The China Global Sharp Power Project and the Project on Taiwan in the Indo-Pacific Region at the Hoover Institution held the Washington, DC launch of The Boiling Moat: Urgent Steps to Defend Taiwan, a new book edited by Matt Pottinger, Hoover Institution Distinguished Visiting Fellow, on Tuesday, June 4th, from 2:30-4:00 p.m. ET.

Transcript

Glenn Tiffert: [00:00:00] Thank you. So I am Glenn Tiffert, a distinguished research fellow at the Hoover Institution, where I co chair our project on China's global sharp power, along with Larry Diamond. This is the Hoover Institution's hub for China focused research. Together with our project on Taiwan and the Indo Pacific region, chaired by Admiral Jim Ellis, we sponsored the extraordinary volume that is the focus of today's gathering.

At a time where the U. S., its allies, and their vision of a democratic Rules based international order are being tested on multiple fronts around the world. Matt Pottinger and his co-authors in the boiling moat make a powerful case about xi Jinping's ambitions the precarity of peace in the Taiwan strait And the urgency of stepping up to preserve deterrence there and the freedom of Taiwan’s people to choose their own destiny Most usefully they lay out reason concrete responses that are scoped to the likely conflict scenarios and are arguably within grasp You The book contains a treasury of [00:01:00] active action items, not just for the U. S., but also for Japan, Taiwan, Australia, and Europe. This audience undoubtedly knows our panelists well, but out of respect for them, let me say just a few brief words of introduction about each that will admittedly be grossly insufficient to their accomplished careers and also the multiple ways in which they've given service to our country.

We have here Senator Dan Sullivan of Alaska. whose advocacy for the U. S. role in what we now term the free and open Indo Pacific and whose support for Taiwan goes back decades. We owe our presence in this room to his generosity and to, the assistance of his staff. We have a lot of Mets at the Hoover Institution who I am privileged to call colleagues and two of them just happen to be here.

with us, Matt Pottinger, former Deputy National Security Advisor to the President and Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Matt Turpin, formerly China Director at the NSC, now a Visiting Fellow at Hoover. And because you came to hear them, not me, [00:02:00] let's get right into it. Matt's going to open with some opening, brief remarks, then I'll moderate a discussion with the panelists.

And we'll open it up to audience Q& A. Thanks

Matt Pottinger: so much, Glenn. And I'm, very honored, that Senator Sullivan made time today. Senator Sullivan's been one of the leading voices in the country on, a smart, international policy and national defense. and also specifically on Taiwan. Senator Sullivan's just come back from Taiwan.

and I'm eager to hear some of your observations, sir. And, and, Senator Sullivan's been giving us key address for, a good while now about the importance of Taiwan and what's at stake, why Taiwan matters, as that one's called and is called Taiwan. Taiwan, the really the West Berlin of the new era.

and so thank you for your leadership on that. Thanks, Matt Turpin, who has been a thought leader on all things China, even when he was in uniform. It's very [00:03:00] unusual for Lieutenant Colonel in uniform to be one of the key strategic voices in the U. S. Government on a big issue. And I was lucky that he agreed to come work together with me at the National Security Council staff several years ago, and he's gone on to do great things.

Glenn, thank you so much. And for all that you're working on today's actually the 35th anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre. And I think that's, wasn't by design that we're kicking the book off today. But I think it's it puts into relief what's at stake. When I was a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, first living in Beijing, but later in Hong Kong every year on this night, tens of thousands of Hong Kong citizens would gather in Victoria Park, to, light candles for the victims of the Tiananmen Massacre.

Many of the people who organized those events that, that people from all over Hong Kong society would attend are now political prisoners in, in the [00:04:00] People's Republic of China, for even talking about these things. Friends of mine, personal friends, Jimmy Lai. Joshua Wong, our political prisoners today and, would urge, people to, to have a thought and prayer for them and the countless others who are prisoners today across the PRC, as well.

it's, really, in writing this book and by the way, I see Mark Montgomery in the back there. Who's one of the coauthors. Thanks for coming. Mark. the. one of the things that we found, my co authors and I doing this research, was one, that this is a deterrable war. We don't have to have this war over Taiwan, that, the war that Xi Jinping is in fact preparing in earnest for.

but for us to avoid this catastrophe. And this would be an even bigger catastrophe than what we're seeing unfold right now in the Middle East and certainly even in Ukraine. We have [00:05:00] to do certain things urgently that we think we lay out realistic, workable steps in the book for what Taiwan, Japan, and Australia, Europe, and the United States need to do in order to close that gap.

really what, it's about is closing the sense of rising optimism in the mind of one man, Xi Jinping, that, that war is, going to work out for him in the end. we need to erode that sense of optimism. In a funny way, because he's a dictator, he's made it easy for us. We only have to convince him.

We don't have to convince, the entirety of, the People's Liberation Army or, the rubber stamp National People's Congress or even the Politburo. Xi Jinping is the only decision maker that matters in that system. And so deterrence is really about eroding his, what I fear right now is a rising sense of optimism about what he can achieve.

I'll, pause there just, to come back to you, Glenn, and so that we can have a conversation [00:06:00] and open it up.

Glenn Tiffert: Excellent. I'd like to start with Senator Sullivan because you've spoken so cogently over the years about why Taiwan matters and I, from where you sit, you're freshly back from the region.

Is there anything you'd add to Matt's case for taking urgent steps to defend Taiwan, informed especially by your recent visit to meet with President Lai, but also what you heard from the PRC delegation at the Shangri La Dialogue?

Senator Dan Sullivan: Sure. thanks very much, Glenn, and, both mats here for the great work they did during the Trump administration.

The great work on the book. it is a bestseller in Taiwan already. I'm kidding, but it probably will be. and, in the great work that they continue to do here, with Hoover. So the big takeaway that I had is You know, I led a bipartisan Senate CODEL to Taiwan just a few days ago, actually. And then we went on to the Shangri La dialogue in [00:07:00] Singapore, where I think all of that's an annual meeting of the defense ministers, foreign ministers, world leaders that gather in Asia.

