Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan Visit, With Bonnie S. Glaser

James M. Lindsay sits down with Bonnie S. Glaser, director of the Asia Program at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, to discuss House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan and its impact on U.S.-China relations.

August 2, 2022 — 36:48 min
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James M. Lindsay

Senior Vice President, Director of Studies, and Maurice R. Greenberg Chair Full Bio

Episode Guests

Bonnie S. Glaser

Director, Asia Program, German Marshall Fund of the United States

Show Notes

James M. Lindsay sits down with Bonnie S. Glaser, director of the Asia Program at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, to discuss House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan and its impact on U.S.-China relations.

 

Mentioned on the Podcast

 

Bonnie Glaser, China Global Podcast, German Marshall Fund of the United States

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Transcript

Jim Lindsay:

Welcome to The President's Inbox, a CFR podcast about the foreign policy challenges facing the United States. I'm Jim Lindsay, Director of Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. This week's topic is tensions over Taiwan.

With me to discuss why U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's impending trip to Taiwan has heightened tensions with China is Bonnie Glaser. Bonnie is a director of the Asia Program at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. She is also a non-resident fellow with the Lowy Institute, and a senior associate with the Pacific Forum. Bonnie hosts the German Marshall Fund's biweekly podcast, China Global, which you can find at gmfus.org or wherever you get your podcasts. Bonnie, thanks for joining me today.

Bonnie Glaser:

Thank you for having me, Jim.

Jim Lindsay:

Bonnie, we are talking a day before this podcast will be released and amid reports that Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, is set to visit Taiwan. She is currently in Singapore leading a congressional delegation, a CODEL in Washington parlance, that has scheduled stops in Malaysia, Japan, and South Korea. And indeed by the time this goes live, she may have already have landed in Taipei. So let's begin with what do we know about the Speaker's possible trip to Taiwan?

Bonnie Glaser:

Well, Jim, what we know so far is that Speaker Pelosi was supposed to go to Taiwan last April. The trip was leaked. It was never announced. And she contracted COVID and therefore the trip was postponed. So there was a very short period, perhaps a day or two, between the leak of the trip and the notice that she had COVID and therefore was not going to be going anyway. But this is the first opportunity for Speaker Pelosi to go since April, because Congress is now in session, and I think it's very important to her to make this trip. And even though there were many warnings that were given, including, reportedly, by the US military, that there could be great risk in her going. She nevertheless decided to go. You've just listed the four destinations of her CODEL that have been announced, but of course, that doesn't mean she won't go to Taiwan. She will make what's called an unofficial visit to Taiwan, and it is highly likely that she will go.

Jim Lindsay:

So let's talk about why Nancy Pelosi would want to go to Taiwan.

Bonnie Glaser:

Well, Nancy Pelosi has been a strong advocate of human rights, democracy, freedoms. She has stood up for these principles all over the world. In 1989, of course, in Tienanmen Square in China when there were the democracy protests and the killing of many innocent Chinese, two years later, 1991, Pelosi flanked by two other members of Congress stood in Tienanmen Square in Beijing and unfurled a banner in support of those protestors and people who died. She has also been a strong critic of what the Chinese are doing in Xinjiang with keeping people in what are essentially concentration camps, she has been opposed to the use of forced labor and supply chains, and she was very strongly critical of Chinese policies in Hong Kong. So the fact that she wants to go to Taiwan, in what could be her last year as Speaker and as a member of Congress, I think should come to no surprise to anyone.

Jim Lindsay:

So let's talk about the Chinese reaction. What I have read in newspaper reports is that the Chinese have, through a variety of channels, indicated they are bitterly opposed to this trip, if it comes off, warning the Speaker, warning the United States against doing so. Is that a fair read of what we think the Chinese have said?

Bonnie Glaser:

Yes, there have been very unusual formulations coming from the Chinese side, especially in their public media. The Chinese foreign ministry spokesman the other day said that the Chinese military would not stand idly by if Pelosi goes, and there have been other formulations that have been used. Notably, however, China's leader, Xi Jinping, when he had the phone call with US president, Joe Biden, just a few days ago, used the same formulation that he used in the previous phone call he had had with Biden, and that was essentially saying those who play with fire will get burned. So yes, that is a warning, but if you were to rack and stack all the warnings the Chinese could give it is really not the harshest and most dangerous alarmist warning that he could have given, and he certainly could have increased it a notch, but did not.

