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  • Author: Scott W. Harold
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: U.S. foreign policy is beset by numerous simultaneous crises. In Syria, the Assad regime continues to commit massive human rights abuses, while Islamic State jihadis are seizing territory in Syria and neighboring Iraq. Russia has annexed Crimea and is threatening its neighbors from Ukraine to the Baltics. In Nigeria, Boko Haram is killing students while they sleep and abducting hundreds of young girls to sell into slavery, while the Ebola virus is killing thousands in neighboring West African states. And as if this wasn't enough, in Asia, China is on the march in the South China Sea, North Korea may test another nuclear device, and U.S. allies Japan and South Korea continue to feud over history issues. In light of these challenges, U.S. foreign policy analysts may understandably question the fate of President Obama's signature foreign policy initiative, the `pivot' or `rebalance' to the Asia–Pacific.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, America, Asia, South Korea, Syria, Nigeria
  • Author: Yong Deng
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Something profound seems to have occurred in Chinese foreign policy since the global financial crisis starting in 2007–08. Many have noted an assertive and nationalist Chinese shift, as most dramatically demonstrated in its high-profile global diplomacy to promote its agenda and maritime disputes with its neighbors to defend its “core” interest. But how to characterize the change remains unclear. Even the “assertive” label, an innocuous term in international relations, is contested. More common is the pessimism regarding China and East Asia, as expressed by strategist Robert Kaplan when he said, “The 21st century map of the Pacific Basin, clogged as it is with warships, is like a map of conflict-prone Europe from previous centuries.” Does this signal the start of a wholesale Chinese reversal of a formerly placid, cooperative strategy? What does the recent turn of events mean for the Sino–U.S. relationship, the East Asian order, and global governance?
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Aaron L. Friedberg
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Starting in 2009, an increasing number of foreign observers (and many Chinese as well) began to note a shift towards more forceful or “assertive” behavior on the part of Beijing. Among the most frequently cited indications of this trend were: An internal debate among Chinese elites in which some participants advocated edging away from Deng Xiaoping's “hiding and biding” strategy and replacing it with something bolder and more self-confident; A “newly forceful, `triumphalist,' or brash tone in foreign policy pronouncements,” including the more open acknowledgement—and even celebration—of China's increasing power and influence; Stronger reactions, including the threatened use of sanctions and financial leverage, to recurrent irritations in U.S.–China relations such as arms sales to Taiwan and presidential visits with the Dalai Lama; More open and frequent displays of China's growing military capabilities including larger, long-range air and naval exercises, and demonstrating or deploying new weapons systems; A markedly increased willingness to use threats and displays of force on issues relating to the control of the waters, air space, surface features, and resources off China's coasts. These include ongoing disputes with the Philippines and Vietnam (among others) in the South China Sea, with Japan in the East China Sea, and with the United States regarding its conduct of surveillance and military exercises in areas from the Yellow Sea to the vicinity of Hainan Island.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Taiwan, Beijing
  • Author: Oriana Skylar Mastro
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: As Chinese political, economic, and military power continues to grow at impressive rates, the impact of Chinese external behavior on the region has correspondingly increased. Since 2010, it has become commonplace for observers to refer to Chinese foreign policy behavior as abrasive, muscular, or assertive. However, China's heightened willingness to rely on coercive diplomacy—or the simultaneous use of diplomacy and limited use of force to accomplish one's objectives—began much earlier with the Impeccable incident in March 2009. In this case, five Chinese vessels shadowed and aggressively maneuvered in dangerously close proximity to the U.S. Naval Ship Impeccable. In the following months, commentators predicted that China would moderate its behavior in the face of regional backlash. Instead, instances of Chinese platforms maneuvering in a dangerous and unprofessional manner only became more frequent.