And, our first message was that the United States, We're an Asia Pacific power. my state in many ways, the great state of Alaska anchors the fact that we're an Asia power Anchorage is, my hometown, it's actually closer to Tokyo than it is to Washington DC. And if you look at the Aleutian island chain, that's America that goes way into Asia.

the Chinese communist party in particular, Xi Jinping, they like to say this Asia for Asians. We're there. We've been there for hundreds of years, and we're going to be there for hundreds of more years. So that was our first message in both, places. secondly, with regard to Taiwan in particular, as [00:08:00] Americans, I think we can all, whether you're a Democrat or Republican, regardless of political party or background, I think every American who goes to Taiwan.

there and realizes what the history is, you take a lot of pride, Matt mentioned that I've used the analogy that Taiwan is in many ways the 21st century West Berlin. you look at America's history with regard to West Berlin and what we did over decades. A huge, aggressive, authoritarian in power, wanting to swallow that outpost of liberty up.

And we prevented that in 1948, throughout the 50s, throughout the 60s. And in the same way, American commitment has essentially kept Taiwan free for decades. My first deployment as a U. S. Marine was to the Taiwan Strait during the third Taiwan Strait crisis. That was [00:09:00] just one of many examples in our history.

And we were there as a bipartisan group of senators, as a bipartisan group of House members, to be, there to congratulate the president. Eighth presidential election, by the way. The freest, one of the freest, Places in the world and I always like to make the point of course China Xi the ccp the pla they are a threat to taiwan There's no doubt about it But taiwan also is a threat to them and we I think most of us know the reason why it is a direct challenge To the model of communist party governance on the mainland.

It is a direct challenge to the notion that one person, ruling, in perpetuity, [00:10:00] crushing all dissent knows what's best for 1. 4 billion people. And I think that Xi Jinping gets really nervous, just like Putin, because one of their greatest weaknesses. Is that they fear their own people and they know that there's millions of Chinese looking across the Taiwan Strait at Taiwan with their eighth presidential election saying, Hey, how come we can't do that?

It scares them. It scares them. we were there to, congratulate them to show our support and one big takeaway that we, and we met with everybody, president, vice president, all the national security, foreign policy ministers. Importantly, different, leaders of the legislature, the speaker, different party leaders, and you're reading about some of the, politics that are going on that happens in any democracy right now between the president and the legislature.

[00:11:00] But I think there is a very strong commitment among all parties, among the executive branch, among the legislative branch, to continue to increase defense spending and increase their capability with regard to their military capabilities. That was something A message we wanted to deliver. We thank them or showed our appreciation in public, at two different press events on their recent changes in their conscription law that took their conscription time from four months to a year.

Everybody thought that was going to be really difficult politically. It took a lot of courage. And then, what have we seen in the polling? The Taiwanese people are hugely supportive of that change. Shows you what leadership can do. When people think that's going to be hard, they know they need that. So these are some of the messages we, brought Glenn.

And it was a, I think, a constructive and important [00:12:00] visit.

Glenn Tiffert: So Matt, there's been a lot that's been written about the challenges that Taiwan faces largely because of the PRC. How is your book different?

Matt Pottinger: look, some of the, things that we, conclusions we arrived at, number one is that we and Taiwan And other friends need to be preparing for a full blown invasion It's not because China might not try something short of an invasion They're already using gray zone so called gray zone activities political warfare psychological warfare showing their military, surrounding Taiwan, but the odds of Beijing attempting Something else military like a, offshore island capture or attempting a sustained blockade.

Those things become far less likely if Beijing is persuaded that they wouldn't be able to escalate further. If it's [00:13:00] increasingly obvious that they would not succeed at a full blown invasion. So debates that are going on in Taiwan about whether Taiwan should actually be buying equipment and To match Chinese Coast Guard vessels ship for ship or destroyer ship for ship.

No Taiwan needs to be focused on demonstrating that it has the will and capability to repel an invasion with help from nearby friends and That is actually going to make those other scenarios less likely and less dangerous and less psychologically dangerous potent. so that is, one of the, the ideas that we arrived at.

others are that look, geography is Taiwan's friend. People often think, my gosh, look, it's so far from America. It's so close to Beijing, but what would the Ukrainians have given to have a 100 mile ocean, between them and Russia? They would have given anything for that. [00:14:00] Senator Sullivan, who's also a Marine, was, just commenting a minute ago before we came up on, on just, how foreboding Taiwan is as a target for an amphibious, invasion.

and that's, all of that is true. the key feature is that moat that we refer to, the boiling moat, Jincheng Tangshi is the name, the Chinese name for the book, because it refers to a Han dynasty, statesmen who said, don't attack strong point cities that are surrounded by metal ramparts and boiling moats.

Beijing cannot succeed in, subjugating Taiwan. if it can't get its navy and its soldiers across that moat, which should be turned into a boiling moat and can be turned into a boiling moat at much lower cost for the defenders than, the cost that Beijing's investing to build hundreds and hundreds of warships and ferries and so forth.

Those are a couple, [00:15:00] points that I wanted to,

Glenn Tiffert: call out. Let me turn to you, Matt Turpin, for a moment, because we frequently hear commentators talk about the risk of an accidental war precipitated by a collision at sea or one in the air, or the visit by some politician to some place that they're not supposed to go to, in the eyes of someone.

how real is this risk? one of the great, I think, statements in this book is you take up the question of accidental war. So walk us through that.

Matt Turpin: Yeah, I think, there's, much made of the, this idea that we could. mistakenly or accidentally find ourselves in a conflict.

that an accident happens and suddenly we find ourselves in this sort of escalation cycle in which we're then in a general war, and I think, first of all, we should be very clear with ourselves. That's just not how wars start. Wars are the most intentional human activity that is ever conducted.

People don't just wake up one morning and accidentally find themselves in a war, [00:16:00] right? They, they, start wars when they think they are going to win. They start wars When they think that they can achieve the outcome that they want to achieve at a cost that is lower, than the benefits they think they're going to gain from doing so.

And so when we go back to this sort of idea that Matt laid out and mentioned earlier, this is a deterrable war, right? Xi Jinping can be convinced that the cost of this far exceeds the benefit that he would gain. now, of course, from Beijing's perspective, they want to make sure that we all understand or we believe that in fact that accidental war could happen, right?

That our provocations could cause the war to erupt. And I think we should be very clear that is of course their strategy to deter us, but we shouldn't necessarily be deterred from that, that, that approach.

Matt Pottinger: And I would, add that this is such a counterintuitive point. It was counterintuitive for [00:17:00] me when I was exploring this question of accidental wars.

Because we've all been taught, we've read the Guns of August, we've always believed that World War I was just this terrible accident. In fact, the consequences were quite accidental and horrific, but the war was incredibly intentional by those who made the decision to go to war. And, there are, I, challenge friends in the press, not to repeat this, this claim it could because it's a historical, this idea of an unintentional war could break out.

