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  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Political Geography: China, Korea
  • Author: Graeme Dobell
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Australia's government swung from the right to the left of the political spectrum in 2007. The U.S. did the same in 2008. Yet, not much changed in the fundamentals of the 57-year-old U.S.-Australia alliance. The assertion of alliance continuity, however, comes with a major caveat: the tectonic effects being exerted by China's rise. As with the rest of the Asia-Pacific, Australia is adjusting significant aspects of its foreign and security policy to the magnetic pull of China, which was dramatized for Canberra through the middle of 2009 by an outburst of Chinese official anger directed at Australia. Other important influences to consider include the so-called “Kevin Rudd” effect, the global economic crisis, and the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, East Asia, Australia
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, East Asia, Australia
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, War
  • Political Geography: Korea, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Ralph A. Cossa, Brad Glosserman
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The quarter began with high hopes, following the year's second Six-Party Talks “breakthrough,” but it was all down hill after that. On Oct. 3, Beijing announced a “second phase” implementation plan that laid out a series of specific Korean Peninsula denuclearization actions to be accomplished by Dec. 31. Unfortunately, the new year tolled with the most critical of these promised actions – a mutually acceptable “complete and correct declaration” of all North Korean nuclear programs, facilities, and activities – nowhere to be found. The much-anticipated ASEAN Charter was also signed this quarter but hopes that Myanmar would somehow be penalized for its brutal suppression of peaceful protests earlier in the fall were dashed as the other members took an ostrich-like approach to the problem. The third East Asia Summit took place as scheduled, with outside observers still not fully clear about the group's objectives or its place in the greater multilateral mix. The largest multilateral gathering of the quarter took place in Bali, where those worried about global warming expelled a lot of hot air in producing a potentially useful but currently not very specific “Bali Roadmap” on climate change. The democratic process remained alive and well with new governments being elected in Australia, South Korea, and Thailand, even as China was ruling that Hong Kong would not be ready for a more representative government until at least 2017. On the economic front, 2007 proved to be a good year for Asia, with growth consistent with pre-year projections; most forecasters see only a modest slowdown in 2008, despite lingering concerns about over the fallout from the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, East Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Australia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Myanmar, Bali
  • Author: Nicholas Szechenyi, Michael J. Green
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo outlined his foreign policy agenda in an address to the Diet, highlighting – as did his predecessors Abe Shinzo and Koizumi Junichiro – the U.S.-Japan alliance and international cooperation as the foundations of Japanese diplomacy. But legislation authorizing Japan's naval refueling mission in the Indian Ocean became a political football in a divided legislature and expired on Nov. 1, forcing Fukuda to draft a new bill and extend the Diet session twice in an attempt to continue Japan's support for the war on terror. Fukuda noted the importance of the bill during a November summit with President Bush in Washington that also covered other issues including the Six-Party Talks and concerns in Japan about a perceived shift in the U.S. position on Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea. Other developments such as a new agreement on host nation support for U.S. forces in Japan and a successful sea-based missile defense test demonstrated forward trajectory for alliance cooperation. Yet the quarter ended with other issues unresolved, namely Japan's suspension of Indian Ocean refueling operations and Pyongyang's failure to come clean on its nuclear programs.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Washington, India, North Korea, Pyongyang
  • Author: Bonnie Glaser
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: China's refusal to allow the USS Kitty Hawk to make a scheduled visit in Hong Kong for Thanksgiving refocused attention on bilateral differences over Taiwan and Tibet. It also raised questions about civilian-military coordination in China and highlighted the mistrust between U.S. and Chinese militaries. A series of agreements were reached to promote better relations between the U.S. and Chinese militaries during a visit to China by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and a subsequent round of the Defense Consultative Talks. Economic and trade issues were at the top of the bilateral agenda as the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade and Strategic Economic Dialogue convened and produced some successes, although not on the niggling issue of China's currency valuation.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tibet
  • Author: Donald G. Gross, Hannah Oh
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: North Korea followed through on its Oct. 3 commitment to disable its nuclear facilities this quarter, but resisted giving an “complete and correct” declaration of its nuclear programs. While the disabling actions – which would prevent North Korea from producing nuclear material for at least a year – encouraged U.S. officials, Pyongyang's unwillingness to declare its uranium enrichment program, in particular, created a potentially major obstacle in the Six-Party Talks. At the end of the quarter, the U.S. faced a diplomatic dilemma: how to incentivize Pyongyang to continue the disabling process, while pressuring North Korea to come clean on its past nuclear activities. Pyongyang insisted it had engaged in “sufficient consultation” with the U.S. on the declaration and threatened to slow down the disabling process until it received more compensation.
