Given the increasingly complex security environment in the Asia-Pacific, it is critical for the United States and China to deepen cooperation on promoting regional stability. In this podcast, Paul Haenle and Admiral Gary Roughead, former chief of naval operations and one of only two admirals to have commanded both the Pacific and Atlantic fleets, examined U.S.-China military relations, potential U.S. policy responses to the tribunal ruling in the South China Sea, and North Korea's latest nuclear and ballistic missile tests.
Roughead argued that while conflict in the South China Sea is not imminent, the region lacks the necessary mechanisms for deescalating accidental clashes, the risk of which have risen with recent increased activity. He also commented on North Korea's continued nuclear weapons testing, noting that the country's recent submarine-based ballistic missile test is an especially problematic and serious development. Roughead said these tests indicate that the potential of North Korea to threaten the region and the United States has moved into a new domain. He recommended enhanced regional intelligence sharing and overall maritime awareness to address North Korea's advancing nuclear capabilities. Finally, Roughead discussed the unique relationship between China and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, arguing that nations do not want to choose sides between the United States and China but rather seek favorable relations with both powers.
Paul Haenle is the director of the Carnegie–Tsinghua Center for Global Policy. Prior to joining Carnegie, he served from June 2007 to June 2009 as the director for China, Taiwan, and Mongolian Affairs on the National Security Council staffs of former president George W. Bush and President Barack Obama.
Gary Roughead is the former chief of naval operations in the U.S. Navy. He retired in 2011 after 38 years of service and is one of only two admirals to have commanded both the Pacific and Atlantic fleets.