Jim Lindsay:

Okay. So this issue of the Speaker's visit came up in the conversation between Biden and Xi last week, which I think is the fifth time since President Biden entered to the Oval Office that he's chatted with the leader of China. Do we have a sense of whether the Biden administration tried to dissuade Speaker Pelosi from taking this trip?

Bonnie Glaser:

First I'll just clarify that as far as we know, based on the readouts from the phone call that Biden and Xi Jinping talked about Taiwan, we do not know whether they talked explicitly about possible Pelosi visit.

Jim Lindsay:

It seemed to be implied by the readout, at least from the Chinese side.

Bonnie Glaser:

I'm not so sure, only because I think that Xi Jinping would not put himself in a position of making a very strong demand that he may have, or should have known, in advance that the President could not deliver, that could increasingly make him look weak in the domestic context. So perhaps the Pelosi visit was discussed explicitly. I'm not certain.

Jim Lindsay:

I wasn't trying to say it was discussed explicitly, but it seems that everyone on the call knew that this was a possibility.

Bonnie Glaser:

Absolutely. I would agree with that. I think it is fair to say that over the course of the last weeks, and possibly even months, that there have been many conversations between individuals at the White House on Speaker Pelosi's staff, perhaps even between members of the US military and Pelosi's staff, about the potential risks involved in this visit. That said, it seems to me, and of course I cannot be 100% certain about this, but it seems to me that President Biden decided that he himself did not want to talk directly to Speaker Pelosi about the possibility of this visit. So it sounds like the communications took place between their staffs.

Jim Lindsay:

Do we know why that's the case? Is it because President Biden didn't want to be seen as being rebuffed by the Speaker of the House? Is it because President Biden is fundamentally a man of the Senate and he understands the notion of separation of powers and that a president can't tell a Speaker what to do or not to do? Something else?

Bonnie Glaser:

Well, of course, I don't know for certain, but I think that the fact that President Biden was himself in the Senate for so long, he feels very strongly about the separation of powers in our government, and I think that he believes that he should not tell Speaker Pelosi, or really any member of Congress, where they can go and where they should not. Others, I think, thought that perhaps having a conversation about the risks about the advisability of going perhaps would've been a good idea, but I just think that President Biden felt that was not appropriate.

Jim Lindsay:

Understood. So why are the Chinese so upset? Why are we getting these different formulations? I will note that Speaker Pelosi is not calling for the independence of Taiwan. That would be a clear red line for the Chinese. She's not the first Speaker of the House to visit Taipei. Newt Gingrich did that back in 1997. Just last year, three US senators landed in Taipei after being flown there aboard a US Air Force plane. We've had cabinet level officials visit Taiwan. What is it about this visit that has brought forth, at least on a rhetorical level, much stronger Chinese language?

Bonnie Glaser:

That's a very important question, Jim, because there's a lot that has been going on in US policy and the way that China perceives US policy, especially toward Taiwan. So this is of course against the background of an increasingly acrimonious US-China relationship, and the Chinese and the US have not really had a very in-depth dialogue about things like risk, the guardrails that people in the White House think we should put in place, or talks on strategic stability. Nothing has taken place in order to prevent this relationship from deteriorating. So that's one point that I think we need to be aware of. Secondly, is the fact that China has been putting military diplomatic economic pressure on Taiwan in recent years, and the United States sees this as dangerous. We have very large numbers of Chinese aircraft, sometime including nuclear capable bombers, as well as fighters and surveillance aircraft, flying inside Taiwan's air defense identification zone.

            Now that's not the territorial airspace. It's a very large area that planes coming into are just supposed to notify Taiwan. Many countries around the world have these so-called ADIZs, and an ADIZ is not something that is regularized or uniform, but nonetheless, this is something that should be observed. And China, has just not indicated that it has not provided advanced notification. Of course, it's just flying large numbers into this ADIZ. And that has been increasingly dangerous because Taiwan scrambles its aircraft in response, and then we have lots of Naval activity by China and also by the United States. There's a lot of activity going on in the South China Sea by both sides, which has been increasingly dangerous. And we heard the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Milley, talk about this in interviews just over the past week about the small numbers, but growing, I think, nevertheless, in frequency of unprofessional intercepts by Chinese fighter aircraft, not only against American aircraft and Naval ships, but also those of our allies.