  • Political Geography: United States, North Korea, Pyongyang
  • Author: Joseph Ferguson
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Now that the world is finally coming around to understanding the man Vladimir Putin and what it is he represents, he appears to be stepping down – sort of. In December, Putin named his preferred successor, longtime aide and fellow Petersburger Dmitri Medvedev. While George Bush proclaims to have understood Putin after their first meeting in 2001, most Russia observers in the U.S. have been arguing over Putin and what his government represents for the better part of eight years. Does he represent a true change for Russia (a democratic change for the better) or is he steering that nation back to more historically familiar, repressive patterns? Now that the Kremlin has come forward with its own explanation, and has been bandying about the term “sovereign democracy,” the question of what Putin and the Kremlin represent is no longer hard to decipher. Russia has chosen a path that is by no means unique: a mercantilist, authoritarian form of democratic government that is very familiar to Asia watchers. What is becoming apparent is that, if anything, the U.S. form of democracy is the unique model, difficult to copy and long in development. Russia and other infant democracies may arrive one day, but “sovereign democracy” is here for the time being in Russia.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Kremlin, Asia
  • Author: Sheldon W. Simon
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: While the ASEAN 10 celebrated the association's 40th anniversary by initialing its first Charter giving the group a legal personality at its November Singapore summit, Burma's vicious crackdown on thousands of democracy and human rights demonstrators dampened the exultations. The Bush administration placed new sanctions on the Burmese junta, including the Treasury Department's freezing of companies' assets doing business in Burma and possibly even banks that handle their transactions. Moreover, Washington warned that an ASEAN-U.S. Trade Agreement now depends on Burma's genuine progress toward democracy – an unlikely prospect as long as the junta continues to rule. For the Philippines, Washington has promised more economic and military aid focused primarily on the restive south but partially conditioned on a better human rights performance. Human rights concerns also dominated U.S. relations with Malaysia and Thailand with respect to Kuala Lumpur's crackdown on ethnic Indian demonstrations and Thailand's harsh treatment of Muslim dissidents in the southern provinces.
  • Political Geography: Washington, Malaysia, India, Burma, Singapore, Thailand, Kuala Lumpur
  • Author: Robert Sutter, Chin-Hao Huang
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The highlight of this quarter was Prime Minister Wen Jiabao's active agenda in regional summits coinciding with the ASEAN Plus China, ASEAN Plus Three (with Japan and South Korea) and East Asia Summit meetings in Singapore in November. Chinese officials adhered to the line of the 17th Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Congress emphasizing harmonious relations with Southeast Asian and other countries, but ran across some difficulties involving Myanmar, Vietnam, and climate change.
  • Political Geography: Japan, East Asia, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Southeast Asia, Myanmar
  • Author: David G. Brown
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: At the 17th Party Congress in October, Hu Jintao authoritatively reiterated Beijing's desire for a peace agreement on the basis of the one China principle. Behind this positive public posture, Beijing remains deeply concerned about the referendum on joining the UN under the name “Taiwan” that Chen Shui-bian is relentlessly promoting. Yet Beijing has kept its rhetoric under control. It has pressed the U.S. to do more to stop the referendum and has worked with some success to mobilize international criticism of it. Washington has continued to make known to the public in Taiwan its reasons for opposing this referendum and, to underline the message, Washington has put Taiwan's purchase of more F-16 fighter jets on hold. That Chen is pushing ahead with the referendum despite international opposition only confirms that his purpose is primarily election mobilization.
  • Political Geography: China, Washington, Taiwan
  • Author: Aidan Foster-Carter
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The last quarter of 2007 was significant for inter-Korean relations in two distinct, perhaps even opposite, ways. It began with what is only the second North-South summit ever held, when ROK President Roh Moo-hyun met DPRK leader Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang. No mere symbolic one-off, as many feared, the summit produced a raft of follow-up meetings: between the two sides' premiers and defense ministers, plus numerous old and new committees and sub-committees dealing with a wide range of specific fields.
