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  • Author: James J. Przystup
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: While Japanese and Chinese political leaders and diplomats worked to build the mutually beneficial strategic relationship and to advance the spring visit of China's President Hu Jintao, both sides found it hard going. The safety of imported Chinese gyoza (dumplings) became a major issue as reports of food poisoning of Japanese became front-page news in early February. Responsibility for the poisoning, whether the result of the manufacturing process in China or deliberate action by individuals after the gyoza left the factory, became the center of contention. Health Ministry and pubic safety officials in both countries pledged cooperation in resolving the issue but failed to identify the cause, while retreating to positions that attributed responsibility to the other side.
  • Political Geography: Japan, China
  • Author: Ji-Young Lee, David C. Kang
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Despite the change in Japanese leadership from hard-liner Abe Shintaro to the more dialogue-oriented Fukuda Yasuo, this quarter's Japan-North Korea relations were largely uneventful and produced little progress. Tokyo criticized Pyongyang for missing the year-end deadline for declaring all its nuclear programs and facilities, urging North Korea to make a “political decision” to fulfill its commitment under the Six-Party Talks agreement. Pyongyang reiterated that Japan should be excluded from the talks, and blamed Japan for the U.S. failure to remove Pyongyang from its list of state sponsors of terror. North Korea asserted that there would be no improvement in their bilateral relations as long as Japan continues to press resolution of the abduction issue on Pyongyang. By mid-March, Tokyo had decided to extend economic sanctions against Pyongyang for another six months after they expire April 13, if the current situation continues with no breakthroughs. Meanwhile, with the change in South Korean leadership from a liberal-minded Roh Moo-hyun to the more conservative Lee Myung-bak, Tokyo exerted diplomatic efforts to bring South Korea closer to Japan by trying to form a united front between Japan, South Korea, and the U.S. against North Korea.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Tokyo, Pyongyang
  • Author: Yu Bin
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In both substance and symbolism, the first quarter of 2008 was a transition for Moscow and Beijing in their respective domestic domains. Russia's Vladimir Putin switched roles with successor Dmitry Medvedev, but did not fade away. China's Hu Jintao sailed into his second five-year term as the next generation of China's leaders emerges. The quarter also witnessed political changes in neighboring countries with strong implications for Russia and China. South Korea inaugurated a pro-U.S. president (Lee Myung-bak) on Feb. 25. Pakistani general elections on Feb. 22 led to the victory by the opposition parties. Taiwan voters chose the pro-stability Ma Ying-jeou over pro-independence Frank Hsieh on March 22.
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Russia, China, Beijing, South Korea, Taliban, Moscow
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Author: Ralph A. Cossa, Brad Glosserman
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: After eight months of inaction, there was a flurry of six-party action at quarter's end. As Pyongyang produced its long-awaited declaration of its nuclear activities, President Bush announced his intention to remove North Korea from the U.S. listing of state sponsors of terrorism and Trading with the Enemy Act (TWEA) restrictions. Pyongyang responded with a made-for-TV demolition of the cooling tower at its Yongbyon nuclear facility. Elsewhere, respective reactions to natural disasters showed how far China has come and Myanmar/Burma still has to go in dealing with the outside world. There was a generally positive reaction to Secretary Gates' Shangri-La statements on U.S. East Asia policy and toward the two U.S. presidential candidates (or their surrogates) early pronouncements about Asia as well. In contrast, there has been almost no reaction at all to Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's call for a more inclusive Asia-Pacific community.
  • Political Geography: Asia, North Korea, Burma, Myanmar, Pyongyang
  • Author: Nicholas Szechenyi, Michael J. Green
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The debate in the Japanese Diet remained contentious this quarter as opposition parties challenged the Fukuda government on several legislative issues including the gasoline tax, a new health insurance program for the elderly, and host nation support for U.S. forces. Fukuda's approval rating fell suddenly due to public dissatisfaction with his domestic policy agenda but later rebounded enough to quell rumors of a Cabinet reshuffle prior to the Hokkaido G8 Summit in July. The arrest in early April of a U.S. serviceman charged with murdering a taxi driver in Yokosuka brought negative publicity for U.S. forces.
  • Topic: Elections
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan
  • Author: Bonnie Glaser
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Major developments in Sino-U.S. relations took place on the economic, military, and political fronts this quarter. The fourth U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue was held in Annapolis, Maryland, June 17-18, yielding a 10-year energy and environment cooperation framework. A telephone link was installed between the U.S. Department of Defense and China's Ministry of Defense and talks were launched on nuclear policy and strategy. The U.S. and China held a round of their bilateral dialogue on human rights after a hiatus of six years and vice-foreign minister level talks on security issues were held for the first time in four years. The U.S. provided assistance to China to ensure the security of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. A massive 7.9 magnitude earthquake rocked China's southwestern Sichuan Province and the U.S., along with the rest of the international community, provided aid. Secretary of State Rice visited the quake-hit area and held talks in Beijing focused on North Korea.
