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  • Author: Victor D. Cha, Michael J. Green, Nicholas Szechenyi
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Opinion surveys demonstrate that a majority of Americans consider Asia the most important region to U.S. interests and a majority of Asian experts support the Obama administration's goal of a “pivot” or “rebalance” to the Asia-Pacific region.1 Yet doubts have also grown about whether the pivot can be sustained by a president politically weakened by the 2014 midterm results, constrained by budget sequestration, and pulled into crises from Ukraine to Iraq and Iran. On issues from immigration to Cuba policy, the Obama administration and the incoming Republican Congress appear set for confrontation. Yet Asia policy remains largely bipartisan—perhaps the most bipartisan foreign policy issue in Washington. It is therefore critical—and practical— to ask that the White House and the Republican leadership in the Congress chart a common course on policy toward Asia for the next two years. This report outlines concrete areas for action on trade, China, defense, Korea, India, and Southeast Asia.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Politics
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Ralph A. Cossa, Brad Glosserman
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: A trifecta of international gatherings – the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders Meeting in Beijing, the East Asia Summit (EAS) in Nay Pyi Taw, and the G-20 gathering in Brisbane – had heads of state from around the globe, including US President Barack Obama, flocking to the Asia-Pacific as 2014 was winding to a close. North Korea was not included in these confabs but its leaders (although not the paramount one) were taking their charm offensive almost everywhere else in an (unsuccessful) attempt to block a UN General Assembly resolution condemning Pyongyang's human rights record. More successful was Pyongyang's (alleged) attempt to undermine and embarrass Sony Studios to block the release of a Hollywood film featuring the assassination of Kim Jong Un.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Abdullah Toukan
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: This study examines the key strategic risks that shape the stability and security of the Indian Ocean Region or IOR. This means examining risks that cut across a vast span of territory that directly affects both the global economy and some 32 nations–some within the limits of the Indian Ocean, but others that play a critical role in shaping the security of the nations in the IOR region and the security of its sea lanes and petroleum exports.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Governance
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Creating an effective transition for the ANSF is only one of the major challenges that Afghanistan, the US, and Afghanistan's other allies face during 2014-2015 and beyond. The five other key challenges include: Going from an uncertain election to effective leadership and political cohesion and unity. Creating an effective and popular structure governance, with suitable reforms, from the local to central government, reducing corruption to acceptable levels, and making suitable progress in planning, budgeting, and budget execution. Coping with the coming major cuts in outside aid and military spending in Afghanistan, adapting to a largely self-financed economy, developing renewal world economic development plans, carrying out the reforms pledged at the Tokyo Conference, and reducing the many barriers to doing business. Establishing relations with Pakistan and other neighbors that will limit outside pressures and threats, and insurgent sanctuaries on Afghanistan's border. Persuading the US, other donors, NGCO, and nations will to provide advisors to furnish the needed aid effort through at least 2018, and probably well beyond.
  • Topic: Corruption, Economics, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia
  • Author: Matthew P. Goodman, Scott Miller
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Economic integration has been a focus of Asia-Pacific affairs for the last quarter century. To support and strengthen economic ties, governments in the region have pursued an array of integration initiatives, from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum launched in 1989 to bilateral and regional trade negotiations currently underway. APEC has been the most successful tool of regional trade and investment integration thus far and has the potential to continue bridging differences between various integration efforts in the region. This report, with input from a wide variety of regional and topical experts, posits that developing a common, high-standard policy approach to value chains could pull together the various integration efforts to the substantial economic benefit of the entire region. The report offers eight recommendations for a broad-based APEC initiative building on existing work in the region on supply chains and connectivity.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Sheldon Simon
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Philippines under President Benigno Aquino III has linked its military modernization and overall external defense to the US rebalance. Washington has raised its annual military assistance by two-thirds to $50 million and is providing surplus military equipment. To further cement the relationship, Philippine and US defense officials announced that the two countries would negotiate a new “framework agreement” under the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty providing for greater access by US forces to Philippine bases and the positioning of equipment at these facilities. Washington is also stepping up participation in ASEAN-based security organizations, sending forces in June to an 18-nation ASEAN Defense Ministers Plus exercise covering military medicine and humanitarian assistance in Brunei. A July visit to Washington by Vietnam's President Truong Tan Sang resulted in a US-Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership, actually seen as a step below the Strategic Partnerships Hanoi has negotiated with several other countries. Myanmar's president came to Washington in May, the first visit by the country's head of state since 1966. An economic agreement was the chief deliverable. While President Obama praised Myanmar's democratic progress, he also expressed concern about increased sectarian violence that the government seems unable (or unwilling) to bring under control.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Washington, Asia, Singapore
  • Author: Huasheng Zhao
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: China holds clear, coherent, but relatively low-profile positions on Afghanistan. While staying largely with the mainstream of the international community on the issue of Afghanistan, China maintains an independent policy that reflects the peculiarities of Chinese interests, concerns, and priorities in Afghanistan. China has multiple interests in Afghanistan; however, domestic concerns about the security and stability of the largely Muslim region of Xinjiang overwhelm all others. China maintains normal and good relations with the Afghan government, takes active part in the country's economic rebuilding, and provides Afghanistan financial aid and other assistance. China supports the international community in its efforts in Afghanistan, but stays away from direct military involvement. China refrains from criticizing America's involvement in the war in Afghan- istan, but it doubts the war's efficacy, and China refuses to join the American Northern Distribu- tion Network (NDN) to Afghanistan. China dislikes the Taliban because of its close relations with the “East Turkistan” organization—a Uyghur separatist group—but China deals with the Taliban cautiously, trying to avoid direct conflict. China favors an Afghanistan governed by Afghans and hopes that the “Kabul process”—the transition to greater Afghan responsibility and ownership in both security and civilian areas—will have a successful end. At the same time, China also prepares for unexpected outcomes.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Sean T. Mann, Bryan Gold
