on our [email protected] And if you go there, you can also find a donate button and donate to support our programs. So now , um , to tell you more about Lyle , Goldstein's amazing book that he published in 2015, it's called meeting China halfway , how to diffuse the emerging us China rivalry. Now I was, I was stunned when I read the book to see how many amazing , um, Chinese language sources he was integrating and using. And I think, you know, definitely deserves a very wide readership. And thank you Lyle for writing it. Um , I'm gonna jump right in and , um, ask you to explain one of the key concepts in the book, which is your concept of cooperation's spirals. And I'll , I'll just, I have, we're going to share all this stuff on the website, but here's a picture of one of Lyle's cooperation , spirals, basically, if you can't see it, what it is, it's a kind of a spiral of , um, actions that one side takes and then the other side takes. So there's us one PRC, one, us two PRC two , and each is a , is a series of graded, which he describes in here, which he labels in both English and Mandarin. So , um , Lyle , could you explain how you came up with this concept and then we'll talk a bit more about it.

Speaker 2:

It's a , a, I don't want to pretend that it's , um, something so novel. I mean, I think in some, at some level, you know, one learns to , uh, to, you know, in your own family relations and at school and so forth, the , you know, one learns to deescalate conflict on a daily basis with this kind of, you know , uh, well, you know, let's , uh, let's take some graduated steps are compromised and that might lead to kind of greater forms of compromised . So really this is very intuitive, I think for most people , uh, but it does have, I think, a strong social science basis. Uh, you have , um, uh, people who have studied cooperation using , uh, mostly , uh, social psychology, like , um , actual writing [inaudible] for example, they did some famous studies and they , they asked the question, they said, well, cooperation doesn't happen that much in the world, but, but when it does happen, how does it happen and what they , um, they came to the conclusion quickly that the best way to , um, develop cooperation, the most successful forms of cooperation are really in a kind of tit for tat that is you don't jump into a kind of grand bargain. Rather, you , you make little steps building trust on the way, and those allow for the bigger compromises down the road. Um, so indeed that, that's really what I try to build. And , and really what I wanted to do in this book is kind of fill out these , uh, these steps, you know, what might they look like? And I surely did not think that I was the person who had all the answers to this. There are a lot of , uh , brilliant Chinese thinkers and American strategists as well, who, who have a lot to contribute to this and, and , uh, students as well. And , you know, whenever I give a talk about this, I always ask the students to come up with their own spirals , um, and ask them how they would look. Um, uh, so here you see these four kind of principles though, that I think are essential gradualism , uh , reciprocity of course , um, and fairness and some kind of enforceability. And I always understood that within these processes, one could go back or down the spiral. That is, I mean, you, in other words, you could fall backward. There might be , um, setbacks, you know , uh, but, but still weak , they continue to move upward and onward. So, so that's the general idea. It's a lot harder in reality. Um, I can't say that I've seen too many examples of that . I mean, they're there , they're out there , uh, but it's, it's , uh, I would like to see much more of this. Unfortunately we seem, as you can imagine , um , you know, the, the reverse of a cooperation spiral forces, an escalation spiral, and unfortunately that has been the dominant trend . So , um , I am, you know, you may be wondering, I am asked occasionally and I'll just stop sharing the screen here, although I might share a few more details later, but, but , uh , I'm , I am frequently asked, you know, Oh, professor Goldstein, do you regret proposing that we should meet China Hathaway ? You know, do you have you , have you rethought all this and come to the realization that we have to confront China bras , you know, all dimensions of Chinese power and so forth, which is the kind of discussion one hears more and more in the U S government and round . And , and I know I have not , uh , I don't think that's right. You know , I frankly reject that premise. And in my view, we, we failed in many respects to meet China halfway . That is, you know, had we undertake and more, you know , bolder steps earlier, we'd be much, you know, I think we'd be in a much better place. Now. One could argue it's too late. Now one could argue, there's so much bitterness in the relationship that , um, that these proposals are, are not practical now, but I, I really don't think that's true. I think we can, there are a lot of reasonable people on both sides, you know, the harder people think about it, they come to the conclusion that conflict is just out of the question, especially in the nuclear era. So how do we come together? And then I think , uh, you know, I don't think all is lost there . I think we can get back to a positive relationship. It was going to take a lot of work though, and a lot of compromising compromise as hard . Absolutely.

