Col. Michael Kopp, German Army liaison to the Combined Arms Center, delivers opening remarks during the Command and General Staff College’s Cultural and Area Studies Office-hosted “Strategic Implications of China's Global Power Projection” discussion panel April 27 in Arnold Conference Room at the Lewis and Clark Center. Photo by Dan Neal/Army University Public Affairs

Harry Sarles/Army University Public Affairs

The Command and General Staff College’s Cultural and Area Studies Office hosted the “Strategic Implications of China’s Global Power Projection” panel April 27 in Arnold Conference Room at the Lewis and Clark Center.

The panel included two international officers and a CGSC State Department instructor to return CASO’s focus on the Indo-Pacific area for this academic year after the previous panel had focused on Ukraine. This was CASO’s fifth panel studying the Indo-Pacific Region this academic year.

Dr. Jack Kem, chief academic officer for Army University and dean of Academics for CGSC, provided opening remarks. Dr. Mahir J. Ibrahimov, CASO director, served as the panel moderator. Panel members included Col. Michael G. Kopp, German Army liaison to the Combined Arms Center; Lt. Col. Paul Mostafa, Australian Army; and Terry D. Mobley, State Department instructor at CGSC.

“At the Command and General Staff College we continue to focus our efforts on China as our pacing threat and Russia as the imminent threat to our national security through conducting panels, faculty development seminars and professional forums to enhance our understanding of the strategic motivations of these two global adversaries,” Kem said.

Kopp was the first panel member to brief. He gave the European perspective of China’s global power projection. He began by asking “What does Chinese Power Projection mean?” He said it is geared toward specific ends — a powerful and prosperous China equipped with a world class military; safeguarding the rule of the Chinese Communist Party; destruction of the U.S./Western international order; and the reunification of China. To achieve these goals, he said, China is playing the long game and using a variety of economic, political and military tools.

During the Ukraine conflict, China has moved closer to Russia and away from its European trading partners.

“It is obvious China puts the desires of a marauding dictator above its trading and diplomatic relationship with the West,” Kopp said.

Faculty and staff from Army University and the Command and General Staff College listen to panelists — including Lt. Col. Paul Mostafa, Australian Army; Terry Mobley, State Department instructor at CGSC; and Col. Michael G. Kopp, German Army liaison to the Combined Arms Center — during the Cultural and Area Studies Office-hosted “Strategic Implications of China’s Global Power Projection” discussion panel April 27 in the Arnold Conference Room at the Lewis and Clark Center. Dr. Mahir Ibrahimov, CASO director, seen at the podium, moderated the event. Photo by Dan Neal/Army University Public Affairs

Mobley discussed China’s Belt and Road infrastructure initiative focusing on countries near to China. He explained the initiative is important to support China’s domestic economy and also to China’s desire to project power.

“The ability of the Chinese Communist Party to be the deliverer of growth and prosperity for its citizens and ultimately to overcome China’s century of humiliation is dependent upon the party’s ability, the country’s ability to continue its economic growth and to go abroad and secure the metals, the minerals, the energy, and the influence that it needs,” Mobley said.

Mobley said more than 100 countries have signed on to the Belt and Road Initiative.

Mostafa continued the discussion of cooperation, competition and conflict that he had introduced in an earlier panel discussion. Competition is neither good nor bad, he said, but it depends on how the participants want to engage in competition.

He said there is naivety bias that people believe the same way, but that isn’t true. Therefore, a series of guardrails needs to be established to limit the push toward conflict. Moving toward cooperation focal points of mutual interest need to sought to break from competition and move toward cooperation. Mostafa said climate change is an issue where China and the West could work together.

CASO presents a series of seminars and panel discussions on issues of operational and strategic importance to the United States every two to three months during the academic year broadcasting them through videoteleconference and live on CGSC’s Facebook page. Videos of the sessions are available on the CGSC Facebook and YouTube.

For questions on CASO events, call 913-684-3345, e-mail mahir.j.ibrahimov.civ@mail.mil or visit https://armyuniversity.edu/cgsc/caso/caso.

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