The Lawfare Podcast: China’s Illicit Economies

Jen Patja, Jacob Schulz, Vanda Felbab-Brown, Madiha Afzal
Monday, February 28, 2022, 12:00 PM

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With

In the national security world, including on Lawfare, a lot of attention gets paid to China's tech sector and other parts of its economy. Comparatively less attention is paid to China's illicit economies, illegal trade involving China and other countries around the world. But China has been involved in numerous acts of transnational criminal activity with occasionally lax enforcement, and there's a new series of Brookings papers and blog posts about this very subject.

To talk it through. Jacob Schulz sat down with Vanda Felbab-Brown, the director of the Initiative on Nonstate Armed Actors and a senior fellow in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings, and Madiha Afzal, a fellow in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings. They talked through the project and papers that each of them have written on the subject, including one on illegal wildlife trafficking, one on narcotic precursor trafficking and one on human trafficking.

Jen Patja is the editor and producer of The Lawfare Podcast and Rational Security. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Virginia Civics, a nonprofit organization that empowers the next generation of leaders in Virginia by promoting constitutional literacy, critical thinking, and civic engagement. She is the former Deputy Director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier and has been a freelance editor for over 20 years.
Jacob Schulz is a law student at the University of Chicago Law School. He was previously the Managing Editor of Lawfare and a legal intern with the National Security Division in the U.S. Department of Justice. All views are his own.
Vanda Felbab-Brown is a senior fellow in the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings.
Madiha Afzal is a fellow in the Foreign Policy Program at the Brookings Institution. Her work focuses on Pakistan, Afghanistan, and U.S. policy toward both countries. She was previously David M. Rubenstein Fellow in the Foreign Policy Program and an assistant professor of public policy at the University of Maryland, College Park. Afzal is the author of “Pakistan Under Siege: Extremism, Society, and the State” (Brookings Institution Press, 2018).

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