Speaker 1:

That's a great introduction to the concept. Thank you. I have a little followup question actually, which is you alluded at the end to the fact that the prospects of outright escalation are so terrible. Um, you know, which is if , as if you don't go up the corporation spiral, but you like, you cascade down it into greater and greater escalation. Um, you may end up with truly horrendous outcomes. Um, and I know you've written about this a couple of times recently in the national interest, or maybe these were articles that you had written earlier, but they react on national international interest magazine, which I was really pleased to see. One was about Taiwan. And , um, another, I think core is about , um, China, the Chinese Naval navies , or the Chinese militaries , uh , memories of, of the, of the China, Japan war. Um , and actually now that you have this , uh, what they call the quad, the U S um, Japan , um, Australia and India meeting just right now , um , at , at a ministerial level in Japan, maybe these China's the Chinese military , his memories of what happened in the 1930s and 1940s. And maybe even before that must be really on their mind a lot. Sorry, that's a little bit of a digression from what we'd agreed to talk about, but , um, I think that , you know , before we dive into one or two of the spirals that you laid out, it would be useful to have a sort of an update as of today for some of these things that you were writing about in the, in the national interest articles.

Speaker 2:

Sure, sure. And I have written a lot for national interest for about five years. I wrote a kind of weekly column and , um , I'm a little sad to , I stopped writing it for a variety of reasons, but , uh, I'm a little disappointed that frankly , uh, the editor seemed to , um, how to put it, the , they pick out actually the most kind of , uh , the darkest ones and tend to republish those for whatever reason. So I would encourage, if people are curious about my writings, they might just go down the list. Some because the ones that are republished tend to be , um , you know, have these very splashy headlines, I guess that's life in the internet age where, where the, these , uh, publishing outlets are paid by the click. So , um, uh , anyway, please , uh, take a look. Um, you're right though, you know, and I, you know , uh , Helena I'm , um , by training , uh , I'm a China specialist and I also work on Russia and speak Russian, but my training is mostly as a defense analyst. And part of my motivation here is the scenarios are very, very dark, even in the best case, a U S China clash would , uh, uh , involve a massive , uh, fleets of ships and aircraft , uh , missile engagements of a kind that we've the world has never seen. And of course , um, you know, lethality and losses, that would be massive by my calculations. You know, a Taiwan conflict, for example, would probably mean certainly , uh , tens of thousands of Americans, probably that , uh, but probably in some total, maybe hundreds of thousands killed, but it could go up from there. Um, as you pointed out, escalation is , is something very hard to predict and , uh, I don't know any nuclear strategist who can say with a straight face, and I did my PhD on nuclear strategy. So I know a few things about this and , um , I don't, I don't know any nuclear strategists who can assure you with a hundred percent certainty, that there will be no use of nuclear weapons in a Taiwan scenario, or even in a South Tennessee scenario, or let's say an East China sea st . Kaku scenario. I also work on the Korean peninsula a lot, and this is also a powder keg. Uh , and that's one in which, you know, millions could die in 20, in the first 24 hours. So all of these conflict scenarios are, you know, who've not to be too crude, but one can say that they make , uh, the Iraq war, the war in Afghanistan, like a look like a tea party. I mean, and those have been tragic and have caused a lot of suffering and death, but these are of a , of a magnitude that's much more similar to a world war, one world war II that kind of , um, a terrible catastrophic impact. And , um, you know, another thing to consider is just as the rise of Germany , uh , brought about, as we all know a series of Wars, right? That one can consider that it's a possibility with us, China interaction to that is there could be the first major war. Then there could be the second , uh , war after that. So, I mean, we need to be mature and responsible here and not, you know, light the embers and poor gasoline all over this. Uh , we need to take responsible steps, which are toward compromise. So, you know, I come at this, I have a lot of passion on this subject because precisely because I am looking at the , um, you know, what I think are very dark , um, possibilities , uh, you know, it's been said that you have to, in order to prevent a tragedy, you have to envision the tragedy. And I'm afraid to say that, you know, I , I can see it and, and we need to avoid that future. And , and, you know, we cannot wait for the crisis to come because in the crisis, you know, leaders are often irrational. There's the , uh, you know , uh, the public opinion is easily swayed. Uh , there's a rally around the flag event, you know, effect , uh, there's. We have to take steps before the crisis to prevent, you know, to head off this kind of train wreck.

