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  • Author: Jaganath Sankaran
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: The United States and Japan are jointly developing and deploying an integrated advanced regional missile defense system meant to counter threats from North Korea. North Korea possesses a large and diversified arsenal of short- and medium-range missiles that could strike Japanese cities and military bases in the event of a crisis and cause measurable damage. The missile defense system currently in place provides strong kinematic defensive coverage over Japanese territory. However, in general, the offense enjoys a strong cost advantage. It is impractical to deploy as many defensive interceptors as there are offensive missiles, which, in turn, limits the efficiency of missile defenses. It should be understood that regional missile defenses in the Asia-Pacific are neither capable nor expected to provide 100% defense. Rather, their goal is to provide sufficient capability to bolster deterrence and, should deterrence fail, to provide enough defense in the initial stages of a crisis to protect vital military assets. Additionally, U.S. and Japanese forces apparently also need to develop a better command and control architecture to operate the Asia-Pacific regional missile defense system. Finally, while the system is meant to defend only against regional threats, China has argued that the system might in the future be able to intercept Chinese ICBMs, thereby diluting its strategic deterrent against the United States. Maintaining effective defenses against North Korea while reassuring China will be one of the major challenges the U.S. and Japan face in their missile defense endeavor.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Naoko Aoki
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs have spurred Japan and South Korea to develop their own ballistic missile defense (BMD) systems and to regenerate their interest in regional missile defense cooperation with the United States. Has North Korea reacted to such developments, and if so, how? This paper looks at North Korea’s missile capacity development as well as its official proclamations and concludes that while Pyongyang likely does not believe that it is the region’s sole target for U.S. and allied BMD, it feels deeply threatened by its deployment. Existing and potential BMD systems have not discouraged Pyongyang from building its own missiles. Rather, North Korea is accelerating its efforts to improve and expand its missile arsenal to develop a survivable force, likely perceiving BMD systems as part of an overall U.S. strategy that is hostile to Pyongyang.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Regional Cooperation, Nonproliferation
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Joshua Pollack
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: Some of the most enduring disagreements in the alliance between the United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK) concern ballistic missile defenses (BMD). At the same time that South Korea has expanded its conventional offensive missile program, it has declined American proposals for a regionally integrated BMD architecture, insisting on developing its own national system in parallel to the defenses operated by U.S. Forces Korea (USFK). American appeals for interoperability between U.S. and ROK systems have been received cautiously, as were proposals to enhance its own BMD in Korea by introducing the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) to the Peninsula for several years. A desire for expanded autonomy in national security appears to underpin Seoul’s attitudes on BMD. Rather than rely passively on American protection against North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats, South Korea’s military leaders have focused on developing precision-strike capabilities to intimidate Pyongyang, and resisted simply accepting an American BMD umbrella. Even more than they desire greater independence from their American patron-ally, South Koreans are suspicious of entanglements with Japan, their former colonial master, whose own defensive systems are already integrated with the American regional BMD architecture. This outlook encourages the pursuit of independent defense capabilities and discourages institutionalizing trilateral security arrangements.
  • Topic: Security, Nuclear Weapons, Regional Cooperation, Nonproliferation, Deterrence
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Catherine Kelleher
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: What conditions are needed for a stable transition to a new nuclear order, one in which the total number of nuclear weapons would be reduced to very low numbers, perhaps even zero? We have addressed the myriad issues raised by this question with funding from a grant on “Creating Conditions for a Stable Transition to a New Nuclear Order,” co-directed by Catherine Kelleher and Judith Reppy, from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to the Judith Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies at Cornell University. Our project had three goals: to take a fresh look at the theoretical underpinnings of the arguments about strategic security and nuclear doctrines; to encourage members of the younger generation (NextGen) scholars working on nuclear security issues to see themselves as part of a network that stretches from scholars in the field to active participants in the policy process; and to disseminate the products of the project to the policy community, in Washington and elsewhere. We convened five workshops—in Berlin (December 2014); Ithaca, NY (November 2015 and November 2016); Monterey, CA (February 2016); and Washington, DC (May 2016)—and held five discussion (“reach-in”) meetings with Washington insiders at the Cosmos Club in Washington, DC. This essay concentrates on our project’s first goal: a re-assessment of the deterrence literature and the conditions for stability during a transition period to low nuclear numbers, perhaps nuclear zero. It is based on the work of the participants in the workshops and on our own reading of the literature, both from the early days of the nuclear age and more recent contributions following the end of the Cold War.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, Nonproliferation, Missile Defense, Deterrence
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Naoko Aoki
