Communication is difficult; it is downright impossible if the recipient of a message is unaware of its transmission.  One of the realities of our modern communications is that we get focused on our own particular sector of business, study, or work to a degree that we miss learning important lessons from other sectors which are also frantically at work developing and moving forward.  So much is changing!  Our assumptions about other sectors should be challenged regularly.  Challenging assumptions requires listening to new voices from time to time.

At The Tai Initative, we believe there should be greater sharing of the broad, strategic lessons learned between each major sector of the American-Chinese relationship.  The National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) does a great job of encapsulating the broad strategic view from many perspectives, particularly from the defense perspective.  It shares these lessons in a series titled “Strategic Asia” which has now been running for twelve years, informing national policy makers and the general public alike.  Unfortunately, the primary audience of this particular material (NBR produces outside the defense issues as well) seems constrained mostly to officials in the defense sector.  I say unfortunately because the view of the People’s Republic of China from the American defense sector is so different from the view in other sectors.  Together, we should remedy this situation with cross-sector fertilization of perspective.  For example, there is so much the trade sector needs to learn from the defense perspective, and vice versa.  This stretches to state/city governments, education establishments, non-government organizations, churches, and others.

If you don’t work in the defense sector, please take a moment to educate yourself on some of the important issues our national researchers and thinkers are currently dealing with regarding the true scope, direction and issues faced by the People’s Liberation Army, Navy, Missile Forces, and Information Warfare sector.  Here is a guide to watching the videos linked off the photo below, to make your time investment more effective.

(L-R): Roy Kamphausen (NBR), Andrew Erickson (Naval War College), Mark Stokes (Project 2049 Institute), and Kevin Pollpeter (DGI) speak on the panel moderated by Travis Tanner (NBR)

Video 1: Welcoming remarks by leaders of the Woodrow Wilson Center and NBR, followed by keynote address by Ash Carter, Deputy Secretary of Defense, at 9min 30sec in which he addresses the strategic re-balance toward Asia and the DoD’s desire to build “an enduring foundation for US/China military to military relations.” (28:45)

Video 2 (Panel 1): Comments on the People’s Liberation Army (5:00), Navy (17:10), Missile Forces (27:35), and Information Warfare (38:40) at the min/secs noted.

Video 3 (Panel 2): Comments on Asia’s responses to China’s military rise, given by Ashley Tellis of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (00:30) and Dan Blumenthal of the American Enterprise Institute (14:10).  Q&A at 33:00 with a particularly insightful response (38:10) to a tough question on whether the U.S. is making a potential enemy of China.