March 2017

Eyes on Asia

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Is It Time for a Tougher Stance on China?

CHINESE PRESIDENT XI JINPING MEETS U.S. STATE OF SECRETARY REX TILLERSON AT THE GREAT HALL OF THE PEOPLE IN BEIJING, CHINA, ON MARCH 19, 2017. (THOMAS PETER/REUTERS)

CHINESE PRESIDENT XI JINPING MEETS U.S. STATE OF SECRETARY REX TILLERSON AT THE GREAT HALL OF THE PEOPLE IN BEIJING, CHINA, ON MARCH 19, 2017. (THOMAS PETER/REUTERS)

China has been accused of enabling North Korea’s nuclear program, destabilizing the South China Sea, and practicing economic protectionism, but U.S. policymakers are deeply divided on how to respond. Read below to find out how different thinkers at the Council on Foreign Relations recommend the Donald J. Trump administration work with—or against—Chinese interests to accomplish U.S. strategic objectives in Asia and around the world. Read more »

 

Getting Tough on China, in Six Easy Steps
Ely Ratner
Aly Song/Reuters  

Aly Song/Reuters

 

Although the Trump White House has been defined by caprice, it has been consistent in its tough rhetoric against China. In Foreign PolicyEly Ratner, CFR Maurice R. Greenberg senior fellow in China studies, lays out six steps the Trump administration can take to drive a harder line with Beijing. Read the article »

 
How China Is Preparing for Cyberwar
Adam Segal
Edgar Su/Reuters  

Edgar Su/Reuters

 

Adam Segal, CFR Ira A. Lipman chair in emerging technologies and national security, predicts in the Christian Science Monitor that China may exercise restraint when it comes to economic cyber espionage, but there is no reason to expect similar limitations when it comes to foreign political and military targets. Read the article »

 
Defending Japan Against a Restive North Korea
Sheila A. Smith
USFK/Yonhap via Reuters  

USFK/Yonhap via Reuters

 

In a conversation in ChinaFile about growing tensions in Northeast Asia, Sheila A. Smith, CFR senior fellow for Japan studies, writes that going forward, the U.S.-Japan alliance will likely focus on bolstering Japan’s offensive capabilities—a strategy that may unsettle China. Read the conversation »

 
America Needs to “Engage and Contain” China
Robert D. Blackwill
Lintao Zhang/Reuters  

Lintao Zhang/Reuters

 

CFR Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy Robert D. Blackwill argues in the National Interest that the U.S. strategy toward China to “engage and hedge” is no longer enough. Instead, in light of China’s systematic destabilizing external behavior, the United States should “engage and contain.” Read the article »

 
Japan’s Women of Influence

Japan’s Women of Influence

In honor of Japan’s Hinamatsuri (Girls’ Day) and International Women’s Day, Smith features on Asia Unbound seven extraordinary women who have led the way in Japanese studies and international affairs.

The list includes Beate Sirota Gordon, who helped draft the the women’s rights provisions of the Japanese constitution; Sadako Ogata (pictured), who served as the UN high commissioner for refugees and became Japan’s most well-known global activist; and Empress Michiko, who, as the first commoner to marry into Japan’s imperial family, became a symbol of Japan’s postwar transformation. Read the full list on Asia Unbound »

 

CONVERSATIONS ON ASIA

A Conversation With Ma Ying-jeou
Jerome A. Cohen With Ma Ying-jeou
Eduardo Munoz/Reuters  

Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

 

CFR Adjunct Senior Fellow for Asia Studies Jerome A. Cohen sat down with former Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou for a lively discussion on Taiwan’s democratic development and relations between the United States, Taiwan, and mainland China. Watch the conversation »

 
America in Laos and the Birth of a Military CIA
Max Boot With Joshua Kurlantzick
Melanie Einzig  

Melanie Einzig

 

Max Boot, CFR Jeane J. Kirkpatrick senior fellow for national security studies, interviewed CFR Senior Fellow for Southeast Asia Joshua Kurlantzick about Kurlantzick’s new book, A Great Place to Have a War, which recounts the story of the United States’ secret operations in Laos in the 1960s and 1970s. Watch the conversation »

 
Analyzing India’s State Election Results
Alyssa Ayres
 

 

At a recent discussion hosted by the Brookings Institution, CFR Senior Fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia Alyssa Ayres compared notes with a panel of South Asia experts on India’s state election results and reviewed how the outcome could shape domestic politics and policies over the next two years. Watch the conversation »

 

PODCASTS ON ASIA

The End of the Asian Century
Elizabeth C. Economy With Michael Auslin
Damir Sagolj/Reuters  

Damir Sagolj/Reuters

 

Michael Auslin, director of Japan studies at the American Enterprise Institute and author of The End of the Asian Century, suggests that while Asian countries have reaped demographic dividends from young populations, governments in the region now must confront new social and security challenges. Listen to the podcast »

 
Trump and U.S.-India Relations
James M. Lindsay With Alyssa Ayres
Jonathan Ernst/Reuters  

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

 

In this episode of the President’s Inbox podcast series, CFR Director of Studies James M. Lindsay sits down with Ayres to review U.S.-India relations in the wake of the U.S. election and to examine the prospect of a closer partnership based on shared democratic values and a mutual wariness of China. Listen to the podcast »

 
The Future of China’s Civil Society
Elizabeth C. Economy With Andreas Fulda
Stephane Mahe/Reuters  

Stephane Mahe/Reuters

 

Andreas Fulda, assistant professor at the University of Nottingham and editor of Civil Society Contributions to Policy Innovation in the PR China, argues that because of increasing domestic pressures in China, international actors face a challenging dilemma: Should they ride out the political waves or pull out of the country completely? Listen to the podcast »

 

Expanding South Korea’s Security Role

Expanding South Korea’s Security Role

South Korea is a Northeast Asian power with a global presence, but it has limited geopolitical influence in Southeast Asia. In a new CFR discussion paperPatrick M. Cronin, senior director of the Asia-Pacific security program at the Center for a New American Security, and Seongwon Lee, deputy director at the Republic of Korea Ministry of Unification, argue that Seoul should flex its muscles as a middle power further afield in the Asia Pacific. Read the report »

 

ASIA UNBOUND

 

The Asia Unbound blog examines political, economic, and social developments in Asia and the region’s central importance in global affairs.

 
 

ASIA ARTICLES

 
 
 

ABOUT THE ASIA PROGRAM

The Asia program at the Council on Foreign Relations informs policymakers, business leaders, and the public about the complex challenges facing the world’s largest continent.

 
Elizabeth C. Economy
@LizEconomy
C.V. Starr Senior Fellow and Director for Asia Studies

Alyssa Ayres
@AyresAlyssa
Senior Fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia

Yanzhong Huang
@YanzhongHuang
Senior Fellow for Global Health

Joshua Kurlantzick
@JoshKurlantzick
Senior Fellow for Southeast Asia
Ely Ratner
@elyratner
Maurice R. Greenberg Senior Fellow for China Studies

Sheila A. Smith
@SheilaSmithCFR
Senior Fellow for Japan Studies

Scott A. Snyder
@snydersas
Senior Fellow for Korea Studies and Director of the Program on U.S.-Korea Policy
 

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