Speaker 1:

Thank you for that. Great reminder. I mean, I think another thing that we need to do is to broaden the understanding. I mean, you know , I think it's really remarkable that there is somebody like you at the us Naval war college, and I'm sure that, you know, what next week, just to give a little teaser here, we're going to have dr. Michael Swain, I'm speaking in dialogue . And there are a number of other specialists on strategic affairs who look at the whole picture as you guys do, who understand, you know, the lessons from the two work so-called world Wars , um , which ended with Hiroshima, but this time we're talking about a potential war world war in which nuclear weapons exist. I mean, from , from the get go. So it is a very , uh , sobering thing for the public to understand. I mean, I, I, what I am eager is to do with our project here , um, from just all educational is to broaden the public understanding of these issues, because there is so much kind of xenophobic or jingoistic mobilization going on in this election period. Um, I want to come back , um, to, as a sort of focus back toward your, your cooperation spirals , um, matter, but before that your , your book went to press, I guess in 2014 or 2015, I, I, I can see that it was before the JCPO , um, on the Iran issue, cause that did change a lot of things. Um, but a lot has changed since your book went to press. So while I, I really value your, kind of your idea that we need to look at things calmly and to find deescalation steps, it, other specific cooperation, spirals, you, you, you lay out in your book , um , would you be able to update them? Is there like, is there still a possibility on these different issues, like the South China sea or the middle East or, or, you know, global governments or the many issues that you do cover in your book? Could you, could you update those spirals?

Speaker 2:

Well, Helena I, of course I would be very pleased to , to update them and perhaps I should, you're inspiring me. Maybe I should consider a, you know, a full up , um , revision of the book and, and make some new suggestions. Um, but I would say probably 80% of this of the proposals probably would still hold today. Um, they , um, it involves, you know, in every situation , um, you know, and , and I really, if, if you get a look at the book, you'll see that I have really , um, gone around the compass. That is, you know, I have a whole chapter on Taiwan and of course that's the issue for sure . You know, I think we're , unfortunately we're all too close to a conflict over Taiwan. Um, uh, but I think that that wa that's viral , I think does hold up today , today , uh, quite well , uh, um, uh, looked at the South China sea and Korea very carefully. And those spirals I think are , are in pretty good shape , uh, if we were to enact some of these ideas and then, but I also made an effort to reach out to the different areas, including , um, for example, South Asia, the Indian ocean and how China's relationship with India is absolutely critical to the 21st century and the 22nd century as India continues to rise. Um, you know, maybe that chapter is even more important than I thought. And since we're seeing a lot of China, India attention, which I think is very dangerous , um, you know, I , um , been asked occasionally, what, what did he leave out? Well , I , uh, you know, I didn't, there's no chapter there on the Arctic , uh, for example , uh, and you know, I actually next week I'm giving a lecture on , on China strategy in the Arctic. So, I mean, there are, there are things that are just not in this book, but we, you know, look the state , the basic formulation, okay. Is that, is that we want, you know, we, we have certain , um , asks of China. We want them to do certain things. Um, we want them to be a responsible stakeholder. Uh, we want them to , uh, not push around their neighbors, you know, hopefully to, to abide by international law. We want them to do all these things, but in my view, we were going to need to extend a hand in which is, I think again, intuitive to most people as is how cooperation works. Uh, and, and we're neat . We need to , um, uh, show China our Goodwill and that may involve , um, reducing us presence or , uh, trying to act in a cooperative way in certain very sensitive areas. And we have not done that. We've done really opposite , uh, partly, and by the way, this, this isn't just a result of the, of the president Trump administration. Uh, you may recall a lot of, a lot of the tension actually began. And one reason I decided to write the book was , uh, the Obama administration had enacted the so-called pivot, the rebalancing to Asia. And then really that, I mean, although things could, there was some tension before that, of course , uh, going all the way back to the EAP three incident in 2001 and so forth. But, but really that was a moment , um, where, you know, in my view, the region began to slip into a very , um, you know, really what we must call a kind of hot rivalry , uh, with some, some dangerous crises, for example, the Scarborough Shoal crisis in 2012, that could have easily escalated and a lot of , uh , deployments , um, since then. So anyway, it's a difficult enterprise. How do you, how do you pull two sides back from the brink? And I like maps and, and , uh , you know, as a military analyst, I tend to focus on deployments of forces and so forth. And , and I consider myself a realist. So for me, actions and forces are much more important than words. You know, when , when can say all day, I would like to meet China halfway, you know, and have nice , uh , pictures of people, clinking glasses, and so forth to me as a realist. You know, that doesn't mean very much. It's, you know, it's useful. I, I , you know, summit train and so forth, I applaud that, but I would like to see concrete outcome , uh, reductions of forces , uh , forces moving into , um, into a disposition that's more peaceful and less threatening to me that that's real change, solid change.