            Then the third thing that I want to mention is to talk about US policy toward Taiwan. There has been a lack of clarity, consistency, a lack of discipline, shall we say, and even a lack of coherency, I think, in US policy statements. The Biden administration continues to say that the United States has a One China policy, that the United States does not support Taiwan independence, but then there are other things that the US does, which from China's perspective and using their language, looks like we are slicing the salami. We are heading towards supporting a Taiwan that is legally independent. And so China has long had red lines. They're not all completely clear, but in their 2005 anti-secession law that they passed, they did list some of those red lines, and I think we all know one is a declaration of independence by Taiwan. Taiwan developing nuclear weapons would be a red line.

            So Speaker Pelosi going to Taiwan doesn't really, I think, in and of itself cross a red line, but I think the Chinese see a slippery slope. What they see is a lot of activity that the United States has been taking that used to be kept private, under wraps, secret, that it's now being made public, and that those are things like US ship transits through the Taiwan Strait. Our J2 from INDOPACOM command in charge of intelligence, his two trips to Taiwan this year were leaked to the press. Joint military exercises between the United States and Taiwan that were never, ever spoken about publicly are now being made public. They were during the Trump administration. And then on top of all this, we have President Biden talking about policy toward Taiwan in confusing ways.

            In fact, last year he was asked by a reporter some question to which he replied, "Taiwan is independent. We should just let it make its own decisions." And I think that was a particularly egregious statement, but of course he has on three occasions said, "The United States will come to Taiwan's defense," and then said, "The United States has made a commitment to do so." The first part of that sentence, that "the United States will come to Taiwan's defense," it is his prerogative as president to say that, but we do not as a country have a legal obligation to come to Taiwan's defense. And so saying that we do, and that therefore our policy hasn't changed and he's just repeating it, is really not correct. The Taiwan Relations Act does have some provisions regarding US policy and commitments, but we have remained since 1979 ambiguous about how the United States would respond if China were to use force against Taiwan.

Jim Lindsay:

It sounds, Bonnie, as if you're describing a slow movement away from what has been called strategic ambiguity toward a position that has been called strategic clarity of what the United States will do to defend Taiwan. But I want to ask you about President Biden's statements. You note three times he's indicated the United States will come to the aid of Taiwan. It was then interpreted by the press as being a change in policy. Administration officials then came out and said, "No. No policy has changed at all." Are these slips of the tongue? Are they deliberate efforts? And I will note that then Senator Joe Biden was quite critical of President Bush, of the younger President Bush, for making a statement that seemed to blur the One China policy of the United States. So how do you assess what the President is saying versus what his lieutenants are saying?

Bonnie Glaser:

So, again, I can only guess because I haven't had an opportunity to talk to the President directly, but the fact that he has said that the United States will come to Taiwan's defense, that we have an obligation to do so, and yet he has also said that our policy toward Taiwan remains unchanged. The only logic that is consistent with those three statements is that President Biden believes that the Taiwan Relations Act actually represents a US commitment to defend Taiwan. So he believes that's our policy. It remains unchanged, and that he's simply reiterating US policy.

Jim Lindsay:

So looking at this from the Chinese perspective, I understand your argument that Beijing believes that they're seeing, in essence, a creep away from ambiguity towards strategic clarity, perhaps even eventually emboldening the Taiwanese to declare independence. I'm wondering now that if that's really the way Beijing is reading events. Another explanation I've heard, Bonnie, is that Xi is deliberately stoking up tensions over Taiwan because it will serve him usefully at home because the Chinese economy is slowing down, his zero tolerance for COVID has turned into multiple lockdowns in many cities and this is really grating on the Chinese public, or the flip side, which is that he's worried that what is happening over Taiwan is going to interfere with his presumed coronation in October when he takes up his third term leading China. What do you make of those arguments?

Bonnie Glaser:

I would just say that my analysis of the dynamic that has taken place among these three actors, Taiwan, the United States, and China, just does not support that thesis. I think that Xi Jinping is in a very strong position domestically. I think that he secured his third term in power, which he will get this fall, quite some time ago. I don't think that he is in jeopardy of not getting that third term. I don't see signs that there's this strong opposition against Xi Jinping.