I refer you to three historians. There are many others, but three who really did serious work on this. Jeffrey Blaney of Australia. Evan Lourd, who was a socialist, member of parliament, in, first in the Labour Party and then, in a splinter party in the UK, but who was also a very accomplished scholar.

Evan Lourd, did, studied hundreds of years of war, [00:18:00] as did Geoffrey Blaney, as did the Oxford and Yale historian, Michael Howard. all of them said, if there is such a thing as an accidental war, none of us could find one. And the problem with buying into this idea of, escalatory spirals that, just, happened because of a little accident.

Accidents do happen at sea. But they don't lead to war unless One party was already intending to go to war, and they want to use that as a pretext, but pretext for war should not be confused with causes for war. even when accidents happen, like an EP 3 American spy plane gets knocked out of the sky accidentally by a Chinese pilot who dies in the process, or an American pilot of a B 2 bomber mistakenly targets a Chinese embassy in Serbia, as happened back, 25 years ago, so Neither of those events led to war, nor would they lead to war today.

They might become a pretext if Beijing [00:19:00] was already intent on fighting. if we're armed with that knowledge, we start to behave a little bit differently. We, stop shrinking away. Because we're afraid of provoking a crisis. and paradoxically, the tougher we are, and the more resolute we are in dealing with, military threats, the paradox is the more stable the situation is likely to become.

a little bit of tactical friction can lead to strategic, stability. I'd commend, Matt Turpin's, chapter with me on this subject. Chapter three.

Glenn Tiffert: So a lot of what the U. S. needs to do in order to deter China has to really start at home. Expanding our defense industrial base, clearing the logjams in foreign military sales, rebalancing our military capabilities, and procurement.

I want to invite Senator Sullivan to talk about how the Congress is tackling those challenges in order to stand with Taiwan and for the Mats also to kick in with some of the [00:20:00] recommendations from the book as well.

Senator Dan Sullivan: again, let me, this is a handout, Matt mentioned it. I think we provided to many of you, a, speech that I've given quite a lot, but if you have it, I'd invite everybody to turn to page 18 and there's a chart and it shows three layers of deterrence.

Now I'm not going to claim that I came up with this idea. A great Marine who we all admire, Joe Dunford actually, many years ago mentioned this to me. But, but that's a concept right there on how to think about deterrence, because what we need, what Matt's book focuses on, is deterrence with regard to, and he actually, articulated perfectly with regard to one man, which makes it challenging, but also makes it maybe not so challenging.

And when you look at the three layers that I think are [00:21:00] important, the first is Taiwan's own defense capability. The ability to fight and to be trained. And I think that layer of deterrence, in my view is clearly increasing in a positive way. One recent way in which that has been, will be increasing is the national security supplemental that the Congress.

just recently passed. The original supplemental that came over from the White House did not have a lot with regard to IndoPACOM and Taiwan weapons systems in particular. Myself and a couple other senators, we worked hard to make sure that national security supplemental dramatically plussed up Taiwan's capabilities.

So that's one layer. The second layer is essentially our response capability. That is the layer in many ways. that has kept Taiwan free for decades. You look at all the different [00:22:00] crises that have occurred with regard to the PLA in Taiwan, and usually they have been, they've ended because the United States military has shown up and essentially said, Hey, not today.

And I believe unfortunately that layer is going in the wrong direction. right now we are shrinking, not we, but the Biden administration's budget currently shrinks, the army shrinks, the Navy shrinks, the Marine Corps, our ability to produce Navy ships is dramatically declining and a number of us Democrats and Republicans are raising the alarm bell on what a crisis that is becoming.

By the end of this decade, we will have estimates about 140 to 150 Navy ships less than the PLA does. 140, 150. We have better ships in the Navy, but at a certain point, quantity [00:23:00] becomes its own quality. And that is going in the wrong direction. The third layer, which never gets talked about, and I think has, in many ways, the most, potential for real strength with regard to deterrence.

Is, devastating economic, financial energy sanctions. That would be triggered by an invasion of the P. L. A. Of Taiwan. I have legislation called the Stand with Taiwan Act that does just that. Former Congressman Mike Gallagher was the lead in the House. The good news was I've been working hard on Senator Tammy Duckworth, Democrat from Illinois.

To join me on that legislation, in our meeting with the president of Taiwan. She announced that she was joining me, which was a big, development. So that is something that the [00:24:00] Congress can do, and I think could have very significant deterrent capabilities. Now, all of this needs to be overlaid into one element of Matt's book that I think is exceptional.

And that is a lot of focus on our allies. So often the challenge in the Taiwan Strait has been focused on the United States, the PLA, and Taiwan. And one of the great insights of this book is saying, Hey, no longer. We need to bring our allies. into this deterrence matrix. So whether it's in the second layer of deterrence with an American response capability militarily with our allies.

And we certainly would want them to be there with us. Or perhaps even more importantly, and I've been going around the world, literally to our allies with my stand with Taiwan legislation saying Germany, EU, UK, [00:25:00] Japan, Australia, Korea, you need your own version of this legislation. Think about that deterrence.

If you had 70 percent of the world's GDP saying, Hey, an invasion of Taiwan will trigger massive economic sanctions from all of our countries, just the Australians, if they, as noted again in your book, said we're going to put major sanctions on Iran, I'm sorry, on iron ore and LNG, that is deterrence.

So our allies being part of these three layers, which is again, a big insight into the, into Matt's book, I think is a really important component of deterrence. And in that regard, I think we are heading in the right direction.

Glenn Tiffert: I promise I'll come to the allies question in just a minute, but let's stick with the United States here.

What can we do strategically in terms of procurement in terms of raising [00:26:00] consciousness, that you call for in the book? We

Matt Pottinger: argue in the book that we already have the technologies that we need to effectively deter or defeat the PLA, in a conflict over Taiwan. We, the problem is we don't have munitions in sufficient quantity and we're not training.

Enough with our allies with Japan as well as with Taiwan in particular To show that we feel pretty comfortable with the various approaches that we could take we want our commanders to have Options for how to fight this war. We don't want them to have to rely on one exquisite perfect clockwork war plan.

