Thursday, December 11, 2014

Lecture at HNC by Frank Rose, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Space and Defense Policy

Hopkins-Nanjing Center students do not have classes scheduled on Wednesday afternoons to give them the opportunity to attend regular guest lectures that occur at that time.  Read on for current HNC student Thomas Holt's account of this week's lecture by Deputy Assistant Secretary for Space and Defense Policy, Frank Rose:

On Monday December 8th, the Hopkins-Nanjing Center was privileged to host a lecture by Frank Rose, the US Department of State’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Space and Defense Policy. Mr. Rose is currently in China for talks with Chinese counterparts, and stopped by the Center to give a talk on US-China strategic stability.

Deputy Assistant Secretary Frank Rose
By strategic stability, Mr. Rose meant how the US and China can work together to prevent nuclear proliferation, control ballistic missile proliferation, and protect the environment of outer space. Mr. Rose started off by explaining the US’s current nuclear policy, emphasizing that President Obama has stated that the ultimate goal of the US is a “nuclear free world”.

After that, Mr. Rose laid out the strategic stability between the US and China. Mr. Rose emphasized his belief that the US-China relationship is not like that of the US and the USSR, stating that the US-China relationship is “competitive, but not adversarial”. However, he said that there are several challenges to the US-China relationship in this area.

First, it is the US’s belief that China has not been as transparent as the US in regards to its nuclear policy and development. Second, the US has had trouble convincing the Chinese side on the importance of preventing nuclear proliferation by North Korea. Finally, the US has objected to the testing of anti-satellite missiles by China, stating that these tests have resulted in dangerous amounts of space debris. Mr. Rose talked about how the US and the USSR jointly agreed to not test anti-satellite missiles during the Cold War in order to preserve the environment of outer space, and make it safe for space travel.

Afterwards, Mr. Rose took questions from students on a variety of issues such as US weapon sales to Taiwan, the South China Sea dispute, and other challenges in US-China relations, creating a lively discussion. Towards the end of his lecture, Mr. Rose told a few stories about his experiences with Secretary of State John Kerry, before closing by stating that it is his belief that although the US and China come from different backgrounds, the US and China can cooperate. And if we can come together, we can stabilize the world.

All in all, I would say that this was one of the best lectures from this semester thus far. I feel incredibly lucky that the Center usually holds at least one lecture per week. And I can’t wait to see who’s speaking next week!