  • Topic: Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: M. Taylor Fravel, Christopher P. Twomey
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In analyses of China's military modernization, it has become increasingly common to describe China as pursuing a “counter-intervention” strategy in East Asia. Such a strategy aims to push the United States away from China's littoral, forestalling the United States' ability to intervene in a conflict over Taiwan or in disputes in the East and South China Seas. Moreover, such a military strategy is consistent with a purported broader Chinese goal to displace the United States from its traditional regional role, including Washington's support for global norms such as freedom of navigation in Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) and partnerships with long-standing treaty allies.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Washington
  • Author: Ashley J. Tellis
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: China's rise constitutes the most serious geopolitical challenge facing the United States today. On current trends, China could–many say will–develop a national economy larger than that of the United States as early as the end of this decade, at least when measured in purchasing power parity terms. China's national ambitions too are clear: at the very least, Beijing seeks to recover the centrality it enjoyed in Asian geopolitics until the coming of colonialism. Its economic renaissance since the 1980s has now positioned it to play a major global role that was simply unimaginable some thirty years ago. With its extraordinary military modernization program, Beijing has also made tremendous strides toward holding at risk the United States' forward deployed and forward operating forces in the western Pacific, thereby raising the costs of implementing U.S. security guarantees to its partners in the region. Its unique characteristics–being a continental sized power, possessing a gigantic and technologically improving economy, having a strategically advantageous location, and rapidly acquiring formidable military capabilities-add up quickly to make China a consequential rival to the United States, even if it differs from previous challengers in character, aims, and ambitions.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Beijing
  • Author: Thomas Fingar, Fan Jishe
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Conviction is widespread and increasing in both the United States and China—as well as many other countries—that the U.S.–China relationship is becoming less stable and more dangerous. We do not agree. Relations between Beijing and Washington in 2013 are more extensive, more varied, more interdependent, and more important to one another as well as to the global system than at any time in the past. But suspicion and mutual distrust persist and may have intensified. Yet, despite dramatic changes in the international system and the need to manage fleeting as well as persistent problems, the United States and China have maintained strategic stability for four decades. The relationship is less fragile and volatile than many assert, with strategic stability the result of multiple factors that reinforce one another and limit the deleterious effects of developments threatening specific "pillars" that undergird the relationship. Complacency and failure to address misperceptions and mistrust, however, will have unfortunate consequences for both sides.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Washington, Beijing, East Asia
  • Author: Jeffrey Reeves
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The growing consensus among Chinese analysts, both in China and the West, that elements of China's contemporary foreign policy have been self - defeating is important but limited in two significant ways. First, it focuses on China's most divisive policy stances—such as its expansive territorial claims, disruptive diplomacy in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), or growing use of unilateral economic sanctions. This focus on controversial policies, while important, ignores less litigious policies which are also now contributing to regional instability. Second, analysts who look at China's foreign policy largely confine their work to China's relations with large or medium powers—such as Japan, India, Vietnam, or the Philippines—or with regional organizations such as ASEAN. This focus ignores China's relations with smaller, developing states—such as Cambodia, Laos, Mongolia, or Myanmar—which are, in many ways, the building blocks of China's periphery security.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, India, Mongolia, Vietnam, Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar
  • Author: Thomas Wright
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: If there is one idea that has consistently influenced western foreign policy since the Cold War, it is the notion that extending interdependence and tightening economic integration among nations is a positive development that advances peace, stability, and prosperity. As a post-Cold War idea guiding U.S. and European foreign policy, there is much to be said for it. The absorption of Eastern Europe in both the European Union and NATO helped consolidate market democracy. Globalization led to unprecedented growth in western economies, and facilitated the ascent of China and India, among others, taking billions of people out of poverty. Access to the international financial institutions also offered emerging powers the strategic option of exerting influence through existing institutions rather than trying to overturn them. Some policymakers and experts believe that this process holds the key to continuing great power peace and stability.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, India
  • Author: Mike M. Mochizuki, Samuel Parkinson Porter
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In July 2013, Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its coalition partner, the Komeito, scored an impressive victory in the House of Councilors elections. Out of the 121 contested seats, the LDP won 65 and the Komeito 11. With this victory, the LDP-Komeitoruling coalition now controls 135 out of 242 seats (about 55 percent) in the upper house. This win follows the December 2012 triumph in the House of Representatives election, which brought Shinzo Abe and the LDP back to power by taking 294 out of 480 seats.
  • Political Geography: Japan, China