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Asia and the Pacific

Our Research & Offerings on Asia and the Pacific
  • Commentary posted October 16, 2014 by Lisa Curtis Setting Stage for Successful Modi Visit

    The foundations for a successful visit to Washington by India’s recently-elected Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Prime Minister Narendra Modi are being put in place. The White House will hold two days of talks with Modi on September 29 and 30 that are likely to cover a range of issues and result in new commitments of economic and security cooperation. Both Washington and New…

  • Commentary posted October 15, 2014 by Bruce Klingner North Korean Power Politics Get More Ruthless

    Pyongyang announced on December 12 the trial and execution of Jang Sung-taek, former vice chairman of the powerful National Defense Commission and uncle to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Although Kim has already purged hundreds of officials during his two year reign, Jang's ouster is highly unusual, even by North Korean standards. Jang is married to the sister of…

  • Commentary posted October 15, 2014 by Bruce Klingner Power, Not Policy, Drives Pyongyang's Purge

    Despite being the “second most powerful man in North Korea,” Jang Song Taek has reportedly been purged from the leadership elite for the third time. Jang, Vice Chairman of the important National Defense Commission, ascended to the pinnacle of power after marrying the sister of previous leader Kim Jong Il. Although Jang returned to senior positions after his previous…

  • Commentary posted October 15, 2014 by Bruce Klingner North Korea's Young Kim There to Stay

    Kim Jong Un has further solidified his control over North Korea by reportedly purging his uncle Jang Sung-taek, Vice Chairman of the important Nation Defense Commission. Although Jang was often referred to as the "second most powerful man in North Korea," he may now been ousted from the leadership elite for the third time. He has twice returned to the inner circle of…

  • Commentary posted October 15, 2014 by Bruce Klingner Abe's Yasukuni Visit Imperils Allied Security Interests

    Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's trip to Yasukuni Shrine is a serious foreign policy mistake that threatens allied security interests in Asia. Although Abe expressed "severe remorse" for Japan's historic actions, he should have realized that the visit was needlessly provocative and would exacerbate already strained relations with the United States and South Korea. Abe's…

  • Commentary posted October 10, 2014 by Bruce Klingner Where in the World is Kim Jong Un?

    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has not been seen in public for more than a month, generating speculation that his absence is due to failing health or political intrigue. Given the paucity of information, keeping track of Kim is tougher than winning at three-card monte, and the stakes are much higher: the potential instability of a nuclear-armed nation. After Kim's…

  • Commentary posted October 10, 2014 by Bruce Klingner North Korea's Deceptive Charm Offensive

    North Korea surprised everyone last weekend with its decision to send a senior delegation to the closing ceremonies of the Asian Games in South Korea. As recently as April, after all, Pyongyang threatened to incinerate Seoul, Tokyo and Washington with nuclear weapons. In the months since, North Korea has been relatively quiescent, content to issue daily diatribes against…

  • 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…

  • Commentary posted October 2, 2014 by Mike Gonzalez Another Freedom Group Abandoned by U.S.

    Hong Kong's pro-democracy demonstrators are but the latest freedom group to be abandoned by the Obama administration. The pattern was set in President Barack Obama's first year in office, when he committed his initial major foreign policy error by refusing to support pro-democracy demonstrators in Iran. And, although we didn't know it at the time, it was to be the…

  • Commentary posted September 29, 2014 by Olivia Enos China's Self-Created Demographic Disaster Is Coming

    China is missing out on its biggest economic asset: its people. Economist Nicholas Eberstadt estimates that, even if Beijing were to eliminate its one-child policy today, Chinese economic growth would still decline in the 2020s, because the next generation’s working-age population is already so markedly small. Since implementation in 1979, the one-child policy has…

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  • 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…

  • Backgrounder posted April 14, 2011 by Derek Scissors, Ph.D. The United States vs. China—Which Economy Is Bigger, Which Is Better

    Abstract: China’s leap from poverty due to the marvelously successful market reforms introduced in 1978 has obscured serious weaknesses in its economy—especially compared to the American economy. These weaknesses have been exacerbated by renewed Chinese state intervention that began around 2003. Many seem convinced that China is at the cusp of surpassing the U.S.…