  • Political Geography: Korea, Pyongyang
  • Author: Scott Snyder
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Oct. 3 Six-Party Talks agreement on next steps in North Korea's denuclearization and the Oct. 4 inter-Korean summit declaration shaped developments in China-Korean relations in the last quarter of 2007, as China reaffirmed its peacemaking role on the Korean Peninsula. Chinese Communist Party official Liu Yunshan visited Pyongyang in late October with a message from Hu Jintao, resuming party-to-party high-level contacts with Pyongyang after a year's break. Similarly, Six-Party Talks lead negotiator Wu Dawei visited Pyongyang in mid-December to encourage North Korean counterparts to follow through on obligations to disable and declare nuclear facilities by the end of the year in accordance with the Feb. 13 and Oct. 3 agreements. South Korean telecommunications companies worked hard to gain an advantage over global competitors in the Chinese market, while Korean automobile and steel manufacturers faced new challenges as industrial espionage involving proprietary technology drew an even higher profile in both sectors. China's search for financing has not bypassed the Korean equity market, as Korea's China-focused equity funds gained while the Korean Stock Exchange attempts to attract Chinese firms to list directly on the Korean exchange.
  • Political Geography: China, South Korea, North Korea, Korea, Sinai Peninsula, Pyongyang
  • Author: James J. Przystup
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Beijing welcomed the new Fukuda government and Japan's new prime minister made clear his commitment to improving Japan's relations with its Asian neighbors and building the strategic relationship with China. However, the new government in Tokyo soon became preoccupied with the passage of a new antiterrorism special measures law to reauthorize Japan's refueling operations in support of UN operations in Afghanistan, Defense Ministry scandals, and the continuing pension fund imbroglio.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Japan, Beijing, Asia, Tokyo
  • Author: Ji-Young Lee, David C. Kang
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The final quarter of 2007 was eventful and left observers in both Japan and South Korea cautiously optimistic about bilateral relations. Both Japan and South Korea chose new chief executives this fall, and both of them promised to search for more collaboration and to begin repairing relations between the two countries. Halting progress on North Korean denuclearization through the Six-Party Talks led to hope that momentum could be sustained, although Japan for the time being has chosen to be supportive but skeptical of North Korea's promise to denuclearize, and continued its sanctions against the DPRK. Indeed, North Korea's missed deadline for declaring its nuclear programs was a reminder that progress in relations with North Korea is never straightforward or easy. Although no country has decided to forego the process, it is unclear how relations between North Korea and other states in the region will evolve in 2008.
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Japan, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Yu Bin
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Succession politics preoccupied both Moscow and Beijing in the last quarter of 2007. The 17th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party in October – which positioned China's fifth generation of leadership, particularly Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang, for the post-Hu Jintao China five years from now – paled in comparison to Putin's surprising posturing in early December to shape Russian politics beyond 2008. If his “Operation Successor” is implemented, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev would be elected Russian president in March 2008 and Putin would be prime minister for the next four to eight years. Then, Beijing may well live with Putin's leadership rather than his legacy for the next 16 years as he would be eligible to “succeed” Medvedev as Russian president after Medvedev's first or second term.
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Beijing, Moscow
  • Author: Satu Limaye
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: India's relations with countries in the Asia-Pacific region during 2007 were wide-ranging as New Delhi sought to consolidate and expand ties with both small and large countries from Singapore to Australia to South Korea. With the U.S., India was on the verge of a landmark agreement on civil nuclear energy cooperation. But in India's relations with both Asia and the U.S. there was unfinished business. In the case of Southeast Asia for example, the failure to conclude an FTA agreement despite long, complex and sometimes quite testy negotiations blunted what has generally been a positive if incremental trajectory in India-Southeast Asia relations. With China, India's relations crawl forward year by year with little progress on fundamental issues such as the border/territorial dispute. With Japan, for all the excitement of the Abe-Aso tenure with India, the facts on the ground, especially on economic relations, remain limited. There are some more interesting openings for India in the region such as relations with Australia and South Korea, but they too are somewhat unusual rather than an established pattern. What is undeniable is that India is now a thread in the fabric of Asia. Similarly, despite the failure of the U.S. and India to conclude the civilian nuclear energy deal in 2007, the thickness of U.S.-India relations is unlikely to be diluted, even if it will take a lot of work from both Washington and New Delhi to keep them going.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Washington, India, Asia, South Korea, New Delhi, Australia, Singapore, Southeast Asia
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Author: Ralph A. Cossa, Brad Glosserman
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: “It is always darkest just before the dawn of a new day” goes the old saying. Well, it looks pretty dark when it comes to U.S.-DPRK relations and the prospects for the Six-Party Talks, with no significant progress reported this quarter in the quest for a “complete and correct declaration” of North Korea's nuclear programs and activities. Hope springs eternal, however, as both sides continued to work toward a much needed “third breakthrough” in the next quarter.
