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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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Issue Brief posted June 24, 2013 by Walter Lohman Helping Southeast Asia Come to Grips with the Reality of Taiwan

    The Philippines’ National Bureau of Investigations (NBI) has recommended that criminal charges be filed against Filipino coast guard personnel involved in an incident that sparked a major dispute between the Philippines and Taiwan last month. On May 9, a Taiwanese fisherman, Hung Shih-cheng, was shot and killed by Filipino authorities when his fishing boat and a…

  • Lecture posted May 1, 2013 by Honorable Ed Royce The Enduring Legacy of America’s Commitment to Asia

    EDWIN J. FEULNER: I’m Ed Feulner. For the next 13 days, I am the president of The Heritage Foundation. I’m delighted to have with us this morning my successor as the new president of The Heritage Foundation, Senator Jim DeMint. Senator, we are very happy that you are able to join us this morning for our 16th annual B.C. Lee Lecture. It’s good to see so many friends…

  • Commentary posted August 7, 2012 by Peter Brookes China targeting South China Sea

    While Chinese athletes try to gobble up Olympic gold in London, half a world away Chinese strategists are trying to gobble up vast tracts of contested territory in the South China Sea. Without strong push back, Beijing may be able to do just that. You see, Beijing believes many of these South China Sea islands (and their adjacent waters) are “indisputable”…

  • Issue Brief posted August 2, 2012 by Dean Cheng South China Sea Tensions Reflect Danger of Defense Budget Cuts

    In recent months, tensions have risen in the South China Sea as the ongoing territorial disputes between various Southeast Asian states and the People’s Republic of China have begun to boil. An April speech by Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie stating that the South Sea Fleet would be the vanguard of major new missions makes recent developments even more ominous.…

  • 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…

  • Issue Brief posted July 9, 2012 by Walter Lohman Not the Time for U.S.–China Conciliation in Southeast Asia

    Indications are that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton goes to Southeast Asia this week in a conciliatory mood. Her Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Kurt Campbell, told a Washington audience recently that the American emphasis at the annual Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meetings in Cambodia this week would be “engagement and…

  • Issue Brief posted May 14, 2012 by Walter Lohman Scarborough Shoal and Safeguarding American Interests

    For a month, the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) have been deadlocked in a sovereignty dispute off the Philippine main island of Luzon, around Scarborough Shoal. The situation, which began with a Philippine warship challenging private Chinese poachers in the waters around the shoal, has evolved into something on which no less than the credibility of…

  • Issue Brief posted April 12, 2012 by Walter Lohman How the U.S. Can Support Free Trade in the Philippines

    The Save Our Industries (SAVE) Act, introduced by Representative Jim McDermott (D–WA) and supported by 20 cosponsors in the House and by Senator Daniel Inouye (D–HI) and three cosponsors in the Senate, would grant duty-free treatment to apparel assembled in the Philippines from American-made fabrics. It is a win-win for the U.S.–Philippines Alliance. Free…

  • Special Report posted April 6, 2012 by James M. Roberts Reducing Corruption Will Increase Economic Freedom in The Philippines

    Executive Summary In 2010, President Benigno S. (“Noynoy”) Aquino III made a pledge to voters: If elected, he would reduce long-standing and endemic corruption in the Philippines. While such reform is indeed underway, as the 2012 Index of Economic Freedom makes clear, there is still much work to be done. The Philippines is a diverse country. Its population…

  • Backgrounder posted August 24, 2011 by Steven Groves Accession to the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea Is Unnecessary to Secure U.S. Navigational Rights and Freedoms

    Abstract: For more than 200 years, the United States has successfully preserved and protected its navigational rights and freedoms by relying on naval operations, diplomatic protests, and customary international law. U.S. membership in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) would not confer any maritime right or freedom that the U.S. does not already…

  • Backgrounder posted August 8, 2011 by Renato Cruz De Castro, Walter Lohman U.S.–Philippines Partnership in the Cause of Maritime Defense

    Abstract: Events in the South China Sea this year illustrate once again the urgent need for the Philippines to shift its focus from internal security to maritime defense. The U.S.–Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty, the Visiting Forces Agreement, deeply embedded consultation mechanisms, and a century of friendship, cooperation, and mutual sacrifice provide the framework…

  • Backgrounder posted July 11, 2011 by Dean Cheng Sea Power and the Chinese State: China’s Maritime Ambitions

    Abstract: The expansion of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) is in many ways a logical and even forgone conclusion. China is the world’s second-largest economy; its heavy dependence on trade inevitably makes the seas of growing importance to national well-being. Yet as China’s maritime ambitions continue to expand, the U.S. is faced with a challenging task:…