We should have multiple ways of fighting this and winning it. And Beijing should have to prepare for a variety of different ways. of, having to contend with, an, allied force. right now, some of the capabilities that we think have been [00:27:00] overlooked, that already exist, are heavy bombers.

remember, our submarines are an incredibly important, asymmetric advantage. We enjoy, but we don't have enough of them, and they have to travel a long way to reload, with new torpedoes, before they can be, back in the fight, to make a decisive difference. So heavy bombers can make the flight, all the way from the United States in a matter of hours.

Launch anti ship missiles from a standoff distance. They don't even have to fly over Taiwan and Then they can go back reload and come back again. You can have a an air aerial highway of anti ship missiles getting dumped down into the boiling moat Long range anti ship missiles are a very, potent, weapon that, the U.

S. Air Force doesn't really buy many of. they leave it to the U. S. Navy. [00:28:00] The Navy doesn't have the heavy bombers. there are also even cheaper weapons called, powered JDAMs or PJDAMs. It's just a laser guided bomb or one of our standard bombs, but with wings and a rocket and a different targeting mechanism.

Kit that can also be very dangerous. Our point is not that we need to just, go with any one single capability, but actually a range of capabilities, including capabilities that Taiwan can be fielding with help from the United States, prepositioning capabilities on Taiwan, involving anti ship missiles, drones, and, and similar, in some cases, AI, powered, capabilities that would, inject serious friction into, war planning.

So we've got to actually revamp our industrial base, right? We fought these counterinsurgency wars for a couple of decades, and, we throttled back our manufacture of munitions to, [00:29:00] the bare minimum. we need longer term contracts so that, Industry invests. I think over time, we need to move away from guaranteed profits.

the so called cost plus model to something that just says, Look, here's the contract. Do your you could have as much profit as you want. So long as you meet deadlines and give us, the weapons that we need that. That's what encourages innovation and efficiency, which is one of our advantages that we have over the PRC.

I think

Matt Turpin: I would say me. At the most basic level, for a decade now, we have essentially stagnated our defense spending. we're spending about 2. 3 percent of GDP on defense. that, that is about what we were spending back in 2013 as we started sequestration. and that was a far more benign international environment.

We now face, two [00:30:00] regional ongoing conflicts that we have significant commitments to. And we are essentially facing a far more capable PLA that is expanding its modernization and capabilities. and we are finding ourselves spread really incredibly thin without significant increases in what those spending are.

I am afraid that Xi Jinping concludes That he has an opportunity to be able to use force to achieve something that he's been unable to do through peaceful means, and that's what has me most concerned. I think, for a quick transition to some of the allies, I think we should congratulate our Japanese friends at the really the hard effort they've made to make serious investments in their own defense and ramping themselves up to be able to do this.

Thank you very much. and I think that's an incredibly important step to be, that they're taking, and I think we've got to be able to help match [00:31:00] that, with our own increases in abilities to be able to provide for these things. Again, our effort here is to affect the perception of an adversary.

Xi Jinping needs to conclude that things are not going his way in the, in this competition. my fear is that right now he does not have good reason to believe that the United States is preparing for how he would, how he would fight this.

Glenn Tiffert: Thanks for that transition, Matt. You and I have both spent a lot of time in Europe having conversations around this set of issues.

And so I'd actually invite you to pivot towards the European piece of this of which there's a chapter dedicated to that by former NATO Secretary General Rasmussen. and to talk about this in the context first of capabilities, but also the book convincingly raises the concept of social depth. And that is in order to have deterrence, it isn't just about military hardware, it's about consciousness, it's about will to fight, it's about mobilizing [00:32:00] your population to have their hearts in, in, in deterrence.

And after you do that, I invite you to do the same, Matt, with regard to the Japan, the Australia pieces as well. And then let's talk about social depth in the United States. so much of maintaining deterrence will ensure that the American people understand what the stakes are here, and that they will be in it long enough to sustain a credible deterrence, because a lot will be asked of them.

And let's hope that happens. It's never blood and treasure and the blood piece, but, beginning with you, Matt, and then working down the table.

Matt Turpin: Sure. so I think, Senator Sullivan had laid this out first. following the sanctions regime that was put in place, after Putin's illegal war on Ukraine, we have now created the floor of what the expectation would be of the international response, right?

So from Beijing's perspective. It is already baked in that we would likely do as much, at least [00:33:00] as much in the economic and sanctions realm around Taiwan as we would do as we have already done on Ukraine. and until we are able to get really a consensus. Across our European allies and others to do that as at least the base minimum again, very difficult to persuade Beijing that they are not going to be successful.

So they have to. We need to persuade them that at least the minimum is in place on. Then, obviously, as we think about their contributions and they're preparing of sort of their own internal will to fight again, we face multiple aligned adversaries simultaneously. this is the sort of the worst case scenario when I left the Pentagon in 2017.

The idea that Beijing and Moscow, Pyongyang and Tehran would be teamed up together, and essentially fighting and supporting each other in multiple ongoing conflicts, was really one of those things that was a dream [00:34:00] scenario. It was one of those sort of nightmarish scenarios that no one thought was possible.

it is possible. It is happening today. Pyong Yang is providing ballistic missiles to Russia hitting Ukrainian cities, right? We're seeing the same thing, the same kind of provi provision of response from the Iranians. We're watching the Chinese provide massive military support to keep the ch the Russian industrial base going.

And we've watched Russia make claims that they would also help and, provide, strategic depth, to Beijing and their plans. And so we are now in a much more dangerous environment. And we've been advocating our NATO allies for 2 percent of GDP. But again, that was back in 2007 when we dealt with a far more benign international environment.

And we still have not met that from all those, from all of those partners. And so those things have to be met and we need folks to step up to those levels. and beyond to be able to get to the kind of deterrence that we need to have, or we will find ourselves in the conflict we [00:35:00] didn't want to be in.

Over to you Matt for Japan

Glenn Tiffert: and Taiwan.

Matt Pottinger: The, the commander of the Japanese fleet, Admiral Yoji Koda, who's recently retired, wrote one of the chapters of the book about Japan's role. And it's, a terrific chapter. It's a brave chapter because it's very frank. It lays out, the reality. that I think a lot of Japanese, leaders know, quietly, but don't always speak publicly about, which is that there's no way that Japan avoids, getting sucked into a conflict over Taiwan.

and not just as a piece of real estate that Americans use, but, they're going to be pulled into this thing and, actually have the ability. to play a decisive role, in favor of both deterrence or victory in the event of a war. So Japan, in a sense, is a swing state. cur former Colonel, Grant Newsham, wrote on this topic in the book as well.

