China’s expanding overseas interests are leading Beijing to forge closer security partnerships with foreign counterparts, maintain a greater military presence overseas, and reexamine some of its longstanding policies. However, the United States is concerned over China’s actions at sea and its attempts to change the status quo on territorial disputes.

In this podcast, hosted by Carnegie-Tsinghua’s Paul Haenle, Ely Ratner of the Center for New American Security argued that the Chinese government’s two-pronged diplomatic approach to the Asia-Pacific, combining maritime assertiveness with dollar diplomacy, is unlikely to reassure the region of China’s peaceful intentions. While the U.S. government welcomes China’s rise, it is concerned that Beijing’s concept of a new type of great-power relations implies U.S. accommodation of Chinese interests, he added. He argued that greater participation by middle powers like Vietnam and South Korea could help Washington and Beijing find areas of converging interests where cooperation could bring benefits to the international community.

Ely Ratner

Ely Ratner is the deputy director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security in Washington, DC. He recently served in the Office of Chinese and Mongolian Affairs at the State Department as the lead political officer covering China’s external relations in Asia. Prior to joining the State Department, Ratner was an associate political scientist at the RAND Corporation, where he performed research and long-range analysis on the rise of China, the People’s Liberation Army, and regional security in Asia. He previously worked in the U.S. Senate in the office of then-Senator Joseph Biden and as a professional staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Paul Haenle

Paul Haenle is the director of the Carnegie–Tsinghua Center. 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.