            Sure, he may be taking a little bit of a hit for the state of the economy, the zero COVID policy, but to me that doesn't explain what he is doing vis-a-vis the United States and Taiwan, which I think is really an effort to shore up Beijing's red lines, and to highlight for the United States and Taiwan the risk of taking further incremental measures that challenge Beijing's sovereignty claim, its territorial integrity. And so I think that is what China is trying to achieve. And I don't think that Xi Jinping wants a war. I don't think he wants a military conflict with the United States, but I think he wants to stop this slippery slope.

Jim Lindsay:

And I should note China is in a much better position in terms of military capabilities today than it was, for example, when Newt Gingrich visited Taipei back in 1997. I mean the buildup of the Chinese military, and particularly of its air force and naval capacity, has been quite significant.

Bonnie Glaser:

Well, of course we could go back one or two years prior to Gingrich's visit, which was the 1995, 96 crisis. We refer to that as the Third Taiwan Strait Crisis, and that's when Lee Teng-hui visited the United States and gave a speech and hinted at the fact that Taiwan might be interested in something that was akin to independence. And China had very limited military capabilities at that time, it fired missiles around Taiwan. One of those missiles, we found out much later, actually flew over a very small sliver of Taiwan, and China really didn't have capability at that time really to do anything other than fire missiles. Today they have far greater capability, which of course includes cyber capability and the other mechanisms that they have developed to put pressure on Taiwan, including economic measures. We've seen some boycots of Taiwanese products. They could do much more if they want to hurt Taiwan economically because the economy of Taiwan and China are so interdependent.

            So they could take economic measures. They now have legislation that is against foreign coercion against them that they can use against other target countries. And of course, militarily, they have the capability to not only seize a small outer island, which they've had for some time, but experts today debate whether or not China has the capability to actually seize and control Taiwan, to launch an invasion and actually control the island. Some people say that China doesn't really have the amphibious lift and transport capability to actually move a hundred thousand or more troops to Taiwan, and others say that China actually plans to use not only its naval transport capability, but also maritime militia and the merchant marine, any kind of surface vessels that it has, maybe law enforcement vessels, which are substantial as well. And that if you take all of those into account, that actually China could invade today. So this is a hotly debated issue.

Jim Lindsay:

But you're not suggesting that it's likely that the Chinese response to a Speaker Pelosi visit to Taipei is an immediate invasion of Taiwan.

Bonnie Glaser:

Well, absolutely not. And thank you for asking that question. I was responding to your question about China's military capabilities, but I think that war is not likely as a result of the Pelosi visit, nor is it likely in any time within the next couple of years. I remain somewhat less alarmed about the potential of a Chinese invasion, for example, in reaction to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which some people link the two and I see more differences than similarities. But I do think that China will respond to this visit in perhaps some unexpected ways, and it probably won't be just a one off reaction. It could be a series of steps taken over a period of days or weeks. I don't think it's going to lead to any kind of major US China crisis. More political tensions, yes, but I think even a military accident is unlikely because China does not want a war with the United States.

Jim Lindsay:

So I take your point that Beijing can't afford to threaten and do nothing, so it's going to have to find some way to respond to a visit, and it has a wide range of levers it can pull. Many of those are economic. They're not all military. And you expect some sort of mix and match among a variety of different options, but you don't think a military confrontation, a kinetic clash as people in Washington like to say, is in the offing.

Bonnie Glaser:

That's right. I think that the Chinese will do some things that are unprecedented. I'll give you one small example. We talked earlier about how the Chinese have been flying aircraft in Taiwan's air defense identification zone, but they have never flown inside Taiwan's 12 nautical mile territorial airspace. So that's one potential action that a Chinese fighter aircraft could take. They could even fly across the median line in a direction toward Taiwan, which they did quite often in 1996 in reaction to the earlier crisis that we talked about, but then of course they veered away before they entered that territorial airspace, and so they could go further than in the past. This would be aimed at intimidation, but I personally don't think that this will be, as you say, a kinetic response. And I don't think they will dare to interfere directly with the aircraft that Speaker Pelosi is flying on.

Jim Lindsay:

So we spent some time talking about what Washington's thinking. We spent some time talking about what Beijing was thinking. What is Taipei thinking? What are they hoping to gain from this visit?

