CAPP Events in 2006

December 2006

CAPP Hosts CICIR Delegation

CAPP held a roundtable discussion with North Korean experts from the China Institutes of International Relations (CICIR) on Dec. 8. The CICIR delegation comprised of Ji Zhiye, CICIR Vice President;Yuan Peng, Deputy Director, CICIR Institute of American Studies; Qi Baoliang, Director, Division for Korean Peninsula Studies; Li Xin, Deputy Director, CICIR Department of International Exchanges; Chen Xiangyang, Assistant Professor, Division for Korean Peninsula Studies. Bill Overholt, Director of the RAND Center for Asia Pacific Policy, led the panel discussion with an introduction to staff members and a RAND overview.

The delegation wanted to know U.S. foreign policy implications with Democrat control over Congress in regards to the release of the Iraq Report and the recent North Korean nuclear launch. Bill addressed the Iraq Report portion of their question. He said there is a broad consensus that if the US pulled out of Iraq completely, there would be chaos. He also said there was confusion over any plausible options without dire consequences in Iraq. The ideal scenario would be for the U.S. administration to cooperate with Russia and Iran and everyone agreed that stability in Afghanistan was key to keeping peace. Bill added that the Iraq war will limit focus on U.S. foreign policy in Asia. However, this could lead to the U.S. administration opening dialogue with countries they had previously severed ties.

Bruce Bennett, RANDís Senior Defense Analyst, said the financial pressure on North Korea is substantial and could explain their launch of seven ballistic missiles in July. He said that Kim Jong-Il is anxious to resolve the financial sanctions.

The Chinese said the US had agreed to limit financial sanctions against North Korea on Oct. 31, at which point, North Korea agreed to resume six-party talks. However, in November, the U.S. administration changed its position on limiting sanctions. The delegation was perplexed about why the U.S. administration changed its position on limiting financial sanctions against North Korea in less than a month. They said there had been speculation it was a political move due to U.S. elections. Charles Wolf, Senior Economic Adviser, said Secretary Chris Hill was not making any concessions during his Oct. 31 meeting. Secretary Hill said financial sanctions would be discussed, not conceded.

During CICIR's recent visits to the National Security Council and the U.S. State Department, the Chinese delegation said the Americans seemed to have an impression that the responsibility for North Korea was in China's hands. Bottom line, "China should get North Korea to accept what the US wants." He said this is confusing. One of the major changes that have taken place in Northeast Asia, since the Cold War is that North Korea is completely isolated. China and Russia have honored their commitment of normalizing diplomatic relations with South Korea. However, the US and Japan have not normalized relations with North Korea. One member also added that North Korea has launched a series of missiles to attract the attention of the US. Since '02, North Korea has left space for the US to respond to its missile launches. On Oct. 3, North Korea waited six days for a US response. On Oct. 9, they launched again after the US did nothing. He believes North Korea wants to complete its negotiations within the six-party talks bilaterally with the US. He said the US should deal with the North Korea nuclear issue by providing a package that would explain the dismantlement process within the six-party talks framework.

Charles asked CICIR about passing along suggested peaceful modernization measures to North Korean officials. He said it was a collaborative initiative that was presented during the China Reform Forum that encompassed political, economic and military modernization efforts to maintain stability in North Korea. The CICIR delegation said that China likes the idea of constructive suggestions, but the Chinese never tell Kim Jong-Il "what to do" or "what he should do." The Chinese method is to allow Kim Jong Il to see for himself. If you tell him what to do, he will naturally find plots behind your attempts. China invited Kim to one of their poorest cities to show him the positive outcome of reforms, but did not tell him what he should do. This is the difference between the US and China's tactics in delivering messages to North Korea, he stated.

RAND and CICIR agreed to explore ways to institutionalize regular meetings.

NDRC Visits RAND

The National Development Research Council (NDRC), a central economic planning agency for China, visited on Dec. 7 to learn more about RANDís organization and capabilities. The council was hosted by Jim Hosek, who provided a RAND overview and human resource strategy presentation. As part of the overview discussion, Jim explained the budget breakdown of federal, state, local and donor funds. He also explained RANDís process of choosing which policy question to answer. The council had a question on RANDís economic focus. Jim said that RANDís emphasis was more on microeconomics than macroeconomics. He also mentioned some of RANDís famous researchers, including Nobel Prize winning economists.

