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.
Next week, at a summit in California, US President Barack Obama will meet with the leaders of the ten countries of Asia’s most important regional grouping: the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The event, the first-ever US-ASEAN summit on American soil, is being touted as a sign of America’s growing interest in Southeast Asia. The question is whether the US, by inviting all members of ASEAN, has allowed its interests to overwhelm its principles.
The combination of new technologies, the perceived failures of liberal economics and democracy in many developing nations, the rise of modern authoritarians, and the success of some of the best-known state capitalists have created an era ripe for state intervention. In State Capitalism, Joshua Kurlantzick ranges across the world—Brazil, China, Russia, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, and more—and argues that the increase in state capitalism across the globe has, on balance, contributed to a decline in democracy.
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 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.
In this op-ed, Cohen discusses the challenges faced by rights lawyers in China in deciding whether they are most effective by advocating within the existing framework of laws or by trying to push against the Chinese Communist Party's control of the legal system.
The White House moved quickly to debunk North Korea's exaggerated claim that a Jan. 5 "artificial earthquake" at the site where Pyongyang had conducted three previous nuclear tests was a breakthrough detonation of a hydrogen bomb. The size of the blast was similar to that of North Korea's January 2013 test and had a yield thousands of times lower than the yield expected of a hydrogen blast. But in downplaying North Korea's claim so as not to feed Kim Jong-un's cravings for international attention, the Obama administration risks underplaying the growing danger posed by North Korea's unchecked efforts to develop nuclear and missile capabilities needed to threaten a nuclear strike on the United States.
Joshua Kurlantzick looks at current U.S. policy toward China and argues that not only does it alienate allies, but takes U.S. diplomats, money and arms away from places that truly matter, and that in some places America would do best to let China win.
Chinese land reclamation in the South China Sea as well as local opposition to Tokyo’s plans for building a new airfield to replace the U.S. Marines’ Futenma facility are the two main challenges for Washington and Tokyo in the new year, writes Sheila A. Smith, senior fellow for Japan studies.
Given the complex politics of the India–Pakistan relationship, the United States does not play a role in their bilateral talks, but Washington can certainly take steps to help prevent spoilers from once again disrupting a dialogue process that deserves every chance to succeed.