Both [00:36:00] very serious chapters. But what Japan needs to start doing, in our view, is to start speaking even more publicly with its citizenry. Its citizenry has come a very long way, really in large thanks to Xi Jinping himself. He's been so bellicose, so full frontal that Japanese people understand the nature of the threat now.

What they haven't yet been asked to do is to start preparing for a mobilization. What would a mobilization look like? It means that a lot of Japan's civilian hospitals are going to have to be working to save the lives of Japanese, American, and perhaps even some Taiwanese soldiers and civilians in the event of a war.

It means that a hundred or more Japanese civilian airfields will have to be, put, to military use. it, really, it, really means that you need to start doing rehearsals and then dress rehearsals for, what is to come because these wars [00:37:00] are really come down to logistics. and, the more that Japan demonstrates It's willingness and ability to rehearse the less likely it is that we would have to fight this.

We saw a very bellicose comment this week, I believe it was from China's ambassador to Japan, scolding Japan saying, don't you dare get involved, in the event that we have to go, kill, Taiwanese civilians. that's a very good sign in the sense that China, it shows you that China knows this is a serious vulnerability for them.

If Japan is in this, it becomes a whole lot of a tougher, much greater fight that China will have on its hands. And of course, Taiwan. Taiwan, I just saw that Mike Hunziker, one of my co authors, came in, wrote a very, a terrific, very blunt chapter, four of the book, which is about Taiwan's military culture [00:38:00] and a lot of the things that need to change quickly.

I led a, together with Mark Montgomery and some others at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a bunch of, Israeli retired generals. And, and an Israeli former national security advisor to Taiwan last summer, where we had very frank exchanges with Taiwan about how Taiwan should be thinking about organizing its personnel.

Because, people talk about weapons systems and this and that. It's really about the people, how you train. how you organize to fight, and, Israel has, won every war that it's ever been involved in, God willing, and I'm confident that they'll, bring the current fight, to victory, a victorious ending for Israel as well, but Israel has a very small, actually, military, surprisingly it's relatively small.

It relies heavily on a reserve force. That reserve force is smaller than people think as well, but it's extremely well trained. Taiwan has a massive reserve force [00:39:00] that is very poorly trained. and so it, this is really about reorganizing the way that you, Mike Hunsaker, I refer you to his chapter on this, looking also at some of the things that other ministries in Taiwan should be doing, so that the Ministry of National Defense in Taiwan doesn't have to be thinking about the territorial defense inland.

but, also because the Ministry of National Defense needs a little bit of competition within the Taiwan bureaucracy, in order to keep them, from becoming overly complacent.

Glenn Tiffert: Senator Sullivan, there are a lot of conversations like this here within the Beltway, but have we done enough to take these conversations out to Main Street in the United States and what could we be doing better?

Senator Dan Sullivan: no, we haven't. And I don't, I think that's a, it's a big challenge. You, Matt was just talking about will, I, for the Taiwanese, I had a very interesting [00:40:00] meeting with President Tsai last year, and we talked about will, and the big issue from the U. S. perspective is, Are we seeing, if there is, God forbid, cross strait conflict, is the will of the Taiwanese more like what we're seeing in Ukraine, or more like what we saw in Afghanistan?

And I have said this, pretty bluntly, if the United States is involved, with the potential of American service members, Sacrifice and lives on the line. We can't want this more than they want it, right? The will has to be paramount with the Taiwanese and So that's a question that of course you never know the answer to Until the moment that bullets start flying president.

[00:41:00] Tsai though did have a I thought very simple but insightful response When I asked that question, and I asked that question a lot over the last few days when I was in Taiwan and, of their current leadership, her focus was that will as a function of many components, but, equipped and well trained military forces.

Gives the society a certain amount of will, and I think that's a really important element that again, when you look at the Taiwan Relations Act, which is what continues to drive our policy with regard to Taiwan, one of the things that we have committed to as a government, as a Congress, is to help, Taiwan be able to defend itself with weapons and other elements.

That's in our law. That's what drives our [00:42:00] policy today. Glenn, to your broader question of the United States, I don't, think, particularly on this topic, That we have, our leadership has done enough. It's one of the reasons I've put together this pamphlet, this speech, just to talk about it. It is a source when you talk to Americans and you walk them through the history.

It is a source of pride, as I mentioned in my, Kind of opening remarks that our commitment. Yes. Our sacrifice has done a lot has been decisive in keeping this island democracy free dynamic. It's one of the most dynamic economies in the world. It's one of the freest places in the world. but we need to do more.

And again, our will also relates to what Matt had said earlier. My own strong view is that we are going in the wrong direction as it relates [00:43:00] to our readiness for our own military forces, our defense spending. Again, we're going to get, we're on the path of being below 3 percent of GDP. That's not a place where America typically has been in the last 80 years.

And, when you have that lack of readiness in our own country, that could impact will for the United States as well. So we need to turn that around in a whole host of ways. Matt already talked about the defense industrial base. We're getting a start on that. The supplemental that we just passed 60 percent of that bill, 60%.

goes to building weapons and reconstituting our own atrophied defense industrial base. So that's a good start, but we have a long way to go. And, we're in a real dangerous time. The dictators are all working together. They're on the march. [00:44:00] They have no, hesitation to invade their neighbors. And, we need to wake up to that.

Glenn Tiffert: China's not shy about displaying its growing might, and there are those who say that we should dial down the high level visits, we should dial down the freedom of navigation operations, we should dial down the rhetoric in order not to provoke them, not to annoy them, to manage the relationship. What is the argument of your book with regard to those who say those things?

Matt Pottinger: Those who, argue that, showing resolve in, in effect is, provocative, I think are proven wrong by history, right? Again, it's that paradox we were talking about earlier. The more resolve you show, the more stabilizing, effects you tend to have on, a dictator. But, dictatorships, Leninist dictatorships, [00:45:00] China has a, a saying it's, that, dictators liked like to bully people until they encounter strength or something, firm.

And, and so that it is that firmness that we, we are shrinking from our responsibility to be firmer. Thank you. You're welcome. more willing to accept friction in the relationship with China, more willing to be, frankly, confrontational. And yet, those are the things, those are the ingredients to resolve.

and, the things that are more likely to get, dictators like the ones in Beijing, or in Tehran, or in Moscow, or even in Caracas, and in Pyongyang to think twice or three times, as the Chinese saying goes, before, marching again. So that's, in a nutshell, our answer.