Speaker 1:

So sort of forced deployments that are not hair-trigger , you know, where you, where you build in time for me . Yeah. Uh ,

Speaker 2:

Forces that are defensively oriented and have different doctrines. Uh , and we can do that. I mean, there's , a lot of scholars have spent a lot of time thinking about what, what forces are more destabilizing

Speaker 3:

And a lot of experience from the end of the U S Soviet cold war in doing precisely this.

Speaker 2:

Exactly. In fact, one of the , uh, now that you raise that Helena , I think I just relayed a quick story from one of my last trips to China, where , um, I was asked by a Chinese scholar about , um, the so-called CFE agreement in Europe, that was the conventional forces Europe. And that, you know, to those of us who remember how the cold war ended in Europe, that agreement was absolutely pivotal. I mean, that was the one that really pulled the Russian Soviet army back. And that made it into a , uh , what was, what was viewed as a very threatening force into something much more , uh, that had a reliable disposition that was going to be defensive. And it counted things like tanks and helicopters and artillery systems, but it, and it put them in certain areas, you know , um, reserve areas far away from the front line . And, you know, that is a classic confidence building measure, by the way, you know, sad news on that front, that that agreement fell apart. Uh , about 10 years ago, when the Russian said, we're , we're finished with this, we don't wanna , we're not gonna play by these rules anymore because , uh , you know, NATO hasn't played by those rules. So, so anyway, this Chinese scholar was saying, why don't we apply this to the Asia Pacific? Why can't we come to an agreement about forced dispositions to, to do this in a peaceful way? And I, I, you know, still echoes in my head cause I think that was a fantastic idea. I didn't, that was after I had written the book, so I didn't manage to work it in, but what a great idea. And then by the way, that's one reason Helena that I'm always reading Chinese sources so carefully because they do have a lot of great ideas for reducing tension. Uh , they don't want this cold war. They certainly don't want a hot war. And , um, you know, you know, in my view, we need to take Chinese voices very seriously. So I'm trying to do that , uh , with my work . But one last thing I want to say her Helen has that the enterprise of pulling the two forces apart is especially difficult, partly because, I mean, the fact of, you know, it's more or less just a result of history that the United States has large forces , very proximate to Chinese borders. Right? We have forces in Japan. We have forces in Korea. We did have forces in Taiwan, but we have forces that are ready to go near the South China sea and so forth. These are all areas near China, which make, which unnerve the Chinese a lot. Okay. Let's face it. The Chinese feel like they're hemmed in or ringed by Chinese by U S basis. Well, China doesn't, you know, they don't have a base in Cuba or base in Venezuela or base in Mexico or Canada or something like that . And, you know, if they did actually, it would make the, it would actually make the enterprise easier. Right. Because, you know, we would pull a base you out of one area and they'd pull the base out of a whatever Mexico or something like that. So in a way, the asymmetry of the dispositions of the two military forces makes this actually quite a bit more difficult. Um, and so, but we have that, that invites us to be creative about how we do this.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. I mean, just building on what you said , um, the Cuban missile crisis was resolved in the end of quite speedily, depending how you look at it because the U S was, had been planning to, to deploy certain things in Turkey and, and, you know , so there was a deal to be made because jerky is very close to the Soviet union, the former Soviet union, so Southern border. So they agreed not to do that. And the , the Russians agreed not to deploy , um, the missiles in Cuba. So that , that was , uh , and in a sense,

Speaker 2:

Like a curtain symmetry, a certain elegance symmetry to that, a solution to price .

Speaker 1:

So to the, to the relationship in general, I mean, you know, by the time you got , um , serious arms control negotiations and agreements happening , um, in , in the sixties and seventies, between the U S and the Soviet union, there was a sort of recognition that these were two, the two superpowers, and that's how everybody spoke about it. And, but there is not that recognition of a kind of superpower equality between China and the United States, right ?

