The Rapidian

Understanding China as a growing world power

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In a public talk, a national security expert focuses on Asia and the role it will play in US foreign policy.
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Event Details

The event will be held Monday, Feb. 27 from 6:00 to 7:15 p.m, at the Performing Arts Center on the campus of Aquinas College.


No reservations are needed, free parking available, pay at door. Admission: $10.


The public may sign up for advance notice of upcoming events from the World Affairs Council by visiting or signing up at the event.

“I was a strategic intelligence officer for much of my career, serving in assignments in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Following active duty service, my interest in China was rekindled through my investigation of trade policy as it pertains to national security; I realized that there was more to the story than the usual rhetoric…it’s much more complex.” John Adams, Brigadier General United States Army (retired)

On Monday, February 27, General Adams discusses, “South China Sea: Clash of Strategies” - a continuation of the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan’s Great Decisions Global Discussion Series.

General Adams will explore current disputes in the South China Sea—the second busiest waterway in the world. Along with providing a roadmap for U.S. foreign policy, he will also highlight perspectives of other regional players, including the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Brunei.

General Adams retired as a Brigadier General from the U.S. Army in September 2007 after more than 30 years of active duty service.  Since 1993, he served in strategic intelligence assignments for much of his career, including three intelligence assignments with the Defense Intelligence Agency in Europe and Northeast Asia, where he focused, among other issues, on the relationship between the U.S. and China.

Since retiring from active duty, General Adams has studied US vulnerability to disruption and exploitation by Chinese and other foreign powers. In May 2013, he authored a 330-page study entitled Remaking American Security, published by the Alliance for American Manufacturing, documenting the range of vulnerabilities to our defense supply chains from China and other foreign actors.

He is a veteran of Operation Desert Storm (1991), of Operation Guardian Assistance in Rwanda (1996), and served throughout the Balkans from 1998-2003. In 2004, he served on temporary duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He was stationed at the Pentagon, in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, on September 11, 2001, and he participated in disaster recovery operations at the crash site coordinating international support for the diplomatic and military response.

General Adams is a recipient of the Defense Superior Service Medal (twice), the Bronze Star, and the Director of Central Intelligence’s Exceptional Human Intelligence Collector Award.

He is the President of Guardian Six LLC, a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business. Guardian Six assists clients to analyze national security issues and navigate the defense marketplace.

Great Decisions highlights the most critical global topics each year as chosen by the Foreign Policy Association in New York City. The World Affairs Council brings experts to West Michigan to discuss all eight topics. Presented Monday evenings at the Aquinas College Performing Arts Center, the series runs through April 3. Upcoming topics include: U.S. jobs and trade; updates on Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia, and more. Full details on the series are available at:

The Council is dedicated to educating people in western Michigan about other countries and cultures of the world, as well as providing a forum for discussion of critical foreign policy issues. In existence since 1949, the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan is a non-partisan, non-advocacy educational non-profit organization. With 60 member companies and almost 3,000 members, it has grown from being a small volunteer Council to a mid-size Council with a professional staff. It is one of the most active, growing Councils in the national network of 100 World Affairs Councils.

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