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Susan Shirk

18 Podcast Episodes

Latest 26 Nov 2022 | Updated Daily

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Episode 21: Overreach: How China Derailed Its Peaceful Rise - A Book Talk By Susan Shirk Followed By A Panel

China and the World Program's Podcast

Book Talk by Susan ShirkFor three decades after Mao’s death in 1976, China’s leaders adopted a restrained approach to foreign policy. To facilitate the country’s inexorable economic ascendence, and to prevent a backlash, they reassured the outside world of China’s peaceful intentions.Then, something changed. China went from fragile superpower to global heavyweight, muscling its way around the South China Sea, punishing countries that disagree with China, intimidating Taiwan, tightening its grip on Hong Kong, and openly challenging the United States for preeminence not just economically and technologically but militarily. China began to overreach.  Combining her decades of research and experience, Shirk, author of the hugely influential China: Fragile Superpower, argues that we are now fully embroiled in a new cold war.Shirk shows the shift toward confrontation began in the mid-2000s under the mild-mannered Hu Jintao. As China’s economy boomed, especially after the Global Financial Crisis of 2008, Hu and the other leaders lost restraint, abetting aggression toward the outside world and unchecked domestic social control. When Xi Jinping took power in 2012, he capitalized on widespread official corruption and open splits in the leadership to make the case for more concentrated power at the top.In the decade following, and to the present day, Xi has accumulated greater power than any leader since Mao. Those who implement Xi’s directives compete to outdo one another in fervor, provoking an even greater global backlash and stoking jingoism within China on a scale not seen since the Cultural Revolution. To counter overreach, she argues, the worst mistake the rest of the world, and the United States in particular, can make is to overreact. (The verbiage above is from the publisher of Overreach and is not reflective of or endorsed by CWP or Columbia University)Susan Shirk is a Research Professor and Chair of the 21st Century China Center at the School of Global Policy and Strategy, UC San Diego. Shirk is the author of China: Fragile Superpower, and The Political Logic of Economic Reform in China. From 1997-2000, she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs, with responsibility for China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Mongolia.’Panel Discussion Following book talk:Thomas J. Christensen is the James T. Shotwell Professor of International Relations and Director of the China and the World Program at Columbia University.  He arrived in 2018 from Princeton University where he was William P. Boswell Professor of World Politics of Peace and War, Director of the Princeton-Harvard China and the World Program, and faculty director of the Masters of Public Policy Program and the Truman Scholars Program.   From 2006-2008 he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs with responsibility for relations with China, Taiwan, and Mongolia.Susan A. Thornton is a retired senior U.S. diplomat with almost three decades of experience with the U.S. State Department in Eurasia and East Asia. She is currently a Senior Fellow and Visiting Lecturer in Law at the Yale Law School Paul Tsai China Center. She is also the director of the Forum on Asia-Pacific Security at the National Committee on American Foreign Policy and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.John K. Culver is a nonresident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Global China Hub and a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) senior intelligence officer with thirty-five years of experience as a leading analyst of East Asian affairs, including security, economic, and foreign-policy dimensions. Previously as national intelligence officer for East Asia from 2015 to 2018, Culver drove the Intelligence Community’s support to top policymakers on East Asian issues and managed extensive relationships inside and outside government.

1hr 43mins

25 Oct 2022

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Overreach and overreaction, with Susan Shirk

Sinica Podcast

This week on Sinica, Kaiser chats with Susan Shirk, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia Pacific and Research Professor and Chair of the 21st Century China Center at the School of Global Policy and Strategy at UCSD, about how the deliberately collective leadership of the Hu Jintao years set the stage for the over-concentration of power under Xi Jinping and created conditions for overreach. She argues that Chinese overreach was met with American overreaction — not just in the Trump years, but continuing into the Biden administration.11:35 – The thesis of Overreach and misconceptions based on the title15:50 – The decline of collective leadership  19:57 – Selection process of politburo members27:48 – The advantages of China’s former collective leadership system31:40 – How collective leadership often lead to overreach39:40 – How personalistic, overly centralized rule can also result in overreach43:02 – Increased paranoia, insecurity, and “permanent purge” culture under Xi49:59 – American overreaction to China’s ambitionsA transcript of this episode is available at TheChinaProject.com.Recommendations: Susan – Born in Blackness: Africa, Africans, and the Making of the Modern World by Howard French Kaiser – His hobby of Asian archery and finding a community/activity you’re passionate about outside your professional line of workSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

1hr 6mins

20 Oct 2022

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October 16, 2022 - Jared Yates Sexton | Moira Donegan | Susan Shirk

Background Briefing with Ian Masters

Having Bought the Supreme Court, American Oligarchs Are Now Trying to Buy the Legislative Branch | Did the House January 6 Hearing Move the Needle For Democrats Ahead of the Upcoming Election? | With Its Economy in Deep Trouble, the Chinese Communist Party Congress Will Anoint Xi Jinping to Another Decade in Powerbackgroundbriefing.org/donate twitter.com/ianmastersmedia facebook.com/ianmastersmedia


