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August 2021: Aggressive posturing marks China’s domestic and regional relations

The Brief

August 9, 2021

Johns Hopkins SAIS experts are commenting on potential messages Beijing is sending domestically and to neighboring countries and regions with its aggressive stance toward Chinese-based Big Tech firms and military maneuvering. 

Ling Chen, Assistant Professor of Political Economy, touched on the Chinese government reining in the power and influence of Big Tech within the country in South China Morning Post, telling the outlet "a scramble for power is taking place in Beijing as regulating business has now become a source of power." 
 
Ho-Fung Hung, Henry M. and Elizabeth P. Wiesenfeld Professor in Political Economy, commented on China transforming Hong Kong into a national security complex in Quartz, explaining the Chinese government will "keep expanding the [national security] activities, because it’s the logic of bureaucracy: Once you have a bureaucracy, the bureaucracy has to do things to justify its own existence."
 
Hal Brands, Henry A. Kissinger Distinguished Professor of the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs, examined China’s military aggressiveness in Bloomberg Opinion, writing "a revisionist power like China often becomes the most aggressive when they start to worry that their window of geopolitical opportunity has opened but won't remain open forever." (paywall)
 
Carla Freeman, Executive Director of the Foreign Policy Institute, noted Beijing’s military influence in the South China Sea in Johns Hopkins Hub, explaining China is "experimenting with reshaping the rules of the road—and those include the way that the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea is interpreted." 
 
Daniel Markey, Master of Arts in Global Policy Director, discussed the Chinese government’s attitude toward the South Asia area and growing appetite for risk during a Heritage Foundation event, pointing out China has "built up its capacity for military power projection throughout this region and for security connections and ties with regional partners like Pakistan."

David Keegan, Adjunct Lecturer of China Studies, wrote that "Beijing has made it clear that it believes its national power is growing rapidly and may soon suffice to exert diplomatic, economic, and military dominance, at least in the western Pacific" in his essay for the Stimson Center.

The Brief highlights Johns Hopkins SAIS expertise on current events and is produced monthly by the Office of Marketing, Communications and Community Engagement.