The more vulnerable Kim Jong Un feels atop a weakening North Korea, the more he seeks a silver bullet to ensure the regime's long-term survival. On May 6, Kim may enjoy a Korean Worker's Party conference that will celebrate his achievements and consolidate his rule. He may even think that his nuclear deterrent has bought time and saved money that can be used to improve North Korea's economy. But the regime's own systemic need to generate instability as a primary means of exerting domestic political control guarantees that the young leader will never have enough nuclear weapons to achieve absolute security, writes Scott Snyder, senior fellow for Korea studies and director of the program on U.S.-Korea policy at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).
“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.
Despite the Obama administration’s new approach to East Asia, overall security aid to Southeast Asia actually fell by 19 percent between 2010 and 2015, shows a new analysis by the Council on Foreign Relations.
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 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.
For over six decades, the United States and Pakistan have suffered through a tormented and often tumultuous relationship, one defined at its apex by wartime alliance and at its nadir by stiff U.S. sanctions. In many ways, the period since 9/11 has mirrored that longer history, with expectations inflated and dashed, overblown rhetoric, and in the end, more frustration than satisfaction.
In testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, Alyssa Ayres recapped the trajectory of U.S.-India economic ties over the past decade and a half, and proposed ways to take the relationship forward.
Joshua Kurlantzick, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, has written State Capitalism: How the Return of Statism is Transforming the World, a timely look at the phenomenon and its dangers to democracy and the economic order. Asia Sentinel is privileged to print this excerpt from the book, which is to be published by Oxford University Press in April.
Over the past year, the Obama administration has rapidly repaired diplomatic and economic ties with Cuba. Last month, in the latest of many agreements, Washington and Havana signed a deal restoring commercial flights between the two countries for the first time in more than 50 years, just as the White House approved construction of the first U.S. factory in Cuba since the 1960 embargo.
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.
Daniel Markey discusses the ineffectiveness of current assistance to Pakistan, where billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars spent on development assistance have propped up the most repressive elements in Pakistani society, and proposes changes in how assistance is given and what can reasonably be gained.