A recent essay by Robert Ross characterized the Obama administration's "pivot" to Asia as a hostile, knee-jerk response to Chinese aggression. But the shift was not aimed at any one country; it was an acknowledgment that the United States had underinvested in a strategically significant region.
On the upcoming South Korean presidential election, Scott A. Snyder says the determining vote will be "South Korea's bulging forties cohort" that played a critical role in South Korea's transition from authoritiarianism to democracy and also has the greatest stake in its economic stability.
With the passing of International Human Rights Day, Jerome A. Cohen says China still has no effective means of enforcing the rights enshrined in its constitution. Yet, once again, new Communist Party leaders reignite hopes for bringing government and the party under the rule of law.
Joshua Kurlantzick suggests that the interethnic conflict in Rakhine State in western Myanmar is symptomatic of the larger challenges the country faces as it transitions from absolute military rule to democracy.
Elizabeth C. Economy says, "If the United States and China can begin the process by taking a step back to establish a new narrative for the relationship that minimizes competition, sets aside intractable issues, and keeps global and regional issues where they belong—in a multilateral framework—there will be the potential for the two countries, like the frog in the well, to take two steps forward for every one step back."
Joshua Kurlantzick examines how the Obama administration relies on the Pentagon to serve as diplomatic interlocutor in Southeast Asia and argues against U.S. military cooperation with the region's most oppressive countries.
As the United States and other Western countries continue to suspend sanctions against Myanmar, multinationals are lining up for the chance to invest in the one-time pariah. In this article for Bloomberg Businessweek, Joshua Kurlantzick argues that this gold rush is "wildly premature."
For more on the complex challenges that lie ahead for the world's largest and most rapidly changing continent, visit the Asia Program.
CFR Experts Guide
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.