The Chinese Surveillance Balloon Incident in Context: A Conversation with Bonnie Glaser

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In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Bonnie Glaser joins us to discuss the recent changes to U.S.-China relations. She first explains how a large Chinese surveillance balloon transited continental United States in early February 2023 with communications surveillance equipment on board, potentially collecting data from sensitive military installations. Ms. Glaser argues that Secretary Blinken’s trip to China was postponed due to a combination of domestic and international pressures resulting from the balloon incident. Lastly, she explains that despite potential meetings between U.S and Chinese leadership later this year, U.S.-China relations will likely face difficulties moving forward due to a lack of trust.  

Bonnie S. Glaser is managing director of the German Marshall Fund’s Indo-Pacific program and the host of the China Global podcast. She is also a nonresident fellow with the Lowy Institute in Sydney, Australia, and a senior associate with the Pacific Forum. She was previously director of GMF’s Asia program, and senior adviser for Asia and the director of the China Power Project at CSIS. Ms. Glaser has worked at the intersection of Asia-Pacific geopolitics and US policy for more than three decades. From 2008 to mid-2015, she was a senior adviser with the CSIS Freeman Chair in China Studies, and from 2003 to 2008, she was a senior associate in the CSIS International Security Program. Prior to joining CSIS, she served as a consultant for various U.S. government offices, including the Departments of Defense and State.


Bonny Lin
Director, China Power Project and Senior Fellow, Asian Security