Richard Fisher, an expert on Chinese and Asian security matters, delivered a talk about China’s growing conventional and cyberspace military capabilities at The Institute of World Politics on October 22nd, 2018.
Mr. Fisher is a frequent commentator on Asian security matters: he currently serves as a senior fellow at the Global Taiwan Institute; he was the Asian Studies Director at the Heritage Foundation; and he acted as the editor of the Jamestown Institute’s China Brief. He also served as an election monitor in four countries and conducted field research in Eastern Asia. Mr. Fisher has often testified in front of Congress to deliver his findings.
At IWP, Mr. Fisher discussed China’s focus on military investments, including ballistic missile development, Strategic Support Force (SSF) development, artificial intelligence (AI), naval vessels, undersea monitoring devices, and air force tanker squadrons. He argued that China’s pattern of investment is part of a concerted strategy to expand its military influence into East Asia and to other parts of the world. He also underscored the major risk of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan: if China invades Taiwan, then the United States will be forced to act, and a high stakes crisis will ensue. He also demonstrated China’s desire to expand its influence by noting an increased Chinese presence in Argentina and a military base in Djibouti.
Mr. Fisher concluded that there are several strategies that the United States can pursue to prevent aggressive Chinese military expansion. First, the U.S. can use Cold War-era tactics, such as joint allied export controls, to prevent China from gaining a technological advantage over the United States. Second, the United States can consort with democratic Asian partners to counteract China’s power plays. Finally, the United States can engage in data sharing and monitoring along the Pacific Rim with its Asian allies. IWP expresses its gratitude toward Mr. Fisher for his informative lecture on U.S. security issues in East Asia.