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Asia and the Pacific

Our Research & Offerings on Asia and the Pacific
  • Testimony posted May 4, 2015 by Lisa Curtis Bangladesh’s Fracture: Political and Religious Extremism

    Testimony before the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific Committee on Foreign Affairs United States House of Representatives April 30, 2015 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 Center at The Heritage Foundation. The views I express…

  • Issue Brief posted April 28, 2015 by Dean Cheng America Needs a Comprehensive Strategy for Countering China’s Expanding Perimeter of National Interests

    What do Central Asia, the South China Sea, the Internet, and outer space have in common? All of these are parts of China’s expanding perimeter of national interest. Over the past decade, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has demonstrated a willingness to use its increasing economic influence to pressure neighboring countries in physical geographic disputes and to…

  • Backgrounder posted April 20, 2015 by Bruce Klingner Respond Cautiously to North Korean Engagement Offers

    In what is now something of an annual rite on the Korean Peninsula, 2015 dawned with perceived signals of North Korea’s supposed desire to resurrect diplomatic ties with the United States and South Korea. Although these signals were met with predictions of another inter-Korean summit, Pyongyang’s offer to refrain from nuclear tests in return for a freeze on allied…

  • Issue Brief posted April 3, 2015 by Olivia Enos U.S. Should Not Stand By While Government in Burma Undermines Religious Liberty

    Burma’s President Thein Sein has proposed four pieces of legislation that threaten the very fiber of Burma’s already halting democratic reform process. If passed, the Protection of Race and Religion bills would violate religious liberty and institute potentially severe population control measures. The U.S. should maintain its opposition to them. Religion Laws The…

  • 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…

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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…

  • Issue Brief posted July 9, 2012 by Derek Scissors, Ph.D. Chinese Outward Investment: Acceleration Features the U.S.

    Chinese investment could be a global economic force for decades to come. The potential was underlined in the first half of 2012, when investment climbed more strongly than in 2011. The U.S. in particular saw a rebound. Policymakers should welcome this development by making the American review process quicker and more transparent. Washington should also seek better…

  • 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…

  • White Paper posted July 17, 2012 by Walter Lohman, John Fleming, Robert Warshaw Key Asian Indicators: A Book of Charts

    America’s Enduring Leadership in Asia America has been engaged in Asia since a few decades after securing its independence. Its early interest is documented in the 1833 Treaty on Amity and Commerce between the U.S. and the Kingdom of Siam Thailand), and later in the market-opening 1854 Treaty of Kanagawa with Japan. The U.S. has, in fact, been a “resident…

  • 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…

  • 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 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 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…

  • Issue Brief posted December 6, 2012 by Bruce Klingner North Korean Missile Launch Challenges U.S. Foreign Policy

    North Korea announced on December 1 that, between December 10 and 22, it would again attempt to launch a “civilian satellite.” The Unha-3 launch vehicle is the same as the Taepo Dong-2 (TD-2) intercontinental ballistic missile that North Korea previously test launched in 2006, 2009, and 2012. North Korea bragged in October that its missiles could “strike the U.S.…

  • WebMemo posted March 9, 2011 by Derek Scissors, Ph.D. Australia–China Economic Relations: A Lesson for the U.S., Not a Threat

    China is rising in importance for Australia economically. What does this mean for security relations? Not what some people—including very influential, serious Australians—seem to think.[1] There is nothing about China’s economic rise that gives it effective leverage over Australian foreign and defense policy or that necessarily supplants American leadership in the…

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  • Issue Brief posted April 28, 2015 by Dean Cheng America Needs a Comprehensive Strategy for Countering China’s Expanding Perimeter of National Interests

    What do Central Asia, the South China Sea, the Internet, and outer space have in common? All of these are parts of China’s expanding perimeter of national interest. Over the past decade, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has demonstrated a willingness to use its increasing economic influence to pressure neighboring countries in physical geographic disputes and to…

  • Backgrounder posted April 20, 2015 by Bruce Klingner Respond Cautiously to North Korean Engagement Offers

    In what is now something of an annual rite on the Korean Peninsula, 2015 dawned with perceived signals of North Korea’s supposed desire to resurrect diplomatic ties with the United States and South Korea. Although these signals were met with predictions of another inter-Korean summit, Pyongyang’s offer to refrain from nuclear tests in return for a freeze on allied…

  • Issue Brief posted April 3, 2015 by Olivia Enos U.S. Should Not Stand By While Government in Burma Undermines Religious Liberty

    Burma’s President Thein Sein has proposed four pieces of legislation that threaten the very fiber of Burma’s already halting democratic reform process. If passed, the Protection of Race and Religion bills would violate religious liberty and institute potentially severe population control measures. The U.S. should maintain its opposition to them. Religion Laws The…

  • 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…

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