Bonnie Glaser:

Well, Taiwan welcomes virtually, I would say, any and all support that it gets from the United States. It is truly rare that a president from Taiwan will question whether something the United States wants to do with Taiwan is in Taiwan's interest. I probably shouldn't go into too much detail, but I will mention the phone call that President Trump had with President Tsai Ing-wen, and of course President Trump had not yet been inaugurated, he had been elected. But he did set a new precedent in having a phone call with Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen, and it's my understanding that as that phone call was initially being discussed, which was before the Trump team agreed to have the phone call, that there were some people in Taiwan who were not certain that was a good idea, but eventually they did go ahead with it. And I think if we fast forward to today and look at this visit by Speaker Pelosi, I doubt that there really was any serious concern in Taiwan about this visit because so many members of Congress have visited in the past.

            Taiwan feels particularly uneasy at this juncture because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The public opinion poll showed something like a 25 to 30% drop in the views of Taiwanese citizens, the confidence that they had in whether or not the United States would come to Taiwan's defense if China invaded. That's worrisome to the ruling DPP. They're coming up with elections too, at later this year, their local elections. Their presidential elections will be in January of 2024, but I still think the party is worried about this. So getting positive signals from the United States is very welcome, and I think that they will roll out the red carpet for Speaker Pelosi.

Jim Lindsay:

So obviously then the Taiwanese, Bonnie, are not worried about the possibility that Beijing might respond by hindering Taiwanese exports to China. Why would that be the case?

Bonnie Glaser:

Well, I think that's really an important question mark. I wonder whether the government in Taiwan has done an in depth examination of what the risks could be, what punitive actions Beijing may take. I don't know if they've asked the question, are the benefits of this visit worth the risks or the cost that Taiwan has to pay? And that's, I think, the way they should look at it, I think it's also the way the United States should look at it. And of course not just this visit, but other things that we do with Taiwan, or actions, of course, that Taiwan might take. So my view is that is exactly the right question, but I have no certainty that's the way Taiwan looks at it.

Jim Lindsay:

Speaker Pelosi's visit to Taiwan is not the only near term irritant in US Chinese relations. You've talked about some of the statements the President has made, some of his administration officials have made, in recent months, but there's also a move on Capitol Hill to tighten or improve US relations with Taiwan. The Senate is now set to debate something called the Taiwan Policy Act of 2022, which again is intended to knit the United States and Taiwan closer together. What do you make of these efforts and where do you think they're taking us, Bonnie?

Bonnie Glaser:

Well, I think that it is inevitable that this trend in support for Taiwan from the United States is going to continue. Congress has just tremendous bipartisan support for Taiwan, and there may be marginal differences, Republicans tend to agree a bit more that I think the Democrats do, for example, that we should move toward giving Taiwan an iron clad commitment to its defense. But nonetheless, when it comes to selling arms to Taiwan, there is just overwhelming support. And there are components of the Taiwan Policy Act that I think there's quite a bit of support for. One is, for example, to designate Taiwan a non-NATO ally, and that would open up opportunities for the United States to perhaps do things with Taiwan that we don't do today.

Jim Lindsay:

Bonnie, if the United States were to declare Taiwan a major non-NATO ally, is that the same as giving Taiwan an iron clad commitment to defend it?

Bonnie Glaser:

No, it's not the same. It would allow Taiwan access to some weapons that they have had difficulty acquiring up till now, but there are other elements in the bill. For example, there is support for having Taiwan participate in the multilateral naval exercise that's held annually, RIMPAC. Congress has been supportive of that in the past. China actually participated previously, but then it was disinvited, so that would not be something that China would like to see, but it could possibly happen. And then something else that I would point out is there is a call for Taiwan to be allowed to change the name of its office in Washington DC. So it's now called the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Representative Office, we call that TECRO, that's its acronym, but Taiwan would like it to be called the Taiwan Representative Office. Now some of your listeners may know that Lithuania allowed Taiwan to open an office in Vilnius for the first time and call it the Taiwan Representative Office in Chinese and English.

            They call it the Taiwanese Representative Office, but Beijing responded quite strongly and withdrew its ambassador and took many economic coercive measures against Lithuania. And I think that the United States government does not see that as a useful thing to do for the time being. My own view is that we should avoid doing things that are primarily symbolic but do not contribute meaningfully to Taiwan's defense. I want to see deterrent strengthened. I want to be confident that when the United States takes a specific measure, that we know that it will contribute to deterrents rather than lead to a provocation, that it will result in a Chinese attack or its use of kinetic action against Taiwan that we are seeking to avoid.