Speaker 2:

And I , by the way , uh, for, for interested audience listeners, I have no doubt that China is a superpower. In fact, if you look in this September, 2020, one of the issues of the economists , they have analysis that suggests China's economy in 20, in 2019 is, is , uh , something like , uh, 19% larger than the U S economy. So in my view, we need to recognize China as a superpower, but you're right. Most strategists do not. And there is that asymmetry that again, causes difficulties, if you will. And, and, you know, if one wants to look upon this relationship, hopefully you might say, well, as China matures, as it grows, as it becomes stronger, you have a more equivalent balance of power. And that may result in a greater symmetry that allows kind of more people to see this more clearly and develop more compromises. On the other hand, though, that that can be obviously a much more dangerous situation, right ? We don't want to rerun the Cuban missile crisis five times and, you know, just hope that it ends well, because that was extraordinarily dangerous. I mean, if you I've been involved in some of the , uh , historiography around that, and I actually got to interview a Russian submarine captain who was down there in the Caribbean with his finger on a nuclear trigger. Um, and you know, the Americans didn't even know that the , that the Russians had deployed nuclear torpedoes on board , these submarines. So I'm , there's so many uncertainties here and the dangers are such that we really need to act now to head off some of these dangers, I guess it of concomitant

Speaker 1:

Threat is what's called the [inaudible] acidities trap, which is where you have this handover of power from, I guess in those days it was Athens to Sparta or vice versa. I forget, but , uh, you know, and , and the declining power becomes so edgy that they launch foolish Wars to try to, to try to preserve their PA and to depress the, the rise of the rising power. And it doesn't turn turn out. Well, I think that's the short version of the visit is

Speaker 2:

Decisely . And I think grandma also would be very pleased with your summary. I credit Alison with a huge insight here. He really brought our attention to this, and you wouldn't be surprised that his book and mine sort of work well together , um, because we're worried about the same phenomena and he seems see clearly, but , but as you point out in through, acidities gotta give him some credit too . He saw that , um, one of the interesting phenomena here was that it was the fear. It wasn't just the growth of power because, you know, people say, well, rising China, that's the problem. It's also the fear of a rising China. And that's the key insight from facilities and the facilities trap as it were now, the goo , you know , thanks to Alison . I think a lot of people, including in China are discussing this. Um, and so that's the good news, but the bad news of course, is the last , uh, several years have seen a , such a dark turn , uh , part of , um, going back to what you were saying earlier this T turn towards Zina phobia, jingoism , uh, you know, it just kind of uninformed set of , uh, accusations , uh, across the board , uh, bordering on I think, racism. Uh, so, you know, a smart people scholars have, we have to fight back against this. That's very disturbing.

Speaker 1:

So , um , right now we can go two ways in the discussion. One is we could jump into one of your spiral areas and just talk through, you know, Taiwan or, or South China sea, or the other way we could look forward and say, you know, in January let's hope we will have a settled election and a president will be around for four years. We don't know who it will be. Um, but what would be the three main asks? So , um, should we do that or should we dive into one of your spirals?

Speaker 2:

Well, I guess I put the work in, on the spirals and not knowing who the next president is. I wouldn't want to guess the future. Uh, uh, so I probably will, maybe you should stick with the spirals, but I mean, I certainly , um , I'm hopeful that , uh , whoever's the next president, that there is a rethinking of a China policy. Uh, hopefully we've reached the needier and that we'll be headed in a positive direction. I , uh, um, you know, I don't think it can get much worse than we're at right now. Um, I can tell you as somebody, I watch Chinese news every night and, and , uh , monitor the Chinese military press and the Chinese press in general. And, and I'll tell you, it is, it is very dark and foreboding. And , uh, you know, there is a lot of suggestion of, you know, do you know, I'll just give you an example. Uh , there was a piece , uh, by his delay in the , uh, who , who was at their , uh, Academy of military sciences and he published it last week and the thesis was, you know, China was brave enough to fight the Korean war, even though that they were at a huge disadvantage. So he's basically saying, well, China's much stronger now. So w do we fear, or do we dare? Do we dare to fight? And he was basically urging his , uh, um, compatriots to dare, to fight, to dare, to stand up against the United States so that, you know, that to me, this is a really disturbing kind of , uh , uh, take . And as you pointed out, very astutely Helena before that, that Americans seem completely unaware of this. And I don't know why that is because, you know, it's been quite that . I mean, there've been a couple of articles, but I mean, to me, if super powers are girding for war that's front page news, you know, and unfortunately we seem to be sleepwalking into this conflict. So, so anyway, perhaps we talk some Spanish .