Matt Turpin: Yeah. And I know I'd only add that, [00:46:00] Beijing likes to present the idea that whether it's the United States preparing itself or the Taiwanese preparing themselves or the Japanese preparing themselves.

that will somehow force them or provoke them into a conflict. of course, what they're saying is to persuade us not to pursue those efforts, right? Because those are the things that they find most problematic and stand as obstacles in the way of achieving their goals, right? So I think we should be less sensitive to the rhetoric that they use.

and more confident in the idea that if we are prepared and it and Beijing concludes that it's not a good idea to use military force, or they may not succeed that is, in fact, the right approach to take on these things. and I think, for me, at least fundamentally, this requires us to [00:47:00] take ourselves out of a cooperative relationship as we've as we had from sort of the 1980s.

through to about a decade ago, where we presumed that we were partners and we could just through negotiation, find some way to overcome these differences and really recognize that we are rivals on that. We are rivals that are locked in what I think is very clearly a new Cold War, and therefore we need to treat the relationship that way.

And seek to deter conflict rather than pretend like we're in an old relationship where we're far more likely to make the other side conclude that they can use military force to invade their neighbor. I, my one, comparison to where we were in February of 2022, Vladimir Putin didn't invade Ukraine because he thought NATO was strong.

He invaded Ukraine because he thought NATO was weak and [00:48:00] wouldn't respond. And that's, I think the dilemma that we find ourselves in. Is that we must not allow these types of regimes to conclude that they have an opportunity to use force.

Senator Dan Sullivan: And I'll just add to the question, Glenn, because I think we have some fairly recent, examples of how the, approach that you mentioned that some are calling for has backfired.

when I got to the Senate in 2015, some of you might remember President Xi. visited the White House in a meeting with President Obama in the Rose Garden, publicly declared that they were not going to be pursuing the militarization of the South China Sea. One leader of a large country, China, standing next to the leader of the President of the United States in the Rose Garden, saying we're not going to do that.[00:49:00]

That was not true. That was a lie. They did it. Okay? So that was what a lot of us refer to as promise fatigue with the Chinese. I've been in countless meetings in previous jobs where you get, Chinese leadership make commitments that they don't keep intellectual property rights, cyber theft. it is a long list promise fatigue, but this is what the president of the United States on a really big issue.

Now there was a number of folks in the Biden administration that, were trying to placate the Chinese John Kerry being, the number one, in my view, who was secretary of state at the time. And there was this big push not to do freedom of navigation operations during this time. I was a brand new senator here and we would, on the Armed Services Committee, pound [00:50:00] the leadership of the Pentagon saying you need to do freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea to prevent this buildup.

You need to do it. Secretary of the Navy, you need to do it. CNO of the Navy, you need to do it. Indo Pacom commander, you need to do it. Secretary of Defense. Ash carter, you need to do it. They resisted. They resisted. They resisted later. It was been reported that Secretary Kerry in principals meetings was saying hey, we can't do fon ops because we'll Antagonize the Chinese and they won't sign the Paris Climate Accords.

Okay, go look that up. Like you can't make that stuff up. That is exuding weakness And we didn't gain anything from that, hesitation to do freedom and navigation operations, which by the way, we have been doing since the beginning of the Republic. So a huge lost period [00:51:00] of time that we gained nothing.

They gained everything because we had very weak leaders in the Obama administration, in my view, especially the secretary of state. So we learned a lesson. And I think Certainly the Trump administration, but I will also give credit to the Biden administration. They are doing regular FONOPs all over the world, including in the Taiwan Strait.

They have encouraged some of our allies to do FONOPs in the Taiwan Strait, which they're doing. That's what we need to do. So we have a very real example 10 years ago of where our own country said, we're not going to do that. We're going to antagonize these guys. They might not join the Paris climate accords.

By the way, Xi Jinping promised us in the Rose Garden he wasn't going to militarize the South China Sea anyways. Total, complete policy failure. We should never do that again.

Glenn Tiffert: Thank you, Senator Sullivan. I think the discussion [00:52:00] period comes to a close now. We'll open it up to audience Q& A and I appreciate you joining us.

Yeah, I think

Senator Dan Sullivan: I gotta go, vote. We're a democracy. We vote. thank you again to the Matts, Glenn. This is great turnout, by the way. Congratulations on the book. This is a real, important component of what we need to do. And then look at, it's a great turnout here. So you got a lot of, Smart interested people.

So really appreciate the contribution guys. Thank you. Okay. Thanks everyone

Matt Pottinger: I would just say look I The former NATO secretary general actually contributed a chapter to this book and his successor has been just as strong, Jen Stoltenberg at NATO, they talk a lot about China now. I think NATO leadership in particular shown Shown real leadership [00:53:00] on this.

I think the UK has been very good. It's one of the reasons that I commend the Biden administration for the AUKUS agreement, which brings a European power, the United Kingdom into really this problem set, together with Australia and the United States. we do see though, to your point, we see some European leaders, occasionally, make unwise remarks about how this isn't really Europe's problem.

It's, someone else's problem. But I've also seen a lot of blowback for leaders who, have made comments like that, from their, contemporaries. It's really the flip side of the question of is Ukraine an American problem? You're damn right it is, right? and, Taiwan, it would be an even bigger problem for Europe, if it ends up in a war.

The effects on Europe's economy will be quite dramatic. we're talking about a depression, probably, in all [00:54:00] probability, pretty quickly in the event of a Taiwan war. yeah. Ukraine is part of our problem, or the Russians are, and, the People's Republic of China and its, aggressive, dictator are Europe's problem too.

But you're right, we have to keep making that argument publicly. Yeah, the only thing I'd add

Matt Turpin: is, of course our friends in Europe, you have sort of two separate systems in which they think about these challenges. there is a, there's a defense system that's organized around NATO.

And then from the economic trade and other sort of national level activities. we're really talking about individual member states and the European Union. and they've had a challenge on figuring out how to coordinate those, two things. But I think we have actually seen, really, just, really starting as far back as five years ago, but, accelerating an increasing [00:55:00] awareness in European capitals as well as in Brussels.

That a conflict in the Taiwan Strait would be massively impactful on them and would cause them massive problems, right? And I think so there's an understanding of the scope of what it is. They have yet to fully come to a sense of consensus about what they should be doing in a, in a holistic way.

And fundamentally, it would have to be executed through both NATO and the EU for them to be able to do this. And that. That has not fully happened all the way, but I think there actually has been progress and I will. I commend the Biden administration for really hard work on this. I think they've done a fairly good job of bringing this along.

it does require more work. It's going to require more investment of time and energy.

