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So far Deepak Maharjan has created 52 blog entries.

Dealing with the Dragon: A Great Wall on Common Ground

December 01, 2021

Philip A Shull

China’s searing experience with famine and food scarcity across the millennia has shaped fundamental aspects of Chinese culture. Indeed, the written word for “population” is composed of the characters of “person” and “mouth” – very different from the Western “per capita”, i.e. “per head.” With four times the population and one-fifth the arable land of the United States, feeding the people has been THE top priority of Chinese leaders since 1949. Despite some horrific failures in the 1950’s and 60’s, achieving food security for nearly every mouth is one of the PRC’s most shining accomplishments.

As China’s wealth and appetite has grown, it has become a tantalizing market for the U.S. and other food and agricultural exporters. But while China buys over one-third of all soybeans grown in the United States and over 60% of the global soybean market, China’s obsession with food self-sufficiency, disregard of international trade standards, and use of agricultural imports as a political tool has exasperated negotiators and constrained billions in trade with the U.S. and others. China’s past has made it suspicious and even dismissive of international institutions such as the WTO. Working in concert with other countries to bring China’s agricultural trade policies into line with its international commitments is one way to help make this critically important nation a responsible and predictable global partner.

Philip Shull

Mr. Philip A. Shull is a consultant, expert witness, author, and speaker on China, international trade, food security, and economic/market development. He retired as a senior U.S. diplomat in 2016 after serving for over 30 years with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, directing offices in China (including Mongolia), Korea, Argentina (including Uruguay and Paraguay), the Philippines, and Hong Kong/Macao, as well as Washington. His final diplomatic position was Minister Counselor for Agriculture at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, USDA’s largest and most important post.

As Minister Counselor, Mr. Shull oversaw the commodity analysis, capacity building, trade policy, and marketing and promotion work of all five USDA offices across China. In all of his overseas postings he worked with his counterparts in other embassies to advance common food safety, market access, and agricultural sustainability issues. In his Washington postings, Mr. Shull served in various capacities involving economic analysis, trade policy, and export expansion, including as director of international marketing. Mr. Shull is an experienced trade negotiator on bilateral and multilateral agricultural and food safety issues, and served as U.S. delegation leader and spokesmen in meetings and conferences on various agricultural issues. He has advised hundreds of companies and trade associations across the value chain. All of Mr. Shull’s work has worked toward advancing the global food security and agricultural sustainability.

The Speaker

Philip A. Shull
Philip A. ShullSenior Diplomat (rtd), President and Founder, The Philip Shull Group LLC
Philip A. Shull is a consultant, expert witness, author, and speaker on China, international trade, food security, and economic/market development. He retired as a senior U.S. diplomat in 2016 after serving for over 30 years with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, directing offices in China (including Mongolia), Korea, Argentina (including Uruguay and Paraguay), the Philippines, and Hong Kong/Macao, as well as Washington. His final diplomatic position was Minister Counselor for Agriculture at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, USDA’s largest and most important post.

As Minister Counselor, Mr. Shull oversaw the commodity analysis, capacity building, trade policy, and marketing and promotion work of all five USDA offices across China. In all of his overseas postings he worked with his counterparts in other embassies to advance common food safety, market access, and agricultural sustainability issues. In his Washington postings, Mr. Shull served in various capacities involving economic analysis, trade policy, and export expansion, including as director of international marketing. Mr. Shull is an experienced trade negotiator on bilateral and multilateral agricultural and food safety issues, and served as U.S. delegation leader and spokesmen in meetings and conferences on various agricultural issues. He has advised hundreds of companies and trade associations across the value chain. All of Mr. Shull’s work has worked toward advancing the global food security and agricultural sustainability.