Speaker 1:

That's great. Thank you . That's a great, so if we were looking at, as you said, the Taiwan issue, which is the current, as you said, issue, do your , um, where a lot of recent developments seem to including , um, our governments increasing support for , uh , sort of moves toward Taiwanese independence, which breaks the, the norm that has existed in both Taiwan and in mainland China since 1949, that they are one country. Now it's a question which, which, you know, whether it was the KMT or the communist party, which rules the country, but there were , there was such a strong , um , agreement amongst those two sides that there should be no secession, but now secession seems to maybe be on the agenda and supported by some political forces in this country.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. And I would, and maybe I'll put up this spiral that I developed for Taiwan, so you can have a look at it. Um, but I I'll just say by way of introduction to the Taiwan issue. And I, I really urge , uh, Americans and other people in the West to grapple with the history, right. I mean, it, didn't Taiwan, you know, us Taiwan, China triangle, if you want to call it that, didn't start in 79, you know , um, go back and look at Roosevelt's statement on it. Look at Truman's , uh, statement on it. You try to understand the evolution of us policy, because it, it really has , uh , taken some interesting swings. Um, but I'm very worried, I think , uh, look, you're right. That some of, some of Washington's predisposition to kind of lean toward Taiwan. I think, you know, with these recent visits by two cabinet level appointments , uh, have been , uh , escalate Tory and dangerous for sure. Uh, I don't, you know, to me, it was unwise to , I think we sank a $250 million into a new , um, facility that sure looks like an embassy and Thai Bay. Again, very unwise, if it's not an embassy, it sure doesn't, you know , merit $250 million. I don't, by the way, I don't know what building in another country would merit all that taxpayer money myself. But anyway, we have done it right. A missile defense shield or something, but we, we , uh, to, to my reckoning , um,

Speaker 4:

That's, you know, you're not, you're not

Speaker 2:

Behaving consistent with a one China principle if you're building a giant embassy in Thai Bay.

Speaker 4:

Um , now

Speaker 2:

Of course, that has China very upset that it seems like what breaking out of the , um , as it were the, the kind of , uh , agreement more or less going back to the , the Kissinger Nixon days where we set this relationship up after all, when , by the way, when Kissinger arrived in Beijing for his secret meeting in , uh , 1971, he spent more than half the time talking with Joe and lie about Taiwan because Taiwan was the big barrier and it still is in the relationship. So ,

Speaker 4:

Um, but I would say ,

Speaker 2:

Also say that the Hong Kong issue has really turned the tables on this. And that really is in a way, is what has gotten the region. So , um, turned it into such a bitter debate and a lot of people in Taiwan scratching their head going. We don't want to be like Hong Kong. And a lot of people thinking that the solution that dunk shall ping the brilliant, frankly, in my opinion of brilliant compromise that dunk shopping and come up with it, they called it equally on juror, which was one country, two systems, a compromise, right. Two systems, meaning that your system cogs us with my system within one country. That that was a brilliant compromise, but now people are saying that that's dead, but let me show you my spiral here and we can consider.

Speaker 4:

Um, alright . Um, so yeah ,

Speaker 2:

You know, I , I can walk you through a few steps here, but , uh, more or less, it starts at the bottom. Uh , and , and I do argue in the book that the U S should start these , um , by and large should begin these spirals , uh, partly because the U S is, is kind of recognized the stronger power, which I think is generally true. Um, speaking holistically at least. Hmm .

Speaker 4:

Um , uh ,

Speaker 2:

You know, one may say that this is a , this idea of reduction of forces on Guam as a first step is, is a bit,

Speaker 4:

Mmm .

Speaker 2:

You know, some may call it quaint now, something like that. But to me , um, Guam has been a center where we have put a lot of military eggs in that basket. You know, we've kind of pushed as many forces as we can onto that Island, that one Island. And , uh , to me, by the way, just at a military strategy point of view, that's quite foolish, right? I mean, the Chinese can target it and it kind of invited them to target it by putting all our eggs in that basket. To me, we could reduce some on Guam and frankly, the people in Guam would be very thankful. Um,

Speaker 1:

So that is the first us step in this [inaudible] by what you call PRC one.

