NEW DELHI: Cleo Paskal wears many hats. As a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Washington D.C., her focus is on the Indo-Pacific region, particularly India and the Pacific Islands. She is associated with several international security organisations including the Global Counter-Terrorism Council, and lectures at and briefs various security organisations and military colleges across the world, including the National Defence College in New Delhi. She is also a journalist and columnist with bylines in some of the world’s top newspapers, has hosted radio shows for the BBC, and co-written the Fire Within, a Primetime Emmy Award-winning TV series based on the Cirque du Soleil, the Canadian entertainment company and the world’s largest contemporary circus producer.
In New Delhi to speak at the Indo-Pacific Regional Dialogue 2023, organised by the Indian Navy in association with the National Maritime Foundation, she took time out to talk to StratNews Global on the implications of the marathon meeting between the U.S. and Chinese Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping, on the sidelines of the APEC Summit in San Francisco on November 16.
She also explains why the Southeast Asian nations are unable to put up a collective opposition to China’s bullying, and why – and how – India needs to engage with the smaller Pacific Island nations in order to offer them a credible option against Chinese pressure.