Jim Lindsay:

But as you know, Bonnie, that can be very hard to do in modern Washington, because policy is also coupled with politics, and obviously efforts to say we should not change the name of the Taiwanese office in the United States is going to be taken up by its proponents, or proponents of the change, as evidence of being soft on the Chinese threat, of giving into Chinese coercion, that the United States should stand up to China and say, "No, you're not going to get to decide these things. We're not going to be deterred by your economic threats." Why is that logic wrong?

Bonnie Glaser:

Well, if the charge is that anything and everything that the United States could do we should do, because if we avoid doing it, then we will look weak against China, then that argument has no credibility. If there are very specific things, and in this case of Pelosi's trip there were people who said we should not back down in the face of Chinese pressure, and I appreciate the view that we should not look weak because China sees the United States as weak. Xi JinPing in particular has talked internally about the United States being in decline ever since the global financial crisis of 2008, 2009. The Chinese have in fact seen the United States as on this inexorable trajectory of decline.

            So I share that view that the United States should not be seen as weak in the face of Chinese intimidation and bullying. That said, I don't believe that we should do everything, or we should not consider when to do certain things. So sometimes it's the action itself that we have to judge whether or not it will strengthen deterrence or lead to provocation, and then the second thing is the timing of that action. So my view is that perhaps Nancy Pelosi could have gone later in the year, made the trip, but not done it so close to the 20th party Congress, when I think actually Xi Jinping is under great pressure domestically to not look weak in the face of the United States pressure.

Jim Lindsay:

Bonnie, your observation that Xi Jinping is convinced that the United States is in irreversible decline is worrying. It's worrying because it's not obvious to me how the United States can change that assessment on Xi's part, and if Xi's acting on the basis of the United States is basically frittering away as a great power, that is likely to embolden him in what he chooses to do. And if the United States is committed to standing by its word, doesn't that increase the chances of conflict between the United States and China, or is there some way to change Xi Jinping's calculation, his assessment, without having to have a confrontation?

Bonnie Glaser:

Well, as you know, Jim, when the Biden administration came into power, their top priority was to invest in America for a number of reasons, but one of them was to position the United States to more effectively compete with China. And we have heard in Tony Blinken's recent speech on China policy that the United States wants to invest, align, and compete. And of course it's invest in America, and align more closely with our allies and partners, and then, from a stronger position, compete more effectively with China. So my response to you is that we can't achieve those first two goals overnight. I think that we are on the right track in some areas. We are trying to build, for example, the innovation and R and D base in the United States. And just a few days ago, Congress passed the CHIPS Act and there will be 52 billion invested in making the United States more competitive in semiconductors.

            And so that's just one example. There is so much that the United States needs to do, but as we begin to make these decisions, I think we can influence the thinking of the Chinese. Unfortunately, they are facing their own difficulties, as we talked about earlier, so maybe Xi Jinping will be a little bit less confident about China's trajectory. Maybe he will not be sure that China has the wind at its back, and he will see that the gap between US and Chinese power is not going to narrow as quickly as he expected that it would. The United States might even retain our lead. So I'm hoping that that will caution him in his own decision making

Jim Lindsay:

On that potentially optimistic note, I'm going to close up The President's Inbox for this week. My guest has been Bonnie Glaser, Director of the Asia Program at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Bonnie, thank you for joining me.

Bonnie Glaser:

Thank you for having me, Jim.

Jim Lindsay:

Please subscribe to The President's Inbox on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, wherever you listen, and leave us a review. We love the feedback. You can find the books and articles mentioned in this episode, as well as a transcript of our conversation, on the podcast page for The President's Inbox on cfr.org. As always, opinions expressed on The President's Inbox are solely those of the host or our guests, not of CFR, which takes no institutional positions on matters of policy. Today's episode was produced by Rafaela Siewert with the senior podcast producer, Gabrielle Sierra. Rafaela did double duty as our recording engineer. Thank you, Rafaela. Special thanks go out to Margaret Gach for her assistance. This is Jim Lindsay. Thanks for listening.

 

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