North Korea’s fourth nuclear test in January and long-range rocket launch in February drew global opposition in the form of UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution 2270 and condemnation by regional leaders. Pyongyang promptly dismissed such calls with a series of short- and mid-range missile launches in March and April.
CFR Senior Fellow Sheila Smith refutes the idea that the U.S.-Japan alliance appears to be a Cold War artifact. Rather, the U.S. and Japan have adjusted to the complex geopolitical currents, and President Obama’s landmark visit to Hiroshima has more than symbolic meaning
Republican Party’s Presumptive Nominee for President Donald Trump stated that he would consider ending the U.S. commitment to Japan’s defense and encouraging it to develop its own nuclear arsenal. Sheila A. Smith, senior fellow for Japan studies, argues that such an act would not only be a nightmare scenario for Japan, but would profoundly alter the strategic dynamics that have maintained peace in the Asia-Pacific for generations
Sheila A. Smith, senior fellow for Japan studies, analyzes how the United States and Japan together dealt with North Korean fourth nuclear test, China’s increasing military activities in the South China Sea, the long-standing base relocation issue in Okinawa, and the “Trump Shock,” caused by Republican frontrunner Donald Trump’s campaign language toward Japan on trade and on security cooperation.
While tensions continue to rise in the South China Sea and the disputing governments nervously await a decision in the Philippines’ arbitration case against China, an important sideshow has arisen between Japan and Taiwan in the central Philippine Sea.
Sheila A. Smith, senior fellow for Japan studies, identifies three areas of U.S. Asia policy that is particularly important for the next U.S. administration: devising a strategy for managing China’s increasing maritime activism, continued leadership in effective economy governance, and moving beyond the rhetoric of the presidential campaign to reassure allies and partners in Asia of the continued commitment to the peaceful resolution of disputes and confidence building and risk reduction across Asia.
“For some time, the idea of a formal trilateral discussion between the United States, Japan, and China has been considered but not acted on. Today, however, as the interactions among these three major powers carry such significant implications for the future of the Asia Pacific, the need for such a trilateral seems stronger than ever,” writes Sheila A. Smith, senior fellow for Japan studies.
Jerome A. Cohen writes about the impact of the ruling of the arbitration tribunal in the Philippines’ case against China. In this article, Cohen explores potential responses from different Asian nations to the tribunal’s ruling and what China’s reaction might be if the legal basis of the “Nine-Dash Line” is invalidated.
In this op-ed, published following the visit of outgoing Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou to Taiping Island in the South China Sea, Cohen outlines how peaceful initiatives could be developed on the island to help address tensions in the South China Sea and other parts of East Asia.
U.S. leaders still haven't quite figured out the right formula for the greatest geopolitical challenge facing the United States this century: managing China's rise. But that may have changed Monday, when President Barack Obama welcomed leaders from the 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations for a two-day summit at Sunnylands in California, the so-called Camp David of the West.
Leaders from ASEAN countries met with U.S. President Obama in Sunnylands, California February 15-16, 2016. In his remarks at the summit, President Obama discussed his administration's "foreign policy rebalance to the Asia Pacific" and how the relationship will continue into future administrations.
Joshua Kurlantzick looks at the international and domestic factors within China that appear to be behind the rising pace of abductions and deportations, a significant signal that China’s economic, diplomatic, and military might is simply becoming too much for many Southeast Asian nations to resist.
On January 29, 2016, Canadian Foreign Minister Stephane Dion hosted U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Mexican Foreign Secretary Claudia Ruiz Massieua. The ministers discussed how the three countries can cooperate in the areas of energy and environment, combatting violent extremism, and reducing organized crime and human and drug trafficking. They also discussed the North American Leaders’ Summit scheduled for spring 2016.
Daniel Markey discusses the “comprehensive assessment of one of the world’s most consequential, peculiar , and poorly understood bilateral relationships” found in Andrew Small’s The China-Pakistan Axis: Asia’s New Geopolitics.
The September China-South Korea summit in Beijing catalyzed the resumption of trilateral talks with Japan in October and the launch of the China-South Korea free trade agreement in December. Beijing’s Korean engagement also included a visit to North Korea in October by Chinese Politburo Standing Committee member Liu Yunshan for 70th anniversary celebrations of the founding of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK). Despite new initiatives to expand economic cooperation, Pyongyang’s apparent defiance of Chinese diplomatic efforts on denuclearization suggests further difficulties in China-North Korea relations.
Chinese land reclamation in the South China Sea as well as local opposition to Tokyo’s plans for building a new airfield to replace the U.S. Marines’ Futenma facility are the two main challenges for Washington and Tokyo in the new year, writes Sheila A. Smith, senior fellow for Japan studies.
The spotlight is on Nigeria's new president as he tries to tackle a vicious insurgency and steep economic problems but the crucial actors in trying to stabilize Africa's most populous country are at the state level, writes CFR's Matthew Page.
Sheila A. Smith, senior fellow for Japan studies, reflects on the current state of the complex bilateral relationship between Tokyo and Beijing as they celebrate the seventieth anniversary of the World War II this summer.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2016 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »