I have delivered lectures and presentations from university seminar rooms to government offices to think tank conferences. The best thing about speaking is the intellectual refreshment that comes with preparing a talk and engaging with an audience’s questions. I never take used notes to the podium, even if I use old notes as a guide to a similar presentation. Another way to make a point or a new connection always emerges by starting on a blank page. 

Apart from invited presentations, I also have been quoted about Chinese politics, security, and intelligence in the Washington PostFinancial TimesWall Street JournalSydney Morning HeraldForeign PolicyThe EconomistDefense News, and Christian Science Monitor as well as National Public Radio, British Broadcast Corporation, Fox News, and the Australian Broadcast Corporation.

Below are links to some of my talks and interviews that have been recorded. I also added a little commentary about each talk. 

Frequent Topics

  • Chinese Intelligence and the Challenge of Global Reach
  • China in the Shadows: An Overview of China’s Clandestine Power
  • From the Barrel of a Gun: Politics, Power, and the Chinese Military
  • The Effectiveness of Intelligence Organizations
  • Chinese Intelligence: Concepts, Institutions, and Operations
  • Cross-Strait Intelligence and Taiwan’s Counterintelligence Challenge
  • Responsible Paranoia: Security Awareness in an Insecure World
  • China’s Influence/Interference Operations
  • China’s Central National/State Security Commission

Notable Hosts

  • University of Cambridge
  • International Institute for Strategic Studies
  • Council on Foreign Relations
  • Paulson Institute / University of Chicago
  • Australian National University
  • U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • Netherlands Ministry of Defense
  • U.S.-China Security and Economic Review Commission
  • National Cheng-chi University

“Implications of the 19th Party Congress: A Conversation with Peter Mattis” – China Power Podcast, Center for Strategic and International Studies, November 2017

Bonnie Glaser’s interview offered a great opportunity to put down the first draft of my thoughts on the 19th Party Congress. Bonnie expertly guided the conversation and made a lot of bullet points sound more like a coherent story. The China Power Project is one of the best resources available, and their podcast series features many of the best China watchers around. 

“Managing the Power Within: China’s Central State Security Commission” – International Institute for Strategic Studies, April 2017 (Audio Only)

I cannot think of a greater pleasure than to share the podium with my former intern and now collaborator Samantha Hoffman. We have written several articles on the topic, appearing in China Brief, The National Interest, Nottingham’s CPI Blog, and War on the Rocks. Instead of delivering two briefings, we switched back and forth to tell the institutional and political story behind the Central State Security Commission.

“Just How ‘Strategic’ is China’s National Security Policy?” – Paulson Institute / University of Chicago, October 2016:

I was still making revisions to this talk as I stepped into the taxi at the hotel. Never before has it gone down to the wire. Then again, never before (or since) has the topic been so broad. I have never felt entirely comfortable with this talk, but I have never received as much positive feedback. More than anything, I just wanted to inject a little more thoughtfulness and ensure a little less glibness in the ongoing conversation on China and the implications of its rise.

“Understanding China’s Intelligence Services” – CogitAsia Podcast, Center for Strategic and International Studies, July 2016

This was one of the first long and recorded interviews I did over the phone. When it came out, I was staying at the Oregon Coast. It took over several hours before I wanted to listen to it and, then, only in small doses … kind of like dipping one’s feet in the Pacific Ocean. Overall, I think it came out well. To date, this podcast is one of the few places anywhere in which someone devotes this kind of time focused on China’s intelligence organizations and operations.