In our latest episode of the American Maritime Podcast, we hear from Dr. Michael Pillsbury, a leading expert on China. During the podcast, Dr. Pillsbury discusses China’s global mercantile strategy and maritime initiatives, the U.S. foreign policy response, and how the domestic American maritime sector is important to countering these efforts. Dr. Pillsbury is senior fellow and director for Chinese strategy at the Hudson Institute. He is a distinguished defense policy adviser, former high-ranking government official, and author of numerous books and reports on China, including The Hundred-Year Marathon: China’s Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower.
During the Reagan administration, Dr. Pillsbury was assistant under secretary of defense for policy planning and responsible for implementation of the program of covert aid known as the Reagan Doctrine. From 1975 to 1976, while an analyst at the RAND Corporation, he published articles in Foreign Policy and International Security recommending that the United States establish intelligence and military ties with China. The proposal, publicly commended by Ronald Reagan, Henry Kissinger, and James Schlesinger, later became U.S. policy during the Carter and Reagan administrations.
Dr. Pillsbury served on the staff of four U.S. Senate Committees from 1978 to 1984 and 1986 to 1991. As a staff member, he drafted the Senate Labor Committee version of the legislation that enacted the U.S. Institute of Peace in 1984. He also assisted in drafting the legislation to create the National Endowment for Democracy and the annual requirement for a DOD report on Chinese military power.
In 1992, under President George H. W. Bush, Dr. Pillsbury was special assistant for Asian affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, reporting to Andrew W. Marshall, Director of Net Assessment. Dr. Pillsbury is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute for Strategic Studies.