Speaker 2:

Exactly. And that they're right in , in PRC one, I advocate that , um, that the , uh, Taiwan and the mainland , uh, undertake military exchanges without preconditions, they've had actually military exchanges in the past, but they have , um, you know, lately , um, I think , uh, actually the mainland side has really put some preconditions on there. And so maybe mainland could reciprocate by taking off those preconditions and initiating those talks. Cause I think that would help lower tensions. Uh, and , and by the way, that would be very appropriate in current circumstances where you literally have , uh , Taiwan and mainland pilot's facing off every day above this rate. I mean, that's a very dangerous situation if there's a ,

Speaker 1:

So they don't have a hotline,

Speaker 2:

I'm not aware of one. Um, but yeah, there's, I mean, look, there have been talks over the years between the two militaries, but they, they started really on the coast guard side to be Frank. Uh, and so that's okay .

Speaker 1:

That's good. I mean, anything is better than nothing. I mean, as we , and know , and us forces in the Gulf, which is a very, you know , tight area, you just have to hope that they have a military to military hotline to avoid, you know.

Speaker 2:

Yeah , yeah, exactly. I mean, that's, you know, there are, I dare say Helena, there was even a set of discussions also last week in the Chinese press where they were saying, you know, who who's willing to shoot first and the Chinese side on a lot of unlike the South China sea and several issues were actually saying that they had a doctrine, they would not, they would never shoot first. Uh, and the Taiwanese also recently announced that they kind of have this doctrine too , that will not start shooting, but then again, it's very good. It's very encouraging, but now you have some mainland voices, some of whom I know actually strategists coming out and saying, no, you know, this is not appropriate for great power. We will shoot first. And , um, you know, we need to revise this doctrine. It's not appropriate for the Taiwan situation. So, you know, we , we don't want to hang our hat on it anyway, the U S move to would be to close the , uh, the , uh, military office of the, of the Institute in Taiwan. That's that glittering. Yeah. The , the $250 million facility, which I'm afraid does have a, quite an active military office, right. Cause they're moving billions of dollars of equipment. So I think that should be closed. Um, and that would be a very powerful signal to , um, to the Chinese side. And the Chinese could reciprocate for PRC to , uh , PRC move to I advocate that they move the missiles back. And they're , you know, again, I think criticize people will say, well, you know, the missiles, if they're moved back, they can just be moved forward. You're not eliminating the missiles , uh, agree, but actually the movement of missiles and where they are positioned initially it does matter a great deal actually for military scenario. So , um, so that's not a small thing. And by the way, Chinese negotiators have put that on the table. Before I Crawford with Bush, they actually discussed the disposition of missiles in the East China areas .

Speaker 1:

So instead of verifiable move, I mean, you could see them doing it and then you could see if there was any like the muscles like creep back to where they were. I mean,

Speaker 2:

Exactly. Yeah. I think you're right. Look, there are limits to that. I mean, China has an awful lot of caves. Um, and, and they, they're trying to , I think is quite expert at moving a military systems around without anybody seeing. So I don't want to oversell that, but I do think it would be you look there, we're talking about thousands of mobile missile systems, not just ballistic, but also cruise missiles. And these, we could verify movement of the , of, you know, of a number of systems. Again, that would be a powerful signal to Taiwan that they're not looking to invade Taiwan tomorrow. Now, other than as us step three, I advocated for a whole to new type weapons that is, you know, enough with the, you know, rolling out the latest. And by the way, a lot of Americans had gotten very wealthy off this , uh, this , uh, situation. Um , but I think it has to stop and, you know, so we could start by halting new type sales. So that is at least for a period, we continue with the old type sales, but , uh, we don't need new weapons. Uh, and then , uh , PRC , uh , reciprocal move, number three would endorse a more robust , um, Taiwan presence internationally. And I think there , you know, there's a huge scope for Taiwan to , to play a role on the world stage, but Taiwan , mainland , uh, would need to kind of endorse this and, and may even could even, you can imagine even them assisting this , um, and welcoming this actually, but it would have to be part of this spiral, right? I mean, right now we know they're extremely hostile to any kind of Taiwan presence on the world stage.

