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Asia and the Pacific

Our Research & Offerings on Asia and the Pacific
  • Backgrounder posted February 26, 2015 by Lisa Curtis, Olivia Enos Combating Human Trafficking in Asia Requires U.S. Leadership

    Despite increased U.S. foreign policy attention over the past decade, human trafficking remains widespread and deeply entrenched in many Asian countries. The precise number of people being trafficked is difficult to estimate, but new studies suggest nearly 36 million victims worldwide. Of those 36 million, nearly two-thirds are from Asia.[1] Total profits from worldwide…

  • Special Report posted February 10, 2015 by William T. Wilson, Ph.D. Japan Needs Real Economic Reform

    For four decades, Japan’s economic growth was the envy of the world. From 1950 to 1991, Japan averaged annual real gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 6.8 percent, and recorded only a single year of economic contraction, in 1974. By the late 1980s, Japan had turned from postwar ruin into an affluent country with the second-largest economy in the world. Starting in…

  • Commentary posted February 10, 2015 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Wake up, America: China is a real threat

    Between complacency and confrontation there is a responsible way forward that keeps the Asia-Pacific a big enough place to accommodate the vital interests of both Beijing and Washington. The heavy lifting will have to be done by the United States. That's okay. The work will make America a stronger nation and a better Asian ally. In the last decade, the Chinese regime has…

  • Commentary posted February 6, 2015 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. How to Push Back against an Aggressive China: Enter the 'Quad'

    Face it. China is a problem. Nations across the Pacific and Asia are looking for constructive solutions. And that’s the promise of a Quad Dialogue—a forum for developing cooperative, synchronized policies among India, Australia, Japan and the United States. Start with the facts. China's economic policies are increasingly mercantilist. It is developing military…

  • Backgrounder posted February 5, 2015 by Mike Gonzalez China’s Public Opinion Warfare: How Our Culture Industry Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the PRC

    On December 19, 2014, President Barack Obama took Sony Pictures to task for bowing to North Korean threats and withholding the release of the movie The Interview. Among other things, the President said: We cannot have a society in which some dictator some place can start imposing censorship here in the United States. Because if somebody is able to intimidate folks out of…

  • Issue Brief posted January 12, 2015 by Dean Cheng Why Taiwan Needs Submarines

    In 2001, President George W. Bush’s Administration agreed to a major arms sale to Taiwan. Approved for sale to Taipei were anti-submarine warfare aircraft, anti-ship missiles, self-propelled howitzers, minesweepers, and destroyers. The United States also agreed to help Taiwan obtain new diesel-electric submarines, to modernize the island’s underwater forces. At the time,…

  • Issue Brief posted December 8, 2014 by William T. Wilson, Ph.D. Trade and Investment Are Key to Strengthening U.S.–India Relations

    In the coming years and decades, the strategic interests of the United States and India are highly likely to become increasingly intertwined. Both sides want democracy to spread and thrive, and both seek to contain terrorism and counterbalance the downside security risks in the rapid rise of China. Stronger economic ties are essential to developing a relationship that is…

  • Testimony posted December 3, 2014 by Dean Cheng The Implications of Hong Kong Protests for the United States

    Testimony before the Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific United States House of Representatives December 2, 2014 Dean Cheng Senior Research Fellow The Heritage Foundation Thank you, Chairman Chabot and Ranking Member Faleomavaega, and distinguished members of the Committee for the opportunity to be here today. My name is Dean Cheng. I…

  • Issue Brief posted November 24, 2014 by Bruce Klingner U.S. Election Should Energize Asia Policies

    The results of the midterm elections could reinvigorate U.S. policies toward Asia, which have suffered from a lack of resources and resolve. The new Congress will likely be more supportive of concluding free trade agreements, funding U.S. defense requirements, and imposing additional sanctions to leverage North Korean compliance with international agreements. That said,…

  • Commentary posted November 21, 2014 by Walter Lohman Widodo's Early Moves Suggest Continuity, not Change

    International leaders gained their first measure of Indonesia's dynamic new president Joko Widodo in the round of Asian summits in mid-November. At home, Widodo has a reputation as a populist, a problem solver, and a regular guy. Abroad, he was -- and still is -- a largely unknown quantity. Early signs point to a continuation of the "free and active" foreign policy…

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  • Special Report posted August 27, 2014 by William T. Wilson, Ph.D. Beating the Middle-Income Trap in Southeast Asia