  • Political Geography: North Korea
  • Author: Nicholas Szechenyi, Michael J. Green
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Japanese domestic politics was in turmoil this quarter due to a divided legislature and the opposition's efforts to block several key pieces of legislation in an attempt to force Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo out of office. The deadlock centered almost exclusively on economic issues, much to the dismay of U.S. investors who have increasingly begun to question the ability of the political leadership in Japan to manage the economy. The Fukuda administration signaled Japan's sustained commitment to the U.S.-Japan alliance and a leadership role in international security by passing a bill re-authorizing Maritime Self Defense Force (MSDF) refueling operations in the Indian Ocean. But a collision between an MSDF Aegis-equipped destroyer and a fishing boat near Tokyo in February, coupled with continued fallout from a bribery scandal last fall, forced the government to focus more on structural reform at the Defense Ministry at the expense of new policy initiatives. Rape allegations against a U.S. soldier stationed in Okinawa and the detainment of another as a murder suspect sparked demonstrations against the U.S. military presence in Japan, though the two governments worked closely to prevent a crisis. Bilateral coordination on the Six-Party Talks continued and there were hints of renewed interest in a trilateral consultation framework with South Korea. Several events in Washington were dedicated to the U.S.-Japan alliance and brought public attention to pressing issues and ideas that might inform a bilateral agenda going forward.
  • Topic: International Security, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Washington, India, South Korea, Tokyo
  • Author: Bonnie Glaser
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Developments on China's domestic front were prominent this quarter with extreme winter weather coinciding with the Spring Festival, the annual convocation of the “two meetings” in Beijing, and protests in Tibet that spread to neighboring provinces with Tibetan populations. Key events in Sino-U.S. bilateral ties included the fifth Senior Dialogue in Guiyang, a brief visit by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to kick-start the Six-Party Talks, and a visit by FBI Director Robert Mueller to discuss security for the upcoming August Olympic Games. In the military sphere, the Commander of U.S. Pacific Command Adm. Timothy Keating traveled to China and the Defense Policy Coordination Talks produced several agreements. Stable and complicated were watchwords for the Sino-U.S. relationship.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Beijing
  • Author: Victor D. Cha
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The major event of the first quarter of 2008 was the inauguration of a new government in South Korea. The Lee Myung-bak government offered some initial signals of the types of policies it intends to pursue both on and off the peninsula. While there is much that was accomplished under the Roh Moo-hyun government in U.S.-ROK relations, most experts agree that the overall tone between the new Lee government and the Bush administration will improve considerably. Meanwhile, U.S.-DPRK relations in the context of the Six-Party Talks remain stuck on completing the second phase of the denuclearization agreement, despite some audibles by the U.S. team in conjunction with the Chinese. While we may be in the first quarter of the year, it may be the last quarter for the six-party process absent any progress.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Joseph Ferguson
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: As even the most casual of observers knows, the U.S.-Russian bilateral relationship has deteriorated steadily over the past five years. Signs seemed to point to this over the past quarter as the culmination of the confrontation between Moscow and Washington, with a number of key events scheduled to occur: a Kosovar declaration of independence, further NATO expansion, the Russian presidential election, and a 2+2 meeting focused on the controversial missile defense system in Eastern Europe. But as the quarter ended with an unexpected, yet cordial summit meeting between Presidents Bush and Putin in Sochi, the relationship seemed to have weathered the cold winter and spring seems to have brought a harbinger of better relations – at least until the U.S. presidential election in November.
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Washington, Eastern Europe, Moscow
  • Author: Catharin Dalpino
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On a bilateral level, U.S. relations with Southeast Asia held steady in the face of complicated political transitions in Thailand and Malaysia. Incremental gains were seen in security ties with U.S. allies and partners in the region – Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Singapore – while two issues remaining from the Vietnam War era complicated relations with Vietnam and Cambodia. Although the U.S. is no closer to signing the ASEAN Treaty of Amity and Cooperation, three new initiatives with ASEAN were put onto the table in early 2008, suggesting an alternative path to a stronger regional role for the U.S. However, Burma's deteriorating situation casts a long shadow over U.S. bilateral and regional relations with Southeast Asia. The regime's determination to go forward with a constitutional referendum in May is creating new fissures within the region and will make it more difficult for Washington to pursue comprehensive plans of any kind to strengthen relations with ASEAN.
