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  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Political Geography: China, Korea
  • Author: Graeme Dobell
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Australia's government swung from the right to the left of the political spectrum in 2007. The U.S. did the same in 2008. Yet, not much changed in the fundamentals of the 57-year-old U.S.-Australia alliance. The assertion of alliance continuity, however, comes with a major caveat: the tectonic effects being exerted by China's rise. As with the rest of the Asia-Pacific, Australia is adjusting significant aspects of its foreign and security policy to the magnetic pull of China, which was dramatized for Canberra through the middle of 2009 by an outburst of Chinese official anger directed at Australia. Other important influences to consider include the so-called “Kevin Rudd” effect, the global economic crisis, and the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, East Asia, Australia
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, East Asia, Australia
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, War
  • Political Geography: Korea, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Ralph A. Cossa, Brad Glosserman
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The quarter began with high hopes, following the year's second Six-Party Talks “breakthrough,” but it was all down hill after that. On Oct. 3, Beijing announced a “second phase” implementation plan that laid out a series of specific Korean Peninsula denuclearization actions to be accomplished by Dec. 31. Unfortunately, the new year tolled with the most critical of these promised actions – a mutually acceptable “complete and correct declaration” of all North Korean nuclear programs, facilities, and activities – nowhere to be found. The much-anticipated ASEAN Charter was also signed this quarter but hopes that Myanmar would somehow be penalized for its brutal suppression of peaceful protests earlier in the fall were dashed as the other members took an ostrich-like approach to the problem. The third East Asia Summit took place as scheduled, with outside observers still not fully clear about the group's objectives or its place in the greater multilateral mix. The largest multilateral gathering of the quarter took place in Bali, where those worried about global warming expelled a lot of hot air in producing a potentially useful but currently not very specific “Bali Roadmap” on climate change. The democratic process remained alive and well with new governments being elected in Australia, South Korea, and Thailand, even as China was ruling that Hong Kong would not be ready for a more representative government until at least 2017. On the economic front, 2007 proved to be a good year for Asia, with growth consistent with pre-year projections; most forecasters see only a modest slowdown in 2008, despite lingering concerns about over the fallout from the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, East Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Australia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Myanmar, Bali
  • Author: Nicholas Szechenyi, Michael J. Green
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo outlined his foreign policy agenda in an address to the Diet, highlighting – as did his predecessors Abe Shinzo and Koizumi Junichiro – the U.S.-Japan alliance and international cooperation as the foundations of Japanese diplomacy. But legislation authorizing Japan's naval refueling mission in the Indian Ocean became a political football in a divided legislature and expired on Nov. 1, forcing Fukuda to draft a new bill and extend the Diet session twice in an attempt to continue Japan's support for the war on terror. Fukuda noted the importance of the bill during a November summit with President Bush in Washington that also covered other issues including the Six-Party Talks and concerns in Japan about a perceived shift in the U.S. position on Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea. Other developments such as a new agreement on host nation support for U.S. forces in Japan and a successful sea-based missile defense test demonstrated forward trajectory for alliance cooperation. Yet the quarter ended with other issues unresolved, namely Japan's suspension of Indian Ocean refueling operations and Pyongyang's failure to come clean on its nuclear programs.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Washington, India, North Korea, Pyongyang
  • Author: Bonnie Glaser
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: China's refusal to allow the USS Kitty Hawk to make a scheduled visit in Hong Kong for Thanksgiving refocused attention on bilateral differences over Taiwan and Tibet. It also raised questions about civilian-military coordination in China and highlighted the mistrust between U.S. and Chinese militaries. A series of agreements were reached to promote better relations between the U.S. and Chinese militaries during a visit to China by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and a subsequent round of the Defense Consultative Talks. Economic and trade issues were at the top of the bilateral agenda as the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade and Strategic Economic Dialogue convened and produced some successes, although not on the niggling issue of China's currency valuation.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tibet
  • Author: Donald G. Gross, Hannah Oh
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: North Korea followed through on its Oct. 3 commitment to disable its nuclear facilities this quarter, but resisted giving an “complete and correct” declaration of its nuclear programs. While the disabling actions – which would prevent North Korea from producing nuclear material for at least a year – encouraged U.S. officials, Pyongyang's unwillingness to declare its uranium enrichment program, in particular, created a potentially major obstacle in the Six-Party Talks. At the end of the quarter, the U.S. faced a diplomatic dilemma: how to incentivize Pyongyang to continue the disabling process, while pressuring North Korea to come clean on its past nuclear activities. Pyongyang insisted it had engaged in “sufficient consultation” with the U.S. on the declaration and threatened to slow down the disabling process until it received more compensation.
  • Political Geography: United States, North Korea, Pyongyang
  • Author: Joseph Ferguson
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Now that the world is finally coming around to understanding the man Vladimir Putin and what it is he represents, he appears to be stepping down – sort of. In December, Putin named his preferred successor, longtime aide and fellow Petersburger Dmitri Medvedev. While George Bush proclaims to have understood Putin after their first meeting in 2001, most Russia observers in the U.S. have been arguing over Putin and what his government represents for the better part of eight years. Does he represent a true change for Russia (a democratic change for the better) or is he steering that nation back to more historically familiar, repressive patterns? Now that the Kremlin has come forward with its own explanation, and has been bandying about the term “sovereign democracy,” the question of what Putin and the Kremlin represent is no longer hard to decipher. Russia has chosen a path that is by no means unique: a mercantilist, authoritarian form of democratic government that is very familiar to Asia watchers. What is becoming apparent is that, if anything, the U.S. form of democracy is the unique model, difficult to copy and long in development. Russia and other infant democracies may arrive one day, but “sovereign democracy” is here for the time being in Russia.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Kremlin, Asia
  • Author: Sheldon W. Simon
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: While the ASEAN 10 celebrated the association's 40th anniversary by initialing its first Charter giving the group a legal personality at its November Singapore summit, Burma's vicious crackdown on thousands of democracy and human rights demonstrators dampened the exultations. The Bush administration placed new sanctions on the Burmese junta, including the Treasury Department's freezing of companies' assets doing business in Burma and possibly even banks that handle their transactions. Moreover, Washington warned that an ASEAN-U.S. Trade Agreement now depends on Burma's genuine progress toward democracy – an unlikely prospect as long as the junta continues to rule. For the Philippines, Washington has promised more economic and military aid focused primarily on the restive south but partially conditioned on a better human rights performance. Human rights concerns also dominated U.S. relations with Malaysia and Thailand with respect to Kuala Lumpur's crackdown on ethnic Indian demonstrations and Thailand's harsh treatment of Muslim dissidents in the southern provinces.
  • Political Geography: Washington, Malaysia, India, Burma, Singapore, Thailand, Kuala Lumpur