Dealing with the Dragon: A Great Wall on Common Ground2021-11-22T08:45:13-07:00

China’s Changing Nuclear Posture

November 10, 2021

Matt Korda

US defense officials have claimed for several years that China is planning to at least double its nuclear warhead stockpile over the next decade, but without providing the public any details to back up their claim. That changed this summer, when nongovernmental organizations—including the Federation of American Scientists—disclosed construction of what appears to be hundreds of new missile silos in central China. The scale of China’s missile silo construction, combined with the other elements of its nuclear build-up, are unprecedented in Chinese nuclear history. It underscores that China’s nuclear posture has entered a new dynamic phase that requires new attention from the international community. To that end, Matt Korda, Senior Research Associate and Project Manager for the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, will discuss China’s changing nuclear posture and its potential implications for the global nuclear order.

Matt Korda

Matt Korda is a Senior Research Associate and Project Manager for the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, where he co-authors the Nuclear Notebook––an authoritative open-source estimate of global nuclear forces and trends. Matt is also an Associate Researcher with the Nuclear Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-proliferation Programme at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Previously, he worked for the Arms Control, Disarmament, and WMD Non-Proliferation Centre at NATO HQ in Brussels. Matt received his MA in International Peace and Security from the Department of War Studies at King’s College London.

The Speaker

Matt Korda
Matt KordaSenior Research Associate and Project Manager for the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists
Matt Korda is a Senior Research Associate and Project Manager for the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, where he co-authors the Nuclear Notebook––an authoritative open-source estimate of global nuclear forces and trends. Matt is also an Associate Researcher with the Nuclear Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-proliferation Programme at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Previously, he worked for the Arms Control, Disarmament, and WMD Non-Proliferation Centre at NATO HQ in Brussels. Matt received his MA in International Peace and Security from the Department of War Studies at King’s College London

China’s Changing Nuclear Posture2021-11-13T21:15:24-07:00

Power, Money, and Ideas: the Chinese Communist Party at the Helm

October 27, 2021

John Holden

In 2017 China’s paramount leader Xi Jinping said famously: “Government, the military, society and schools, north, south, east and west – the party leads them all”. In 2021, however, as it celebrates its centenary the CCP is doubling down on its efforts to reach into all aspects of Chinese life. It’s crackdowns on technology and tutoring companies, restrictions on youth online game time, and moves to cleanse the airwaves of “sissy boys” and unwanted foreign influence, are but a few examples. More are sure to follow, as the CCP takes aim at its goal of “common prosperity” for the Chinese people. What are the underlying issues China’s leadership is addressing, how far will they go to achieve them, and what are their prospects for success? Where are the new fault lines in the perennial struggle between central and local power, and between control (shou) and relaxation (fang)? How will  China fare in its quest to be more innovative? And how will its economy adjust to the overhang of a long addiction to real estate and negative demographics? And finally, what are the implications for China’s neighbors and for the United States?

John Holden

John Holden, Senior Director, McClarty Associates, leads McClarty’s China practice. He has decades of experience doing business in China. He has previously served as president of the National Committee on US-China Relations in New York and has served as Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China in Beijing. John is currently a Senior Associate (Non-Resident) with the Trustee Chair for Chinese Business and Economics at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

The Speaker

John Holden
John HoldenSenior Director, McClarty Associates, leads McClarty's China practice.
John Holden, Senior Director, McClarty Associates, leads McClarty’s China practice. He has decades of experience doing business in China. He has previously served as president of the National Committee on US-China Relations in New York and has served as Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China in Beijing. John is currently a Senior Associate (Non-Resident) with the Trustee Chair for Chinese Business and Economics at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Power, Money, and Ideas: the Chinese Communist Party at the Helm2021-10-30T07:27:48-07:00

China in the World 2021

October 06, 2021

Ambassador William H. Itoh

Marking the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party, Xi Jinping celebrated China’s decades of spectacular economic growth and China’s return as a world power. Having successfully contained the pandemic, China has emerged even stronger while others, including the United States, have struggled. Citing the many victims of Covid in the U.S., the January 6 assault on the US Capitol and the chaotic end of the U.S. role in Afghanistan, Chinese leaders point to the shortcomings of western democracies while claiming an alternative vision of political leadership which offers prosperity and stability.

