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  • Commentary posted June 26, 2015 by Walter Lohman Responding to China's Rise: Could a 'Quad' Approach Help?

    On the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum meetings in 2007, assistant secretary–level diplomats from four countries—the United States, Japan, India and Australia—convened the “quadrilateral security dialogue.” Then, after only one meeting, largely in response to complaints from Beijing, the initiative died. For the sake of long-term peace and security in the…

  • Commentary posted June 9, 2015 by Walter Lohman Washington, Seoul must prepare for a unified Korea

    Seoul seems to be in an upcycle of expectations over unification with North Korea -- perhaps because of South Korean President Park Geun-hye's focus on the issue, or perhaps due to speculation over the stability of the Pyongyang regime. It clearly cannot be due to any encouragement from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. He has responded only with ridicule, invective and…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Special Report posted November 17, 2014 by Lisa Curtis, Charlotte Florance, Walter Lohman, James Phillips Pursuing a Freedom Agenda Amidst Rising Global Islamism

    Contributors Lisa Curtis is Senior Research Fellow for South Asia in the Asian Studies Center, of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, at The Heritage Foundation. Charlotte Florance is a Research Associate for Economic Freedom in Africa and the Middle East in the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign and National…

  • 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…

  • Commentary posted June 4, 2014 by Walter Lohman, Olivia Enos Chinese Official Viewed Women Violating One-Child Policy as Traitors, Then This Happened

    In the most recent edition of his book, A Mother’s Ordeal, Steven Mosher presents a riveting account of one woman’s journey through motherhood in China under the one child policy. A Mother’s Ordeal gives faces to the repressive population control policies of the People’s Republic of China and helps an outsider understand the excruciating dilemma it presents couples in…

  • Commentary posted April 7, 2014 by Walter Lohman Rusty "Cauldron"

    Robert Kaplan, author of Asia’s Cauldron: The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific, would be a most interesting dinner companion. Obviously well travelled and extremely well read, he has a remarkable capacity for linking disparate thoughts and impressions in insightful ways. No surprise there. One is not named one of the world’s Top 100 Global Thinkers for…

  • Backgrounder posted March 31, 2014 by Walter Lohman, Olivia Enos Promoting True Democratic Transition in Cambodia

    On July 28, 2013, the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) again won Cambodia’s national elections, this time by the slimmest margin. Prime Minister Hun Sen extended his 28-year reign for yet another five years, but his victory is incomplete. While the king, Norodom Sihamoni, officially swore in Hun Sen as prime minister on September 23, the opposition is claiming…

  • Testimony posted March 13, 2014 by Walter Lohman A China Focused Policy for Southeast Asia

    Testimony before the US-China Economic and Security Review My name is Walter Lohman. I am Director of the Asian Studies Center 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. Now and for many decades to come, peace and prosperity in the Western…

  • Testimony posted December 18, 2013 by Walter Lohman America's Economic Commitment to Asia in Perspective

    America’s Economic Commitment to Asia in Perspective Testimony before the Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs Committee on Foreign Relations United States Senate   December 18, 2013   Walter Lohman Director, Asian Studies Center The Heritage Foundation My name is Walter Lohman. I am director of the Asian Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation. The views I…

  • Special Report posted October 7, 2013 by Walter Lohman, John Fleming, Olivia Enos A New View of Asia: 24 Charts that Show What's at Stake for America

    The Asian Studies Center Introduction Geography Economic Stakes Political Stakes Security Challenges Introduction: A New View of America's "Near West" At The Heritage Foundation’s annual B. C. Lee Lecture this year, the Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs summed up perfectly America’s destiny as regards Asia: It is America’s “Near…

  • Commentary posted October 4, 2013 by Walter Lohman The South China Sea and the Lessons of History

    President Obama’s cancelation of his trip to participate in next week’s ASEAN and APEC Summits next week has the internet abuzz with discussion of what it may mean for America’s role in the Western Pacific. Initial reactions, however, are not necessarily good indicators. President Obama cancelled trips to Indonesia and Australia three times in 2009-2010. The Bush…

  • Commentary posted September 13, 2013 by Walter Lohman America's Inadequate ASEAN Approach

    Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel toured Southeast Asia several weeks ago. In Brunei, he met with the ten defense ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and their seven counterparts from Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia and South Korea. En route and afterwards, he stopped in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. With so much…