News / Asia

Q&A with Nina Hachigian on the US-China Relationship

U.S. President Barack Obama meets Chinese President Xi Jinping at The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, California, June 7, 2013.
U.S. President Barack Obama meets Chinese President Xi Jinping at The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, California, June 7, 2013.
The understanding of views, ideas and values from two very different areas of the world has always been essential to building mutual respect, trust, cooperation and peace. As China grows in prominence, its relationship with the United States has gained greater attention. Often we hear and read about this relationship examined from mostly one point of view. Nina Hachigian, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, had a different idea. Contemporaries from the west and China regularly discuss complex issues at conferences and meetings, but rarely share those exchanges in public. Hachigian tells Daybreak Asia host Jim Stevenson about how she invited experts to share their conversations in a book appropriately titled Debating China, The U.S.-China Relationship in Ten Conversations.
 
STEVENSON:  What were some of the surprises and similarities and differences that you found as you got as you got these viewpoints from opposing sides together?
 
HACHIGIAN:  A lot of these pairs of experts knew each other from many conferences. That is the interesting thing is that these exchanges happen all the time. It is just that the public never gets to hear them or see them. Some of the conversations are two old colleagues talking together. Some are a little feistier than that. Actually even when some of the people that have known each other for a long time, it can get fairly feisty. All of these people are known quantities in their field. Each and every one has a stellar reputation. So in that sense there was not a big surprise. What is interesting to me is that the attitudes of everybody on both sides were similar in the sense that they really believe deeply in the importance of a constructive relationship between the United States and China. Nevertheless, there was still a lot of distrust that came out in the various essays, and some to a much larger degree than others.
 
STEVENSON:  As you just look down the list, a topic you would think would create quite a discussion would be Taiwan-Tibet.
 
HACHIGIAN:  Indeed. Alan Romberg and Jia Qingguo are both terrific scholars and both have decades of experience on the Taiwan issue. We just fundamentally see it differently - China and the United States that is. It was interesting to read their analysis. I guess they agreed on a few points. For example, that part of what the mainland needs to do is make itself and its form of government more attractive to the people who are living in Taiwan and that will help their case (for reunification) in the long run. But it is an area where the Chinese think that arms sales are highly destabilizing whereas the United States thinks that actually they are stabilizing.
 
STEVENSON:  The discussion of China’s military has always been a rather interesting topic for us.
 
HACHIGIAN:  This is a chapter where you can see the tension perhaps the most clearly. Chris Twomey of the (U.S.) Naval Postgraduate School and Senior Colonel Xu Hue (National Defense University, China). They have known each other for quite a while. Chris starts the discussion by asking why China has modernized and spending so much money on its military when its environment has gotten more peaceful over the years. Colonel Xu comes back right away asking, well why does the U.S. spend so much more on its military every year since its environment has also become more peaceful in recent years. Colonel Xu makes the point that part of the relationship is mentally constructed as he puts it, that if you want to see a hostile force, you are going to see a hostile force. There is a degree of truth in that. Both militaries have the job of protecting their people and for scanning the horizon for any possible threats. Those who are countering those possible threats in the future are given more budget to work with. And so both militaries are really just doing their jobs, but they both think they are acting defensively and the other side sees their actions as offensive.
 
STEVENSON:  I understand this book probably will not make its way onto the mainland, but what are you hoping it will do here, at least in the West?
 
HACHIGIAN:  I would love as many 20-year-olds as possible to read this book. I think it is really great to have this opportunity to read what both sides of the story are. I just think that will much better inform our relationship. It will maybe let people pause and think about how the other side is going to react before we act. I think it is a more rounded way of learning about the relationship. I hope people are able to read it in classrooms everywhere here.

Listen to Jim Stevenson's interview with Nina Hachigian:
Q&A with Nina Hachigian on the US-China Relationship
Q&A with Nina Hachigian on the US-China Relationshipi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

Jim Stevenson

For over 35 years, Jim Stevenson has been sharing stories with the world on the radio and internet. From both the field and the studio, Jim enjoys telling about specific events and uncovering the interesting periphery every story possesses. His broadcast career has been balanced between music, news, and sports, always blending the serious with the lighter side.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Role in Fighting IS Carries Domestic Risks

There are Western concerns Islamic State militants soon may unleash offensive in kingdom that could create upheaval - though nation has solid intel, grip on banking system More

Asian-Americans Enter Public Office in Record Numbers

A steady deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid