The discussions over the course of the day explored how the rise of China and India is reframing the Asia-Pacific regional agenda, and tackled two difficult questions that inform our national foreign policy debates: can we cooperate with these increasingly influential global actors in solving shared global problems, and can we compete with their economic dynamism? The day concluded with current officials from the U.S. White House and Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defense discussing the implications for U.S.-Japan policy coordination and the bilateral and regional agenda ahead.
This project is made possible by a generous grant from the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership.
The Rise of China and India: The Emerging Asia-Pacific Regional Agenda
Zhu Feng, Peking University; Ryosei Kokubun, Keio University; Frank Jannuzi, U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Chiharu Takenaka, Rikkyo University;Sheila A. Smith, CFR (presider)
Domestic politics and regional dynamics were the focus of this panel, and all panelists addressed the perception of insecurity that dominates public opinion in China, Japan, and India about future regional relations. The anxieties that abound in each major nation seemed to overshadow the diplomatic dialogue on building new cooperative frameworks for problem solving. However, there was also a rich discussion of the disparate visions of regional tensions, from the maritime concerns seen from the East of continental Asia to the potential for water scarcity in the Himalayas to drive conflicts to the other side of the Eurasian land mass.
Can We Cooperate? Nuclear Nonproliferation and Environmental Protection
In the second session, panelists turned their attention to two of the greatest global challenges: nonproliferation and climate change. U.S.-Japan cooperation on nuclear nonproliferation has been fruitful to date and continues to grow. Yet, though the United States and Japan have both expended significant effort on climate change agreements in the past, experts recognized that the two allies have not always acted in tandem. Panelists concluded that cooperation with China and India has been sporadic on nonproliferation, while grave doubts remain for significant progress on climate change goals.
Obama's Nuclear Security Initiative
Laura S.H. Holgate, senior director for weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and threat reduction for the National Security Staff, discussed the accomplishments of President Obama's nuclear security initiative. Holgate addressed efforts to expand cooperation to prevent the spread of nuclear materials and the agenda of the United States for next year's Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul. She also discussed important Asia-Pacific regional issues, including North Korea and post-Fukushima nuclear safety.
Can We Compete? Energy, Innovation, and Economic Growth
Tsutomo Toichi, Institute of Energy Economics, Japan; Carl J. Dahlman, Georgetown University; Adam Segal, CFR (presider)
The tremendous economic growth in China and India over the past decade has raised questions about what this means for U.S. and Japanese global competitiveness. Experts agreed that innovation, good governance, and infrastructure were likely to determine future economic competitiveness in all four nations, but they disagreed on the precise mix of policy priorities. U.S.-Japan competitiveness could be constrained by differences with China and India over rules of the road for global governance, trade, or intellectual property rights.
Structural Shifts and Policy Consequences
Matthew P. Goodman, National Security Staff; Masafumi Ishii, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Nobushige Takamizawa, National Institute for Defense Studies; Sheila Smith, CFR (presider)
Policymakers across the Asia Pacific are preparing for a full diplomatic agenda this fall, from the upcoming APEC meeting in Honolulu on November 8-13 to the East Asia Summit in Bali, Indonesia a week later. Speakers agreed on the need to expand U.S.-Japan cooperation with China, especially in managing peaceful regional relations. However, the strategic needs of both the United States and Japan also require close cooperation with India, not only in East Asia but on a host of global challenges.
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