Sheila A. Smith, senior fellow for Japan studies, overviews President Obama’s historic visit to Hiroshima in May and his last visit to Asia that reemphasized the regional priorities of his “pivot” to Asia. She, together with Charles McClean of University of California, San Diego, also examine the shared challenges the United States and Japan face such as domestic politics of each country, the ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, North Korean fifth nuclear test, and continued maritime tensions in Asia even after the ruling of The Hague came out.
A new Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Independent Task Force report, A Sharper Choice on North Korea: Engaging China for a Stable Northeast Asia, finds that the United States’ policy of “strategic patience” with North Korea will neither halt that country’s recurring and dangerous cycle of provocation nor ensure the stability of Northeast Asia in the future. To the contrary, the Task Force warns, “If allowed to continue, current trends will predictably, progressively, and gravely threaten U.S. national security interests and those of its allies.”
North Korea’s accelerating nuclear and missile programs, including its recent nuclear test, pose a grave and expanding threat to security, stability and peace in Asia and the rest of the world. This threat affects close U.S. allies — South Korea and Japan — and U.S. personnel and facilities in the region. In the coming months and years, it will create increasing danger for the United States.
Because North Korea thrives in the gap created by Sino-U.S. strategic mistrust and the most dangerous threat to the Kim Jong-un regime’s legitimacy comes from South Korea, the most effective way of conveying to him that his regime’s survival depends on denuclearization would be through coordination of a trilateral strategy among the United States, China, and South Korea., writes CFR Senior Fellow Scott Snyder.
President Barack Obama attended the U.S.–ASEAN Summit in Vientiane, Laos, September 8-9, 2016. Economic and maritime cooperation, opportunities for women and youth, human trafficking, and cybersecurity were discussed. Earlier in the year, President Obama hosted ASEAN leaders for the first time in the United States.
President Barack Obama traveled to Laos to attend the U.S.-ASEAN summit and was the first U.S. president to visit the country. This declaration was released September 6, 2016, and includes aid toward removing mines the U.S. military left in Laos during the Vietnam War.
In early May 2016, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines made a major announcement. The three countries, which often have trouble cooperating on transnational challenges, and have long disputed ownership of some of their adjacent waters, said they would begin coordinated patrols at sea and install a threeway hotline to discuss kidnappings and other militant activities.
U.S. officials should accommodate a larger role for emerging countries, particularly China, in the multilateral development bank system, but from a position of strength and with ambition for MDBs in U.S. policy.
Adjunct Senior Fellow Stephen Biddle and his co-author, Ivan Oelrich, argue in the latest issue of the journal International Security that Chinese antiaccess/area denial is a real, but limited long term threat. It can allow China to gain control of its own airspace, it can deny the U.S. wartime freedom of movement across much of the South and East China Seas, and U.S. counter-efforts are unlikely to prevent this in the 2040 time frame on which we focus.
Jerome A. Cohen discusses the verdict in the Philippines’ case against China in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
In this op-ed, Cohen writes about the importance of the decision both in drawing greater attention to the role of arbitration in international relations and in ruling that none of the Spratlys are entitled to an exclusive economic zone.
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 »