November 2006

China South Industries Group Corporation Seek HR Advice

A 23-member delegation from the China South Industries Group (CSIG) corporation visited RAND on Nov. 20 for a discussion on innovative, human resource management techniques. The group led by Mr. Jian Zhou, the director of CSIGís HR department, received a RAND overview from Bill Overholt and an HR strategy presentation from Jim Hosek. Jim broke the presentation into six main categories: hiring, retaining, developing, motivating, sorting and separation. He highlighted the importance of aligning the personnel aspect with corporate vision and goals.

The presentation concluded with a Q & A session that included discussions of a recent military recruiting study, good examples of employee incentatives, treatment of executive versus engineering staff, new versus old employees, pay compression and evaluating employee performance.

Delegation from Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region Visits RAND

The delegation from the Policy Studying Office (PSO) of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region visited RAND on Nov. 20 for a roundtable discussion on the various infrastructure and developmental challenges facing the province.

Mr. Min Pi Yu, the PSOís Deputy Director-General, expressed concern over the provinceís banking sector which has been plagued with inefficiency since its inception. He was particularly interested in learning from RAND key tactics in developing greater efficiency throughout the banking system. Bill Overholt highlighted various strategies that could possibly address this problem. He said the first step would be to reduce political influence on banks that issue loans. The second step would be to standardize the accounting system in order for credit-worthy enterprises to access funding. He said the banking system, the bond market, and the stock market all are totally dependent on sound accounting. Entrepreneursíí ready access to funding has long been a vital factor for the growth of the US economy.

In addition to the banking sector, Mr. Yu wanted to learn more about RANDís organizational structure and forecasting methods. Bill outlined the organizational management of RAND and illustrated our forecasting and planning technique by providing various scenarios for potential political change in Asia.

April 2006

Zheng Bijian and China Reform Forum Scholars Visit RAND

Zheng Bijian, one of China's most creative and authoritative foreign policy thinkers, visited RAND to discuss U.S.-China relations as well as China's rise in not only Asia but also internationally. A distiguished group of scholars from the China Reform Forum accompanied Mr. Zheng on his April 21 visit. RAND President and CEO Jim Thomson welcomed the delegation and CAPP board member Donald Tang initiated the introductions of the group. Zheng Bijian expressed his respect for RAND and likened his relationship with RAND to an old friendship. He particularly expressed his gratitude to Charles Wolf, Jr., whom he has known for many years. The discussion began with Dr. Wolf asking Mr. Zheng to clarify if there was a difference between China's "rise" and China's "development." After an informative reflection, Mr. Zheng stressed that there really is not a difference in the two phrases and that he did not have any issue with either. The group also analyzed the issue of energy in China, and what kinds of conservation methods could be put to use in the coming decades. Mr. Zheng also stressed the importance of paying attention to five key categories in society: material, political, cultural/spiritual, social and environmental. The discussion concluded with his appreciation to RAND for hosting him and his delegation, and his hope that his relationship with RAND would continue to grow. Along with Jim Thomson and Donald Tang, other participants in the dialogue included Susan Everingham, Bill Overholt, Charles Wolf, Jr., Eric Heginbotham and Kumiko Okazaki.

Human Rights Activist Han Dongfang Visits RAND for Dialogue on Law and Civil Society

Mr. Han Dongfang, a prominent human rights activist, came to RAND to have a dialogue on the role of law and civil society in China. Through his extensive work in researching the plight of underrepresented farmers in rural China, he revealed the seriousness of parts of the Chinese labor force, particularly in the mining industry. He explained his goal of examining the Chinese governing system as a whole and exploring where the most urgent problems originate. He explained that his casework allows him to try to identify what is missing from the Chinese legal system and what workers in the region can do, such as collective bargaining. The meeting, on April 19, was attended by Bill Overholt, Julie Kim and Kumiko Okazaki.

Delegation from Pakistan National Defence College Participates in Roundtable Discussion

A twenty-member delegation from the Pakistan National Defence College, brought by United States Air Force escorts, visited RAND on April 7 to participate in a roundtable discussion on U.S.-Pakistan relations as well as Pakistan's relationship with other states such as India and Iran. Topics discussed included the situation in Iraq, nuclear proliferation in the region, terrorism, and social and political change in Asia and the Middle East. Several members of the delegation were also keen on learning how RAND operates and enjoyed learning about RAND's systemic operations. David Aaron, Director of RAND's Center for Middle East Public Policy, chaired this discussion, and was joined by RAND colleague Jed Peters.

March 2006

Dr. Hongwei Wang Considers RAND a Model for National Security Institute at China's Renmin University

Dr. Hongwei Wang from China's Renmin University visited RAND on March 29 to discuss the University's plans for an Institute on National Security. He was interested in using RAND as a model for the potential institute because of RAND's high reputation in China as well as throughout the world. Dr. Wang was particularly interested in the possibility of a future collaboration between RAND and Renmin University. Susan Everingham chaired the meeting, which was also attended by Eric Heginbotham, Roger Cliff and Toy Reid.

Taipei Mayor Yingjeou Ma Visits RAND

Mayor Yingjeou Ma, the mayor of Taipei, visited RAND on March 27 to discuss cross-strait affairs and the direction of Taiwan's future. RAND President and CEO Jim Thomson welcomed Mayor Ma and his delegation to the roundtable discussion. Mayor Ma stressed Taiwan's desire for a peaceful engagement with China and that Taiwan is quite interested in a free trade agreement with the United States. He also conveyed that Taiwan has a good standing relationship with most other nations in the region and would like to continue its path to more success in the coming years. Other RAND staff included Susan Everingham, Bill Overholt, Charles Wolf, Jason Wang, Lee Hilborne, Scot Tanner, Eric Heginbotham, and CAPP board member Donald Tang.

Dr. Mikkal Herberg Discusses Asian Energy Security

Dr. Mikkal Herberg, Director of the Asian Energy Security Program at the National Bureau of Asian Research, came to RAND to present a seminar on energy in Asia. Present at the meeting were Bill Overholt, Charles Wolf, Rachel Swanger, Nina Hachigian and Somi Seong. Mr. Herberg gave a highly informative presentation on energy production in Asia (and offered global comparisons), regional rivalries, costs for supplies and transport routes, Asia’s future oil import needs, efficiency standards and possible regional/bilateral/multilateral solutions to such issues. Mr. Herberg also emphasized the need for the United States to be involved in regional energy forums to assist with the current issues that should be extricated from the geopolitical issues that hinder true efficiency and production.

February 2006

Mr. Li-Pei Wu and Mr. Heng-Wei Chin Visit RAND

Mr. Li-Pei Wu, Presidential Senior Advisor and Mr. Heng-Wei Chin, National Policy Advisor to the President, visited RAND, led by Mr. Ivan Chen from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, to discuss cross-strait relations and Taiwan-US relations. Bill Overholt gave them an overview of RAND and its research and the group quickly began an enthusiastic dialogue on Taiwan’s situation with China.

Mr. Wu believes that in order for Taiwan to continue to grow in the region, Taiwan ultimately needs to have good relations with the United States. He also stated that China may eventually become a democracy and that the current system of “One Country, Two Systems” simply does not work. Eric Heginbotham inquired about Taiwan’s current relations with Japan and Mr. Wu revealed that Taiwan is eager to have some kind of official or unofficial alliance with Japan in the near future. He said that Japan, like Taiwan, has problems with China and that Japanese military officers are increasingly active in Taiwan. Though he emphasized the importance of regional alliances, Mr. Wu did stress that the majority of Taiwan’s citizens would like to work with its neighbors as an independent nation. Because of the tension with China, he pointed out that President Chen does desire dialogue on such issues with China but that it would be ideal if this were executed with the United States acting as moderator. Although cross-strait relations are tense mainly because of the issue of Taiwan’s independence, Mr. Wu said that there are myriad of other problems that both Taiwan and China need to address together, such as healthcare, organized crime and prostitution.

