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  • Commentary posted August 26, 2014 by Lisa Curtis, William T. Wilson, Ph.D. India's Big WTO Mistake

    It appeared to be a done deal. Last December in Bali, the 159 member countries of the World Trade Organization (WTO) signed off on the trade facilitation agreement (TFA). While not garnering much media attention, it should have. The accord was easily the largest multilateral trade agreement since the omnibus GATT (WTO’s predecessor) Uruguay Round in 1994. The TFA sought…

  • Commentary posted August 19, 2014 by Lisa Curtis Is Modi Ready to Lead?

    The new Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in India bodes well for the country's future economic prospects as well as its role in global affairs. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking to erase his reputation as a communal leader and to demonstrate he will rule the nation in a way that benefits all Indians, not just the Hindu majority. Whether he will live up to his…

  • 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…

  • Commentary posted July 17, 2014 by Bruce Klingner Asia's Big Fear: Is America Emboldening China and North Korea?

    While world attention has focused on crises in Syria, Crimea and the Middle East, the security situation in Asia has deteriorated. As North Korea pursues another of its periodic charm offensives, it appears quiescent. Yet the regime continues to refine its nuclear strike capability. It is only a matter of time before Pyongyang resumes its escalatory, provocative behavior.…

  • Testimony posted July 16, 2014 by Lisa Curtis Indispensable Partners—Re-energizing U.S.–Indian Ties

    Testimony before the Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs, Committee on Foreign Relations United States Senate 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 in this testimony are my own, and should not be construed as representing any official…

  • 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.…

  • Commentary posted June 27, 2014 by William T. Wilson, Ph.D. India Unleashed

    Only a decade ago, India seemed destined to rival China. Annual growth had averaged almost 9 percent over a seven-year stretch; domestic investment was booming; domestic companies were building global brands, and its military power was growing. India seemed confident; almost cocky. Unfortunately, all that confidence has largely dissipated. Economic growth has dropped 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…

  • 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…

  • Backgrounder posted June 2, 2014 by Lisa Curtis After the Election: Opportunity for Revitalizing U.S.–India Relations

    India’s recent election of a new Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government presents an opportunity for reinvigorating U.S.–Indian ties, and ending the malaise that has taken over the relationship in the past few years. The previous government, led by the Congress Party under Manmohan Singh, had been weakened by a series of corruption scandals and showed little initiative in…

  • Issue Brief posted May 19, 2014 by William T. Wilson, Ph.D. The Russian Economy Stares into the Abyss

    For the Russian economy, winter has come early this year. After cruising at a respectable 3–4 percent rate of growth earlier this decade, Russia’s pace of expansion sharply decelerated toward the middle of 2012. According to Alexei Ulyukayev, the minster of economic development, the economy contracted for the first time since the 2008 recession during the first quarter of…

  • Commentary posted May 12, 2014 by Dean Cheng The Odd Couple: China and North Korea

    Are Beijing and Pyongyang finally on the outs? Recent reports that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has not exported any crude oil to North Korea for the last three months certainly raise the possibility. But hopes of a rift have been dashed before. To assess the situation accurately, one must first understand Chinese security calculations about the Korean peninsula.…

  • 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…

  • Commentary posted April 10, 2014 by William T. Wilson, Ph.D. China Faces Just What It Needs: A Hard Landing

    Former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping's famous expression "cross a river by feeling the stones" meant implementing economic reforms slowly and pragmatically. During the early stages of reform, this approach worked fairly well. Today, however, it is seriously dated. Indeed, it has put China's economy in a precarious state. The world's second-largest economy is headed for…