Chas W. Freeman, Jr. is a visiting scholar at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. He is the former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (1993-1994), Ambassador to Saudi Arabia (1989-1992), Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs (1986–1989), and Chargé D’affaires at Bangkok (1984-1986) and Beijing (1981-1984). He served as Vice Chair of the Atlantic Council (1996-2008), Co-Chair of the United States China Policy Foundation (1996-2009), President of the Middle East Policy Council (1997-2009), and Chair of the Committee for the Republic (2003-2020). He was the principal American interpreter during President Nixon’s path-breaking 1972 visit to Beijing, the editor of the Encyclopedia Britannica article on diplomacy, and the author of America’s Continuing Misadventures in the Middle East; Interesting Times: China, America, and the Shifting Balance of Prestige; America’s Misadventures in the Middle East;< em>The Diplomat’s Dictionary; and Arts of Power: Statecraft and Diplomacy. He is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School who studied at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and National Taichung University of Education. A compendium of his speeches is available at online.

Last Updated: September 24, 2021



How Could the U.S. Deter Military Conflict in the Taiwan Strait?

Daniel R. Russel, Shelley Rigger & more
Last week, China flew 24 warplanes into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone. One of the largest incursions in recent years, the People’s Liberation Army flyover came a day after Taipei applied to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement...



Thinking about War with China

Chas W. Freeman
Let’s not kid ourselves. The armed forces of the United States and China are now very far along in planning and practicing how to go to war with each other. Neither has any idea when or why it might have to engage the other on the battlefield but...

My First Trip


With Nixon in China

Chas W. Freeman
On a chill, gray Monday morning, on February 21, 1972, I stood on the steps of the old Hongqiao Airport terminal. I had arrived in Shanghai twenty minutes in advance of President Nixon. I was on the backup plane, which arrived first, so I actually...