    About the Author William T. Wilson, PhD, is a senior research fellow in the Asian Studies Center, of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, at The Heritage Foundation. In the 14 years of the new millennium, Southeast Asia has had some of the fastest growing economies in the world. Indonesia’s economy has been cruising at…

  • Backgrounder posted August 1, 2014 by William T. Wilson, Ph.D. Market Solutions Should Be Central to U.S.’s Taiwan Policy

    Successive American presidential Administrations, guided by the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, have recognized that a Taiwan that is free to make its own decisions, free from coercion by the People’s Republic of China (PRC), is in the vital national security interest of the United States. The Taiwan Relations Act, in fact, is explicit about the connection between Taiwan’s…

  • Issue Brief posted January 12, 2015 by Dean Cheng Why Taiwan Needs Submarines

    In 2001, President George W. Bush’s Administration agreed to a major arms sale to Taiwan. Approved for sale to Taipei were anti-submarine warfare aircraft, anti-ship missiles, self-propelled howitzers, minesweepers, and destroyers. The United States also agreed to help Taiwan obtain new diesel-electric submarines, to modernize the island’s underwater forces. At the time,…

  • Testimony posted November 7, 2013 by Lisa Curtis After the Withdrawal: The Way Forward in Afghanistan and Pakistan (Part II)

    Testimony before the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa and Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific Committee on Foreign Affairs United States House of Representatives October 29, 2013 Lisa Curtis Senior Research Fellow, Asian Studies Center The Heritage Foundation My name is Lisa Curtis. I am Senior Research Fellow on South Asia in the Asian Studies…

  • Backgrounder posted April 24, 2014 by Steven Groves, Dean Cheng A National Strategy for the South China Sea

    On December 5, a Chinese warship nearly collided with the USS Cowpens, a guided-missile cruiser operating lawfully in the South China Sea (SCS). This was only the most recent incident highlighting the unsustainable situation in the SCS. In a throwback to the time of John Selden’s Mare Clausum,[1] China has claimed sovereign rights to the entirety of the SCS within a…

  • Backgrounder posted February 26, 2015 by Lisa Curtis, Olivia Enos Combating Human Trafficking in Asia Requires U.S. Leadership

    Despite increased U.S. foreign policy attention over the past decade, human trafficking remains widespread and deeply entrenched in many Asian countries. The precise number of people being trafficked is difficult to estimate, but new studies suggest nearly 36 million victims worldwide. Of those 36 million, nearly two-thirds are from Asia.[1] Total profits from worldwide…

  • Backgrounder posted June 14, 2011 by Bruce Klingner Top 10 Reasons Why the U.S. Marines on Okinawa Are Essential to Peace and Security in the Pacific

    Abstract: Two factors have driven the debate over the planned U.S. military realignment in Japan: campaign pledges made by the Democratic Party of Japan and complaints from Okinawans about the presence of the U.S. military. These factors have had a particularly strong impact on efforts to preserve the Marine Corps Air Station on Okinawa. However, other critical…

  • Backgrounder posted November 14, 2012 by Bruce Klingner U.S. Should Use Japanese Political Change to Advance the Alliance

    Abstract: On December 16, the Japanese people will once again have an opportunity to reshape their nation’s political landscape. To many, such reform seemed imminent three years ago, when the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) swept into power. Yet the DPJ was unable to turn campaign promises into concrete reforms, and as a result, the Japanese public’s desire for political…

  • Backgrounder posted June 3, 2014 by Bruce Klingner Allies Should Confront Imminent North Korean Nuclear Threat

    Experts predominantly assess that North Korea has developed several nuclear devices, but not yet mastered the ability to miniaturize a warhead or deliver it via missile. Media reports habitually declare that North Korean missiles cannot yet reach the United States. Based on this benign conclusion, policymakers presume the United States and its allies still have several…

  • Backgrounder posted March 19, 2014 by Dean Cheng Taiwan’s Maritime Security: A Critical American Interest

    Taiwan’s security is inextricably linked to the sea. Indeed, the island’s economic livelihood, as well as its national security, requires that Taipei secure the surrounding waters and have access to global sea-lanes. Consequently, Taiwan’s ability to field a modern navy is an essential element of its security strategy. The Taiwan Strait is a key international waterway,…

