China Expert, Larry Lamborn, Speaker at First Friday Forum

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Col. Larry Lamborn, a former CIA agent, will speak on Jan. 8 via Zoom for the First Friday Forum. His topic is called Encirclement of Asia.

    The First Friday Forum (FFF) will see an immediate change in 2021 when it meets the second Friday, Jan. 8, to avoid conflict with New Year’s Day.  Also, because of COVID-19, FFF can no longer meet in Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church’s (LOPC) sanctuary. 
    To participate, guests need to register to attend a webinar presentation. FFF Chair Mike Rusk announced that the speaker for 2021’s inaugural forum will be China expert Larry Lamborn, who will address the topic “The Encirclement of Asia.”
    In a national security career spanning 45 years, Lamborn had 26-years of service as a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer. He worked in a variety of Third World countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia, successor republics of the former Soviet Union. 
    As a trained Army strategic intelligence officer, he served in the Army Reserve, retiring as a full colonel. In the Pentagon, Lamborn was with the Strategic Warning Staff, the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.  He is a Vietnam veteran and holds a Master of Arts degree in Chinese Regional Studies from the University of Washington.
    Of his presentation Lamborn said, “Few countries have risen as fast as has the People’s Republic of China (PRC) with the world’s second largest economy, increasingly powerful and modern military forces and global ambitions. Today China has the power to challenge the United States economically and militarily, and its goal is to surpass America as the world’s leading power by 2030.”
    He explained, “Toward that end the PRC is steadily displacing the West throughout Asia and Africa and extending its influence into the Pacific Ocean area, Latin America and even Europe. The Encirclement of Asia is aimed not only at encircling Asia, but ultimately at drawing a technological and economic circle around the United States itself.”
    Dr. Tom Scovel, FFF team member, also well acquainted with China, says of his friend Lamborn, “Rarely do we have the opportunity to hear someone who is both a Washington insider and an outsider, especially when it comes to matters of international military concerns.  One of his more recent books, Arms of Little Value, critiques many American policies that have dealt with insurgency movements.  His global perspective and his familiarity with the PRC promises to make his talk timely and informative.”
    Lamborn is the author of four books, in addition to numerous essays. He says he has been a “China watcher” for 50 years, with the country the centerpiece of his academic study and professional work: “China fascinates me, and I have drawn upon my China knowledge in drafting my books and essays.  I wrote my essay, the Encirclement of Asia, on which my talk will focus, because I believe it is important for Americans to understand Chinese expansionism and how that will shape the world in the coming years — not always to our benefit.” 
    To register for this forum, go to www.lopc.org/first-friday-forum.  Click on the link in the blue font and fill out the Webinar registration form with your name and email address. You will receive the Zoom link required to attend the talk scheduled for Jan. 8. The lecture is sponsored by LOPC.

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