An Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSS) faculty outreach team led by Director Lt. Gen. (Ret) E. P. Smith, traveled to Beijing and Shanghai for Track II (academic institutions) regional security discussions June 21-27. Co-hosted by the China Association for International Friendly Contact (CAIFC), the discussions consisted of a two-day workshop in Beijing, and an informal roundtable discussion at Tsinghua University and another in Shanghai.

The workshop was intended as both a confidence building measure, and as the first of a series of Track II events between APCSS and various Chinese academic institutions.  Specific objectives included: (1) Enhanced shared awareness and better understanding of five specific security challenges; and (2) shared critical thinking and strategic listening on common cause issues that may contribute to improving various aspects of the U.S. and PRC security relationship. Five specific security challenges were addressed:  (1) U.S. and PRC policy in the Asia Pacific region; (2) maritime security; (3) disaster management; (4) Northeast Asia security challenges emphasizing the Korean Peninsula; and (5) security mechanisms in the Asia-Pacific region. 

APCSS Deputy Director James Hirai laid the groundwork for this outreach in mid-2009, when he and a select group of APCSS faculty met with senior China Association of Social Sciences (CASS) and China Institute of International Studies (CIIS) leadership to discuss the idea of collaborative discussions between APCSS and Chinese Track II institutions.  In August 2009, Director Smith and a small faculty team met with the U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission Robert Goldberg, the U.S. Country Team, and several senior Chinese officials for further collaboration.

APCSS faculty who participated in the workshop and roundtables were APCSS Foreign Policy Advisor retired Ambassador Charles Salmon, Jr., Mr. Carleton Cramer (academic lead), Dr. Mohan Malik, Mr. Tom Peteman and Army Lt. Col. Matthew Schwab.

“This workshop is demonstrative of a tangible, substantive Track II relationship between U.S. and China academic institutions,” said Cramer.   “The exchange of perspectives on five security challenges was immensely valuable in fostering understanding of issues of mutual concern.  The workshop demonstrated the different perspectives of American and Chinese security academics and practitioners, on the same issues.”

APCSS, in consultation with OSD-Policy, U.S. Pacific Command and the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, plans to continue exploring future Outreach events and market educational opportunities at APCSS with the PRC.