Speaker 1:

You know, I want just for time reasons to lead to the end of this, but people will need to go to our website or go to where we will be publishing the whole of this. And the kind of the, the end goal here is , um, your PRC five step, which is undertake final stage negotiations, including for no use of force, as well as no PLA and no CCP. So that's no mainland Chinese military or political presence on Taiwan. That was the kind of in a sense, your goal.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. I mean, I talk about final status negotiations and by the way, Helen , I mean, almost everybody who thinks about this really seriously comes to conclusion that the only solution is a kind of Confederation solution, which is essentially one country, two systems, more or less dressed up in some nice language. Uh, I agree with that. And I think that would be part of the final status negotiations, but I also include in that a military aspect, which is that China would restrict its growth of amphibious, amphibious, warfare capabilities. That, and to me, that's what, that's what Taiwan fears the most, you know, that more than anything else, they don't want to see a landing and, and, you know, hundreds of thousands of Chinese troops all over the Island. So if China were to visibly restrict its capabilities in this area, that would be a huge symbol. And I think they could do that, but by the way, they're doing the opposite right now, they're building and Fabius warfare ships like crazy like sausages. Okay. So, you know, China, you know, also should recognize that it can take certain steps here and then the fine , as you said, the final status, you would say , I don't think it's that hard because the mainland has agreed. I'm going back all the way again, to dunk shopping, who said, you know, we are not going to put, we do not intend to put CCP personnel or PLA, you know, Chinese military on Taiwan. I mean, that's, you know, I think that that offer still holds. So, I mean, that's , uh , quite quite tremendous and we should take them up on it. And by the way, again, the idea that this is crazy or , um , outlandish I think is wrong. Look, I'm the leader of Taiwan, mine , Joe , and she's in pink mat in 2015, they were . So they were sitting at a table, you know, so it's not that it's not crazy in my view to consider that the two sides would negotiate this out and that the U S could kind of gently nudge Taiwan along and help here and there. So, so yeah, this is what I see. And I think a lot of these ideas still could be useful in deescalating Taiwan.

Speaker 1:

Thank you so much. I really appreciate your willingness to dive into this with me and with our audience, because, you know, you say your ideas for deescalation are not crazy and they are far less crazy than the idea of escalation and the nuclear war. I mean, let's keep that in mind. So, you know, I think it's great that you have these very concrete kind of steps that people can take. And I hope that many more people here in Washington, DC, and in every congressional district start to take this idea seriously that we don't have to have , um , an escalation with , with China. So Lyle Goldstein, thank you very much for being with us today. This has been a great way for us to launch phase two. Thank you so much, Helena . I really enjoyed talking with you and your audience. Yeah . Let's keep in touch. Thanks so much. Yeah . Hi people don't go away just yet. I want to let you know that the whole transcript of this conversation with dr. Lyle Goldstein can be found along with a lot of other useful information on the new us China resource page that we're building on our website. There, you can find the graphics of two of the cooperation spirals that we were discussing, including the one on Taiwan and a lot of other useful information. I also want to remind you that next Saturday, October 17th, we'll be releasing the audio as well as the video and transcript of the first session of the U S China public dialogue that just world educational is holding in collaboration with the Chung yang Institute for financial studies like Wenman university in Beijing. This dialogue session will feature two wonderful specialists from Beijing. We'll have ambassador her. Yaffee a senior fellow with the Chung yang Institute who has held many high ranking government posts, including as counselor of the Chinese permanent mission to the United nations and vice minister at the ministry of foreign affairs. And from here in Washington, DC, we'll have dr. Michael Swain, who recently became the first director of the East Asia program at the Quincy Institute for responsible statecraft. Dr. Swain is the author of numerous books and articles on strategic issues relating to China and other parts of East Asia. He has co director of a multi-year crisis prevention project with Chinese partners, and he also advises the U S government on Asian security issues. So be sure to check back next week when we'll be releasing the audio of the conversation, I'll have on many crucial current topics with ambassador her and dr. Swain also, please do visit our website, www.justworldeducational.org on the resources page. There you can find numerous multimedia resources related both to our current us China project and to our other recent projects. And if you support the groundbreaking work we're doing, please click on the donate button on the website where you can learn how to give to us securely online or via snail mail. Thanks for listening to this podcast for just world educational. I'm Helen carbon in Washington, D C .