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Robert Sutter, Chin-Hao Huang
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Preoccupied this quarter with key decisions on appointments, budgets, and government reorganization in the lead-up to the 11th National People's Congress while facing serious disruption caused by February snowstorms and instability in Tibet during March, senior Chinese leaders had little time for travel to or substantial interaction with Southeast Asia. Chinese economic relations with the region moved forward, defense relations with Singapore and Indonesia advanced, and China and Vietnam seemed to calm disputes over territorial claims in the South China Sea.
  • Political Geography: China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Southeast Asia
  • Author: David G. Brown
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In January, Taiwan's voters delivered a stunning defeat to the Democratic Progressive Party in the Legislative Yuan elections. These results both foreshadowed and influenced the resounding victory Kuomintang candidate Ma Ying-jeou won in the March presidential election. Most importantly for cross-Strait relations, the UN referendum promoted by Chen Shui-bian failed to pass. Beijing's disciplined avoidance of overt interference in this year's elections paid off. Beijing and Washington both breathed sighs of relief. Beijing now faces major challenges. First, how to avoid short-term actions that would undercut domestic support in Taiwan for Ma's more positive attitude toward China and, over the longer term, how to seize the opportunity to promote more stable cross-Strait relations.
  • Political Geography: China, Washington, Taiwan, Beijing
  • Author: Aidan Foster-Carter
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: For almost the whole of the first quarter of 2008, official inter-Korean relations were largely suspended in an uneasy limbo. As of late March, that void was the story. Up to a point this was only to be expected. A new conservative leader in Seoul – albeit a pragmatist, or so he tells us – was bound to arouse suspicion in Pyongyang at first. Also, Lee Myung-bak needed some time to settle into office and find his feet.
  • Political Geography: Korea, Pyongyang
  • Author: Scott Snyder
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The South Korean political transition to a new administration under President Lee Myung-bak catalyzed diplomatic contacts designed to size up the new leader and to establish the foundations for a new era in the Sino-South Korean relationship. Accompanying this transition, Beijing redoubled efforts to manage relations with Pyongyang through high-level party-to-party exchanges with Kim Jong-il. Chinese food assistance to North Korea and the North Korean commitments in the Six-Party Talks framework to declare nuclear-related programs dominated conversations with the Dear Leader. The rise in “fly-by-night” departures of South Korean small investors from China resulting from rising Chinese labor costs and changing incentives for investments in China requires diplomatic management between Beijing and Seoul. Finally, “yellow dust,” Tibet, Taiwan, and quality controls on food exports to Korea are nagging issues that cloud the relationship.
  • Political Geography: China, Taiwan, Beijing, South Korea, North Korea, Korea, Pyongyang
  • Author: James J. Przystup
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: While Japanese and Chinese political leaders and diplomats worked to build the mutually beneficial strategic relationship and to advance the spring visit of China's President Hu Jintao, both sides found it hard going. The safety of imported Chinese gyoza (dumplings) became a major issue as reports of food poisoning of Japanese became front-page news in early February. Responsibility for the poisoning, whether the result of the manufacturing process in China or deliberate action by individuals after the gyoza left the factory, became the center of contention. Health Ministry and pubic safety officials in both countries pledged cooperation in resolving the issue but failed to identify the cause, while retreating to positions that attributed responsibility to the other side.
  • Political Geography: Japan, China
  • Author: Ji-Young Lee, David C. Kang
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Despite the change in Japanese leadership from hard-liner Abe Shintaro to the more dialogue-oriented Fukuda Yasuo, this quarter's Japan-North Korea relations were largely uneventful and produced little progress. Tokyo criticized Pyongyang for missing the year-end deadline for declaring all its nuclear programs and facilities, urging North Korea to make a “political decision” to fulfill its commitment under the Six-Party Talks agreement. Pyongyang reiterated that Japan should be excluded from the talks, and blamed Japan for the U.S. failure to remove Pyongyang from its list of state sponsors of terror. North Korea asserted that there would be no improvement in their bilateral relations as long as Japan continues to press resolution of the abduction issue on Pyongyang. By mid-March, Tokyo had decided to extend economic sanctions against Pyongyang for another six months after they expire April 13, if the current situation continues with no breakthroughs. Meanwhile, with the change in South Korean leadership from a liberal-minded Roh Moo-hyun to the more conservative Lee Myung-bak, Tokyo exerted diplomatic efforts to bring South Korea closer to Japan by trying to form a united front between Japan, South Korea, and the U.S. against North Korea.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Tokyo, Pyongyang
  • Author: Yu Bin
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In both substance and symbolism, the first quarter of 2008 was a transition for Moscow and Beijing in their respective domestic domains. Russia's Vladimir Putin switched roles with successor Dmitry Medvedev, but did not fade away. China's Hu Jintao sailed into his second five-year term as the next generation of China's leaders emerges. The quarter also witnessed political changes in neighboring countries with strong implications for Russia and China. South Korea inaugurated a pro-U.S. president (Lee Myung-bak) on Feb. 25. Pakistani general elections on Feb. 22 led to the victory by the opposition parties. Taiwan voters chose the pro-stability Ma Ying-jeou over pro-independence Frank Hsieh on March 22.