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In a little over two years the US and its allies plan to hand over security and other responsibilities to the Afghan government as part of a process labeled “Transition.” Afghanistan is still at war and will probably be at war long after 2014. The political, governance, and economic dimensions of this Transition, however, will be as important as any developments in the fighting.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Economics
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Asia
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Robert Shelala II
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The US may not face peer threats in the near to mid term, but it faces a wide variety of lesser threats that make maintaining effective military forces, foreign aid, and other national security programs a vital national security interest. The US does need to reshape its national security planning and strategy to do a far better job of allocating resources to meet these threats. It needs to abandon theoretical and conceptual exercises in strategy that do not focus on detailed force plans, manpower plans, procurement plans, and budgets; and use its resources more wisely. The US still dominates world military spending, but it must recognize that maintaining the US economy is a vital national security interest in a world where the growth and development of other nations and regions means that the relative share the US has in the global economy will decline steadily over time, even under the best circumstances. At the same time, US dependence on the security and stability of the global economy will continue to grow indefinitely in the future. Talk of any form of “independence,” including freedom from energy imports, is a dangerous myth. The US cannot maintain and grow its economy without strong military forces and effective diplomatic and aid efforts. US military and national security spending already places a far lower burden on the US economy than during the peaceful periods of the Cold War, and existing spending plans will lower that burden in the future. National security spending is now averaging between 4% and 5% of the GDP – in spite of the fact the US has been fighting two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – versus 6-7% during the Cold War.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Economics
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Asia
  • Author: Murray Hiebert, Ernest Z. Bower, David Pumphrey, Gregory B. Poling, Molly A. Walton
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Southeast Asia will be the next big growth engine in Asia. Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, with a population of 525 million and a combined GDP of $2.8 trillion (when measured by purchasing power parity), are expected to grow almost 6 percent between now and 2030, according to the Asian Development Bank. For years, they have been eclipsed by China and India, but now their combined GDP is catching up with India and they could overtake Japan in less than two decades. For U.S. firms, these five members of the Association of South East Asian Nations—hereafter the ASEAN-5—are a trade, energy, and environment story.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, Oil
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Malaysia, Asia, Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Graeme Dobell
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Australia has a close alliance with the US and deep emotional and cultural ties, but the new reality is that the two economies have decoupled. Twice in the past decade the US has gone into recession, but Australia has kept growing; that is a huge change from the 20th-century experience when Australia's fortunes were closely tied to the health of the US economy. Asia now sets Australia's economic temperature, even as the Australian military draws closer to the US through parallel reviews of the posture of their defense forces.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia, Australia
  • Author: Melissa Murphy, Wen Jin Yuan
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: After a decade of negotiations revolving around regional monetary cooperation, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) plus China, Japan, and South Korea (ASEAN+3) finally reached agreement to establish a regional foreign reserve pool in February 2009. The launch of the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization (CMIM) came amid the global financial crisis, when the ASEAN nations hit so hard during the 1997 Asian financial crisis were once again reminded of the utility of a joint policy initiative to ensure regional financial stability.
  • Topic: Economics, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Israel, Asia
  • Author: Ralph A. Cossa, Brad Glosserman
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Last quarter we focused on remarks by US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton proclaiming that “America is back in Asia,” an obvious dig at real and perceived neglect of Asia by the previous administration. This quarter, both were forced to postpone planned trips to Asia although, in Secretary Clinton's case, not before giving a major Asia policy address in Honolulu. This quarter also ended the same as last, amid hints that Pyongyang really would, at some not too distant point (but not this past quarter), return to six-party deliberations. On a more positive note, it looks like arms control agreements are on the way back, following the announcement that the US and Russia had finally come to terms on a new strategic arms agreement, to be signed by both presidents in April. Speculation about the “changing balance of power” in Asia also continues as a result of China's economic resilience and apparent newfound confidence, although it still seems premature to announce that the Middle Kingdom is back, given the challenges highlighted at this year's National Peoples' Congress. Political normalcy also appears to be a long way from returning to Bangkok where the “red shirts” have once again taken to the street, prompting the government to declare a state of emergency.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, America, Asia, Bangkok
  • Author: Michael J. Green, Nicholas Szechenyi
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Prime Minister Hatoyama Yukio moved to implement his domestic policy agenda with an eye toward the Upper House elections this summer but watched his approval rating fall as he and members of his ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) were beset by political fundraising scandals. The impasse over the relocation of Marine Air Station Futenma continued to dominate the bilateral agenda and alternative proposals put forth by the Hatoyama government failed to advance the discussion. Concerns about barriers to US exports and the restructuring of Japan Post emerged in commentary by the Obama administration and congressional leaders but a joint statement highlighting cooperation on the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC) reinforced the economic pillar of the relationship. The Toyota hearings in Congress were covered extensively by media in both countries but did not have an immediate impact on US-Japan relations. However, the recall issue and other developments point to potentially negative perceptions that could cloud official efforts to build a comprehensive framework for the alliance over the course of the year, the 50th anniversary of the 1960 US-Japan Security Treaty.