Glenn Tiffert: I would add that actually Vladimir Putin has gone a long way towards making the case easier to, to convince European foreign policy elites that this is something they need to take seriously. The conversation has changed dramatically since the war in [00:56:00] Ukraine.

Matt Pottinger: Yeah, look, the, some of the political warfare that Beijing is, pursuing right now against Taiwan, legal warfare, public opinion warfare, Psychological warfare, that's really the name of the game with the military maneuvers the sort of encroaching on Iran around Ximen and some of the other offshore islands Ivan Canapathy a colleague of Matt Turpin's in mind when we were at the National Security Council staff writes maybe a controversial chapter in the book about how we need to keep some of these gray zone activities in perspective because they are mainly designed to achieve psychological effect and they are a long way from actually imposing.

Beijing's will, over Taiwan. So he, counsels perspective and even a bit of patience, on, a lot of those activities. [00:57:00] Ultimately, if Beijing decides that it wants to, attack an offshore island, whether it's Jinmen or Wuzhou Island or one of the others, it's not gonna gain a whole lot strategically.

but it will have alerted the world in ways that the world should, respond to by imposing massive costs on Beijing. Sanctions, probably we should be stationing, sending U. S. troops to Taiwan at that point, to prepare, for a potential war. Beijing doesn't really gain a whole lot from, that strategy.

The only way that strategy works out well for Beijing is if it turns out to, to have been the calling of a bluff on our part. If Beijing takes, territory by force, And we just have pinprick piecemeal sort of responses, weak tea sanctions on obscure Chinese companies. That will [00:58:00] invite further aggression.

So I think we need to be prepared for that. something like that if Xi Jinping decides to do that, but that's where we, impose asymmetrically steep costs in order to forestall an even worse crisis. It's very interesting that Beijing now is calling out, as a grave threat to China. The long standing alliances that have been in place in the Western Pacific for decades.

I think that's a big clue for us about what Beijing's ambitions are. Because when China was much, much weaker and poorer, it made much less of a big deal about, all of these, alliances that, at the time were actually an even greater threat just by virtue of the imbalance in favor of democratic power in the region.

So what it really speaks to is the fact that Beijing's goal is not to, [00:59:00] defensively Push back against, this sense of envelopment, even though it likes to present it that way. This is really about a much, much grander set of ambitions. And if we listen to Xi Jinping's own words, if we look at the name of his recent strategy that he unveiled last fall, it's called, it's the Global Civilization Initiative, the Global Security Initiative, the Global Defense Initiative.

we start to get the hint at some point that he's got global ambitions. This isn't about feeling a little bit hemmed in, at home, when actually we've been there all along. This is about, recreating the nature of global governance to make it safe for autocracy, and I dare say totalitarian autocracy.

Matt Turpin: I think there's some, lessons that we would have hoped Xi Jinping had learned, but I think it's, I think it's pretty clear that he has not learned. These lessons and so one of them would be respect for sovereignty and the peaceful resolution of disputes. [01:00:00] I suspect that Xi Jinping has not learned the lesson that's the path to pursue that.

In fact, you can pursue seizing other territory. and you could probably survive it, right? So I think he probably has learned that lesson, which is not what we would wanted to have him to have learned. I think we also would say that, He has probably learned the lesson that, that sanctions.

That the sanctions the United States and its allies can put together are not sufficient to be able to undermine a country that does use force to wage a war of aggression, right? I think that's and I suspect that Xi Jinping has, we would have hoped that he would have learned. That his, friendship without limits with Vladimir Putin was a problem for him.

I suspect that he has learned his friendship without limits with Vladimir Putin is an incredible benefit to him, right? [01:01:00] my fear is, that there may be lessons that we think that he would, he should have rationally learned from this. But I suspect that he looks at it in a different, light.

And is likely learning that, that, Moscow's problem in February of 2022. was not waging a war, it was in the execution of how they did it. It wasn't done quickly enough, it wasn't done violently enough, it didn't, decapitate the leadership fast enough. those are likely the lessons that he learned from this.

Not, don't use force. I'm, very concerned. at the direction that we find ourselves going.

Matt Pottinger: Question from Ambassador Curry just about the Philippine situation. You know what? Why is Beijing? it's no coincidence that after Hamas did its worst in southern Israel on October the 7th, of last year, that Beijing almost immediately began putting intense pressure on the [01:02:00] Philippines over a little, atoll, that, that is almost within, a direct view, a line of sight of the coast of the Philippines.

This is about testing, it's about trying to create a sense of futility by among the Philippine people, trying to, drive a wedge between the Philippines, the United States, or expose the U. S. as feckless. this is about trying to spread us even thinner. And I fear that we've got more of this to come either in the form of an intensification of the existing wars in multiple theaters now, or the addition of new theaters of conflict.

the Venezuelan dictator has, said that he, May annex by force his neighbor, Guyana. China has provided some, sympathetic propaganda in support of his position. The Russians [01:03:00] are mucking around in Venezuela. The CUDS force from, Iran is all over Venezuela and now Bolivia. as well. So we're watching this thing metastasize, this new axis of chaos, and chaos is the word, not my word, that's Xi Jinping's word.

He's given multiple addresses where he's talked about how chaos is one of the primary features of the globe today, and that China has to find ways to make that chaos work to Beijing's advantage. So the axis of chaos is metastasizing, and we have not. The red lines that we have drawn the most important red line that president Biden drew was in a direct video call to Xi Jinping in March.

it might've been late February. No, it was March of, of 2022, right after, Putin invaded, did the full blown invasion and president Biden, according to his own public account of the call. He said, I told Xi Jinping. That if you provide [01:04:00] material support to Russia, you, you may in effect, lose access to the U S and European markets.

And you need our markets more than you need the Russian market. some of his cabinet officers made, threats to back up president Biden. Two years later, we now see that Beijing has flagrantly. across that red line, they are, according to our Secretary of State, the overwhelming number one supporter of the war machine, in Russia, that's, waging war on European cities.

he, Secretary Blinken also said that China, has changed the course of the war in the sense that if not for Chinese support for Russia, it's unlikely that Russia would have been able to sustain the war effort this long. So if that's not violating the red line, I just don't know what is, yet we still have not imposed costs, even though we've promised them.

