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Asia and the Pacific

Our Research & Offerings on Asia and the Pacific
  • 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…

  • Commentary posted November 12, 2014 by William T. Wilson, Ph.D. Asia’s Economic Miracle Has Peaked

    Historically, economics has often driven the narrative surrounding presidential visits to Asia. Consider President Obama’s 2009 trip to China in the midst of the global financial crisis. It gave wings to a narrative about China’s rise and American decline. The economic environment may be changing again. Only this time, the change is less dramatic and occurring largely…

  • 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…

  • Commentary posted November 10, 2014 by Lisa Curtis Afghanistan’s New Leaders Forge Steep Path to Security and Stability

    Ashraf Ghani was made President of Afghanistan and Abdullah Abdullah the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in a power-sharing deal in September 2014. The departure of former President Hamid Karzai and the installation of a national unity government is providing some optimism that long-term stability may be possible in Afghanistan. It demonstrates that Afghan leaders can come…

  • 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 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…

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  • 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. …

  • 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…

  • Issue Brief posted April 8, 2013 by Bruce Klingner North Korean Threats: What Washington Should Do

    North Korea is easy to ridicule. The country is an anachronistic hangover from the Cold War, replete with cartoonish propaganda and over-the-top threats. Its leader could well play the villain in a James Bond or Austin Powers movie. Self-appointed ambassador Dennis Rodman’s visit affirmed the image of the reclusive regime as the ultimate reality show. As such, the…

  • 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…

  • Lecture posted May 22, 2013 by Mark B. Schneider Does North Korea Have a Missile-Deliverable Nuclear Weapon?

    A recent unclassified Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) report, revealed by Congressman Doug Lamborn (R–CO) on April 11, 2013, stated, “DIA assesses with moderate confidence the North currently has nuclear weapons capable of delivery by ballistic missiles.”[1] This is disturbing news. The North Korean regime is one of the most fanatic, paranoid, and militaristic…

  • 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…

  • 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 April 26, 2013 by Sunjoy Joshi, C. Raja Mohan, Vikram Sood, Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan, Ph.D., James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Walter Lohman, Lisa Curtis, Derek Scissors, Ph.D. Beyond the Plateau in U.S. – India Relations

    IntroductionIn real terms, there is no denying the extraordinary progress in the engagement between India and the United States over the past two decades. Throughout, and even after, the Cold War, the world's two largest democracies remained estranged. In the first decade after the end of the Cold War, the two countries quarreled over nuclear nonproliferation; the U.S.…

  • 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…

  • Issue Brief posted June 8, 2012 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D., Dean Cheng Arms Trade Treaty Could Jeopardize U.S. Ability to Provide for Taiwan’s Defense

    The U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) will be negotiated in July in New York. One reason to be concerned about the ATT is the risks that it poses to America’s ability to sell arms to Taiwan. The U.S. is legally—as well as strategically and morally—obliged to provide for Taiwan’s defense. It should neither sign nor ratify a treaty that would increase the difficulty of meeting…

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  • 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,…

  • 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…

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