DoD's New Report on China's Military: Implications for the U.S. and Our Allies

The Department of Defense recently released the Military and Security Developments: Involving the People's Republic of China in 2014 Annual Report to Congress. Congressman Forbes, Chairman of the HASC Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, and other experts held a conversation about the report's implications for the U.S. and our allies.

Opening Remarks:
Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA)

Chairman of HASC Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee

Dan Blumenthal

American Enterprise Institute
Mark Stokes
Project 2049

Oriana Mastro
Georgetown University

Robert Zarate

Foreign Policy Initiative


Speaker Biographies

Congressman J. Randy Forbes, elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2001, serves on the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) as Chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee and as a member of the Readiness Subcommittee. Congressman Forbes is a leading voice in Congress on defense and national security related issues. In addition to his role on HASC, Representative Forbes is also a member of the Committee on the Judiciary, as well as the Congressional China Caucus, among others. Before coming to Congress, he was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, Virginia State Senate, and Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia.

Dan Blumenthal is the director of Asian Studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he focuses on East Asian security issues and Sino-American relations.  Mr. Blumenthal has both served in and advised the U.S. government on China issues for over a decade.  From 2001 to 2004, he served as senior director for China, Taiwan, and Mongolia at the Department of Defense.  Additionally, he served as a commissioner on the congressionally-mandated U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission since 2005-2012, and held the position of vice chairman in 2007.  He has also served on the Academic Advisory Board of the congressional U.S.-China Working Group.  He is called upon frequently by executive branch officials, Congress, and the media consultant to offer guidance on comments major issues in the U.S.-China relationship. Mr. Blumenthal is widely published, with over one hundred articles and opinion pieces featured in Newsweek, Foreign Policy magazine, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the Weekly Standard, and National Review.  He has also contributed chapters to numerous edited volumes.  He speaks frequently on China as well as broader Asia policy issues to financial firms, academic institutions, international affairs organizations, and the United States government.  Mr. Blumenthal is the co-author of An Awkward Embrace: The United States and China in the 21st Century (AEI Press, November 2012).
Mark Stokes is the executive director of the Project 2049 Institute. Previously, he was the founder and president of Quantum Pacific Enterprises, an international consulting firm, and vice president and Taiwan country manager for Raytheon International. He has served as executive vice president of Laifu Trading Company, a subsidiary of the Rehfeldt Group; a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies; and member of the Board of Governors of the American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan. A 20-year U.S. Air Force veteran, Stokes also served as team chief and senior country director for the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan and Mongolia in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs.  He holds a B.A. from Texas A&M University, and graduate degrees in International Relations and Asian Studies from Boston University and the Naval Postgraduate School. He is a fluent Mandarin speaker.
Oriana Mastro is an assistant professor of security studies at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University where her research focuses on Chinese military and security policy, Asia-Pacific security issues, war termination, and coercive diplomacy. She is also in the United States Air Force Reserve, for which she works as an Asia-Pacific strategist at the Pentagon. Previously, Dr. Mastro was a fellow in the Asia-Pacific Security program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), a University of Virginia Miller Center National Fellow, and a Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Pacific Forum Sasakawa Peace Fellow. Additionally, she has worked on China policy issues at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, RAND Corporation, U.S. Pacific Command, and Project 2049, and has testified for the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. Highly proficient in Mandarin, she also worked at a Chinese valve-manufacturing firm in Beijing as a translator and has made appearances on a Chinese-language debate show. She holds a B.A. in East Asian Studies from Stanford University and an M.A. and Ph.D in Politics from Princeton University.
Robert Zarate is policy director of the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI).  He recently served on the Center for Security and International Studies (CSIS) Working Group on U.S.-China Nuclear Issues, visiting Beijing for multiple "Track 1.5" meetings in preparation for the working group's March 2013 final report on U.S.-Chinese strategic nuclear weapons competition and engagement.  Prior to joining FPI, he worked as legislative assistant to Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE-01), focusing on foreign affairs and national security (2009-2011), and earlier as a legislative fellow on the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade (2009).  He co-edited Nuclear Heuristics: Selected Writings of Albert and Roberta Wohlstetter (2009), a volume of enduring and timely writings on nuclear-age strategy by two of America's most controversial, innovative, and consequential thinkers.  He has published essays and articles in TIME, The Weekly Standard, National Review, U.S. News & World Report, and other periodicals.  Zarate earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Chicago.

Mission Statement

The Foreign Policy Initiative seeks to promote an active U.S. foreign policy committed to robust support for democratic allies, human rights, a strong American military equipped to meet the challenges of the 21st century, and strengthening America’s global economic competitiveness.
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