Welcome to the Council on Strategic Risks (CSR) Podcast Network! Here we speak with leading experts who are working to anticipate, analyze, and address core systemic risks to security in the 21st Century. Our second episode focuses on China.
Understanding China is critical. In this episode, host Dr. Sweta Chakraborty speaks with national security experts (and members of CSR’s Working Group on Climate, Nuclear, and Security Affairs) Rear Admiral Len Hering Sr., USN (Ret), a member of the Center for Climate and Security’s Advisory Board, and Christine Parthemore, director of CSR’s Center on Strategic Weapons.
This podcast begins with a discussion on the recent debates about China’s position regarding nuclear weapons and arms control treaties. They then branch into nuclear energy, which for China is an issue tightly linked with climate change—including in its diplomacy. In a state visit to France in March of 2019, President Xi made several remarks about the importance of international cooperation on nuclear energy and climate change.
For China and its neighbors, expected climate change impacts include higher temperatures, an increase in extreme weather events, rising seas, and warmer ocean temperatures. The latter is already impacting regional fisheries and contributing to an uptick in maritime confrontations over natural resources.
This podcast drives home the importance of understanding the combination of these different security trends emerging in the same geographic area. The headwaters of South Asia’s major rivers, a regional freshwater system that is already experiencing climate-related stress, begin in the Tibetan Plateau where China has been constructing hydro-projects along rivers to accommodate growing food, water, and energy needs. This will continue to impact the water supply of downstream neighbors, including nuclear-armed Pakistan and India. This podcast highlights the importance of analyzing the potential intersections of these factors in order to prevent calamitous miscalculations.
Earlier this year, CSR’s Working Group noted that China is a major player in every region of the world. Beijing is shaping major economic, strategic, and security outcomes throughout Africa, South America, the Middle East, the South China Sea, and beyond. This episode underscores the importance of understanding China’s widespread geopolitical influence.
CSR’s Podcast Network will regularly feature exclusive dialogues with leading security and international affairs experts. Stay tuned for cutting-edge discussions on the world’s existential and strategic risks, and the ways in which these challenges are converging. Subscribe to the CSR Podcast Network’s YouTube channel to never miss an episode! Or listen to the audio version on iTunes and subscribe now to get real-time updates. If you’re one of those already subscribed on iTunes, we always welcome your ratings and reviews, as this helps us get the podcast out there to more listeners!