Misha and John discuss John’s new book, Defender-in-Chief: Donald Trump’s Fight for Presidential Power (St. Martin’s Press 2020). They discuss whether a Trump Doctrine exists and if so, what its core tenants are concerning the US and world power. Misha and John argue over whether Trump represents a sharp break in US foreign policy as well as what to expect concerning US relations with China in the coming years. Will the US/China relationship be the start of a new Cold War, a bump in the road, or something different?

Just two days after Pacific Century interviewed Japan’s Defense Minister, Misha returns solo for breaking news: Shinzo Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, unexpectedly resigned. Misha discusses Abe’s legacy, how he changed Japan, and what his resignation means for Japan, Asia, and the United States.

Misha gets a new sound system just in time for John and him to welcome Taro Kono, Japan’s Defense Minister. Minister Kono, who also served as Japan’s Foreign Minister, talks about the ways in which the Japanese military has modernized over the past decade, and discusses the worsening threats from China and North Korea. Minister Kono also explains the role of Japan’s alliances with the US and other nations, including Australia and India, which are a crucial part of Tokyo’s defense strategy.

John and Misha welcome their colleague, Larry Diamond, one of the world’s preeminent scholars of democracy, to talk about the global scope of the China challenge. Larry discusses the strategy of the CCP and its comprehensive targeting of the West’s political, academic, cultural, and media cultures to both promote Beijing’s ambitions and stifle criticism. Larry also discusses the work he spearheads at Hoover on China’s influence campaigns, “sharp power,” and Taiwan in the Indo-Pacific.

With John off promoting his new book, Misha flies solo to interview retired Air Force general and current Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Stilwell. Misha and the Assistant Secretary talk about the Trump Administration’s policy of reciprocity towards Beijing, and how that led to the closing of the Chinese consulate in Houston. They also discuss response to the new national security law in Hong Kong, the 5G race, Beijing’s propaganda campaigns, and in the South China Sea.

John and Misha welcome Julian Ku to discuss China and law. Julian is the Deane Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law and associate dean at Hofstra Law School and his recent work focuses on China’s relationship with international law. He debates China’s claims to the South China Seas in light of the U.S. State Department’s new announcement opposing Beijing’s claims, the scope of China’s objectives in Hong Kong, and the differences between China’s business law and criminal law.

John and Misha interview Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu on how Taiwan beat COVID-19 and gave aid to the world, on Taiwan’s increasingly close partnership with the US and its desire to increase its global role, and how China’s new national security law in Hong Kong is the latest in a pattern of threats to stability in Asia.

The podcast snares its hardest-to-get guest: host Misha Auslin! John Yoo interviews Misha on his new book, Asia’s New Geopolitics: Essays on Reshaping the Indo-Pacific, just out from Hoover Institution Press. John and Misha discuss Misha’s striking view comparing the Pacific to the Mediterranean, the sources of Chinese and Japanese foreign policy, and how a future historian might view a US-China military conflict.

Michael Auslin and John Yoo welcome Nadege Rolland to the podcast. After working as a China analyst for the French Government for two decades, Rolland joined the National Bureau of Asian Research as a senior fellow. Her new report, “China’s Vision for a New World Order” discusses how the Chinese Communist Party is using “discourse power” to delegitimize liberal ideas and values and reshape global norms. Beijing is then challenging Western and American ideas of what the global order should look like, in order to create its own hegemony. Rolland sees this new hegemony as partial, loose, and malleable, stretching across the globe, with a particular focus on the Global South.

Michael Auslin and John Yoo welcome Congressman Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) to the podcast. Gallagher joined the Marine Corps after graduating from college and deployed to Iraq twice. A recipient of advanced degrees in intelligence and international relations, Gallagher served as a staffer on the foreign relations committee, an advisor to Governor Scott Walker, and won election to Wisconsin’s eighth district in 2016. A member of a new congressional task force on China, Gallagher shares his thoughts on America’s bipartisan change in policy toward China, Beijing’s new aggressiveness abroad, and what the U.S. can do to respond to Hong Kong, the South China Seas, and the coronavirus outbreak.