  • Topic: Security, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Asia
  • Author: Stewart Patrick
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Tremendous forces are eroding the institutional foundations of world politics. Economic power is moving to developing countries (particularly in Asia), transnational security threats from nuclear proliferation to climate change are emerging, and influential malevolent as well as benign non-state actors compete with sovereign states for global influence. Despite these tectonic changes, the superstructure of global cooperation has barely moved. The world thus makes do with creaky institutions that reflect a world that no longer exists_with growing risks to global stability and prosperity.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Ralph A. Cossa, Brad Glosserman
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia, South Korea, Thailand
  • Author: Robert Sutter
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Asian commentators who asserted that China and its neighbors could ride out the economic crisis in U.S. and Western financial markets appeared in retreat during the quarter as the impact of the financial turmoil and recession in America and Europe began to have a major effect on China and the region's trade, manufacturing, currency values, and broader economic stability. The hope that China could sustain stable growth independent of the U.S. and Europe and thereby provide an engine of growth for export-oriented Southeast Asian countries was dented by Chinese trade figures that nosedived in November, especially Chinese imports, which fell by 18 percent. The financial crisis also dominated the discussion at the ASEM summit in October. Meanwhile, China continued to pursue infrastructure development projects with its neighbors to the south, resolved the land boundary dispute with Vietnam, and signed a free trade agreement with Singapore. Talk of a planned Chinese aircraft carrier caused some controversy, but on the whole assessments of China's rise were notably more balanced than in the past.
  • Topic: Economics, Financial Crisis, Reform
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America, Europe, Asia, 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
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: With the presidential elections in the U.S. scheduled for Nov. 4, the candidates' views of relations with Asia are of great interest to the foreign policy community in the U.S. and throughout Asia. In an effort to provide some insight into the policies of Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama, we have surveyed both campaigns' statements to answer a series of questions regarding their Asia policy stances as the basis of this quarter's Occasional Analysis. Overall priorities for East Asia Senator Obama America's future prosperity and security are closely tied to developments in Asia. Our relations with Asia's diverse countries and economies have been stable but stagnant these past few years. Our narrow focus on preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction and prosecuting a war on terrorism have earned us some cooperation, but little admiration. The war in Iraq has lost us good will among both allies and adversaries and has distracted our attention and policy initiatives from Asia's issues. Our preoccupation with Iraq has given a strategic advantage to China in the region, with as yet uncertain consequences. Barack Obama believes that the U.S. needs to strengthen our alliances and partnerships and engage more broadly in the regional trend toward multilateralism in order to build confidence, maintain regional stability and security, restore our international prestige, and promote trade and good governance in this crucial region.
  • Topic: Security, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Asia
  • Author: Jamie P. Horsley
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Western media reporting on China does not give the impression of a rule of law country. We read of frequent corruption scandals, a harsh criminal justice system still plagued by the use of torture, increasingly violent and widespread social unrest over unpaid wages, environmental degradation and irregular takings of land and housing. Outspoken academics, activist lawyers, investigative journalists and other champions of the disadvantaged and unfortunate are arrested, restrained or lose their jobs. Entrepreneurs have their successful businesses expropriated by local governments in seeming violation of the recently added Constitutional guarantee to protect private property. Citizens pursue their grievances more through extra-judicial avenues than in weak and politically submissive courts. Yet China's economy gallops ahead, apparently confounding conventional wisdom that economic development requires the rule of law.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: American strategy can—and must—respond to China's rise in a way that assures regional security, realizes the greatest possible economic benefit, averts worst-case outcomes from China's remarkable social transformation, and increasingly integrates the country as a partner—or at least not an active opponent—in achieving a prosperous and stable world order for future generations. All this can be done—if the United States asks the right questions, understands China's complexities, and reinforces America's strengths. China: The Balance Sheet, a joint publication by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Institute for International Economics, provides the foundation for an informed and effective response to the China challenge in four critical areas.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America, Asia
  • Author: Mandavi Mehta, Teresita C. Schaffer
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The South Asia program has recently concluded a year-long study entitled “Rising India and U.S. Policy Options in Asia” with a final conference that was held on October 15, 2001. The “Rising India” project seeks to analyze aspects of the U.S.-Indian relationship, examine the effectiveness of U.S. diplomatic tools in the context of different growth trends in India, and put U.S. policy toward India within a broader Asian context. This summary reflects the project study, amplified by presentations made at the conference.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, China, South Asia, Asia