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Strategic Regions


November 27, 2012 | US Pivot Pitfalls and Prospects

Richard Weitz: The Obama administration has yet to find a robust balance between deterring without alarming Beijing, or assuring its allies and friends that the United States would neither abandon them to China’s growing might nor entrap them in an unwanted confrontation with Beijing. …More

November 26, 2012 | Rebalancing the Asia Pivot

While the Israel-Palestine conflict escalated, US foreign policy concentrated on “pivoting” to Asia. ++ In the Middle East, this strategy could be interpreted as lack of US interest towards the region. ++ Instead of discussing a rising Asia, the …More

November 14, 2012 | It Is the Asian Economy, America

After focusing on geopolitical ties in its first term, the Obama administration’s Asia pivot should now turn to trade policy to grow the US economy. + + Obama’s announced trips to Southeast Asia in November can widen the scope of trade …More

November 9, 2012 | Hu's Contradictory Legacy

Political, economic and societal inconsistencies have increased during Hu’s tenure in office. ++ In foreign policy, China has made progress with regard to the Taiwan issue, but has worried Asian states and the USA with growing “hawkish” …More

October 29, 2012 | Asia Rises, Pax Americana Fades

Asia has many overlapping organizations, but none have the depth required for the complex area. ++ Pax Americana has traditionally filled the vacuum and enabled Asian nations’ economic ascendency, but this becomes less tenable with each passing …More

September 28, 2012 | US-China Relations: Where Superficial is Good

The United States and China are ‘superficial friends’, whereby each exaggerates their bilateral friendship in order to boost future cooperation as well as current ties. ++ But as Chinese power rises, there will be more competition …More

September 26, 2012 | America's Incomprehensible China Policy

The United States’ new endeavor in Asia comes across as a collection of incoherent contradictions. ++ The US wishes closer ties with China at the same time presidential candidates castigate Chinese trade policies. ++ The US claims the …More

September 14, 2012 | Optimism for US-China Interdependency This Article contains Flash-Video

Foreign Affairs: Editor Gideon Rose interviews Columbia University professor Andrew Nathan on China’s global perspective and the current state of US-China relations. Nathan discusses US government policy towards Beijing and how transitions in Chinese leadership will affect the country’s assertiveness. …More

August 24, 2012 | Divided We Fall: The Case of ASEAN

Justin Lau: The unprecedented disunity within ASEAN can be attributed to both internal and external factors. With rising tensions between China and the Philippines, and neighboring states picking one side or the other, the emerging US-Chinese rivalry for regional influence further threatens the institutional cohesion and economic collaboration of ASEAN. …More

August 17, 2012 | Balancing a Rising China: The Future of Transatlantic Relations

Editorial Team: has received numerous outstanding articles from its community of over 7,000 members in the past several years. Our members have contributed to the think tank’s debates, theme weeks, and policy workshop competitions. A recurring discussion in our community revolved around a rising China and the challenges it poses to the West. …More

August 10, 2012 | Conflicting Allegiances: NATO, EU or Sovereignty?

Rhys Ashvin Merrett: Recent activity by the EU High Representative and Secretary General of NATO reflect the surge of interest in the Asia-Pacific. However, the extent of NATO and EU strategic involvement in the region is dependent upon a group of 21 European states that are members of both institutions. …More

July 27, 2012 | Russian-China Relations: More than Meets the Eye

Adam Charles Lenton: Russia and China have cemented a strong bilateral relationship in recent years, presenting a united stance on the international stage. But there are tensions between them and strains on their relationship which should make for interesting developments, especially in Central Asia. …More

June 15, 2012 | Don't Forget Burma

While these are historic days for Burma, there is still much to be done. ++ Aung San Suu Kyi will finally give her delayed Nobel acceptance speech. ++ This shows what can be accomplished, but the real battle is just beginning. ++ Hundreds of political …More

May 25, 2012 | The Voracious Dragon

China is locked in territorial disputes with its neighbors. ++ China is quarreling with Japan over the Senkaku Islands and with the Philippines over Scarborough Shoal, both of which are far outside of China’s territorial waters. ++ China is dangerously …More

May 22, 2012 | Will East Asia Surpass the World's Largest Economy?

The leaders of China, South Korea and Japan agreed to launch talks to lay down the foundations for a trilateral free-trade agreement (FTA). ++ Together the economies currently constitute 20% of global economic output and …More

May 14, 2012 | Asia and the New World Order

Asia faces significant roadblocks to continued success. ++ The region must deal with territorial disputes, historical rivalries, and competition over resources. ++ Asia has no proper security architecture. ++ While China is rising, the other Asian …More

April 5, 2012 | The Forgotten Victims of Bio-Chemical Warfare

Veronika Valdova: According to a 2002 symposium, the number of
people killed by the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II in germ warfare and human experiments is about 580,000. After the war, US representatives refused to deal with the atrocities and force the perpetrators to face trial. Instead, they were granted immunity in exchange for data and cooperation. …More

April 4, 2012 | The New Importance of Southeast Asia in US Policy

The American ‘strategic pivot’ toward Asia has meant an increased focus on Southeast Asia. ++ Arrangements with Australia and Singapore are models for the new US posture. ++ Agreements are not based on permanent bases but rather …More

April 3, 2012 | How to Save Myanmar

In light of recent events, Myanmar is facing its most important moment since military rule began in 1962. ++ Popular protests did not force the regime to hold recent elections. ++ And change is coming in spite of Western sanctions, not because of them. ++ …More

March 9, 2012 | James Appathurai's Answers on Partnerships in Asia This Article contains Flash-Video

Editorial Team: The NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy has responded to your questions and policy recommendations! In this second installment, he discusses NATO’s stance in Asia and how new powers like China and India impact the Alliance’s goals. …More

March 8, 2012 | At the Crossroad: The Atlantic Order and the Pacific Oriented Economy

Valentin Naumescu: While the definitive decline of the post-war Atlantic order remains to be seen, there is definitely a gravity shift taking place in world economic and geopolitical activity. But to what extent the potential of emerging regions like the Asia-Pacific can be translated into real influence remains to be seen. …More

February 29, 2012 | New Zealand Resisting China in The South Pacific

MP John Hayes recently mentioned “resisting” Chinese influence in the South Pacific in a now leaked email. ++ China will deploy forces within the South Pacific as it is now a major corridor between South American and Australasian …More

February 10, 2012 | Questioning US Commitment to Asia

US military budget cuts will hinder Obama’s new strategic focus on Asia. ++ American allies worry that a ‘leaner’ military will weaken US resolve in the region at the exact same time China is growing more assertive. ++ They …More

January 18, 2012 | North Korea & China: Succession Parallels

Kim Jong Un may suffer the same fate as Mao’s appointed successor in 1976, Hua Guofeng. ++ Mao and Kim Jong Il chose weak figures to succeed them for fear of being outshone in their lifetime. ++ North Korea’s leader has no …More

January 11, 2012 | New Zealand's Role in the New World Order

America’s new focus on Asia means that New Zealand now has a place in US thinking ++ Afghanistan allowed NZ to build a valuable partnership with US, but NZ must now avoid the impression of being part of a US led coalition against …More

January 10, 2012 | Priorities for India's Policy on China

India must avoid defining its foreign policy in terms of the emerging US narrative of “containing” or “balancing” China. ++ India could gain independent strategic influence in the region particularly vis-a-vis Iran, a major energy …More

December 11, 2011 | EU's Democratic Deficit Would Jeopardize Any Asia Policy

Jack Bicker: Yes, the EU must engage more with Asian economies on many levels. But one thing that the Eurozone crisis has taught us is that in order to do so effectively, and credibly, the EU must address its biggest obstacle. Namely, the redrawing of the decision making process at home. …More

December 8, 2011 | Beyond Trade: Establishing a European Presence in Asia

Memo 36: The European Union must reach out to Asian partners and become a credible player on issues other than trade. A strong EU-Asia policy can contribute to stability and advance Europe’s overall political, economic, and security interests. …More

November 28, 2011 | America is Back in the Pacific

The Obama administration is working closely with eight regional economies to realize “a Trans-Pacific Partnership, an ambitious, high-standard trade agreement.” ++ “Security in the region requires that international law and norms be respected, …More

November 21, 2011 | Only a Federal Europe Can Be an Influence in Asia

Benjamin Newton Brower: How Europe solves its current crisis will reverberate beyond its immediate future; it will dictate whether the Pacific Century is one of prosperity or one where Europe is usurped and exploited by rising powers. The choice is clear: only further centralization can ensure the EU will remain a strong player in international politics and have a presence in Asia. …More

November 18, 2011 | Untangling Europe's Web of Relationships with Asia

David Camroux: In Asia, the EU must find a balance between relations with regional organizations, individual nations, and its own members’ bilateral ties. In particular, it must increase its bilateral engagement with major regional players and be sure that a united European policy, rather than those of member states, speaks the loudest in the Pacific. …More

November 18, 2011 | China Won't Break Up US and Aussie "Mates"

Despite the rise of China, the US remains the foremost guarantor of stability in the Pacific. ++ A debate is emerging in Australia about the wisdom of increasing the bond with Washington, but the idea of having to choose between …More

November 18, 2011 | China's Alternative World Order Leaves Europe a Choice

Liselotte Odgaard: China is pursuing an alternative to Western political order based on absolutist state sovereignty and a non-military and non-political approach to global governance and development. As international norms become more regional and fractured, European states may end up choosing between two competing visions as individuals, not a cohesive European unit. …More

November 17, 2011 | A Seat at the Pacific Table

Frans-Paul van der Putten: Europe has already put itself behind the curve with its lack of engagement with Asia. To recover, the EU must move quickly to secure membership in key regional organizations and recalibrate its foreign policy towards key players in the region. This means siding with US economic interests but remaining neutral in security issues in the region. …More

November 16, 2011 | US Pivot Rests on Power, Not Weakness, of Europe

Jordan Becker: The US focus on Asia is an affirmation of the progress made over the past 65 years in Europe. Rather than worrying about abandonment, Europe should now seek to reinvest in its own independent regional security and strive to be a strong partner in the global projection of transatlantic power. …More

November 15, 2011 | America's Eastern Promise

The US move towards Asia and away from the Middle East is a smart reorientation of policy. ++ More and more signs point to Asia being the center of world affairs in coming years, and the US is likely to get more return on its investment in Asian …More

November 15, 2011 | Strong US-EU Ties Key to Balancing Asia

Chris Ogden: The European Union and the United States share a myriad of interests in the Asia-Pacific, from global governance concerns to engagements on free trade, and, despite the US’s geographic claim, they face the same challenges as outsiders. In a region where bilateral strategic partnerships are essential, the most important one may be between the US and Europe. …More

November 14, 2011 | A Common Path to Irrelevance

Europe and Japan are following similar paths of decline in global importance. ++ Both were once important US allies, but now internal crises and their increasing dependence on Chinese investment have weakened their positions, and they are now seen …More

November 14, 2011 | EU-Asia Must Be About More Than Trade

Shada Islam: For the EU to make an impact in Asia, its engagements must go beyond merely trade ties and superficial meetings. It must take key Asian meetings seriously and develop a policy on important regional security issues. The EU must also make more and stronger connections with non-state actors in the region like think tanks and business leaders. …More

November 14, 2011 | Why Europe Must Up Its Game in Asia

Fraser Cameron: America’s new Pacific engagement should be a wake-up call to Europeans. It is both a signal that they have been neglecting an Asia policy and a reminder that the EU must be more serious about providing for its own defense and asserting its influence as a populous and economically powerful union. …More

November 13, 2011 | Europe in America's Pacific Century: Theme Week Introduction

Editorial Team: Delegations from the US, Russia, China, and other global players will meet with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations at joint ASEAN-East Asia summits beginning November 17. Neither the EU nor any member states will be there. Now, as America refocuses its attention on the Pacific, we take a look at how the EU must face its transatlantic and Asian partnerships in the “Pacific Century.” …More

October 28, 2011 | Theme Week: Your Ideas on Europe in America's Pacific Century

Editorial Team: Ahead of the East Asia and ASEAN Summits, our next theme week will examine European foreign policy in the Pacific in light of Hillary Clinton’s recent outline of US policy goals in the region. You tell us: what role should Europe play in America’s Pacific Century? …More

September 9, 2011 | Lessons That Smug Europe Should Learn from Asia

Kishore Mahbubani: It has taken Europe’s leaders some time to adjust to Asia’s rise, and the implications of that for EU policymaking. Unrest in the Middle East points to some lessons the Europe could learn from Asia. Kishore Mahbubani remembers Brussels’ condescensions and counsels a fresh EU approach. …More

August 29, 2011 | Japan Must Overcome Political Dysfunction

Japan’s prime minister resigned Friday, becoming the sixth Japanese leader to step down in the past five years. ++ Already beset with $200 billion in reconstruction costs after the terrible March earthquake, Tokyo also faces a …More

August 18, 2011 | NATO Partnerships: Strengthening Ties with Asia

Memo 33: To remain effective in a multi-polar world, NATO should strengthen its collaborative ties with Asia. The Alliance must strive to make China more partner than rival, develop a multilateral plan for stability in Central Asia and Afghanistan, and strengthen existing regional partnerships. …More

June 28, 2011 | China's Naval Posturing Strains Sino-American Relations This Article contains Flash-Video

Nico Segers: The military rise of China is raising concerns over provocative naval pursuits in the East Chinese, South Chinese and adjacent seas. Escalations about disputed areas with Vietnam and the Philippines puts stress on wider Sino-American relationships and may block further military-to-military dialogue. …More

March 3, 2011 | China's North Korea Gamble

Bailey H Culp: Despite persistent pleas by the transatlantic community, Beijing will likely choose to do little to change the belligerent behavior of North Korea, instead preserving its own long-term economic, security, and geopolitical interests. …More

February 17, 2011 | Can Pakistan Survive?

It is up to the government. Prior revolts by Islamist groups with growing public support to overthrow provincial leadership were met with a strong military response. ++ The recent assassination of the Punjab governor and a dispute over the murder of two …More

February 10, 2011 | China: Dealing With the Middle Kingdom

Eoin Michael Heaney : The Communist Party ruling structure of China means that it could probably be categorized as a medium sized kingdom, rather than a traditional nation state in the Western sense. The transatlantic partners should take note of this difference, and realize that within this supposedly monolithic entity, there are also countless local kingdoms. …More

January 21, 2011 | Chinese Nationalism Goes Viral

In China, the lack of free private media means that Chinese popular sentiment gets channelled into mushrooming online forums. ++ Jingoistic nationalism is often the order of the day, with the US, Japan and increasingly India being targets of …More

October 19, 2010 | When North Korea Falls . . .

United States has been most concerned about North Korea’s nuclear program. ++ However, with much existing political and economic instability in North Korea, a lot is expected to change over the coming years. ++ In this regard, the USA, …More

September 30, 2010 | Dynastic Change in the Hermit Kingdom

“Commander Kim”, son of North Korea’s ailing leader Kim Jong-il was raised yesterday to four-star general by his father and appears set to be heir of the autocratic dictator. ++ However, the succession may not be as …More

September 28, 2010 | Europe's Past shall not be Asia's Future

The recent row between China and Japan over the detention of a Chinese boat captain points out to “structural, strategic and institutional” tension in the relationship. ++ With China’s increasing ascendancy, the …More

September 7, 2010 | How Europe's Falling Behind Accelerates China's Rise

F.-P. van der Putten: China is in the process of displacing Europe as the second most influential actor in international affairs. As a result the international appeal of political and economic liberalism is diminishing. This process affects Europe and weakens the global standing of the United States. …More

September 6, 2010 | Democratizing States: Nuancing Mainstream State-Civil Society Relations

F.-P. van der Putten: The presence of an active, engaging civil society is a “precondition for effective governance.” This international logic is premised on a “watchdog” angle to civil society. …More

August 6, 2010 | The Outsourced World: The Philippine Destination

F.-P. van der Putten: As a consequence of the global economic recession, many companies are restructuring their workflows and maximizing their potential through outsourcing. The Philippines offers itself as a low-risk destination for outsourced services, providing skilled human capital and the necessary legal infrastructure. …More

July 20, 2010 | Japanese Society and Politics: Unraveling an Unsolvable Puzzle

Kevin Calonne: The recent resignation of the Japanese Prime Minister demonstrates how little hope there is for dissolving the iron triangle and its stranglehold on Japanese politics. The Democratic Party of Japan must urgently deal with the overwhelming bureaucracy, if its government is to succeed. …More

June 22, 2010 | Slow Recovery: Bashing the Chinese

Bashing the Chinese has become a fad in the Western media lately, in particular since the recovery has been slow. ++ Proponents of the “China solo show” theory in the West claim that “China has been the biggest winner in …More

June 4, 2010 | What Trips Up Japanese Prime Ministers

The resignation of yet another Japanese prime minister points to problems in the Japanese political system. ++ Japanese politicians rise to power through their affiliation with rich families.++ The political system remains “stuck in …More

May 20, 2010 | The US Should Talk to North Korea

Despite the fact that Obama pledged to engage with rouge states diplomatically, the White House has failed to begin a dialogue with North Korea. ++ “Sustained diplomatic engagement is the only way to encourage the North to moderate its …More

May 14, 2010 | China Flexes Its Maritime Muscles

China is looking to replace the U.S. as the hegemonic maritime power in Asia, which places additional stress on its relationship with Japan. ++ Secrecy surrounding the Chinese build-up could conceivably “spark an arms race” in the …More

April 20, 2010 | Red & Yellow Shirts: Thailand's Coup a Clash of Colors

In the last 77 years, Thailand’s military has staged no less than 18 coups and democracy has been halted and restarted. ++ “The prime minister needs to take a more decisive stance; he needs to tell the army to stop …More

March 12, 2010 | Indonesia and the US Contemplate Forming a Union

Indonesia is trying to determine whether to increase diplomatic engagement with the US in the run up to Pres. Obama’s visit on March 20. ++ The Asian country could be a good partner for the US as it has proved its …More

March 10, 2010 | Women Can Do It Better

Empowering women in Asia is not only a requirement for basic human rights but also an economic asset in recovery form the global recession. ++ It remains the best way to lower the illiteracy, malnutrition and child mortality rates in the long term. ++ A …More

February 19, 2010 | Soccer Star Pushes Countries to Meet MDG Targets

French soccer star and UN Goodwill Amb. Zinedine Zidane is trying to raise support and awareness of the MDGs. ++ The financial crisis has set back the efforts of Asian countries to meet MDG targets. ++ The Asian Development …More

February 17, 2010 | Turkey and Asia: A Win-Win Scenario

Since assuming power, the AK Party in Turkey has shifted foreign policy eastward. ++ Turkey should continue to strengthen ties with Asia politically, economically, and culturally. ++ This policy shift can be seen through Turkey’s …More

February 12, 2010 | NATO Making Friends with China and India

At the Munich Security Conference, NATO SecGen Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced that the organization will widen its scope to include relations with China, India and other global players. ++ It’s time for NATO to adapt to the new …More

January 8, 2010 | Asia's Changing Power Dynamics

Brahma Chellaney: Never before have China, India, and Japan been powerful at the same time, yet now they make up the strategic trio that is central to the region’s future. Asia houses the fastest growing markets, fastest-rising military expenditures, and the most volatile hot spots. Thus, these main three actors must find a way to reconcile their interests in Asia. …More

December 18, 2009 | Re-engaging the Golden Land

Reese Alan Neader: Burma is fully dependent on Chinese aid without any requirement to improve human rights practices. Since Washington ignored tyrannical regimes, China has been allowed to move in unchecked. Thus, by re-engaging Burma, the Obama administration is putting pressure on China to conform to international norms. …More

November 20, 2009 | Engaging Self-Interested China: Mission Impossible?

The minute planning of Obama’s public meetings demonstrated that China still avoids “hemming” by outsiders at any cost. ++ China does not believe in the notion of an “international good” and only acts out of self-interest. …More

November 19, 2009 | "Turning North Korea Around"

Korean peninsula denuclearization talks will resume shortly with a renewed hope for success. ++ “The US needs to pursue constructive economic engagement with North Korea to help the regime achieve ‘strength and prosperity’ through economic …More

November 17, 2009 | 'Hu Jintao, Tear Down That Mao '

Imagine what eastern Europe would look like today if the jubilant scenes at the Berlin wall in 1989 were replaced by a Tienanmen style military reaction. ++ Despite China’s success, the former soviet states of eastern Europe are far …More

November 13, 2009 | Obama's Asian Odyssey

“Barack Obama sent a forceful message about his foreign policy priorities” by preferring to prepare for his 9-day Asian visit then join the celebrations in Berlin. ++ Although China has been the focus of successive US Presidents its current …More

November 12, 2009 | Asia Should Focus on its Own Markets

Asia faces dramatic economic change in the coming decades. In order to preserve economic growth, Asian markets need to abandon their excessive export orientation and reliance on foreign markets such as the American and European ones. As a …More

October 30, 2009 | Consistent Engagement Is Key

Memo 20: With the EU-China summit set to take place late next month presents its findings from our ‘China Rising’ analysis week. With policy suggestions for decision makers we are presenting YOUR views to those that matter. …More

October 30, 2009 | Japan Starts Afresh

Japan’s new PM Yukio Hatoyama has been spelling out his political philosophy this week. ++ “Japan would seek to temper the turbulence of globalization by promoting the free market and would take moral leadership on the world stage by aiding poor …More

October 28, 2009 | "As ASEAN Dithers, the US Circles"

Efforts to form an ASEAN community are increasingly “spinning in the political sands” over the strategic interests of a diverse collection of neighbours. ++ The disparity in religion, system of governance, economic …More

October 12, 2009 | We Must Understand Before Criticizing China

China’s progress is undeniable but we must understand the unique problems that have faced the CCP over the last 60 years before criticizing the lack of political reform. ++ The need to shift 60% of the population from agriculture to …More

October 7, 2009 | China's Rise and the Emerging G3 Global Framework

Ting Xu: As China rises so to does a new triangular world order. The G3 of China, The US and the EU must closely integrate their cooperation to avoid another global financial crisis. It is time to move past bilateral dialogue into a multilateral framework equipped to deal with the global problems of the 21st century. …More

October 6, 2009 | Will Corruption Bring China to Its Knees?

Marola Padin Novas: Chinese political development is necessary for its economic rise to be sustainable as corruption thrives in the current system. Corruption threatens to undermine the rule of the party and its ability to effectively gain foreign investment. Domestic transparency is therefore the key to China’s sustainable rise. …More

October 6, 2009 | The Inevitable Rise of China and the World's Necessary Response

Hongyi Lai: China’s rise poses two distinct questions. Is it sustainable and how should the West deal with it? An accommodating attitude is the best course as would be a clear and consistent policy that avoids conflict in favor of constructive partnership building. …More

October 2, 2009 | China Wobbles as it Reaches 60

Three truths dominate the PRC as it celebrates its 60th. ++ Firstly, “the Chinese state will try to protect itself[…]and convince onlookers of the power of the communist superstate.” ++ Secondly, the Chinese state is deeply …More

October 1, 2009 | PRC60: Sustainability and Global Consequences

Editorial Team: China tops the agenda at for the next week as the country celebrates its 60th anniversary. The gradual close of the global financial crisis provides the perfect opportunity to reassess, review, and look forward to how the rising dragon may affect the West. …More

October 1, 2009 | Must the Dragon Liberalize In Order to Rise?

Man Tien Hang Tim: If the conventional idea is that liberal democracy is superior to authoritarianism then China’s sustainable rise poses no threat. Either China will eventually become a liberal country or its political system will stunt its growth and it will remain a manageable, medium power. …More

September 21, 2009 | Dragon Guarding Treasure

A US-China trade war would be dangerous prospect, as it encourages resource nationalism and hoarding of important minerals by Beijing. ++ Through monopolizing the supply of resources vital to the construction of batteries, LED’s, and lightbulbs China is …More

September 4, 2009 | Japan Finally at the Crossroads

Japan’s bureaucracy has been stagnant for some time based on the single party system, this will finally begin to change under Hatoyama. ++ The LDP failed to build on the progress made by PM Koizumi in 2005 and have instead imploded …More

September 2, 2009 | Is the Dragon Fizzling Out?

China’s stock market continues to fall as the Shanghai Composite fell 5% on August 31st. ++ “The jitters in Asia and the rest of the world are rooted in fears that China will not be able to help pull the global economy from …More

September 1, 2009 | Hatoyama's Dream Could Turn Into a Nightmare

There is nothing worse than Japan’s new PM’s vision of economic nationalism and protectionism. ++ As an exporting country with a weak domestic economy, Tokyo relies on other nations maintaining free markets to ensure …More

August 28, 2009 | We Cannot Ignore Myanmar

The Burmese people need external help. ++ “Only an even-handed interlocutor can lift them out of the calcified intransigence that has damaged their lives and threatened the stability of Southeast Asia.” ++ Sanctions have proofed as the wrong measure as …More

August 25, 2009 | Open Up, Japan!

Despite the probable shift of power at the upcoming elections in Japan, “the most uncomfortable issue” of immigration policy is tuned out. ++ The lack of policy and the increasing aging of the population will soon lead to a crash in the Japanese …More

August 21, 2009 | Burma: Too Early to Stop Sanctions

Myanmar’s new friendly attitude towards the US hopefully means that the junta is willing to change its authoritarian policy. ++ To be sure, the Obama administration should “test that proposition”, but for now it remains “far too early to …More

August 19, 2009 | Think Asia - Germany to Benefit as Asia Rebounds

Asia is leading the global financial recovery this summer, pulling away from the US and towards an independent path. An Economist analysis states that the regions growing economies hit hardest during the crisis, such as Thailand …More

August 19, 2009 | The Dragon Breathes Fire

Military drills in China are set to involve 50,000 troops over the next 2 months. ++ Exercises that will test the People Liberation Army’s long-range force projection worry neighboring countries. ++ Washington is monitoring the situation as …More

August 18, 2009 | US Finds Burma Difficult to Handle

The recent sentencing of Aung San Suu Kyi was politically motivated to remove the NLD party from elections later this year and to urge the US to engage. ++ “Western isolation of Burma is almost totally ineffective because China, India …More

August 13, 2009 | Burma Sanctions Must Stop

Western sanctions will not help the people of Burma, but rather harm their cause. ++ Sanctions and isolation “are the surest way to keep Burma like Cuba – poor, oppressive and stuck in the past.” ++ Western governments should not condemn the …More

August 12, 2009 | China Quietly Reshapes Asia

Through investment in infrastructure projects China is quickly gaining influence in Russia’s Far East and Central Asia. ++ Beijing lent $25billion to Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft and pipeline manufacturer Transneft in order to …More

August 11, 2009 | Does China Matter? A Reassessment

Joshua Posaner: China is often considered to play the role of provocateur globally. Beijing’s alternative model of development coupled with its ability to frustrate the Western powers on issues such as human rights and climate change leave its ability to engage in no question. Ten years after Gerald Segal’s initial argument a fresh evaluation is needed. …More

August 10, 2009 | The North Korea Fallout

Bill Clinton’s trip to North Korea sets a dangerous precedent as the human factor overwhelms policy judgment. ++ The visit “enables Kim Jong Il to convey to North Koreans, and perhaps to other countries, that his country is being accepted …More

August 6, 2009 | Bill Clinton's Double Mission

Bill Clinton’s so called “private mission” in North Korea was definitely in alignment with the Obama administration’s objectives. ++ The off-the-record character of the meeting between the former US President and the North Korean leader Kim Jong …More

July 7, 2009 | The World Must Be Ready If North Korean Regime Collapses

While North Korea’s autocrat, Kim Jong Il, prepares
for a transition of power, international experts are racking their brains to
determine all possible future political scenarios in the region. Will Kim Jong
Il’s …More

July 2, 2009 | US Misinterprets Asian Power Equilibrium

With its focus on China, the Obama administration loses sight of India’s importance as a strategic partner in Asia. ++ The US’ Asia policy “lacks a distinct strategic imprint.” ++ Obama looks at India primarily in terms of …More

July 1, 2009 | North Korea: As Truce Ends, Ships Must Be Searched

The UN resolution banning North Korean weapons trade is ineffective as it requires the regime to consent to foreign inspection of its ships. ++ Yet, North Korea’s belligerent stance gives the US a go-ahead: announcing the …More

June 8, 2009 | Is the US Giving Tacit Approval for Korean Nukes?

Despite overtures from the Obama Administration, Pyongyang
refuses to return to the nuclear non-proliferation negotiating table. ++ The US’diplomatic process is on the verge of legitimizing North Korea’s weapons program which …More

June 2, 2009 | Tough Road Ahead for Post Civil-War Sri Lanka

Alessandra Radicati: Now that the civil war seems to be over, the current Sri Lankan government needs to avoid the mistakes of its predecessors and embrace the Tamil community, not alienate it further. How the Government implements post conflict policies will be vital in the country’s reunification. …More

May 29, 2009 | North Korea Requires a Two Track Policy

South Korea must recognize that North Korea is not treating its nuclear power as a bargaining chip, but as a safety measure and the core of its survival strategy. ++ The world’s strategy must adapt without giving up the objective of a …More

May 27, 2009 | World Powerless to Stop North Korea

There are no realistic means to punish North Korea’s second nuclear test. ++ The test could see other powers in the region take up arms because they believe nothing can be done to persuade Pyongyang to denuclearize. ++ After the first test …More

May 19, 2009 | Sri Lankan Peace Requires Immediate Effort

The end of Sri Lanka’s 25-year civil war leaves crucial work: The Tamil Tiger’s use of humans as shields and the army’s heavy approach caused a humanitarian emergency and a refugee crisis. ++ Alarming loss of civilian lives causes …More

April 29, 2009 | Taliban Deal Poses Threat to Pakistan

After signing the Swat peace deal, Pakistan’s president Asif Ali Zardari will go down in history as the man who succumbed to threats from terrorists, legitimized the Taliban’s activities and handed over a part of the country to them. ++ The …More

March 13, 2009 | North Korea's Religious Nature

Mike Chinoy says that North Korea should be seen as a “religious camp grafted on to a very conservative, inward-looking society steeped in Confucian tradition, where the purpose of life is to glorify the reigning deity.” …More

February 27, 2009 | Japan Must Find its Place in the 21st Century

Japan fears abandonment. ++ The US has tried to reassure it by making it the first stop on Clinton’s tour and receiving PM Aso as the first foreign dignitary in Washington, but this does not suffice. ++ Tokyo has difficulty …More

February 20, 2009 | Extend a Hand and Hope for the Best

The US’ response to Burma’s suffering under a military junta has been strict economic sanctions. ++ The limited effectiveness of this policy led the US to consider an alternative which will deliver practical benefits to the …More

February 20, 2009 | Aloha, China and Japan!

Leaders of the three largest economies should meet up in Hawaii. ++ There has never before been a summit for the US, Japan and China, but the time has come. ++ Japan needs to break its political marginalization towards China, Americans must stop …More

February 17, 2009 | US Can Tolerate a Nuclear North Korea

North Korea is taking a hard line with the world over its nuclear arsenal. ++ The US should respond in one of two ways: “benign neglect” or limiting North Korea’s arsenal. ++ The first option would move towards a …More

February 11, 2009 | North Korea, Reform or Collapse

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il’s health remains under speculation and with it, the fate of the country. ++ Kim has proved to be a “lousy leader:” he failed to implement the fiscal reform needed to prevent the 96-98 famine …More

January 20, 2009 | A "Muslim Democracy" in South Asia

In the recent election, the secular party in Bangladesh secured a victory over the Islamic party. ++ The election of Sheikh Hasin as PM marked a victory for those aspiring to democracy in the country, indicating that the majority of the …More

January 9, 2009 | End Isolationist Refugee Policy of Japan

Japan adds itself to less than 20 developed countries open to refugees under resettlement programs. ++ Since 1981 Japan has accepted 451 refugees. ++ Over the next 3 years, 30 refugees per year will be accepted from Burma into camps in …More

January 8, 2009 | Japan Creates Stronger Ties to Asian Neighbors

Samurai-philosopher Fukuzawa’s longstanding notion that Japan should “leave Asia and enter the West” is likely to fade in 2009. ++ “Tokyo needs to diversify diplomatic and economic relations.” ++ Ruling party LDP may soon be …More

December 18, 2008 | It's Time for Japan to Pull Its Weight

“Japan’s near-total opposition to participating in its allies’ military struggles is no longer defensible.” ++ Having made an “easy transition to democracy” after World War Two and now enjoying …More

December 8, 2008 | Royal Silence in Bangkok

King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the ruling monarch of Thailand, failed to give his annual birthday speech, which many had hoped would be used to address and even resolve the country’s political chaos. ++ Yet “his silence over his birthday spoke volumes to a …More

December 5, 2008 | Asia Reverting to Authoritarianism?

In the 1990’s Asia was considered the pioneer in democratic renewal. Out of Asia spread a democratic wave from southern Europe through Latin America and into Africa. In recent times, however, democratization in Asia has experienced …More

December 5, 2008 | Japan's Problem With Clinton

Under Bush, the State Department, Defense Department, and White House fought over the War on Terror. ++ Clinton and Obama fought in the primaries, which does not bode well for their cooperation. ++ The Clinton administration of the 90’s took a …More

December 1, 2008 | Collapse of Democracy Threatens in Thailand

Thailand’s democracy looks on the verge of collapse once again. ++ Antigovernment protestors, seeking to reform the country’s democratic system to better control its outcome, are occupying key public buildings. ++ The army is …More

November 10, 2008 | China's Energy Policy in the Geopolitical Context

Sonja Davidovic: Unable to satisfy the energy demand of its heavy industry, which is further augmented by the rising consumption of the emerging middle class, China had to turn to international markets in search for oil and gas assets. …More

October 31, 2008 | All Eyes on the Yen

Japan’s central bank has reacted to last weeks rise of the yen as well as to the falling stock market by cutting interest rates. ++ If Japan decides to move towards “zero interest” it would become the “source of almost free money for anyone …More

October 30, 2008 | From Tiananmen on: What Have We Learned?

There is a lesson to be learned from the West’s decision to integrate China into its fold following Tiananmen Square. ++ While China is still ruled by the same horrific party responsible for the Cultural Revolution, it is …More

October 30, 2008 | The Rise of the Rest

Wolfgang Nowak: America is no longer up to shouldering the world’s crises. But who is going to take its place? And how do the new global powers imagine the future world order? Foresight, a project of the Alfred Herrhausen Society, asks thinkers and policy makers from the emerging and existing powers for their thoughts and proposals. …More

October 28, 2008 | "30 Years of China-Japan Relations"

30 years after the signing of the Japan-China Peace and Friendship Treaty, the two countries are now more than ever in a position to create positive change in Asia and abroad. ++ The two countries can cooperate on “the regional financial …More

October 27, 2008 | Role Model for the US: Indonesia

With much attention being paid to the US elections, it’s time people started to notice the elections in Indonesia, a nation that “clearly refutes the proposition that democracy and Islam are incompatible.” ++ Since 1998 – the year a coup …More

October 23, 2008 | Japan's Partisan Politics Stifles Foreign Policy

Japan’s Lower House is expected to approve a bill extending the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s refueling mission in the Indian Ocean. ++ The presiding committee failed to use this opportunity to discuss other important foreign …More

October 17, 2008 | Japan's North Koreans

E. Ben Heine: The stability of Kim Jong-Il’s regime has depended to a significant degree on financial and material support from Japan’s North Korean minority. This paper analyses the history and organization of North Koreans living in Japan and outlines its significance in future Japan-DPRK relations. …More

October 14, 2008 | Nuclear Deal with Korea Back on Track

The nuclear deal with Korea appears to be back on track, which is the only thing President Bush has going for himself. ++ The deal seems predicated on Washington removing Pyongyang from the terror list in exchange for limited inspection …More

October 7, 2008 | Creating an Asian Bond

It is time for the “globar” - or “global dollar,” a collective Asian bond that could revitalize the world economy by catering to US currency-stabilization needs and simultaneously recycling massive Asian surpluses back into tangible assets in Asia itself. …More

October 2, 2008 | You Lose, I Lose Economics

Asia’s role in the financial crisis shouldn’t be underestimated. ++ Endless liquidity coupled with cheap goods fueled America’s “buy-now pay-later consumption,” inflating the housing bubble in the process. ++ The overextension is as much a story …More

September 5, 2008 | Asian Free Trade Agreements Balk at WTO and US

Meeting in Singapore, 10 southeast Asian nations along with India confirmed yet another FTA that clearly indicates the waning influence of the WTO and the US in the region. ++ Many such countries, especially India, prefer …More

August 27, 2008 | United Nation's Diplomatic Farce

It’s been almost a year since Burmese people were violently crushed as they publicly demanded freedom and the international community has still not achieved anything. ++ As Than Shwe intensifies the crackdown, the world looks towards Ban …More

August 14, 2008 | Collective Societies Could Prevail After All

The debate between individualism and collectivism seemed closed after the cold war, but if collectivist societies rise economically, the outnumbered individualists won’t continue to dominate. ++ Americans usually value …More

July 21, 2008 | Dam Projects Threaten the Livelihoods of Over 60 Million

Many governments in Southeast Asia are hoping for better energy security and appreciable increases in public revenue through a number of dam construction projects along the Mekong River. Yet the projected dams do not only …More

July 16, 2008 | Let's Not Pretend We Make Progress on North Korea

Despite hopeful voices that the six-party talks are on a good way to contain Korean nuclear program, Kim Jong Il gives us no reason to believe he really intends to give up his nuclear weapons. ++ Korean concessions are merely …More

July 8, 2008 | Strains on the Sino-Russian Relationship

On the surface, the strategic Sino-Russian relationship seems at an apex. ++ In reality, however, relations between the two leading Eurasian powers are being weakened by a stalemate in military sales, disputes over energy prices, and a …More

June 27, 2008 | North Korea's Denuclearization Succeeds

Six-party framework is our best option to achieve the strategic goal of Korea’s denuclearization. ++ Now North Korea is already disabling its plutonium production facility at Yongbyon under the monitoring of US inspectors. ++ The …More

May 23, 2008 | Overseas Deployment Law Endangers Democracy

The Japanese government is asking to be granted permanent authority over the use of military force. ++ Currently every foreign deployment of troops requires separate legislative approval and is bound by strict legal parameters. ++ …More

May 20, 2008 | Food Prices Will Continue to Rise in Asia

Due to unilateral export restrictions imposed by grain producing countries, the Japanese government recently raised the price of imported wheat it sells to flour-milling companies by 30%. ++ The surge is expected to be passed on to the …More

May 14, 2008 | Aid Should Reach Burma by all Means Necessary

Despite the determination of Burma’s military rulers to prevent foreign interference in fear of losing its grip on power, the international community has a moral obligation to deliver aid to cyclone-stricken civilians by all means …More

May 14, 2008 | US on the Right Track with North Korea

The US should continue its current path in North Korean nuclear negotiations, rather than exiting or stalling talks. ++ It should prioritize verification of North Korea’s plutonium production records, and push towards dismantlement of the …More

May 13, 2008 | Myanmar Needs Local Action and Aid on a Global Scale This Article contains Flash-Video

Daphne Wolf: Small and local aid agencies are best equipped to help the victims of cyclone Nargis because they are already operating on the ground. Donations to these agencies are more effective since big aid organizations are still struggling to access the affected areas. …More

