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Asia and the Pacific

Our Research & Offerings on Asia and the Pacific
  • Issue Brief posted March 20, 2015 by Bruce Klingner The U.S. Needs to Respond to North Korea’s Latest Cyber Attack

    On March 17, Seoul accused Pyongyang of conducting a series of cyber attacks against South Korean nuclear facilities in December 2014.[1] South Korean prosecutors assert that North Korean hackers were responsible for repeated disclosures of information, including blueprints of South Korean nuclear reactors gleaned from cyber attacks, as well as threats to extort money and…

  • Commentary posted March 17, 2015 by Olivia Enos Human Trafficking Thrives Where Rule of Law Ends

    Of the nearly 21 million victims of human trafficking worldwide, an estimated two-thirds are from Asia. Many factors contribute to the severity of the problem in Asia, but one stands out among the rest: the lack of rule of law. Poorly trained local law enforcement, inadequate legal protections, and corrupt judicial systems are at the root of human trafficking across…

  • Commentary posted March 10, 2015 by Walter Lohman Why US should move beyond ASEAN in the South China Sea

    At a hearing of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee in late February, its new chairman, John McCain asked Director of Intelligence James Clapper about what he called "dramatic" satellite photos demonstrating Chinese construction in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. Clapper, in response, acknowledged the problem of China's "aggressive" pursuit of…

  • Lecture on March 3, 2015 U.S.–India Relations: From Possibilities to Progress

    Let me start by thanking the Vivekananda International Foundation and The Heritage Foundation for organizing today’s event. In particular, a special thanks to the Director of Vivekananda, General N. C. Vij, and Lisa Curtis of Heritage. Distinguished members of the audience, friends, members of the media, it is my great honor to be here with you as the U.S. ambassador to…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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 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,…

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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…

  • 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…

  • Issue Brief posted March 20, 2015 by Bruce Klingner The U.S. Needs to Respond to North Korea’s Latest Cyber Attack

    On March 17, Seoul accused Pyongyang of conducting a series of cyber attacks against South Korean nuclear facilities in December 2014.[1] South Korean prosecutors assert that North Korean hackers were responsible for repeated disclosures of information, including blueprints of South Korean nuclear reactors gleaned from cyber attacks, as well as threats to extort money and…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Special Report posted April 5, 2011 by The Heritage Foundation A Strong National Defense: The Armed Forces America Needs and What They Will Cost

    Abstract The U.S. military force structure envisioned by the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review and the President’s FY 2012 budget request is inadequate to protect vital U.S. national interests. After the “procurement holiday” during the 1990s and the wear and tear of the “long war against terrorism” in Iraq and Afghanistan, all military services urgently need to…

  • Backgrounder posted January 9, 2013 by Derek Scissors, Ph.D. China’s Global Investment Rises: The U.S. Should Focus on Competition

    Chinese outward investment broke records in 2012, both around the world and in the United States. Foreign distrust of state enterprises and other obstacles will serve as a check on the pace of growth, but the willingness to pay top dollar for energy and other assets ensures a higher profile for Chinese firms. The People's Republic of China (PRC) is hardly buying up Latin…

  • 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 January 7, 2013 by Laveesh Bhandari, Jeremy Carl, Bibek Debroy, Michelle Kaffenberger, Pravakar Sahoo, Derek Scissors, Ph.D. Unleashing the Market in the India–U.S. Economic Relationship, Part 1

    Project Overview India will soon have the largest population of any country in the world. It therefore has the potential, with extensive and difficult reforms, to become the world's most important free market—a position currently held by the United States. It follows directly that the economic relationship between India and the U.S., if allowed to flourish, can greatly…

  • Issue Brief posted February 20, 2014 by Bruce Klingner U.S. Should Augment Sanctions After North Korean Crimes Against Humanity

    A United Nations Commission of Inquiry issued a damning condemnation of the North Korea government for “systemic, widespread, and gross violations of human rights.” The commission concluded that the human rights abuses were of such a monumental scale as to constitute crimes against humanity. The panel recommended referral to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for…

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  • Issue Brief posted March 20, 2015 by Bruce Klingner The U.S. Needs to Respond to North Korea’s Latest Cyber Attack

    On March 17, Seoul accused Pyongyang of conducting a series of cyber attacks against South Korean nuclear facilities in December 2014.[1] South Korean prosecutors assert that North Korean hackers were responsible for repeated disclosures of information, including blueprints of South Korean nuclear reactors gleaned from cyber attacks, as well as threats to extort money and…

  • Lecture on March 3, 2015 U.S.–India Relations: From Possibilities to Progress

    Let me start by thanking the Vivekananda International Foundation and The Heritage Foundation for organizing today’s event. In particular, a special thanks to the Director of Vivekananda, General N. C. Vij, and Lisa Curtis of Heritage. Distinguished members of the audience, friends, members of the media, it is my great honor to be here with you as the U.S. ambassador to…

  • 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…

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