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Russia, China, Beijing, South Korea, Taliban, Moscow
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Author: Ralph A. Cossa, Brad Glosserman
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: After eight months of inaction, there was a flurry of six-party action at quarter's end. As Pyongyang produced its long-awaited declaration of its nuclear activities, President Bush announced his intention to remove North Korea from the U.S. listing of state sponsors of terrorism and Trading with the Enemy Act (TWEA) restrictions. Pyongyang responded with a made-for-TV demolition of the cooling tower at its Yongbyon nuclear facility. Elsewhere, respective reactions to natural disasters showed how far China has come and Myanmar/Burma still has to go in dealing with the outside world. There was a generally positive reaction to Secretary Gates' Shangri-La statements on U.S. East Asia policy and toward the two U.S. presidential candidates (or their surrogates) early pronouncements about Asia as well. In contrast, there has been almost no reaction at all to Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's call for a more inclusive Asia-Pacific community.
  • Political Geography: Asia, North Korea, Burma, Myanmar, Pyongyang
  • Author: Nicholas Szechenyi, Michael J. Green
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The debate in the Japanese Diet remained contentious this quarter as opposition parties challenged the Fukuda government on several legislative issues including the gasoline tax, a new health insurance program for the elderly, and host nation support for U.S. forces. Fukuda's approval rating fell suddenly due to public dissatisfaction with his domestic policy agenda but later rebounded enough to quell rumors of a Cabinet reshuffle prior to the Hokkaido G8 Summit in July. The arrest in early April of a U.S. serviceman charged with murdering a taxi driver in Yokosuka brought negative publicity for U.S. forces.
  • Topic: Elections
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan
  • Author: Bonnie Glaser
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Major developments in Sino-U.S. relations took place on the economic, military, and political fronts this quarter. The fourth U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue was held in Annapolis, Maryland, June 17-18, yielding a 10-year energy and environment cooperation framework. A telephone link was installed between the U.S. Department of Defense and China's Ministry of Defense and talks were launched on nuclear policy and strategy. The U.S. and China held a round of their bilateral dialogue on human rights after a hiatus of six years and vice-foreign minister level talks on security issues were held for the first time in four years. The U.S. provided assistance to China to ensure the security of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. A massive 7.9 magnitude earthquake rocked China's southwestern Sichuan Province and the U.S., along with the rest of the international community, provided aid. Secretary of State Rice visited the quake-hit area and held talks in Beijing focused on North Korea.
