Friday, July 8, 2022

China Report Launch at Quincy Inst. Makes Waves Among China Hawks

Here is more from National Review:

A current State Department official said that it is “dangerous” for Washington to attempt to maintain its military dominance in East Asia as a means of deterring a Chinese attack on Taiwan. That official, Rachel Esplin Odell, accused the U.S. of making war with China more likely and instead advocated a cooperative approach to dealing with Beijing on issues such as climate change, during a webinar hosted by her former employer, the controversial Quincy Institute think tank. 

Critics complain that Quincy is soft on the Chinese Communist Party’s malign behavior and generally unsympathetic to human-rights concerns resulting from the Uyghur genocide and the quashing of freedom in Hong Kong.  During her tenure there, Odell led a letter writing campaign to urge that congressional China-focused legislation be watered down.

Although she specified that she was speaking in a personal capacity and not on behalf of the Department [of State] her comments and the new report make for a remarkable public repudiation of long-standing US policy and some tenants of the Biden Administration's own approach.


The topic during the above-mentioned July 6 event was a new Quincy Institute (QI) paper entitled "Active Denial: A Roadmap to a More Effective, Stabilizing, and Sustainable US Defense Strategy in Asia," the culmination of a multi-year study by three members of QI's East Asia Program and seven external partners.

The study was spearheaded by Odell, when she was formerly a research fellow at QI.  She has been a foreign affairs analyst at the US State Department since Aug. 2021.

The other authors of the report include:

  • Eric Heginbotham, Principal Research Scientist at MIT
  • John Culver, a former National Intelligence Officer for East Asia, and retired CIA senior analyst
  • Eric Gomez, Director of Defense Policy at the Cato Institute 
  • Brian Killough, Major General, U.S. Air Force (ret.); Former Deputy Commander, Pacific Air Forces 
  • Steven Kosiak, Budget, former Associate Director for Defense and International Affairs, Office of Management and Budget
  •  Jessica Lee, Senior Research Fellow at QI
  • Brad Martin, Senior Policy Research at RAND Corporation
  • Mike Mochizuki, Professor at George Washington University
  • Michale Swaine, Director of the East Asia Program at QI


In related QI news, a national security expert announced this week that he has resigned from the think tank over its stance on the Russia-Ukraine war.

Here is a previous Think Tank Watch report on the 2019 founding of QI.