In the Spring 2020 special issue of Orbis, nine articles assess political warfare in, and emanating from, East Asia. Authoritarian regimes in Asia, including China and North Korea, use the weapons of political warfare and the tools of sharp power to influence, and sometimes undermine, other polities. Political warfare includes overt and covert use of diplomatic, political, economic, and information means to affect policy-making or the political context affecting decision-making in another state. In East Asia, the techniques are deployed against immediate neighbors and far-away targets and rivals. Political warfare particularly exploits the characteristic vulnerabilities of open societies and liberal-democratic polities, including businesses that seek access, new and traditional media that are porous to foreign influence, publics that are receptive to divisive and bias-confirming messages, civil society structures and educational and cultural spaces that provide unguarded points of entry, and politicians eager for foreign and economic policy wins and campaign donations.
In this series of four webinars, FPRI’s Asia Program Director Jacques deLisle speaks with the authors of articles in the Orbis special issues.
Tuesday, 5/26: “Political Warfare at China’s Periphery: Taiwan and Hong Kong” [Speakers: Victoria Tin-bor Hui and Thomas J. Shattuck]
Wednesday, 5/27: “China’s Wider Quest for Influence: Africa and Eurasia” [Speakers: David Shinn, Joshua Eisenman, and Chris Miller]
Thursday, 5/28: “China’s Political Warfare Methods in East Asia” [Speakers: June Teufel Dreyer and Toshi Yoshihara]
Friday, 5/29: “China’s Political Warfare and Western Democracies” [Speakers: Jacques deLisle, Michael Clarke and his co-authors]