Last week, Washington attempted two important policy feats aimed squarely in Beijing’s direction. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter grabbed headlines by visitingthe South China Sea, after earlier announcing he would scrap a visit to Beijing amid rising tension over territorial disputes in the region.
Authors: Adam Segal and Tang Lan The National Bureau of Asian Research
While there continue to be significant differences between the perspectives of the U.S. and Chinese governments on issues in cyberspace, recent progress to overcome these challenges suggests a path forward, writes Adam Segal. Substantive cooperation on cybersecurity, cybercrime, and Internet governance can help both countries avoid a conflict over cyberspace.
Presider: Gideon Rose Speaker: Jacob S. Hacker Speaker: Stephen G. Brooks
Republican presidential candidates are calling for Washington to get tougher on an assertive China and reduce the size of the U.S. government. In a media call, contributors to the upcoming May/June issue of Foreign Affairs make the opposite case, calling for patience with China and a significant public role in boosting the domestic economy.
In testimony before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, Elizabeth Economy discussed the economic components of the “rebalance to Asia” and its prospects going forward. She recommended that the U.S. Congress ratify TPP, continue to support the Ex-Im Bank, and increase support for NGO operations across the Asia-Pacific in fields such as legal education and anti-corruption that help promote good economic governance. She also called for greater coordination between commercial diplomacy and strategic economic plans and greater support for the proposed U.S. New Silk Road initiative.
A frank conversation between China and the United States about the future of the Korean peninsula could pave the way for greater cooperation to stymie North Korean nuclear ambitions, writes CFR’s Scott Snyder.
Benn Steil’s op-ed in the March 30 edition of the Wall Street Journal, co-authored with Emma Smith, looks at presidential campaign charges that China is engaged in “currency manipulation” to boost net exports. They show that the aims of China’s pegged exchange rate regime have varied over the past two decades, and have not always been mercantilist. In recent months, with capital flowing out of China at a prodigious rate, its interventions have been to keep its currency up—not down. Launching a trade war with China over currency management, as Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders intend, would therefore be nonsensical—as well as damaging to U.S. interests.
In light of China’s deepening economic slowdown, “China’s foreign policy may well be driven increasingly by the risk of domestic political instability,” write Robert D. Blackwill,Henry A. Kissinger senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), and Kurt M. Campbell, the Asia Group’s chairman and chief executive officer, in a new Council Special Report. “Economic growth and nationalism have for decades been the two founts of legitimacy for the Communist Party, and as the former wanes, [Chinese leader Xi Jinping] will likely rely increasingly on the latter.”
Robert D. Blackwill and Kurt M. Campbell analyze the rise of Chinese President Xi Jinping and call for a new American grand strategy for Asia that "seeks to avoid a U.S.-China confrontation and maintain U.S. primacy in Asia."
In this op-ed, Cohen describes the mounting frustrations among certain judges, lawyers, and other legal professionals as ideology and politics continue to take precedence over the rule of law in China.
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.
What will China’s economic slowdown mean for the globe? The Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies and the Asia Studies program at the Council on Foreign Relations convened a group of experts in economics, finance, government, political science, and military affairs to find out.
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.
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 president of the United States will have to deal with a rising and more assertive China on a wide range of issues, including Asia-Pacific security, trade, and cybersecurity. U.S.-China relations will likely continue to be a mix of competition and cooperation. The central question for bilateral relations is: Can the world’s two largest economies avoid increased competition and even conflict?
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.
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