That invites intensification and spread of [01:05:00] war. Get ready for it. According to the last decade, every time the United States has failed to sustain a red line, it's usually almost exactly six months later that a new war starts. after we were overrun by the Taliban, six months later, Vladimir Putin, marched towards Kiev, back in 2013 when, President Obama, failed to enforce his red line to punish Bashir al Assad for using chemical weapons on his own people.

It was exactly six months later that Vladimir Putin invaded Crimea and started the decade long Ukraine war. So we are now in the window. the failure to enforce, that, history tells us is, inviting new rounds of aggression by the axis of chaos. Get ready for

Matt Turpin: it. The one thing I'd add is just, this weekend, yeah, so I flew back from, the Shangri La dialogue, yesterday, as Senator Sullivan had been there.

and during [01:06:00] the dialogue, President Zelensky was in Singapore asking ASEAN countries and other countries throughout Asia to participate in the World Peace Summit that will be held in Geneva in a few weeks. And he revealed by the end of Sunday evening that the Chinese were actively undermining and discouraging and coercing countries not to participate on behalf of their Russian partners.

So I think we need to recognize that we are watching this axis of chaos build itself together and knit itself together. And we should then say to ourselves, one, our, is our, defense sufficient for that problem? Because again, our planning had been around, we're only dealing with regional conflicts, not something that is much more globalized.

and then are we actually preparing ourselves for this sort of new regime that we are in? and I don't think that we are, and we're going to need to do significantly more. I, don't think we should fool ourselves into believing [01:07:00] that, the threat of economic sanctions or the threat of economic retaliation is going to be sufficient to deter.

I think that's, I just, I it'll be additive, these are, now the basic requirements of what we would have to be able to do is to be able to enforce those kinds of economic punishments. But they're already baked in, right? They're, Beijing has already baked in the kinds of things that we might do from an economic, sanctions perspective.

And they have now, obviously with the example in Ukraine, they've had two years. to prepare countermeasures and to shore up their own positions in these things. And we should, if, the idea of integrated deterrence is that you're going to have a short fall in hard power and you're going to make up for that with sort of economic sanctions and cooperation with [01:08:00] allies, I, I don't think that, our adversaries necessarily think that is sufficiently deterrent.

and they will act in ways that, so if we solely rely upon it, I think we're in a, we're in a real challenge. I think fundamentally we are moving to being we are watching the diversification by both Beijing and Washington to both try and diversify our economies away from each other while making each other more reliant on the other, right?

So the United States wants to make Beijing more reliant on us and exploit vulnerabilities of them, but they're doing the mirror opposite. And so that means it's going to be really difficult to maintain that over time. I think what we're going to see is we're going to see a new economic system emerge as both, both Washington and Beijing seek to pursue its own, courses.

Now I'm fairly confident, [01:09:00] we have an example of what industrial policy with Chinese characteristic looks like. And that is a highly state centralized control over corporate entities, at a party driven sort of apparatus. The United States is going to develop its own industrial policy with American characteristics, and it isn't going to look like that.

Now, we're going to have fears about what that would look like, but we'll make it work on our own. In our own sort of style, in our own way. And I'm actually fairly confident that we'll be able to figure that out. We just have to commit to it.

Glenn Tiffert: I'm going to kick in one thing, and it's a simple math problem.

I think it's a mistake to think about this in purely bilateral terms. We have to solve for only one supply chain risk, that's China. China has to solve for a supply chain risk of a global coalition of countries that have technologies and markets that it needs. That's a much more complex problem for it.

We have a world that is hungry to climb the value chain, that would love the opportunity, to build the things that China is now building. And we [01:10:00] simply have to use that leverage and that opportunity.

Matt Pottinger: look, blockade is, a very, tricky scenario. on the one hand, Taiwan, it depends on imports for most of its energy needs.

a significant amount of its food needs. Its economy thrives on its export of all the incredible things they make there, like high end semiconductors and, and electronics. in that sense, it's quite vulnerable to a blockade. On the other hand, blockades are very hard to enforce. And, our view is that it's less likely that Beijing would, Undertake a sustained blockade, if it's not confident that it could escalate further to an outright, invasion, subjugation, annexation of Taiwan.

That's why we focus so much in the book on the, military dimension of being prepared to, deter or win. in a, [01:11:00] invasion scenario. there are different kinds of blockades, a maritime blockade. So where China commits its Coast Guard and warships and so forth, they're not easy to do.

Particularly if, the, merchant fleets, are nationalized by the United States, Taiwan, Japan, and other countries and continue to sail. warships are pretty formidable. from a distance, but up close, they're no match for a freighter, and it's not a, pretty look.

We've had a couple of American warships get hit by them, and it wasn't pretty for us. it's hard to be in that many places at once, unless China is willing to sink ships, right? And using missiles from inland, or using its navy, if it's using its navy, The same weapons that we would be acquiring to repel an invasion can be put to use, to sink a blockade fleet.

If China wants to use inland missiles, [01:12:00] just to, sink ships from a far distance, safe, safely inland. It becomes harder for us to deter through a denial strategy, but we can still deter through punishment in that kind of a scenario by basically enlarging the blockade. You want to blockade Taiwan?

Fine, let's just make it bigger. Let's blockade, China, in the process. And so we've got to be prepared, to, to demonstrate that we have the, ability to, carry out something like that.

Matt Turpin: And of course. Starting to sink ships means we're in a conflict, right? so if so, I think there's this sort of conceptual problem where in many ways, this sort of this effort to portray the blockade as this sort of bloodless victory, right?

now, if Beijing is not prepared for the full invasion and not prepared for the full conflict, and all they're prepared to do is a blockade and the United States and [01:13:00] Japan and a couple of other countries choose to run that blockade and, still supply things. to Taiwan. you find yourself in a similar sort of 1948 Berlin airlift.

Sort of scenario where the Soviets say that no one is allowed in the United States challenges that shots are not fired And what happened in that scenario? The Soviet Union eventually gave up on that and disproved their own ability to be able to do that So I think for Beijing they have to remember that if they start that process They actually have to be able to achieve the political object of what they're achieving, which is to replace the political leadership on Taiwan.

And it's not clear to me that a blockade does that, because it gives optionality to others. that, so, again, preparing for the high end fight, preparing for the full scale of it and deterring that is what makes the blockade much less attractive.[01:14:00]

Glenn Tiffert: I want to thank all of you for joining us here on this afternoon, and I also want us to just spend a moment to pause to remember the 35th anniversary of what happened in Beijing, today, because there are very few places left in the world that are freely able to do that. thank you.

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