Can Xi achieve his goal of doubling the Chinese economy by 2035 while managing mounting debt and addressing income inequality? Can China’s new assertive foreign policy including its Belt and Road initiative bring it new friends and allies? What are China’s ultimate objectives in the South China Sea and Taiwan? U.S. -China relations are said to be at the lowest point since normalization in 1979. What can the U.S. do to reestablish a productive dialogue with China based on mutual respect?

Ambassador William H. Itoh is Professor of the Practice in the Department of Public Policy at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a Senior Advisor to McLarty Associates, an international business consulting firm.

He had a distinguished career in public service with the Department of State. From 1995-1999 he served as U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand. Prior to his appointment to Bangkok, he was Executive Secretary of the National Security Council at the White House (1993‑1995).

During his career as a Foreign Service Officer, Ambassador Itoh served abroad in the U.S. Embassy in London (1976‑1978) and as the U.S. Consul General to Western Australia in Perth (1986‑1990), in addition to his assignment in Thailand. His Washington assignments, included service in the State Department’s Office of the Under Secretary for Political Affairs, the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs and the Bureau of Congressional Relations. He was Deputy Executive Secretary and Acting Executive Secretary of the Department of State from 1991‑1993.

Ambassador Itoh is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Kenan Institute Asia in Bangkok. He is past Chairman of the Albuquerque Committee on Foreign Relations and past President of the World Affairs Council of Albuquerque. His most recent presentation for the Santa Fe World Affairs Forum was November 18, 2020 on “How the National Security Council Works.” See our Speakers and Videos Pages: Speakers | The Santa Fe World Affairs Forum (sfwaf.org) Videos | The Santa Fe World Affairs Forum (sfwaf.org)

The Speaker

Ambassador William H. Itoh
Ambassador William H. ItohProfessor of the Practice in the Department of Public Policy at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a Senior Advisor to McLarty Associates, an international business consulting firm.
Ambassador William H. Itoh is Professor of the Practice in the Department of Public Policy at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a Senior Advisor to McLarty Associates, an international business consulting firm.

He had a distinguished career in public service with the Department of State. From 1995-1999 he served as U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand. Prior to his appointment to Bangkok, he was Executive Secretary of the National Security Council at the White House (1993‑1995).

During his career as a Foreign Service Officer, Ambassador Itoh served abroad in the U.S. Embassy in London (1976‑1978) and as the U.S. Consul General to Western Australia in Perth (1986‑1990), in addition to his assignment in Thailand. His Washington assignments, included service in the State Department’s Office of the Under Secretary for Political Affairs, the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs and the Bureau of Congressional Relations. He was Deputy Executive Secretary and Acting Executive Secretary of the Department of State from 1991‑1993.

Ambassador Itoh is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Kenan Institute Asia in Bangkok. He is past Chairman of the Albuquerque Committee on Foreign Relations and past President of the World Affairs Council of Albuquerque.

China in the World 20212021-10-12T00:02:52-07:00

The Department of State in the Biden Administration

September 29, 2021

Ambassador Mark L. Asquino

In January, President Biden pledged to reverse the disastrous mismanagement of the Department of State during the Trump Administration. He nominated as his secretary of state was Antony Blinken, a highly-experienced foreign policy expert. Blinken has brought to his job years of experience as a senior Congressional staffer, senior official at the National Security Council official and as a former deputy secretary of state in the Obama administration. Biden and Blinken have both pledged to restore the foreign policy preeminence of the Department of State, which has been in decline for decades.

Eight months into his tenure, Blinken has successfully lobbied for a significant increase in State’s budget, including funds to expand its staffing. To address the old refrain that the Foreign Service is “pale, male and Yale,” he’s appointed the Department’s first diversity and inclusion officer to attract more minorities and women to its ranks.

But Secretary Blinken has come under harsh criticism, including from some in the Democratic Party, for his handling of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, and especially management of the Special Immigrant Program. Some Republicans have called for him to resign. Many in the media claim that military and security priorities continue to overshadow the traditional role of diplomacy in advancing U.S. foreign policy interests throughout the world.

Ambassador Asquino will evaluate how well Secretary Blinken has done during the first year of the Biden Administration in restoring the Department’s influence and mandate in foreign policy formulation and implementation.

Ambassador Mark L. Asquino is a retired, career Foreign Service Officer. His three decades plus career included postings in Latin America, Europe, Central Asia and Africa. During 2012-2015, he served as U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Spain’s only former colony in sub-Saharan Africa. Mark is fluent in Spanish and

The Speaker

Ambassador Mark L. Asquino
Ambassador Mark L. AsquinoAmbassador Mark L. Asquino is a retired, career Foreign Service Officer.
Ambassador Mark L. Asquino is a retired, career Foreign Service Officer. His three decades plus career included postings in Latin America, Europe, Central Asia and Africa. During 2012-2015, he served as U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Spain’s only former colony in sub-Saharan Africa. Mark is fluent in Spanish and has a working knowledge of French, Russian, Romanian and Italian.

In the Spring of 2016, the U.S. Department of State asked him to return temporarily to government service. Mark spent ten weeks as the Acting Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Port Louis, Mauritius. In recent years he’s accepted short-term assignments with State’s Office of Inspector General.

Prior to entering the Foreign Service, Mark was the Fulbright Lecturer in American Studies at the University of Oviedo in Asturias, Spain (1975-76). He earned a Ph.D. in American Studies from Brown University, where he also received his undergraduate degree.

The Department of State in the Biden Administration2021-09-24T09:58:58-07:00

“Water Diplomacy” in the Middle East: Challenges and Opportunities for Israel, West Bank and Gaza Today

August 18, 2021

Anthony (Bud) Rock

Anthony (Bud) Rock will describe recent efforts to manage scarce water resources in a region that continues to face immense political, cultural and ideological challenges. He will address the quiet diplomacy of key policy and technical officials, as well as the creative, and critically important new projects of non-governmental organizations that help “keep the water flowing” for populations throughout the region, including more than a million designated refugees.

Mr. Rock brings broad experience to this issue, as a physical scientist, career diplomat, and current non-governmental advocate for global water, sanitation, and hygiene in regions of greatest need. He will offer perspectives that reach beyond the politics to the challenges and resilience of all people, and their perceptions of one another in this effort to share one of life’s most valuable resources.

Anthony (Bud) Rock most recently served as Principal of Global Water 2020, a foundation-based initiative working to ensure adequate access to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH)for health and security. He continues to advocate for WASH throughout the developing world.

Mr. Rock had a three-decade career in U.S. government service, initially as a physical scientist in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), followed by more than two decades in the U.S. Department of State with assignments at home and abroad. He retired as acting Assistant Secretary and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for oceans, environment, science, technology, and health.

Following his diplomatic service, Mr. Rock held the position of Vice President for Global Engagement at Arizona State University (ASU). He also served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC), an international organization dedicated to furthering public engagement with science worldwide. Mr. Rock also served as executive publisher of the leading professional publication of the science center field. Mr. Rock is the author and editor of numerous articles and books on science education and science diplomacy. He served in the United States Merchant Marines.

The Speaker

Anthony (Bud) Rock
Anthony (Bud) RockMost recently served as Principal of Global Water 2020, a foundation-based initiative working to ensure adequate access to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH)for health and security.
Anthony (Bud) Rock most recently served as Principal of Global Water 2020, a foundation-based initiative working to ensure adequate access to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH)for health and security. He continues to advocate for WASH throughout the developing world.

Mr. Rock had a three-decade career in U.S. government service, initially as a physical scientist in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), followed by more than two decades in the U.S. Department of State with assignments at home and abroad. He retired as acting Assistant Secretary and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for oceans, environment, science, technology, and health.

Following his diplomatic service, Mr. Rock held the position of Vice President for Global Engagement at Arizona State University (ASU). He also served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC), an international organization dedicated to furthering public engagement with science worldwide. Mr. Rock also served as executive publisher of the leading professional publication of the science center field. Mr. Rock is the author and editor of numerous articles and books on science education and science diplomacy. He served in the United States Merchant Marines.

“Water Diplomacy” in the Middle East: Challenges and Opportunities for Israel, West Bank and Gaza Today2021-08-13T05:35:27-07:00
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