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  • Backgrounder posted February 26, 2015 by Lisa Curtis, Olivia Enos Combating Human Trafficking in Asia Requires U.S. Leadership

    Despite increased U.S. foreign policy attention over the past decade, human trafficking remains widespread and deeply entrenched in many Asian countries. The precise number of people being trafficked is difficult to estimate, but new studies suggest nearly 36 million victims worldwide. Of those 36 million, nearly two-thirds are from Asia.[1] Total profits from worldwide…

  • Special Report posted February 10, 2015 by William T. Wilson, Ph.D. Japan Needs Real Economic Reform

    For four decades, Japan’s economic growth was the envy of the world. From 1950 to 1991, Japan averaged annual real gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 6.8 percent, and recorded only a single year of economic contraction, in 1974. By the late 1980s, Japan had turned from postwar ruin into an affluent country with the second-largest economy in the world. Starting in…

  • Backgrounder posted February 5, 2015 by Mike Gonzalez China’s Public Opinion Warfare: How Our Culture Industry Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the PRC

    On December 19, 2014, President Barack Obama took Sony Pictures to task for bowing to North Korean threats and withholding the release of the movie The Interview. Among other things, the President said: We cannot have a society in which some dictator some place can start imposing censorship here in the United States. Because if somebody is able to intimidate folks out of…

  • Issue Brief posted January 12, 2015 by Dean Cheng Why Taiwan Needs Submarines

    In 2001, President George W. Bush’s Administration agreed to a major arms sale to Taiwan. Approved for sale to Taipei were anti-submarine warfare aircraft, anti-ship missiles, self-propelled howitzers, minesweepers, and destroyers. The United States also agreed to help Taiwan obtain new diesel-electric submarines, to modernize the island’s underwater forces. At the time,…

  • Issue Brief posted December 8, 2014 by William T. Wilson, Ph.D. Trade and Investment Are Key to Strengthening U.S.–India Relations

    In the coming years and decades, the strategic interests of the United States and India are highly likely to become increasingly intertwined. Both sides want democracy to spread and thrive, and both seek to contain terrorism and counterbalance the downside security risks in the rapid rise of China. Stronger economic ties are essential to developing a relationship that is…

  • Issue Brief posted November 24, 2014 by Bruce Klingner U.S. Election Should Energize Asia Policies

    The results of the midterm elections could reinvigorate U.S. policies toward Asia, which have suffered from a lack of resources and resolve. The new Congress will likely be more supportive of concluding free trade agreements, funding U.S. defense requirements, and imposing additional sanctions to leverage North Korean compliance with international agreements. That said,…

  • Issue Brief posted November 11, 2014 by Walter Lohman President Obama’s Burma Visit: An Alert Congress Makes All the Difference

    The context for President Barack Obama’s trip to Burma has changed considerably since his historic first visit in 2012. Then, his visit conveyed optimism for democratic reform and the benefits of deepening engagement. His second visit takes place in a climate leavened by considerable doubt. In 2012 a pliant bystander in Burma policy, today’s politically emboldened…

  • Special Report posted October 8, 2014 by Walter Lohman, Olivia Enos, John Fleming 2014 Asia Update: What’s at Stake for America

    Introduction Economy Political Security Introduction Often overlooked in the tumult of Washington’s foreign policy debates is the remarkable consistency of U.S. foreign and trade policies over time. This is due to one immutable factor: American national interests. When U.S. policy moves away from our national interest, not only does it cease to…

  • Issue Brief posted September 25, 2014 by Ryan Olson Obama Should Push Modi on Trade Facilitation

    This week President Barack Obama will welcome new Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Washington for their first bilateral summit. In Geneva, the Trade Facilitation Preparatory Committee of the World Trade Organization (WTO) will also be meeting. The timing of these two events provides an opportunity to measure India’s commitment to trade freedom and to push Modi to…

  • Issue Brief posted September 24, 2014 by Lisa Curtis Priorities for Prime Minister Modi’s Visit: U.S. and India Must Cooperate for Asian Stability

    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United States next week provides an opportunity to strengthen U.S.–India ties, which stagnated during the second term of Modi’s predecessor, Manmohan Singh. During the visit, President Barack Obama should demonstrate the importance the U.S. attaches to the bilateral relationship and offer cooperation on economic, defense,…

Find more work on Asia and the Pacific
Find more work on Asia and the Pacific