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Episode 39: Asymmetry in Ukraine and Turmoil in Hong Kong

Relevant Reading:

Taking Stock in Ukraine
Steven Pifer

Has Beijing Lost Taiwan For Good?
Richard Rosecrance

Good evening, podcast listeners! Welcome to the new site, and the new home for the TAI podcast. We have an excellent episode for you this week, as we welcome Brookings Senior Fellow and former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Steven Pifer and the director of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Program on U.S.-China Relations Richard Rosecrance onto the show.

First, Steven Pifer takes a close look at the situation in Ukraine, nearly a year after the crisis began. He argues that Kiev’s situation today has come largely as a result of its own questionable decision-making. He discusses the efficacy of Western sanctions against Russia, and points out that the standoff over Ukraine is characterized by an “asymmetry of interests,” that is, that Russia cares more about losing Ukraine than the West cares about folding it in. Finally, the former ambassador gives some special insight into the ways in which diplomatic decisions are being made

Then, Richard Rosecrance returns to the show to discuss recent protests in Hong Kong. He discusses how likely China is to end those protests by force, and how prepared China may have been for this unrest. He also looks at the sort of knock-on effects these events—and Beijing’s response to them—might have on Taiwan, and more generally on the geopolitics of the region. Finally, he addresses the current state of U.S.-China relations, and the potential for China and the United States to join together in some kind of an economic agreement.

Be sure to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, and follow our host Richard Aldous @RJAldous and Steven Pifer @steven_pifer on Twitter.

Published on: November 3, 2014
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