  • Political Geography: China, Beijing, North Korea, Maryland
  • Author: Victor D. Cha
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The quarter started off well with the first meeting of Presidents George W. Bush and Lee Myung-bak at Camp David in April. The two leaders emphasized common values and the global scope of the alliance. They reached an agreement to maintain current U.S. troop levels on the Peninsula, which appeared to be an attempt by conservatives in Seoul to reverse the unfortunate trend they saw during the Roh-Rumsfeld era where each side was perceived as whittling away at the foundations of the alliance for disparate reasons. An important but understated accomplishment was Bush's public support of Lee's request to upgrade the ROK's foreign military sales status. Should this request be approved by the Congress, it would amount to a substantial upgrading of the bilateral alliance relationship as it would give Seoul access to a wider range of U.S. military technologies similar to what NATO and other allies like Australia enjoy. Finally, the two governments inked a memorandum of understanding on security improvements necessary to enable the ROK's entry to the U.S. visa waiver program.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Cooperation, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States, South Korea, Korean Peninsula
  • Author: Joseph Ferguson
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: At the conclusion of the final summit meeting between Presidents George Bush and Vladimir Putin at the Russian resort of Sochi in early April, relations between Moscow and Washington appeared to have righted themselves. The cordial meeting between the outgoing presidents left a sense of optimism in both Moscow and in the West that U.S.-Russia relations would improve until at least the fall presidential elections in the United States. Things have quieted down between the two nations over the last quarter, as the leadership of both countries has gone about business at home and has lessened (though not ceased) the often-negative rhetoric. But when the summer concludes, Russia will again loom large in U.S. political debates, and the big questions of U.S. foreign policy – whether they revolve around Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Northeast Asia, or even Venezuela – will necessarily include Russia policy. And as President Dmitry Medvedev unveils his own version of “sovereign democracy,” U.S. foreign policymakers will be forced to address the fundamental question of whether U.S. policy toward Moscow is centered on its strategic interests, or on democratic values.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, United States, Iraq, Washington, Moscow, Venezuela, Northeast Asia
  • Author: Sheldon W. Simon
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Cyclone Nargis, which devastated Burma's Irrawaddy delta in early May killing tens of thousand and leaving 1.5 million homeless, was met with international concern and the offer of large-scale U.S. assistance via navy ships in the vicinity for the annual Cobra Gold exercise. Burma's junta, however, obstructed international humanitarian assistance, fearing that Western powers would use the opportunity to overthrow the generals. So, in contrast to the massive aid effort for Indonesia in the December 2004 tsunami aftermath, assistance has only trickled into Burma, and mostly controlled by the Burmese military. ASEAN, in collaboration with the UN, appealed to Burmese authorities to open the country to aid providers, but the most it has been able to accomplish is to insert 250 assessment teams into some of the hardest hit areas to survey the population's needs. U.S. aid has been limited to more than 100 C-130 flights out of Thailand whose cargos are delivered into the hands of the Burmese military.
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Burma, Thailand
  • Author: Robert Sutter, Chin-Hao Huang
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Cyclone Nargis briefly put China in the international spotlight as Asian and world leaders sought help from Myanmar's main international backer in order to persuade the junta to be more open in accepting international assistance. The massive Sichuan earthquake of May 12 abruptly shifted international focus to China's exemplary relief efforts and smooth cooperation with international donors. Chinese leadership attention to Southeast Asia this quarter followed established lines. Consultations with Chinese officials showed some apparent slippage in China's previous emphasis on ASEAN playing the leading role in Asian multilateral groups.
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Southeast Asia, Myanmar
  • Author: David G. Brown
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Events in cross-Strait relations have unfolded rapidly since Ma Ying-jeou's election in March. After a nine-year hiatus, formal dialogue between Beijing's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) and Taipei's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) resumed on June 12 in Beijing. These two nominally unofficial associations reached agreements on weekend charter flights and Chinese tourism. The atmosphere of cross-Strait relations in this honeymoon period is so relaxed and consultative that it is hard to remember the bitter tensions that poisoned relations just a few months ago. However, political constraints on Presidents Hu Jintao and Ma Ying-jeou will make progress difficult, particularly on the international relations and security issues that are crucial to a lasting relaxation of tensions.