  • Political Geography: China, Beijing, North Korea, Maryland
  • Author: Victor D. Cha
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The quarter started off well with the first meeting of Presidents George W. Bush and Lee Myung-bak at Camp David in April. The two leaders emphasized common values and the global scope of the alliance. They reached an agreement to maintain current U.S. troop levels on the Peninsula, which appeared to be an attempt by conservatives in Seoul to reverse the unfortunate trend they saw during the Roh-Rumsfeld era where each side was perceived as whittling away at the foundations of the alliance for disparate reasons. An important but understated accomplishment was Bush's public support of Lee's request to upgrade the ROK's foreign military sales status. Should this request be approved by the Congress, it would amount to a substantial upgrading of the bilateral alliance relationship as it would give Seoul access to a wider range of U.S. military technologies similar to what NATO and other allies like Australia enjoy. Finally, the two governments inked a memorandum of understanding on security improvements necessary to enable the ROK's entry to the U.S. visa waiver program.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Cooperation, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States, South Korea, Korean Peninsula
  • Author: Joseph Ferguson
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: At the conclusion of the final summit meeting between Presidents George Bush and Vladimir Putin at the Russian resort of Sochi in early April, relations between Moscow and Washington appeared to have righted themselves. The cordial meeting between the outgoing presidents left a sense of optimism in both Moscow and in the West that U.S.-Russia relations would improve until at least the fall presidential elections in the United States. Things have quieted down between the two nations over the last quarter, as the leadership of both countries has gone about business at home and has lessened (though not ceased) the often-negative rhetoric. But when the summer concludes, Russia will again loom large in U.S. political debates, and the big questions of U.S. foreign policy – whether they revolve around Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Northeast Asia, or even Venezuela – will necessarily include Russia policy. And as President Dmitry Medvedev unveils his own version of “sovereign democracy,” U.S. foreign policymakers will be forced to address the fundamental question of whether U.S. policy toward Moscow is centered on its strategic interests, or on democratic values.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, United States, Iraq, Washington, Moscow, Venezuela, Northeast Asia
  • Author: Sheldon W. Simon
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Cyclone Nargis, which devastated Burma's Irrawaddy delta in early May killing tens of thousand and leaving 1.5 million homeless, was met with international concern and the offer of large-scale U.S. assistance via navy ships in the vicinity for the annual Cobra Gold exercise. Burma's junta, however, obstructed international humanitarian assistance, fearing that Western powers would use the opportunity to overthrow the generals. So, in contrast to the massive aid effort for Indonesia in the December 2004 tsunami aftermath, assistance has only trickled into Burma, and mostly controlled by the Burmese military. ASEAN, in collaboration with the UN, appealed to Burmese authorities to open the country to aid providers, but the most it has been able to accomplish is to insert 250 assessment teams into some of the hardest hit areas to survey the population's needs. U.S. aid has been limited to more than 100 C-130 flights out of Thailand whose cargos are delivered into the hands of the Burmese military.
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Burma, Thailand
  • Author: Robert Sutter, Chin-Hao Huang
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Cyclone Nargis briefly put China in the international spotlight as Asian and world leaders sought help from Myanmar's main international backer in order to persuade the junta to be more open in accepting international assistance. The massive Sichuan earthquake of May 12 abruptly shifted international focus to China's exemplary relief efforts and smooth cooperation with international donors. Chinese leadership attention to Southeast Asia this quarter followed established lines. Consultations with Chinese officials showed some apparent slippage in China's previous emphasis on ASEAN playing the leading role in Asian multilateral groups.
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Southeast Asia, Myanmar
  • Author: David G. Brown
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Events in cross-Strait relations have unfolded rapidly since Ma Ying-jeou's election in March. After a nine-year hiatus, formal dialogue between Beijing's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) and Taipei's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) resumed on June 12 in Beijing. These two nominally unofficial associations reached agreements on weekend charter flights and Chinese tourism. The atmosphere of cross-Strait relations in this honeymoon period is so relaxed and consultative that it is hard to remember the bitter tensions that poisoned relations just a few months ago. However, political constraints on Presidents Hu Jintao and Ma Ying-jeou will make progress difficult, particularly on the international relations and security issues that are crucial to a lasting relaxation of tensions.
  • Political Geography: Taiwan, Beijing, Taipei
  • Author: Aidan Foster-Carter
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Rarely does the political weather change so abruptly with the calendar as it has in Korea during the past quarter. As we reported in our last issue, North Korea chose April 1 – April Fools' day – to finally break its long silence on the South's new leader Lee Myung-bak, who was elected president last December 19 and took office on February 25. With rare restraint, Pyongyang had kept its counsel for several months since Lee – a former mayor of Seoul, ex-Hyundai CEO and self-described pragmatic conservative – was elected president by a large majority on a platform of mending fences with the U.S. and curbing Seoul's “sunshine” policy of the past decade. Though ready to expand inter-Korean dealings on his own terms – as in his Vision 3000 program, which offered to triple North Korean national income to US$3,000 per head – Lee insisted on linking any increased cooperation to progress on the North's nuclear disarmament.
  • Political Geography: North Korea, Korea, Pyongyang
  • Author: Scott Snyder
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Lee Myung-bak administration committed to the establishment of a “strategic cooperative partnership” with China during Lee's inaugural visit to Beijing as the new president of South Korea. The visit occurred on schedule in late May, coming only weeks after the tragic Sichuan earthquake and in the midst of protests in South Korea over Lee's decision to allow imports of U.S. beef. Those events also quickly overshadowed a late April flap during the Olympic torch relay in Seoul over Chinese students who came to cheer the torch but reacted violently to Korean groups protesting Chinese government treatment of refugees and political suppression in Tibet. PRC Vice President Xi Jinping, China's designated successor to President Hu Jintao, made his maiden international visit to Pyongyang where he met with North Korea's top leaders, including Kim Jong-il and affirmed the importance of the Sino-DPRK relationship. As host of the Six-Party Talks, China received North Korea's declaration of its nuclear programs on June 26 in what really was a formality given the critical role of U.S.-DPRK talks in paving the way for the declaration. Nevertheless, the submission of the declaration did set the stage for the reactivation of Six-Party Talks in Beijing. Hyundai-Kia opened a new factory in Beijing and SK Telecom responded to strategic changes in China's telecommunications market by diversifying its investments in various Chinese multimedia companies in pursuit of a “convergence strategy” for delivery of multimedia, computer, and telecommunications applications to Chinese consumers.
  • Political Geography: China, Beijing, South Korea, North Korea, Pyongyang
  • Author: James J. Przystup
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Two events dominated the second quarter of 2008: the visit of President Hu Jintao to Japan and the Sichuan earthquake. Tibet, poisoned gyoza, and the East China Sea dispute set the pre-summit agenda. Although the summit itself failed to provide solutions, both Hu and Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo renewed commitments to cooperate in resolving the issues, and a month later the two governments announced agreement on a plan for joint development in the East China Sea. Shortly after Hu's return to China, a devastating earthquake hit Sichuan Province. Japan's response, which included sending emergency rescue and medical teams, tents, and emergency supplies, was well received by the Chinese victims. Beijing, however, quickly pulled back from an early but unofficial acceptance of Japan's Air Self- Defense Force participation in relief operations. By the end of May, Japan's contributions to relief efforts totaled 1 billion yen.
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Beijing, East China
  • Author: Ji-Young Lee, David C. Kang
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Japan's relations with both North and South Korea improved over the past quarter. In conjunction with the North's June declaration of its nuclear activities, there was renewed momentum in resolving the two biggest pending bilateral issues between Tokyo and Pyongyang – the North's nuclear development program and the abduction issue. Bilateral talks resumed in mid-June after more than six months of no progress. The second quarter also marked a fresh start for Tokyo and Seoul as President Lee's Myung-bak's visit to Japan – the first since December 2004 by a South Korean president – marked the resumption of so-called “shuttle diplomacy.” The summit between Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo and President Lee produced agreements on several bilateral issues, including the stalled bilateral FTA negotiations, closer coordination on policy regarding North Korea's nuclear development program, and youth exchanges.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Japan, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Yu Bin
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: May 2008 was a hectic month for both Russia and China. The inauguration of Dmitry Medvedev as Russian president marked the least eventful, albeit the most speculated about, power transition in the history of the Russian Federation. Medvedev's visit to China in late May, his first foreign visit outside the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) as president, ran into the devastating earthquake (May 12) in China's Sichuan Province. Medvedev's appearance in China and the largest international rescue mission in Russian history were both symbolic and substantial for the Russian-China strategic partnership, regardless of who controls the Kremlin.
  • Political Geography: Russia, China
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Cold War, Environment
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia, Australia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Ralph A. Cossa, Brad Glosserman
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Hopes of progress in Six-Party Talks negotiations evident in the closing days of the previous quarter were quickly dashed as anticipated disagreements over verification of North Korea's nuclear declaration created a stalemate still in evidence at quarter's end. The only movement was backward, as “action for action” was replaced by inaction and worse. Last year, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made news by not showing up at the annual ASEAN Regional Forum ministerial. This year she went and hardly anyone noticed. The democratic process made for interesting watching this quarter, not only in Thailand and Malaysia, but in East Asia's most established democracy, as Japan saw its third leader in the 24 months since Prime Minister Koizumi departed the scene. The once presumably left for dead U.S.-India nuclear deal was reincarnated by the Indian Parliament this quarter with the U.S. Congress following suit at quarter's end and President Bush's signature in early October. Finally, the U.S. sneezed this quarter and the rest of the world did catch cold, even as Wall Street struggles with a serious bout of pneumonia. Economic policy also dominated the “foreign policy debate” between Senators Obama and McCain, with no questions and only sparse references to Asia throughout.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: India, East Asia, Asia, North Korea