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  • Author: Bill White
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: A shift in relative energy consumption among regions and the development of new, unconventional supplies will be the most significant changes over the next twenty years. The dominant fuels in the world energy market until 2030 will continue to be hydrocarbons — oil, coal, and natural gas. Major shifts will occur, however, among the three fuels, among regions and in their supply. Globally, oil will continue to be the most widely used fuel as it supplies more than 90 percent of the energy for transportation. Coal, now the dominant fuel used for electric power generation, will lose ground to natural gas, a less carbon-intensive hydrocarbon. Natural gas will become the second largest overall supplier and well positioned to replace coal as the leading supplier for electric power. Developing countries will lead the way in overall energy growth, with Chinese and Indian energy demand growing fastest. Energy demand in developed countries will remain flat. For the United States, growth in gas shale and oil shale are likely to be “game changers,” altering the supply picture dramatically.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Markets, Political Economy, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: United States, China, India
  • Author: Kurt M. Campbell, Willow Darsie
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: After a protracted period of uncertainty concerning the nature of the foreign policy challenges that are likely to confront the nation over the course of first half of the 21st century, twin challenges are now coming into sharper relief. For the next generation or more, Americans will be confronted by two overriding (and possibly overwhelming) challenges in the conduct of American foreign policy: how to more effectively wage a long, twilight struggle against violent Islamic fundamentalists, and at the same time cope with the almost certain rise to great power status of China.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Development, Economics, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America, Asia
  • Author: John A. Riggs
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Energy security means different things to different countries. Importing countries primarily focus on supply. Since the oil price shocks of the 1970s, the focus of energy security has been on achieving adequate supplies at reasonable prices, without incurring serious disruptions. Recent high prices have intensified this concern and renewed interest in policies to bring prices down.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Oil
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Middle East, India, Asia, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Shanthi Kalathil
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Having lapsed in importance following the end of the Cold War, public diplomacy has reemerged as a focal point for policymakers, scholars, and practitioners. Particularly following the attacks of September 11, 2001, American public diplomacy in the Middle East has rocketed to a place of prominence in the U.S. foreign policy toolkit. Yet even as resources and attention are trained on refining the U.S. public diplomacy strategy, there is little consensus on core problems, effective solutions, and what success might tangibly look like.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Middle East, Asia, Arabia
  • Author: Cheng Li
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: In his seven-decade-long academic career, the great British historian, Joseph Needham, tried to explain what Sinologists later called “the Needham Paradox.” It was a paradox that, while traditional China had many talented people and was advanced in science, the country declined during the middle part of the last millennium. According to Needham, a primary reason for the decline of China was that the country “lost its edge” by suppressing technicians and merchants “whose power posed a threat to the Emperor.”
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Richard Madsen
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Religion is flourishing in China today. After being severely restricted in the first decade and a half of the Maoist era, virtually all forms of public religious practice were suppressed during the Cultural Revolution and replaced by a quasi-religious cult of Mao, complete with sacred texts (the Little Red Book), rituals, and claims of miracles. But the Mao cult imploded amid the chaos of the Cultural Revolution. After the death of Mao and the overthrow of his close associates, the Deng Xiaoping regime relaxed restrictions on religious practice; and the freedoms of an expanding market economy made the remaining restrictions easy to subvert. In this environment, hundreds of religious flowers began to bloom, some of them replications of pre-revolutionary religious forms, many others new mutations of the old. According to the government's own—almost certainly underestimated—figures, there are over 100 million religious believers in China today. The real number is probably several times as large.
  • Topic: Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Shelley Rigger
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: It is hardly a revelation that U.S. relations with Taiwan and the People's Republic of China are vexed and vexing. Managing U.S. relationships with Taiwan and China has never been easy, but the trend seems to be toward ever greater complexity and ever higher stakes. The U.S. is like a helicopter pilot carrying out a rescue at sea. The pilot is struggling to hover above the boat, which is drifting and heaving, while the wind does its best to blow his craft out of the sky. Meanwhile, the passengers on the deck are fighting over who gets to go up first. Like the helicopter pilot, U.S. policy makers must hold a steady course while they wait for Taiwan and China to resolve their differences. They also would like to do what they can to speed up the negotiations down on the deck.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel, Taiwan, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Ying-jeou Ma
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Civil war broke out between the Nationalist Kuomintang (KMT) Government of China and the Chinese Communist forces shortly after Japan surrendered to the Allied forces in 1945. Having occupied most of the country by mid-1949, the Chinese Communists proclaimed in Beijing the establishment of the People's Republic of China (PRC) on October 1, 1949. The Nationalist Government retreated to Taiwan, an island of 13,969 square miles just 90 miles off the coast of the Chinese Mainland, in December that year and continued to call itself the Republic of China (ROC). Sporadic battles continued in coastal areas of the Chinese Mainland.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Israel, Taiwan, Beijing, East Asia, Asia, Island
  • Author: Barry Naughton
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The Chinese economy is showing extraordinary dynamism, which partly reflects the early impact of the commitments in China's WTO accession agreement to liberalize the economy. Incoming foreign investment has increased, and trade has grown rapidly. At the same time, China is grappling with serious economic problems that may worsen in the near future. The most difficult problem in crafting China policy is deciding how to respond flexibly to this extraordinary mixture of dynamism and fragility. Rapid growth gives the Chinese economy remarkable resilience; but deep-seated institutional weakness and stubborn problems of poverty and unemployment create dangers of social and economic disruption. An effective U.S. China policy must navigate between the extremes of over-estimating China's current economic strength and under-estimating her potential.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Fiona Hill
  • Publication Date: 08-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Before 1991, the states of Central Asia were marginal backwaters, republics of the Soviet Union that played no major role in the Cold War relationship between the USSR and the United States, or in the Soviet Union's relationship with the principal regional powers of Turkey, Iran, and China. But, in the 1990s, the dissolution of the Soviet Union coincided with the re-discovery of the energy resources of the Caspian Sea, attracting a range of international oil companies including American majors to the region. Eventually, the Caspian Basin became a point of tension in U.S.-Russian relations. In addition, Central Asia emerged as a zone of conflict. Violent clashes erupted between ethnic groups in the region's Ferghana Valley. Civil war in Tajikistan, in 1992-1997, became entangled with war in Afghanistan. Faltering political and economic reforms, and mounting social problems provided a fertile ground for the germination of radical groups, the infiltration of foreign Islamic networks, and the spawning of militant organizations like the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU). The IMU first sought to overthrow the government of President Islam Karimov in Uzbekistan, later espoused greater ambitions for the creation of an Islamic caliphate (state) across Central Asia, and eventually joined forces with the Taliban in Afghanistan. With the events of September 11, 2001 and their roots in the terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan, Central Asia came to the forefront of U.S. attention.
  • Topic: Cold War, Religion
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, United States, China, Europe, Iran, Central Asia, Turkey, Asia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Taliban, Soviet Union