May 13, 2008 | Urging China and India to Act in Burma

Burma’s despots are politicizing the crisis, blocking foreign relief operations, and preventing the needy from receiving food and aid. ++ 400,000 may have died and two million may now face the threats of malnutrition and disease. ++ Rather …More

May 9, 2008 | Japan: Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Japan increasingly faces a dilemma in its relationship with China. ++ On the one hand intensifying already close economic relations with China is vital for the continued recovery of Japan’s own economy. ++ On the other hand China’s …More

May 6, 2008 | "Solving Asia's Food Crisis"

The rise in food prices threatens the success of poverty reduction in Asia. ++ Rather than subsidies, price control, and export caps, governments should focus on targeted income and cash support measures as short-term remedies. ++ This will …More

May 6, 2008 | China's Dualistic Set of National Identities

Two types of nationalism are prevalent in China at the moment. ++ On the one hand, a virulent nationalism that is based on continued historical grievances and is used to legitimize the rule of the Communist Party. ++ On the other …More

May 5, 2008 | India Less Threatening Than China

In Asia, the rise of India is perceived as less threatening than the rise of China. ++ India does have strong military capabilities, but is a democracy, which are said to be more peaceful. ++ India’s military is believed to be unthreatening …More

April 29, 2008 | Russo-Japanese Relations Are Improving

Japan and Russia’s planned cooperation in fields of energy, transportation, and the environment require settling their territorial dispute. ++ So as to expand its influence in the booming Asia-Pacific region and maintain its volumes …More

April 28, 2008 | Slow Negotiation for Denuclearization in North Korea

Having unwisely abandoned the 1994 Clinton deal that kept North Korea from producing plutonium, the Bush administration’s shift from past confrontational rhetoric is promising. ++ A first step is the assessment of …More

April 24, 2008 | Appeasement Politics Weakens US Credibility in Asia

Striking North Korea from the terror list, ignoring China’s muscle flexing, and massive military withdrawal from the region, could generate doubt about America’s security commitments for key allies such as Japan. …More

April 18, 2008 | Chinese Outcry Against the Western Media

The disruption of Olympic torch and pro-Tibet demonstrations caused a wave of strong anti-Western sentiment among Chinese bloggers. ++ Chinese believe that Tibet cannot be the real reason for Western criticism of China and call for …More

April 16, 2008 | Bush Softens on North Korea's Nuclear Aspirations

chief North Korea negotiator recently reached a deal with Pyongyang based on trust and not
verification ++ This hasty compromise before the end of the presidential term, could set a precedent for other nations determined to develop a nuclear program ++ Seoul and Tokyo are left bewildered by this sudden new policy of “appeasement.” ++ Public awareness will prove pivotal.

March 19, 2008 | Bush Cannot Bequeath a Failed North Korea Policy

The protracted Six Party Talks dating back from 2003 enabled Kim Jong-il to gain time and repeatedly violate commitments. ++ If the instrumental support of Russia and China is secured, Bush should dedicate the next 10 months to …More

March 11, 2008 | Adopting a Realistic Position Towards the US Ally

With power changing hands in the US, the time has come for Australia to reconsider its position towards the American leadership and acquire some confidence and self reliance. ++ Both ventures with the US in Vietnam and Iraq were disastrous, and placed Australia on the side of the politically defeated. ++ Australia need not systematically be a follower when it comes to matters of national security.

February 27, 2008 | The World's Most Important Trilateral Relationship

Economic integration is currently shaping US-Chinese-Japanese relations. According to Abramowitz, only domestic politics or virulent nationalism “could disrupt what promises to be a positive new decade for great-power …More

February 14, 2008 | Putin: Russia Will Respond to the New Arms Race

Russia’s President Putin declared the onset of a new arms race. ++ Reacting to US plans for a missile defence shield in Europe, he vowed to modernize Russia’s armed forces. ++ Putin also warned from unnamed foreign powers …More

January 29, 2008 | Bush Bashers are Wrong About Asia

The subject of Asia has become a common source of criticism in US politics. Many Republicans want to see an end to cooperation with Peking because of China’s alleged attempt to displace the US in Asia, its defense budget, missile buildup, …More

October 25, 2007 | Asia's International Order

Henrik Schmiegelow: I warn that Asia is building pillars to support a future international order. Reacting to the functional integration and regional community-building led by ASEAN and the big three—China, Japan, and India—will be “the West’s greatest challenge.” …More

August 27, 2007 | Olympic Games Force China To Listen

Erich Follath: I claim in this exclusive contribution that now is the best time for the rest of the world to press China on human rights issues. As a biographer of the Dalai Lama, I know how important this chance is for Tibet—and for the international community. …More

July 13, 2007 | The Rise of Liberal Japan

Joseph S. Nye: We cannot overlook Japan as a global powerhouse. How its people and government respond to emerging China will be “one of the great questions for this century.” …More

July 2, 2007 | How Japan Fuels Global Financial Instability

Thomas Palley: China is not the only Asian economy perpetuating trade deficits. Japan’s rock-bottom interest rates also play a part. …More

May 31, 2007 | Bruegel Says Worldwide Exchange Rates Adjustment Would Fight Current Account Deficits

The March 2007 Bruegel Policy Brief reveals that imbalances in global current account positions are not sustainable and need adjustment. A 15% depreciation of the dollar and an appreciation …More

April 16, 2007 | Kiroku Hanai on Consolidation of US-Japanese Economic Partnership

If Japan intends to preserve its status in world trade, it must negotiate an economic partnership agreement with its biggest trading partner, the US, warns journalist Kiroku Hanai. Japan already lags behind South …More

April 12, 2007 | Robert D. Kaplan on When North Korea Falls

North Korean nuclear tests are symptoms of an unheralded threat: not the exertion of North Korean strength, but the prospective collapse of Kim Jong Il’s government. Weakness in Pyongyang could result in desperation, a WMD attack on …More


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