Asia Program

Competing Visions For East Asia

The United States' re-balance or "pivot" to Asia reflects a recognition that much of the history of the 21st century will be written in Asia. The Wilson Center's Asia Program closely follows political, diplomatic, economic, and security developments in the region, and will use these pages to provide context, present conflicting perspectives, and stimulate discussion and debate on many of the most significant issues touching on U.S. interests in East Asia and the Pacific.

Assessing Threats Facing the U.S.-Korea Alliance

Jun 03, 2014
The dynamism of Asian markets, China’s rise, and Japan’s quest to become a normal state, play key roles in determining the future of the US-ROK alliance. At the same time, U.S. perception of China’s growing influence differs from that of Korea’s. Similarly, Washington does not see eye-to-eye with Seoul over changes in Japan’s policies. While the bilateral alliance remains strongest in dealing with North Korea, the two allies also have different views on dealing with this challenge.

The Challenges of Asymmetrical Alliance

Jun 19, 2014
On June 17, the Woodrow Wilson Center hosted a private luncheon discussion to discuss why the price of maintaining peace must include the ability to join in collective self-defense operations. This was an opportunity for some of Washington’s top Japan analysts and scholars to exchange views with Japan’s leading authority on the legalities of collective self-defense.

Taiwan: Small but Hardly Insignificant

May 07, 2014
Robert Hathaway authored this piece on US-Taiwan relations following a recent trip to Taiwan.

Japan's Vision For East Asia

Apr 07, 2014
As questions about U.S. commitment to its rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region remain, how Japan sees its own role in East Asia continues to evolve. The changing nature of Tokyo’s relations with Beijing and Seoul, and Japan’s internal debate about whether it should become a “normal” country with greater defense capabilities are among some key issues discussed in the Wilson Center’s latest publication.

Assessing the Rebalance: The Evolution of U.S. Interests in Asia

Mar 25, 2014
President Barack Obama’s pivot to Asia has been developed into a broader, more coherent strategy since announced in November 2011, and rebadged as the “rebalance” to reflect continuities in U.S. interest. Join Hamish McDonald as he discusses the implications of this rebalance.

Overcoming History's Hurdles: Rising Above the Challenges Facing Relations Between Japan, Korea, and China

Mar 20, 2014
Relations between three of Asia’s biggest economies are at their lowest in decades, as growing nationalistic fervor overwhelms multiple common challenges facing Seoul, Tokyo, and Beijing. Why are the three governments stumbling in history’s hurdles?

The Taiwan Relations Act: Still Essential in Changing Times

Mar 25, 2014
Retired State Department official David Keegan argues that the TRA has protected the interests of both Taiwan and the United States over the past 35 years, but adds that Washington needs to integrate Taipei more clearly into its China policy, including U.S. security planning for China’s maritime periphery.

The Taiwan Relations Act: A Mid-Life Crisis at 35?

Mar 18, 2014
In this policy brief, Professor Dennis Hickey of Missouri State University urges the U.S. Congress to resist the temptation to use Taiwan as a “political football” or to micromanage relations with Taiwan.

Asia Program Hosts Conference on Japan's Vision for East Asia

Mar 14, 2014
On March 5th and 6th, the Asia Program hosted a conference titled Japan's Vision for East Asia: Diplomacy Amid Geopolitical Challenges to discuss Japan's longer-term vision for the region and how it sees its role in Asia.

Japan and Cross-Strait Relations: Why Japan-Taiwan Relations Continue to Grow

Feb 25, 2014
The rise of China has raised the level of tension throughout Northeast Asia, intensifying competition between China and Japan. Taiwan is often seen as caught between the two, pressured on the one hand by China for closer relations, and lured by shared interests with Japan on the other.

An Emergent U.S. Security Strategy in Southeast Asia

Feb 10, 2014
Senior Scholar Marvin Ott and Research Assistant Kenneth Ngo contributed this piece to the Asia Pacific Bulletin by the East-West Center.

Asia’s Scramble for Africa: Who Woos Best?

Jan 27, 2014
A new scramble for Africa is unfolding. But it’s no longer Western powers vying for land and the continent’s wealth as they had until the outbreak of World War I. The power struggle now is among Asian nations, most notably China and Japan.

Why U.S. Angst Over Chinese Buyouts is Warranted

Jan 27, 2014
Worries about Chinese takeovers of key U.S. companies are a deepening concern to both policymakers and consumer advocacy groups. And the American public has reason to be wary of these acquisitions.

Japan in 2014: Can Abe Manage China Tensions?

Jan 09, 2014
Will Japan assert its own vision for East Asia, or will it continue simply to react to China? That will be the biggest question in 2014 for Tokyo as tensions with Beijing continue to mount writes Shihoko Goto.

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