FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. – Command and General Staff College’s Cultural and Area Studies Office hosted 'Strategic Implications of China's Global Power Projection’ April 27 at the Arnold Conference Room, Lewis and Clark Center, Fort Leavenworth.
The panel of a Command and General Staff College State Department instructor, and two international officers returned to CASO’s focus on the Indo-Pacific area for this academic year after the previous panel had been focused on Ukraine.
Dr. Jack Kem, Chief Academic Officer for Army University and Dean of Academics for CGSC provided opening remarks. Dr. Mahir J. Ibrahimov, Director, CASO, served as the panel moderator. Panel Members included Col. Michael G. Kopp, German Army liaison to the Combined Arms Center, Terry D. Mobley, State Department instructor at CGSC, and Lt. Col. Paul Mostafa, Australian Army.
Kem said, “At the Command and General Staff College we continue to focus our efforts on China as our pacing threat and Russia as the imminent threat to our national security through conducting panels, faculty development seminars and professional forums to enhance our understanding of the strategic motivations of these two global adversaries.” This was CASO’s fifth panel studying the Indo-Pacific Region this academic year.
Kopp was the first panel member to brief. He gave the European perspective of China’s global power projection. He began by asking “What does Chinese Power Projection mean?” It is geared toward specific ends, he said.
He listed: First, a powerful and prosperous China equipped with a world class military. Second, safeguarding the rule of the Chinese Communist Party. Then, destruction of the US/Western international order. Finally the reunification of China. To achieve these goals, he said, China is playing the long game and using a variety of economic, political, and military tools.
During the Ukraine China has moved closer to Russia and away from its European trading partners. “It is obvious China puts the desires of a marauding dictator above its trading and diplomatic relationship with the West,” Kopp said.
Mobley discussed China’s Belt and Road initiative focusing on countries near to China. He explained the initiative is important to support China’s domestic economy and also to China’s desire to project power. “The ability of the Chinese Communist Party to be the deliverer of growth and prosperity for its citizens and ultimately to overcome China’s century of humiliation is dependent upon the party’s ability, the country’s ability to continue its economic growth and to go abroad and secure the metals, the minerals, the energy, and the influence that it needs,” said Mobley. More than 100 countries have signed on to the Belt and Road Initiative said Mobley.
Mostafa was the final presenter. He continued his discussion of cooperation, competition and conflict that he had introduced in an earlier panel discussion. Competition is neither good nor bad, he said, but it depends on how you want to participate in competition.
He said there is naivety bias that we think the others around us believe the same as we do but that isn’t true. Therefore, we need to establish a series of guardrails to limit the push toward conflict. Moving toward cooperation we need to look for focal points of mutual interest where we can break from competition and move toward cooperation. Climate change is an issue where China and the West could work together, a circuit-breaker, said Mostafa.
Following the panel presentations they took questions form the audience in the conference and from audience member watching via Facebook Live!
CASO presents a series of seminars and panel discussions on issues of operational and strategic importance to the United States every two to three months during the academic year broadcasting them through Video Teleconference and live on CGSC's Facebook page. Videos of the sessions are available on the CGSC Facebook and YouTube sites.
For questions on CASO events please contact: Dr. Mahir J. Ibrahimov, Director, Cultural and Area Studies Office, U.S. Army CGSC at (913)684-3345 or email@example.com.
CASO website: https://armyuniversity.edu/cgsc/caso/caso
YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkGvnfy3IadNRMPT-sNHpAsz8a3npWBH8
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/USACGSC