  • 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…

  • Lecture posted April 1, 2013 by Franklin L. Lavin Four Issues Facing China

    It’s a delight to be here. I enjoy coming by and seeing friends, making new friends, and sharing ideas and insight. I have a terrific job—not just the job itself, which is interesting, but the fact that it’s a China-oriented job, and that it allows me, every time I visit China, to learn and to see and to chat with people. It was certainly interesting to do that in a…

  • Backgrounder posted September 12, 2012 by Derek Scissors, Ph.D., Charlotte Espinoza, Ambassador Terry Miller Trade Freedom: How Imports Support U.S. Jobs

    Abstract: It is a common misperception that importing goods to America comes at the cost of American jobs. In fact, imports contribute to job creation on a large scale. The increased economic activity associated with every stage of the import process helps support millions of jobs in the U.S. This Heritage Foundation analysis shows that over half a million American…

  • Testimony posted July 20, 2012 by Derek Scissors, Ph.D. The Most Important Chinese Trade Barriers

    Testimony before the United States House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Relations July 19, 2012 My name is Derek Scissors. I am Senior Research Fellow for Asia Economics at The Heritage Foundation. The views I express in this testimony are my own and should not be construed as representing any official position of The Heritage Foundation. …

  • Special Report posted May 25, 2011 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. The Great Eastern Japan Earthquake: Assessing Disaster Response and Lessons for the U.S.

    Executive Summary The massive earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March 2011, and the following release of radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station, represent one of the greatest disasters to strike the nation of Japan in recent memory. An initial assessment of the Japanese response in four critical areas suggests important lessons for…

  • 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 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…

  • Issue Brief posted July 16, 2013 by Derek Scissors, Ph.D. China’s Steady Global Investment: American Choices

    The tidal wave of Chinese investment around the world predicted by some and feared by others has not materialized and is unlikely to. Various obstacles to overseas spending by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) kept growth moderate in the first half of 2013. Energy was again the focus, but the dominance of state-owned enterprises has begun to ease. Chinese investment in…

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  • 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,…

  • Issue Brief posted September 17, 2014 by Bruce Klingner U.S. Should Seek Release of Detainees in North Korea—Without Policy Concessions

    North Korea has sentenced Matthew Miller, a 20-year-old American tourist, to six years of hard labor for attempted espionage. Miller reportedly ripped up his tourist visa and declared he wanted asylum but Pyongyang accused him of intending to “experience prison life so that he could investigate the human rights situation” in North Korea. The regime is also holding Jeffrey…

  • Lecture posted September 15, 2014 by Lisa Curtis An Opportunity to Reenergize U.S.–India Relations

    Lisa Curtis If ever there were a time to expect U.S.–India relations to improve, many would say it is now. The new Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has promised to open the economy to more private investment, improve the gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate, create jobs for the rapidly growing youth population, and quicken…

  • 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 7, 2014 by Bruce Klingner The U.S. and South Korea Should Focus on Improving Alliance Capabilities Rather Than the OPCON Transition

    If hostilities break out between North Korea and South Korea (ROK), the current agreement between Washington and Seoul would put all ROK forces under control of the bilateral Combined Forces Command (CFC), which is led by a U.S. general. During armistice,[1] the government of South Korea controls its military forces, while the U.S. controls all U.S. and international…

  • 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…

  • Backgrounder posted July 9, 2014 by Dean Cheng The U.S. Needs an Integrated Approach to Counter China’s Anti-Access/Area Denial Strategy

    Over the past decade, China’s neighbors, as well as the United States, have paid increasing attention to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and its developing anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) capabilities. Much of the public discussion in the U.S. has been focused on such new weapons as anti-ship ballistic missiles (ASBMs), which have been cited in the U.S.…

  • Lecture posted July 8, 2014 by Jim DeMint Conserving the Promise of Freedom in Asia

    L‌et me start by thanking the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, and Mr.‌ ‌Takagi in particular, for inviting me to Tokyo. I am very pleased to be here. As was mentioned, this is my first trip. It is my purpose today to offer you an American conservative vision of the values of free markets and free peoples that bind the U.S. and our allies and how these values shape American…

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