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  • Author: Andrew C. Kuchins, Alexei V. Zagorsky
  • Publication Date: 07-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: Contemporary discussions of virtually any aspect of Russian foreign and security policy must take as their point of departure the extraordinarily weakened condition of the Russian Federation. There is no comparable case of such a rapid and dramatic decline in the status of a great power during peacetime in modern history. The Russian economy has been in a virtual free fall for most of the 1990s. The World Bank estimated the Russian GNP in 1997, using fixed exchange rates not adjusted for purchasing power parity, at $403.5 billion, making Russia the twelfth-largest economy in the world, just ahead of the Netherlands and just behind South Korea. Russian per capita GNP of $2,740 ranked fifty-first in the world and was in the category of “low middle” income countries. In 1997 the Russian GNP was about 5 percent of that of the United States, 8 percent adjusted for purchasing power parity. The figures for 1998 will be even starker given the devaluation of the ruble to approximately 30 percent of its 1997 value and continuing overall economic decline. A back-of-the-envelope calculation would have Russian GNP at the end of 1998 at no more than $120 billion and per capita GNP at less than $1,000.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Asia, South Korea, Netherlands
  • Author: Takashi Inoguchi
  • Publication Date: 07-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: The alliances of the United States in East Asia are in a process of profound change (Okimoto 1998). The treaties with Japan and Korea are undergoing distinctive metamorphoses. These changes are the result of a number of forces that unfolded over the decades of the twentieth century, most notably the Cold War, globalization, and democratization (Inoguchi 1993, 1995; and Archibugi, Held, and Koehler 1996).
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States, America, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Jinwook Choi
  • Publication Date: 07-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: North Korea has recently exhibited some noteworthy changes. In September 1998 it amended its constitution to change the power structure and introduced a number of progressive clauses. It also began to use the slogan “A Strong and Prosperous Nation,” which emphasizes economic prosperity as well as political, ideological, and military strength.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Chu Shulong
  • Publication Date: 06-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: The American security alliances with Japan and South Korea have been a major concern of China's foreign and defense policies. China's position toward the alliances is determined by its foreign policy and security theories, doctrines, and principles; by its approach to a regional security mechanism in the Asia-Pacific region; by its bilateral relations with countries in Northeast Asia; and by incidental issues such as territorial disputes in Asia in which it is involved.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Asia, Korea
  • Author: Lawrence J. Lau, K.C. Fung
  • Publication Date: 04-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: The United States and China have vastly different official estimates of the bilateral trade imbalance. The U.S. figures show that the United States had a merchandise trade deficit of US$57 billion vis-à-vis China in 1998 whereas the Chinese figures show that China had a merchandise trade surplus of only US$21 billion vis-à-vis the United States. There is a difference of US$36 billion. Which set of figures is right?
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: B.C. Koh
  • Publication Date: 03-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: While domestic politics helps to shape foreign policy, the two do not necessarily covary. That is to say, fundamental change in the former may not always trigger corresponding change in the latter. This is especially true of an alliance relationship, for a shared perception of an external threat that helps to sustain such a relationship is frequently unaffected by domestic political change.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Asia, Korea
  • Author: Michael J. Green
  • Publication Date: 03-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: This monograph explores contemporary Japan-ROK security relations from the perspective of U.S. strategic interests in Asia. Japan and the Republic of Korea have been aligned but not allied since the beginning of the Cold War, and the United States has long been frustrated in its desire to strengthen the Japan-ROK leg of its network of bilateral alliances in Asia. The United States abandoned the goal of encouraging a formal U.S.-Japan-ROK alliance early on in the Cold War, and in the current strategic environment a trilateral alliance would probably be counterproductive. At the same time, however, the fluidity of East Asian security relations today has heightened the dangers of leaving the Japan-ROK security relationship in an ambiguous state. Closer Japan-ROK security cooperation will enhance U.S. efforts to maintain forward presence, manage diplomacy and potential crises on the Korean Peninsula, and integrate China as a cooperative partner in the region. In contrast, distant Japan-ROK relations would complicate all of these U.S. objectives. Hostile Japan-ROK relations, particularly in the context of Korean reunification, would have a spillover effect on Sino-U.S. relations and could return the region to the great-power rivalry of the last century.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Asia, Korea
  • Author: Jae Ho Chung
  • Publication Date: 02-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: Does history repeat itself? It appears so for Korea as an unfortunate geopolitical pawn of its stronger neighbors for the last century or so. History does not seem to repeat in quite the same way, however. As Chinese diplomat Huang Zunxian recommended in 1880 that Chosun (Korea's official designation during the Yi Dynasty) “side with the Qing” ( qinzhong ) while relegating the relative importance of Japan and the United States to the levels of “aligning and connecting” ( jieri and lianmei ), respectively, Korea remained for the most part the most loyal subsystem of the Sinic world order, thereby missing out on opportunities for self-strengthening and realignment and eventually becoming a Japanese colony. More than a hundred years later, the Republic of Korea (hereafter Korea) may now be about to confront a similar dilemma, but this time with a reversed order of preferences. That is to say, the rise of China, with which Korea has already accomplished diplomatic normalization, may gradually force the Seoul government to reconfigure its Cold War–based strategic thinking and reassess its half-century alliance relationship with the United States.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia, Korea
  • Author: Michael H. Armacost
  • Publication Date: 02-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: The domestic politics of our Asian alliances is like the story of the dog that didn't bark. Though our defense ties with Japan and Korea were forged in the Cold War, nearly ten years after the Berlin Wall came down, few voices are being raised to amend, let alone terminate, either the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security with Japan or the U.S.-Korea Mutual Defense Treaty. Although large numbers of U.S. troops remain in both countries, congressional criticisms of allied “free riding” are rarely heard. Our alliances with Japan and Korea provoke little discernible opposition from the Congress, the press, or the general public. Polling data suggests that public support for the alliances and for forward deployments in both countries remains high. And no prominent leaders of the Congress are threatening to link security concerns to outstanding economic issues with the Japanese or South Koreans—a tactic frequently utilized a decade ago.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Asia, Korea
  • Author: Andrew Scobell
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: China conducted a series of military exercises and missile tests in the vicinity of the Taiwan Strait between July 1995 and March 1996. On July 18, 1995, Beijing announced that missile tests would be conducted targeting an area some 90 miles off the coast of northern Taiwan. Then, on three consecutive days, July 21, 22, and 23, a total of six DF-15 missiles were launched from sites in Fujian province—two per day. The following month, after a five-day advance warning, PLA naval vessels and aircraft conducted ten days of live-fire tests off the coast of Fujian. Further military exercises were conducted in mid-November to the south of the Strait, including joint operations involving air, land, and naval arms of the PLA. On March 5, 1996, Beijing announced it would soon begin another round of missile tests. This time they were to be targeted at seas less than fifty miles from Taiwan's busiest ports. On March 8, three DF-15 missiles were fired from bases in Fujian. Five days later, another DF-15 missile was launched. Finally, also after advanced warning, live-fire tests and war games were conducted off the coast of Fujian to the north of the Strait and to the south of the Strait between March 12 and March 25. The maneuvers included amphibious landing exercises and aerial bombing. Some forty naval vessels, two hundred and sixty aircraft, and an estimated 150,000 troops participated.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Taiwan, Beijing, Asia