Misha and John welcome Bill Bishop, author of the widely-read Sinocism Newsletter, called by some “the presidential daily brief for China hands.” Bishop is an entrepreneur and former media executive with more than a decade living in and decoding China. Misha and John ask him about the importance of the recent National People’s Congress meeting in Beijing and its decision to impose a national security law on Hong Kong. They end by discussing options for the United States and its allies in response to China’s tightening of control over Hong Kong.

Misha and John welcome a special guest, Anastasia Lin. Lin grew up in China, emigrated to Canada at the age of 13, and won the Miss World Canada title in 2015. She won international attention when Beijing barred her from participating in the world pageant because of her outspoken advocacy for human rights in China. She shares her experience growing up in China, how to change the increasing authoritarianism there, and why she became such a fierce critic of Beijing.

Misha and John try to hold a virus-free discussion. They first address the possible consequences of the rumored death or incapacitation of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. Next they discuss South Korea’s election, with the landslide victory of the liberal ruling party. Misha and John then argue over whether China benefits from these developments and whether it is taking advantage of the pandemic crisis to bolster its position in Hong Kong and the region.

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Misha and John welcome to the podcast James Kraska, Charles H. Stockton Professor of International Maritime Law at the Naval War College, to discuss ways in which international law may hold China responsible for allowing the coronavirus pandemic to spread. Misha then discusses his recent article arguing that the Chinese Communist Party’s efforts to blame the world for the pandemic illustrates the beginning of a new Cold War between the U.S. and China.

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Misha and John discuss whether the coronavirus pandemic will help or harm China’s standing in the world. They begin by welcoming Misha’s new book, Asia’s New Politics: Essays on Reshaping the Into-Pacific, out this May from Hoover Institution Press. They turn to the lessons from the different responses to the pandemic in China, East Asia, Europe, and the United States. They argue over whether China’s public relations campaign to defend itself will succeed, whether China’s relative power and influence in the world will increase or decrease because of its public health failures, and what policies we should adopt toward China now.

Did you like the show? You can rate, review, subscribe, and download the podcast on the following platforms:Podbean | Apple Podcasts Overcast | Spotify TuneIn | StitcherRSS

Misha and John mark the first anniversary of the podcast by focusing on the continuing coronavirus controversy. They discuss whether the Chinese government’s response to the epidemic will become the rare event that challenges the legitimacy of the Xi regime. They ask if Beijing’s clumsy effort will hasten an international realignment away from China. They conclude with comparisons between the US and Chinese public health systems.

Misha and John return for their first show in the year of the rat. They discuss the coronavirus epidemic sweeping China, and they observe that Beijing’s ineffective response is adding to the growing distrust of the government among average Chinese. They next address Tsai Ing-wen’s landslide victory in the Taiwan 2020 presidential election. Misha and John close with their thoughts on the phase I US-China trade deal and likely next steps in the economic relationship between the world’s two largest economies.

Did you like the show? You can rate, review, subscribe, and download the podcast on the following platforms:Podbean | Apple Podcasts Overcast | Spotify TuneIn | StitcherRSS

Misha and John return after an extended sabbatical. They discuss the burning issue in Asia — the democracy protests in Hong Kong — with Jillian Melchior of the Wall Street Journal editorial page. After playing out the scenarios for how the Hong Kong protests end, Misha and John take up Misha’s recent article on the collapse of pork production in China and the political pressure of rising food prices on the Xi regime.

Xi Jinping is usually touted as the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong. How has he pulled power into his hands, and is there a reaction to his strength? Richard McGregor discusses this, as well as looks back at his popular book The Party, ten years after its publication. Meanwhile, Japan and South Korea are falling into a trade war; is it about economics or the poor political relations between the two? How low will relations between America’s two closest allies sink?

Hoover Institution fellows Misha Auslin and John Yoo interview John Pomfret, the former Washington Post and Associated Press reporter in China. Pomfret discusses his response to an open letter in the Washington Post, signed by dozens of leading US foreign policy and China scholars, criticizing the Trump administration for making China “an enemy.” He explains “why the United States doesn’t need to return to a gentler China policy.”