Asia and Pacific


The Insecurity Underpinning Xi Jinping’s Repression

Author: Jerome A. Cohen
Washington Post

This week’s visit to Seattle,the District and New York by Xi Jinping, widely viewed as China’s strongest dictator since Mao Zedong, will give Americans another occasion to take his measure and ponder the many dilemmas of Sino-American relations. Xi arrives fresh from Beijing’s extraordinary Sept. 3 military parade marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II .

See more in China; Presidents and Chiefs of State


China-Korea Relations:Prospects for a Strategic Partnership?

Authors: Scott A. Snyder and See-won Byun
Comparative Connections

Scott Snyder and See-won Byun write that President Park Geun-hye's participation in China's seventieth anniversary celebrations of the end of World War II in September affirmed Seoul's ties with Beijing. The escalation of inter-Korean tensions in late August, however, revealed the dilemmas underlying Seoul's regional diplomacy that continue to undermine coordination on North Korea and other security challenges.

See more in China; South Korea; Diplomacy and Statecraft

Foreign Affairs Article

Obama and Asia

Author: Thomas Christensen

China’s rise poses two broad challenges for U.S. foreign policy: how to deter the People’s Republic from destabilizing East Asia and how to encourage it to contribute to multilateral global governance. Although China is not yet a military peer competitor of the United States, it has become powerful enough to challenge U.S. friends and allies in East Asia and to pose serious problems for U.S. forces operating there. 

See more in Asia and Pacific; International Organizations and Alliances

Foreign Affairs Article

Autopsy of a Cambodian Election

Author: Stéphanie Giry

Khmer New Year is the closest thing Cambodia has to a High Holiday, and in April, Prime Minister Hun Sen celebrated it in style with his fiercest opponent. During a festival at the ancient temples of Angkor, he and Sam Rainsy ate together from a gigantic cake of sticky rice weighing more than four metric tons—a Guinness World Record. 

See more in Cambodia; Presidents and Chiefs of State

Foreign Affairs Article

An Unworthy Ally

Authors: C. Christine Fair and Sumit Ganguly

Ever since 9/11, the United States has provided Pakistan with a steady supply of security and nonsecurity assistance. U.S. officials have justified these generous transfers—worth more than $30 billion since 2002—on the grounds that they secure Pakistan’s ongoing cooperation in Afghanistan, bolster Pakistan’s ability to fight terrorism, and give the U.S. government influence over the country’s ever-expanding nuclear weapons program. 

See more in Pakistan; Foreign Aid


Plots, Suspects, and Repercussions of the Bombing at Bangkok’s Erawan Shrine

Author: Joshua Kurlantzick
The National

Almost two weeks after the bombing at central Bangkok’s Erawan Shrine that killed 20 people and set off a massive manhunt for a suspect identified in CCTV video, Thai authorities appear no closer to solving the case. No one has taken credit for the attack and Thai leaders have also denied the bombing had anything to do with international terrorism, although they provided no evidence to support this claim.

See more in Thailand; Peace, Conflict, and Human Rights


Buying More Time

Author: Daniel S. Markey
The Cipher Brief

For the past several years, the Obama administration’s strategy for Afghanistan has rested on the basic assumption that although no reasonable amount of U.S. money or troops could win the war against the Taliban outright, a limited American commitment to Afghanistan’s security forces and government would enable Kabul to hold on long enough to reach a negotiated truce with insurgent leaders.

See more in Afghanistan; United States; Military Operations; Presidents and Chiefs of State