On March 2nd, the US China Education Trust and Institute for Global Cooperation and Understanding at Peking University hosted the second session of a series of closed-door webinars focusing on Trilateral Perspectives from the United States, China, and India. This session, Maritime Security in the Indo-Pacific, engaged three outstanding military experts with a long track record in the region. Commodore Chitrapu Uday Bhaskar, Director of the Society for Policy Studies, presented the Indian viewpoint; Rear Admiral Michael McDevitt, Senior Fellow and former vice president of the Center for Naval Analysis, and General YAO Yunzhu, Senior Advisor of the China Association of Military Sciences, offered viewpoints from their respective countries.
35 participants attended, coming from academia, business, government, and think tanks with decades of experience in the region. In addition, undergraduate and graduate students from six universities (American University, Ashoka University, George Washington University, Michigan State University, Peking University, and Tsinghua University) were in attendance. Following in-depth presentations made by the three speakers, the moderated discussion portion of the program was a highlight of this session with lively interactions between the participants and speakers. Given the many recent flashpoints in the region, the candid and open dialogue which took place during this second session will serve as the beginning to possible future talks and cooperation at an official level and to increase understanding between stakeholders. All the speakers agreed that seeking areas for cooperation was essential, though all were somewhat skeptical about big short-term changes in the current strained relations. There was a particularly useful discussion of crisis management.