China’s Power Projection Efforts- Near & Far

September 21, 2021 | 16:00 ‒ 17:00

This online discussion with Bonnie Glaser focused on China’s grand strategy–its national rejuvenation agenda supported by domestic and foreign policies. From its “core interests” of Taiwan and the South China Sea, the PRC has increased its power projection efforts – hard and soft – in new and more complex ways over the past 5-10 years. Expanding further afield from Mainland China, new initiatives and efforts also impact states throughout the Indo-Pacific region in ways ranging from the “string of pearls” port facilities to investments in ASEAN states like Laos and Cambodia. The Belt and Road Initiative is a global effort that serves as a vehicle for the PRC’s power projection efforts in Central Asia, South Asia, Africa, the Arctic, and (increasingly) in Europe. The PRC’s efforts are not limited to geography, we also see efforts in multilateral forums, specifically UN bodies (ICAO, FAO, Interpol, WIPO) – to also influence global norms and rules. In detail, some of the tools in Beijing’s disposal will be analyzed: tech acquisition, economic and maritime coercion, misinformation, etc. The underlying strategies and manifestations of these power projection efforts are not always understood in the Baltic Region; given Estonia’s two-year seat on the UN Security Council that began in January 2020 and inclusion in the 17 + 1 forum, it is important for Estonia’s government, media, and business sector to have a better understanding of China’s activities in a global context.