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Chas W. Freeman

Chairman of Projects International Inc. & Former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia

Chas W. Freeman, Jr. is a former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense, ambassador to Saudi Arabia (during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm), acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs and Chargé d’affaires at both Bangkok and Beijing. He began his diplomatic career in India but specialized in Chinese affairs. (He was the principal American interpreter during President Nixon’s visit to Beijing in 1972.)

Ambassador Freeman is a frequent public speaker and the author of several well-received books on statecraft and diplomacy. His most recent book, “Interesting Times: China, America, and the Shifting Balance of Prestige,” was published in March 2013. “America’s Misadventures in the Middle East” came out in 2010, as did the most recent revision of “The Diplomat’s Dictionary,” the companion volume to “Arts of Power: Statecraft and Diplomacy.”

Mr. Freeman studied at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and in Taiwan and earned an AB magna cum laude from Yale University, as well as a law degree from the Harvard Law School. He chairs Projects International, Inc., a Washington-based firm that for more than three decades has helped its American and foreign clients create ventures across borders, facilitating their establishment of new businesses through the design, negotiation, capitalization and implementation of greenfield investments, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, franchises, one-off transactions, sales and agencies in other countries.

He speaks fluent Chinese, French, Spanish and conversational Arabic. Mr. Freeman is the recipient of two Distinguished Public Service Awards, three Presidential Meritorious Service Awards and a Distinguished Honor Award.

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Articles by Chas W. Freeman

Reimagining China and Asia

How are Asian countries responding to the steady erosion of U.S. power in the region? And how is China playing its hand?

November 7, 2017

China’s Strategic Caution

China has established a seven-decade-long record of strategic caution and a preference for diplomatic and paramilitary rather than military solutions to national security problems.

August 12, 2017

Avoiding War with China

In recent years, many American leaders have grown cavalier about nuclear war, especially with Russia, but there is also risk of a devastating conflict with China.

August 4, 2017

The Coming U.S.-China Clash

Is official Washington bound for a major clash with China?

November 7, 2013

The Chinese Colossus, Really?

Can China displace the United States as a military colossus in command of global affairs? Does it want to do so?

November 7, 2013

How China Transformed Itself

How did Communist China manage to become so fiercely competitive?

November 6, 2013

American Diplomacy and the Rule of Law

A call to freedom’s real arms.

September 14, 2013

Can the United States Balance National Security and Economic Reality?

Is the United States living beyond its means when it comes to national security?

April 6, 2012

China and America: Not the G2, But the Big Two

How do the United States and China both stand to gain by pursuing cooperative policies?

April 5, 2012

China’s <i>Real</i> Three Challenges to the United States

What are the global dimensions of the challenges China poses to the United States?

August 29, 2008

From Mao to Now: A Reevaluation

How did Mao's legacy pave the way for Chinese nationalism and globalization?

August 28, 2008

How to Restore U.S. Diplomacy

What will it take for the United States to become as skilled at diplomacy as it is at waging war?

November 29, 2007

Diplomacy in the Age of Terror (Part II)

How can the United States effectively confront the dangers posed by terrorists and their ideological base?

November 28, 2007

Diplomacy in the Age of Terror (Part I)

Why are the means by which the United States has answered its terrorist foes demonstrably not working?

November 27, 2007

U.S. Foreign Policy and the Arab World (Part III)

Will the United States learn from its mistakes in the Arab world?

August 22, 2007

U.S. Foreign Policy and the Arab World (Part II)

How have U.S. missteps in the Arab world augmented the political base of anti-Americanism?

August 21, 2007

U.S. Foreign Policy and the Arab World (Part I)

Why is it in the United States' interest to fundamentally re-evaluate its engagement with the Arab world?

August 20, 2007

China: The 2025 Scenario (Part IV)

Why does the world not necessarily need to fear a powerful China?

May 24, 2007

China in the Times to Come (Part III)

How has China shown itself to be a "responsible stakeholder" in world affairs?

May 23, 2007

China in the Times to Come (Part II)

Are U.S. officials in danger of losing sight of the real motivations and aims of the Chinese regime?

May 22, 2007

China in the Times to Come

How can Americans understand China as it is — not as politicians and pundits prefer to depict it?

May 21, 2007

Diplomacy and Empire (Part III)

What can the United States do to regain its image as a haven of freedom?

March 1, 2007

Diplomacy and Empire (Part II)

How might the United States' aggressive international leadership cause it to lose its economic preeminence?

February 28, 2007

Diplomacy and Empire (Part I)

How has the nature of U.S. world leadership fundamentally changed in the 21st century?

February 27, 2007

China as a Military Boogieman in the U.S. Policy Debate

Does China really pose a military threat to the United States?

December 13, 2006