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Commentaries by Richard Weitz

Richard Weitz

Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute

Richard Weitz is Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Political-Military Analysis at Hudson Institute.
  • Apr 11 , 2018

    The surprise presidential summit between Kim Jong-un and Xi Jinping raises prospects that Kim will hold a similar meeting with Donald Trump. Kim’s Beijing trip, and progress towards an upcoming intra-Korean summit, indicates that he has consolidated sufficient power to travel and negotiate internationally. A DPRK-U.S. summit, unlike a Chinese-DPRK or intra-Korean one, would be unprecedented. Unfortunately, holding such a meeting is far easier than securing a successful outcome. Ending tensions over North Korea’s nuclear program anytime soon is unlikely.

  • Mar 19 , 2018

    The Trump administration’s recently released national security, national defense, and nuclear strategies make clear that China and Russia have become the pacing threat for U.S. national security managers. However, the NPR likely errs in stating that Chinese officials are “increasing nuclear threats.” Unlike Moscow and Washington, Beijing has a declared no-first-use doctrine.

  • Dec 27 , 2017

    The U.S. National Security Strategy released on December 18 is extremely critical of China but does not invariably portend a more confrontational policy. Sino-American relations are very much in flux. In the coming year, Beijing and Washington can take actions to redirect the relationship towards a more positive trajectory.

  • Nov 13 , 2017

    Shinzo Abe’s reelection as prime minister provides a favorable climate for both Donald Trump’s first presidential visit to Japan and an improvement of Chinese-Japanese-U.S. relations.

  • Sep 27 , 2017

    Beijing and Washington do not want Iran or North Korea to possess nuclear weapons, test ballistic missiles, or engage in WMD proliferation. Despite their overlapping positions, the differences between the Trump and Xi administrations regarding these issues have been growing. Confidence-building and stability-enhancing measures could narrow these differences.

  • Jul 07 , 2017

    The Shanghai Cooperation Organization achieved a major boost in momentum at last month’s Astana summit, but realizing its potential will require consistent leadership and resources over the coming year from the Chinese presidency.

  • Jun 07 , 2017

    U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis’ speech used the Shangri-La Asia Security Dialogue as a platform to criticize some Chinese actions, but also offer options for cooperation regarding Korea. He reassured allies, reaffirmed alliances, and expressed a generally cooperative stance to resolving international challenges.

  • Mar 15 , 2017

    Despite China’s economic slowdown, the Chinese government has plans under its "Made in China 2025" program to spend $300 billion by 2025 to become self-sufficient in critical technologies and strategic emerging industries. U.S. unease at the size and opaqueness of China’s large military buildup are well-known. The latest developments will likely lead the Trump administration to continue efforts to reduce Russian defense technology transfers to China, sustain the EU arms embargo on China, and make U.S. weapons and other U.S. exports more competitive in global markets.

  • Feb 15 , 2017

    Political, pragmatic, and bureaucratic factors have been pushing Trump to pursue more traditional foreign and security policies. His response to the North Korean missile launch, meeting with visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and recognition of the One China principle resembled those of previous presidents. However, Trump still has major differences with Japan and China, while his continuing Obama’s North Korean policy of castigating the regime, working with other countries like China to apply additional sanctions, deploying regional missile defenses, and refusing to engage with Pyongyang until it recommits to ending its nuclear program will likely still not yield appreciable results besides giving North Korea time to perfect its nuclear and missile capabilities.

  • Jan 13 , 2017

    This year could see a major shakeup in the China-U.S. interaction in Afghanistan and Central Asia. Until now, the relationships in these regions between China and the United States, and between China and Russia, has been better than the Russian-American rivalry in Central Asia. But if the new Trump administration succeeds in improving Russian-U.S. relations, or decides to cut back on the U.S. military commitment in Afghanistan, China’s bargaining leverage vis-à-vis Russia in Central Asia will decline.

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