  • Political Geography: Taiwan, Beijing, Taipei
  • Author: Aidan Foster-Carter
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Rarely does the political weather change so abruptly with the calendar as it has in Korea during the past quarter. As we reported in our last issue, North Korea chose April 1 – April Fools' day – to finally break its long silence on the South's new leader Lee Myung-bak, who was elected president last December 19 and took office on February 25. With rare restraint, Pyongyang had kept its counsel for several months since Lee – a former mayor of Seoul, ex-Hyundai CEO and self-described pragmatic conservative – was elected president by a large majority on a platform of mending fences with the U.S. and curbing Seoul's “sunshine” policy of the past decade. Though ready to expand inter-Korean dealings on his own terms – as in his Vision 3000 program, which offered to triple North Korean national income to US$3,000 per head – Lee insisted on linking any increased cooperation to progress on the North's nuclear disarmament.
  • Political Geography: North Korea, Korea, Pyongyang
  • Author: Scott Snyder
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Lee Myung-bak administration committed to the establishment of a “strategic cooperative partnership” with China during Lee's inaugural visit to Beijing as the new president of South Korea. The visit occurred on schedule in late May, coming only weeks after the tragic Sichuan earthquake and in the midst of protests in South Korea over Lee's decision to allow imports of U.S. beef. Those events also quickly overshadowed a late April flap during the Olympic torch relay in Seoul over Chinese students who came to cheer the torch but reacted violently to Korean groups protesting Chinese government treatment of refugees and political suppression in Tibet. PRC Vice President Xi Jinping, China's designated successor to President Hu Jintao, made his maiden international visit to Pyongyang where he met with North Korea's top leaders, including Kim Jong-il and affirmed the importance of the Sino-DPRK relationship. As host of the Six-Party Talks, China received North Korea's declaration of its nuclear programs on June 26 in what really was a formality given the critical role of U.S.-DPRK talks in paving the way for the declaration. Nevertheless, the submission of the declaration did set the stage for the reactivation of Six-Party Talks in Beijing. Hyundai-Kia opened a new factory in Beijing and SK Telecom responded to strategic changes in China's telecommunications market by diversifying its investments in various Chinese multimedia companies in pursuit of a “convergence strategy” for delivery of multimedia, computer, and telecommunications applications to Chinese consumers.
  • Political Geography: China, Beijing, South Korea, North Korea, Pyongyang
  • Author: James J. Przystup
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Two events dominated the second quarter of 2008: the visit of President Hu Jintao to Japan and the Sichuan earthquake. Tibet, poisoned gyoza, and the East China Sea dispute set the pre-summit agenda. Although the summit itself failed to provide solutions, both Hu and Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo renewed commitments to cooperate in resolving the issues, and a month later the two governments announced agreement on a plan for joint development in the East China Sea. Shortly after Hu's return to China, a devastating earthquake hit Sichuan Province. Japan's response, which included sending emergency rescue and medical teams, tents, and emergency supplies, was well received by the Chinese victims. Beijing, however, quickly pulled back from an early but unofficial acceptance of Japan's Air Self- Defense Force participation in relief operations. By the end of May, Japan's contributions to relief efforts totaled 1 billion yen.
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Beijing, East China
  • Author: Ji-Young Lee, David C. Kang
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Japan's relations with both North and South Korea improved over the past quarter. In conjunction with the North's June declaration of its nuclear activities, there was renewed momentum in resolving the two biggest pending bilateral issues between Tokyo and Pyongyang – the North's nuclear development program and the abduction issue. Bilateral talks resumed in mid-June after more than six months of no progress. The second quarter also marked a fresh start for Tokyo and Seoul as President Lee's Myung-bak's visit to Japan – the first since December 2004 by a South Korean president – marked the resumption of so-called “shuttle diplomacy.” The summit between Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo and President Lee produced agreements on several bilateral issues, including the stalled bilateral FTA negotiations, closer coordination on policy regarding North Korea's nuclear development program, and youth exchanges.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Japan, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Yu Bin
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: May 2008 was a hectic month for both Russia and China. The inauguration of Dmitry Medvedev as Russian president marked the least eventful, albeit the most speculated about, power transition in the history of the Russian Federation. Medvedev's visit to China in late May, his first foreign visit outside the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) as president, ran into the devastating earthquake (May 12) in China's Sichuan Province. Medvedev's appearance in China and the largest international rescue mission in Russian history were both symbolic and substantial for the Russian-China strategic partnership, regardless of who controls the Kremlin.