Guangdong Social Science Academy Holds Roundtable at CAPP

A delegation from the Guangdong Social Science Academy was brought to RAND by Mr. Ben Tang from the Claremont Asian Studies Institute. The group included Li Zibiao-Chairman of the Board of Directors, Tian Feng-Vice President, Yang Bin-Honorable Chairmen for the Board of Guangdong Association of Social Sciences, Zhang Zhigan,-Director of the Guangdong Culture Exchange Association with Foreign Countries, Cai Jian-Deputy Division Director of the Guangdong Culture Exchange Association with Foreign Countries, Li Shaoda,-Director Guangdong Academy of Social Sciences, Liao Pengzhou-Director of the Office of Local Chronicles Compilation of Guangdong Province Deputy, Ye Jiansheng-Section Chief of the Department of Finance of Guangdong Province, You Aiqiong-Director of Guangdong Academy of Social Sciences, and Lu Chuanzhi-Deputy Director of the Guangdong Provincial Conditions Research Center. At their request, Bill Overholt spent most of the time outlining RAND’s history, functions and management; the delegation was particularly interested in the details of the way RAND functions as an international think tank.

Dr. Jianzhong Zhuang Discusses U.S.-China Relations

CAPP welcomed Professor Jianzhong Zhuang to RAND for a roundtable discussion on US-China relations as well as China’s global role in the future. In addition, private meetings were arranged for Dr. Zhuang to meet with Ross Anthony, Charles Wolf, Bill Overholt, Eric Heginbotham, Brent Bradley and Charles Goldman. CAPP board member Ambassador Linda Tsao Yang and Dave Shlapak also participated via teleconference call with Dr. Zhuang and the Santa Monica RANDites during the roundtable discussion, which focused primarily on China’s economic and political situation as well as its future in the region. Prof. Zhuang was very optimistic about China-U.S. relations despite current tensions, because their national interests coincide on so many issues.

January 2006

Ambassador Peter Y. Sato Discusses Asian Geopolitics

CAPP hosted an intimate meeting with Ambassador Peter Y. Sato from Japan. Bill Overholt and Rachel Swanger discussed various issues with Ambassador Sato, including trade, energy and Japan’s relations with Asia as well as the United States. They analyzed how Asian states are looking for power generation via nuclear energy and how this could be very cost-effective for those countries. With China becoming more and more dependent on energy imports, it would be ideal for China, Japan and the United States to work together to achieve energy security. Rachel Swanger led a discussion of the contrast between rapidly improving regional economic relations and rapidly deteriorating Sino-Japanese political relations.

Xinjiang Delegation Visits CAPP

This eight-person delegation was brought to RAND by Mengkai Wang, President of BiBridge Enterprise, Inc. The head of the delegation was Mr. Jian Zhong, Director of the Office of Xinjiang Department of Experts for Consultation. Susan Everingham gave the group an overview of RAND’s history and its organization as well as its goals. The delegation was particularly interested in the different areas of research at RAND, including health, education and national defense, and whether those areas could be useful to developing provinces in China. Other RANDites present at the meeting were Charles Wolf, Ted Karasik and Ted Harshberger.

Dr. Ing-Wen Tsai Discusses Cross-Strait Affairs

CAPP hosted an informative roundtable discussion with Dr. Ing-Wen Tsai just prior to her elevation to the job of Deputy Prime Minister. After a brief RAND introduction, Susan Everingham, Charles Wolf, Jason Wang and Lee Hilborne exchanged thoughts with Dr. Tsai on the strained Taiwan-China relations and the regional, as well as international, implications. Dr. Tsai expressed her belief that Asia will experience great changes in the next two decades and that China’s role in these changes are key to the region’s success. She also emphasized the importance of maintaining efficient relations not only between China and Taiwan, but also among China, the United States and India. Dr. Tsai believes that economic integration is a highly important factor in reaching a peaceful conclusion in the current cross-strait tension between China and Taiwan. She believes that both sides have to build trust in order to reach some kind of a valuable agreement concerning Taiwan’s identity. Though many Taiwanese do indeed have hopes for official independence from China, she feels that the majority of Taiwan’s citizens are more realistically trying to peacefully and successfully maintain the status quo.

Dr. Tsai has served as National Policy Advisor to both Presidents Lee Teng-Huei and Chen Shui-bian. For four years (2000-2004), she was Chairperson of the Mainland Affairs Council.