16 Oct 2022

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Evaluating Chinese Foreign Policy Decision-Making: A Conversation with Susan Shirk


In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Dr. Susan Shirk joins us to discuss trends in China’s politics and how the U.S. can best manage its China policies. Dr. Shirk explains the recent history of China’s politics and how the political climate has shifted since the presidency of Hu Jintao. She also discusses the role of Xi Jinping within China’s government, arguing that Xi’s ongoing anti-corruption campaigns are meant not only to dispel corruption, but also to enforce discipline and centralize power around his leadership. Lastly, Dr. Shirk comments on the state of U.S. policy making towards China, presenting steps that could be taken in both Beijing and Washington to create more substantive and effective relations between both countries.Dr. Susan Shirk is a Research Professor and Chair of the 21st Century China Center at the School of Global Policy and Strategy at UC San Diego. From 1997-2000, she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs, with responsibility for China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Mongolia. Her most recent book, Overreach, was released October 7.


12 Oct 2022

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The DOJ's China Initiative: Where it went wrong, and why - Susan Shirk and Carol Lam

China 21

Susan Shirk, Chair of the 21st Century China Center, and former U.S. Attorney Carol Lam sit down to discuss the ways the China Initiative, from flaws in its inception to views towards the future of DOJ espionage prosecutions.


22 Mar 2022

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U.S.-China relations in 2020 with Susan Shirk

Sinica Podcast

This podcast was recorded as part of the 2020 SupChina Women’s Conference on September 9, 2020. Susan Shirk, chair and research professor of the 21st Century China Center at the School of Global Policy and Strategy at University of California, San Diego, is on Sinica this week. Jeremy, Kaiser, and Susan take a broad look at the bilateral relationship as the U.S. inches toward a presidential election in November.Recommendations:Jeremy: I’m doomsday prepping for the end of democracy by Farhad Manjoo, and We don’t know how to warn you any harder. America is dying., by Umair Haque.Susan: The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, by Isabel Wilkerson and The Yellow House: A Memoir by Sarah M. Broom. Kaiser: Is Russian meddling as dangerous as we think?, by Joshua Yaffa and How my mother and I became Chinese propaganda by Jiayang Fan.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.


1 Oct 2020

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Interpreting the Xi Dynasty - Geremie Barmé & Susan Shirk

China 21

Geremie Barmé is an esteemed historian, journalist, translator and film-maker. He spoke at UC San Diego in January on resistance movements in two Chinese cities - the case of Tsinghua Prof. Xu Zhangrun’s 許章潤 dissent, and the protests in Hong Kong. Prof. Barmé is the editor of China Heritage, a journal devoted to Chinese history, literature, and thought. Previously, he founded The Australian Centre on China in the World at The Australian National University. Prof. Barmé’s prolific writings provide a rich lens into China for English language audiences. His work can be found at chinaheritage.net and his full presentation is available on video at china.ucsd.eduProf. Susan Shirk, chair of the 21st Century China Center at UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy, is the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State (1997-2000), and founded and continues to lead the Northeast Asia Cooperation Dialogue. She’s working on a new book about the Xi Jinping era and is the co-chair of the Taskforce on U.S.-China Policy.Editor: Samuel Tsoi
Music: Shanghai Restoration Project


27 Feb 2020

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Susan Shirk

U.S.-China Dialogue Podcast

Professor Susan Shirk talks with U.S.-China Dialogue Podcast host James Green about her breakthrough meeting with Premier Zhou Enlai in 1971, her participation in President Jiang Zemin’s 1997 U.S. visit, and all the history in between and since.


26 Jul 2019

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US-China Symbiosis - Joe Tsai & Susan Shirk

China 21

Alibaba’s Joe Tsai speaks with Susan Shirk in front of a live audience on a wide-ranging conversation about current trade disputes, security concerns, technological competition, and the innovation and collaboration capacity for U.S. and China. Mr. Tsai is the co-founder and Executive Vice Chairman of Alibaba Group, and this year’s speaker for the Sokwanlok Distinguished Lecture Series at the 21st Century China Center, chaired by Prof. Susan Shirk. This episode was recorded at UC San Diego, and is a production of the 21st Century China Center Editor: Samuel Tsoi Production Support: Mike Fausner, Lara Sievert Music: Dave Liang/Shanghai Restoration Project


18 Mar 2019

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Overreach and Overreaction: The Crisis in US-China Relations – Susan Shirk

UPenn Center for the Study of Contemporary China

The following is a live recording of the 2019 Annual Public Lecture at Penn’s CSCC delivered by Susan Shirk, and introduced by the Center’s Director, Avery Goldstein. The event took place on January 31, 2019.  Music credit: "Salt" by Poppy Ackroyd, follow her at http://poppyackroyd.com Special thanks to Justin Melnick and Christopher Passanante

1hr 20mins

7 Feb 2019