The Japan-South Korea relationship steadily improved in advance of parallel ceremonies marking the 50th anniversary of the normalization of their diplomatic relations on June 22. In recent weeks, ministerial-level bilateral contacts resumed between economic and defense ministers, and the top leaders made positive remarks about prospects for the relationship.
Authors: Colin I. Bradford, Toby Dalton, Brendan Howe, Jill Kosch O’Donnell, Andrew O’Neil, and Scott A. Snyder
South Korean opinion leaders have increasingly investigated the idea of the ROK as a middle power as a primary framework for evaluating the opportunities and constraints arising from its emerging international role. The essays commissioned in this volume provide an initial evaluation of South Korean efforts to make substantive contributions to the international agenda as a middle power.
Although China’s increasingly “assertive” international conduct has naturally stirred widespread concern in both Asia and the US, especially regarding the South China Sea, an overview of Beijing’s foreign policy suggests a less alarming perspective. In some major subjects, such as environmental pollution and climate change, there are good prospects for Beijing’s cooperation with the United States and other nations.
In his testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, Jerome A. Cohen argues that China would benefit at home and abroad by demonstrating increasing respect rule of law, while the United States, by striving harder to set a good example, could do much to improve not only its own society but also its standing in China and the world.
In this op-ed, coauthored with Ira Belkin, Cohen argues that a draft law targeting foreign institutions — including universities, museums, athletic and cultural groups, professional associations and all nonprofit social organizations established outside of mainland China — makes clear that Beijing has become much less welcoming.
As the 14th annual Asia Security Summit—or the Shangri-la Dialogue, as it has come to be known—gets underway in Singapore, we asked contributors to comment on what appears to be a recent escalation in tensions between the U.S. and China over the two countries’ presence in the South China Sea.
After decades of stalled or blocked reforms, China’s environmental protection effort may finally be gaining traction. Elizabeth Economy looks at four barometers for gauging the progress of China’s “war on pollution.”
Soaring levels of air, water, and soil pollution pose growing health risks and feed public discontent toward the government, but political hurdles prevent China from effectively addressing the problems, writes CFR’s Yanzhong Huang.
Japan and South Korea are Western-style democracies with open-market economies committed to the rule of law. They are also U.S. allies. Yet despite their shared interests, shared values, and geographic proximity, divergent national identities have driven a wedge between them. Drawing on decades of expertise, Scott A. Snyder and Brad Glosserman investigate the roots of this split and its ongoing threat to the region and the world.
In her testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, Alyssa Ayres argued that the United States has good policies in place to cooperate with Bangladesh, including training and technical cooperation, but given the fragile situation in Bangladesh, additional assistance is necessary to combat political polarization and religious extremism.
Political infighting in Malaysia, with former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad demanding Prime Minister Najib Razak resign amid a corruption scandal, is the latest sign of the country’s democratic reversal. But, Joshua Kurlantzick writes, Malaysia’s slide is part of a trend across Southeast Asia, where democratization has stalled.