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: In 1994, the United States and North Korea signed the Agreed Framework, in which Pyongyang promised to abandon its nuclear program in exchange for energy aid and improvement of relations with Washington. An international consortium led by the United States was created to implement the key provisions of the deal, including the delivery of two light water reactor (LWR) units. While multi-national efforts are common in commercial nuclear projects, the case of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) was unique. KEDO’s challenges ranged from the lack of diplomatic relations between its main members and North Korea, to the country’s poor infrastructure. This paper examines KEDO’s experience and concludes that cooperation among its member states—Japan, South Korea, the United States and others—helped ensure the project’s financial and political feasibility, even if work did not proceed smoothly. While the construction of the LWRs was never completed due to larger political changes, KEDO’s experience offers lessons for future nuclear projects that face similar hurdles. EXPLORE:
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Regional Cooperation, Nonproliferation, Deterrence
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Juan Manuel López-Nadal
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Fundación Alternativas
  • Abstract: The elected President Donald Trump and his new administration at the White House sewed confusion and alarm in Asian and India-Pacific by broadcasting ambiguous and disconcerting signs about the American new policy towards the region. The later steps taken recently point to a certain return to the traditional parameters of Washington's Asian policy: the alliance with Japan and South Korea, and a firm attitude to China in commitment to dialogue, at the same time confirmation of Asia's strategic importance for the American fundamental interests. Since the campaign trail, Trump had already hinted at abandoning the pivot policy on military, commercial and diplomatic terms. Just three days hereinafter his assumption of power, the ambitious and highly contentious Trans-Pacific Partnership was ditched, which spread great dismay among the Trans-Pacific partner countries. To add, the One-China policy, respected by all the Republicans and Democrats since the historical Shanghai Communiqué in 1972, was threatened due to Trump's phone call to the Taiwanese President, Tsai Ing-wen, during his first days in office. Would Trump presidency actually redraw the geopolitical landscape in Asia?
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Dario Kuntić
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Development and International Relations (IRMO)
  • Abstract: War is lurking on the Korean Peninsula. North Korea has embarked on an accelerated buildup of weapons of mass destruction and modernization of its already large conventional force. It has been consistently testing a series of ballistic and intercontinental missiles, performing nuclear tests, and accelerating toward development of a fully functional nuclear weapon that could strike the United States. The North Korean regime is now estimated to have as many as twenty nuclear warheads and could soon be able to make some to �it on the missiles necessary to deliver them. With time running out, Washington may come to the conclusion that a preventive military strike against North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs is the only way to deprive Pyongyang of capability to launch a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile on the US. On a visit to Seoul in March this year, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson left open the option of a military strike to prevent the development of nuclear weapons program from advancing too far, vowed to defend allies in the region, and ruled out negotiations with Pyongyang. As Washington and Pyongyang escalate their war of words, with both sides hinting it could end with a nuclear con�lict, the prospect of serious con�lict is stronger than ever.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Nonproliferation, Deterrence
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Panpan Yang, Bing Han
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute of World Economics and Politics
  • Abstract: Responsible research and innovation (RRI) represents a new evolving approach to governing research and innovation that takes into account potential impacts on the environment and society. Most published studies on RRI focus on the social benefits of research and innovation through examining RRI’s definitions and approaches for its implementation. In contrast, the present study addresses the influence of RRI on economic growth, and discusses the situations in which RRI will benefit economies. Our study finds that for its implementation to be successful, RRI needs to meet certain conditions, and that its implementation is not always beneficial to economic growth. To achieve a better result from RRI as part of an innovation policy, each country should balance the push and pull power of RRI to make sure that it becomes a building block rather than a stumbling block for innovation, economic growth and social welfare. To assure that RRI can be successfully implemented, China needs to strengthen and improve the participation mechanisms for stakeholders in major scientific and technological innovative activities.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Liu Dongmin
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute of World Economics and Politics
  • Abstract: The Chinese government seeks a more prominent role for China’s currency, the renminbi, in the international financial system. Its efforts to establish the renminbi as an international currency – like the US dollar – have hitherto emphasized relatively limited applications such as trade settlement and exchange rate arbitrage. However, recent market and policy developments point to the internationalization process henceforth being driven more by the renminbi’s status as a reserve currency
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Mohsen Shariatinia, Hamidreza Azizi
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute of World Economics and Politics
  • Abstract: Iran served as a bridge in the ancient Silk Road, connecting the East and the West. It also has great potential to play an important role in the new Silk Road. The present study analyzes the factors affecting Iran–China cooperation in the context of the Belt and Road Initiative at the strategic and operational levels. This article shows that, at the strategic level, Iran defines this project as an opportunity to improve its status in the world economy, expanding its room to manoeuvre in the international arena and developing its ties with China, a rising great power. At the operational level, the opportunities and challenges for Iran–China cooperation could be summarized as pertaining to five realms within the Silk Road Economic Belt Initiative: policy coordination, facilitation of connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people-to-people bonds. The present study asserts that the main opportunity for cooperation between the two countries lies in facilitating connectivity and that the key challenge is financial integration.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: China, Iran