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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…

  • 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…

  • 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 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…

  • 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,…

  • 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…