This @ASPI_org report is the perfect intro to my @OUPPolitics book as it embodies some of the key problems that exist in studying Chinese military presence overseas.

About book and book talks -->
ASPI report -->…

The report does not specifies what the goals of the PRC are. It always talks about "strategic interests" and"project power" which is equal to talk about nothing. Implicitly, the authors say that the PRC wants to influence&coerce others so to become the global hegemon.
Without defining what those interests are, it is possible to make every kind of argument and it will always sounds about right. That's the beauty of (implicitly) realist explanations. That's why they are so handy when you do not want to spend time to dig a bit deeper.
Under this large realist blanket, several questions remain unanswered: are the investment in COSCO and Gwadar meant to achieve the same goal? Are those "pearls" useful in war (as the report implies)? Are all the domestic interests aligned to achieve world domination? Who knows!
Instead of taking the meaning of "interests" for granted. In my book investigate how Chinese policymakers understood their interests overseas and the role of the military. The answers to the questions listed aboe are much more ambiguous than what the ASPI report implies.
For example, it seems that it took a while for civil-military elite to agree on the role of the PLA outside Asia and, in general, it was a highly crisis-driven process. Many doubts persists about how to implement the new consensus.
Most importantly, this process was driven by non-traditional security crisis, not great power competition (GPC). Actually, concerns about GPC worked against the idea of having a military footpring abroad!
Interestingly, cooperation (UNPKOs & with host country security forces) and delegation (foreign private security contractors) have been China's dominant strategies to protect its interests overseas. If, how, and when the PLA will play a role in BRI is something still uncertain.
So, if you want to know more about this topic, please join one of the book talks or/and ask your uni library to buy a copy of the book! I am sure that you will find something interesting in it.

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More from @AGhiselliChina

22 Feb
🚨New article in @chinaquarterly🚨

@Pippa_A_M and I show that the risk-acceptant behavior of Chinese companies in theMENA region is a significant liability for Chinese foreign policy, even after the 2011 evacuation of 36k Chinese nationals from Libya.

🔗… ImageImageImage
Our starting point is that policymakers want to protect lives/assets of citizens abroad but want to avoid costly measures, such as the deployment of troops.

The Chinese gov, indeed, tried to do by 1) strengthening consular protection 2) making companies responsible for security
We measured the impact of 1) warnings from Chinese embassies 2) insurance/risk consultancy information 3) violent events on the number of Chinese workers sent to the MENA region to build bridges, roads, ports, and so on.

And...only violent events had a significant impact!
Read 9 tweets
20 Feb
🙄 I really hope this talking about a mix of competition over core issues and cooperation over non-core issues is just a narrative put forward while the Biden admin looks for policies that can actually be implemented.

Some considerations below.
Biden is talking about competing over international leadership and gov system, which are two core issues for both China and the US, while proposing cooperation over non-core issues, like climate.
I believe climate should be a core issue but it would be overly naive to say that, for different reasons, policymakers in both countries would be ready to do some serious linkage diplomacy betwee climate and intl leadership/gov system.
Read 6 tweets
16 Jun 19
Very important! THREAD BELOW --> Iran, China slam US unilateralism, vow to boost ties… via @MiddleEastMnt
Iran became an observer in the SCO in 2005 and applied to become a full member in 2008. China and Russia support that move, in theory, but, in my opinion, China opposed it for a number of reasons: 1) UN sanctions first, 2) do not want to to SCO in anti-US organization, later
Now, Xi's show of support to Iran during a SCO meeting looks interesting as I beilieve as, althought it is not a joint SCO declaration, it still carries some degree of endorsement from the organization. However....
Read 8 tweets

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