At the Munich Security Conference, the premier global event for security and diplomacy annually, I had the chance to moderate an all-star panel: Senator Lindsey Graham, a well known legislator and figure in foreign policy from the USA; Chairwoman Fu Ying, head the Chinese Bureau of Foreign Affairs; Ambassador Menon, the National Security Advisor of India; and President Josipovic of Croatia. You can watch the discussion here.

Prof. Dr. Ivo Josipović (President, Republic of Croatia, Zagreb), Lindsey Graham (Senator, Member of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, United States of America), Fu Ying (Chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People’s Congress, People’s Republic of China), Shivshankar Menon (National Security Advisor, Republic of India), Moderator: James G. Stavridis Admiral (ret.; former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe; Dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University).Comment: Fumio Kishida (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Japan)

From the left: Prof. Dr. Ivo Josipović (President, Republic of Croatia, Zagreb), Lindsey Graham (Senator, Member of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, United States of America), Fu Ying (Chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People’s Congress, People’s Republic of China), Shivshankar Menon (National Security Advisor, Republic of India), Moderator: James G. Stavridis Admiral (ret.; former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe; Dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University).

We discussed global events and focused on US-European leadership broadly, the tensions between Japan and China — especially in the waters off the coast of east Asia — and the importance of consensus and dialog in maintaining peace. There was a zesty exchange between Senator Graham and Chairwoman Fu Ying concerning the lack of a democratic system in China and several questions directed to her about Chinese aggressive actions in the region, especially at sea.

After the panel, I conducted an on-stage interview with the Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, in which he defended Japan’s position in reacting to Chinese actions and outlined a more engaged approach by Japan in global affairs.

Speaking with Fumio Kishida, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan

Speaking with Fumio Kishida, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

All in all it was a fascinating group to moderate in front of a global audience. My panel was preceded by a discussion moderated by another Fletcher PhD, Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, the head of the Munich Security Conference. His panel consisted of US Secretary of Defense Hagel and US Secretary of State Kerry.

In his remarks, Secretary Kerry gave a nice shout out to Fletcher, which was very kind of him. “I want to remark that Ambassador Ischinger had the pleasure of going to the renowned Fletcher School at Tufts University, but it sounds to me like he lost his Boston accent. I don’t know what happened to him along the way,” he joked.

 

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