Since September 2007, the National Committee has run a series of multi-day briefings for mid-career officers in the U.S. armed services who have been fast-tracked for leadership positions. The purpose is to provide participants with a more holistic view of China by focusing on issues not conventionally covered in their military training — issues such as China’s domestic politics, economic development, business and trade, foreign policy, rule of law, civil society, environmental concerns, energy, and the use of soft power.
The Committee has brought together an impressive array of the country’s top China specialists to share their knowledge and views, first with naval officers in 2007, followed in 2008 with the United States Air Force, in 2010, with the United States Army, and a second seminar for the Navy in 2012. A third is expected to take place in the spring of 2016. Officers participating in all of these seminars have come from a variety of posts and each brings unique perspectives to the sessions.
The United States Pacific Command (USPACOM) asked the Committee to provide similar briefings for its mid-career officers working on China, as well as a separate briefing for the Commander and his senior leadership: the first of these took place in February, 2013 and the second in March, 2015.
A new component was added to this initiative in September, 2014 when the Committee took a group of 10 active duty PACOM officers and a few civilian analysts on a ten-day trip to China (Beijing and Chengdu and environs) that, like the briefings, focused entirely on non military/strategic/security aspects of China. The enthusiastic response on the part of the participants and their Chinese hosts laid the groundwork for a second such trip, which took place in November 2015.