  • Political Geography: Russia, China
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Cold War, Environment
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia, Australia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Ralph A. Cossa, Brad Glosserman
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Hopes of progress in Six-Party Talks negotiations evident in the closing days of the previous quarter were quickly dashed as anticipated disagreements over verification of North Korea's nuclear declaration created a stalemate still in evidence at quarter's end. The only movement was backward, as “action for action” was replaced by inaction and worse. Last year, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made news by not showing up at the annual ASEAN Regional Forum ministerial. This year she went and hardly anyone noticed. The democratic process made for interesting watching this quarter, not only in Thailand and Malaysia, but in East Asia's most established democracy, as Japan saw its third leader in the 24 months since Prime Minister Koizumi departed the scene. The once presumably left for dead U.S.-India nuclear deal was reincarnated by the Indian Parliament this quarter with the U.S. Congress following suit at quarter's end and President Bush's signature in early October. Finally, the U.S. sneezed this quarter and the rest of the world did catch cold, even as Wall Street struggles with a serious bout of pneumonia. Economic policy also dominated the “foreign policy debate” between Senators Obama and McCain, with no questions and only sparse references to Asia throughout.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: India, East Asia, Asia, North Korea
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Washington, East Asia, North Korea, Taliban, Thailand
  • Author: Michael J. Green, Nicholas Szechenyi
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, North Korea
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • 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, Japan, East Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Bonnie Glaser
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Beijing Olympic Games were conducted without a hitch to the great relief of the Chinese leadership and the 1.3 billion Chinese people who had long anticipated the momentous event. Abroad, the reviews were mixed. Most agreed that the opening ceremony was spectacular and that China had successfully ensured the safety of the athletic competitions, but many argued that these goals had been achieved at a significant cost that highlighted the undemocratic nature of China's regime. President Bush's attendance further consolidated an already close and cooperative U.S.-Chinese relationship, even though Bush seized on several opportunities to criticize China's human rights practices. The U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) marked its 25th anniversary with agreements on food security, loans for medical equipment purchase, promotion of digital TV, and cooperation in agriculture and on trade statistics. The U.S. presidential campaign heated up, but China received little attention.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Beijing
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: se
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Victor D. Cha
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The big news in the penultimate quarter of 2008 centered on leadership ills (literally) in North Korea and Pyongyang's rolling back of the six-party denuclearization agreement. On the U.S.-ROK front, President George W. Bush made his last trip to Asia of his presidency, stopping for a brief visit in South Korea on his way to the Beijing Olympics. While the free trade agreement (FTA) remains mired in U.S. domestic politics, important low-key agreements were reached to help bolster the people-to-people aspects of the alliance. As the quarter ended, the Bush administration was making preparations to make what some described as a last ditch effort to salvage the aid-for-denuclearization deal with North Korea by sending Six-Party Talks negotiator Christopher Hill to Pyongyang for a third time.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Beijing, Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • 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, Korea
  • Author: Joseph Ferguson
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Throughout the spring and early summer it seemed that U.S.-Russia relations could sink no further. Ill will beset the relationship. Heated discussions were carried out almost weekly on issues such as missile defense, Iran's nuclear program, Iraq, energy nationalism, and perhaps most significantly, NATO expansion. At one point, Vladimir Putin compared the U.S. to a “frightening monster,” while Senator (and Republican presidential nominee) John McCain called for Russia's eviction from the G8. In August, the worsening situation came to a head when Russian troops invaded and occupied South Ossetia (a Georgian Province), and launched attacks on other Georgian cities. The U.S. reaction was swift: condemnation, followed by the transport home of Georgian combat troops deployed in Iraq, the ferrying of supplies to Georgian ports by U.S. warships, the extension of $1 billion in aid, and the deployment of a small contingent of U.S. troops for “humanitarian” missions in Georgia. But some feel the response was not enough. The reaction did nothing to cow Moscow. By the end of August, Russia had asserted de facto control of both South Ossetia and Abkhazia and had recognized both as independent nations. Meanwhile the U.S. turned inward to deal with its financial crisis, leaving relations with Moscow on the backburner – at least temporarily.
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Spain, South Ossetia
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States
  • Author: Sheldon W. Simon
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The cancellation of a draft peace agreement between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Philippine government triggered renewed violence in the Philippine south and allegations that U.S. forces are involved in Philippine armed forces suppression activities. Both Manila and Washington deny the charges, though U.S. Special Operations Forces have been training the Philippine military in Mindanao since 2002. The U.S. has added new sanctions against Burma's junta and continues to criticize its political repression, while aid for the victims of Cyclone Nargis remains under the Burmese military's control. Ratification for ASEAN's new Charter by its member states has been achieved by eight of the 10 countries. The delays include concerns in the Indonesian and Philippine legislatures about Burma's detention of Aung San Suu Kyi as well as the junta's insistence that any ASEAN Human Rights Commission be toothless. The U.S. State Department has expressed concern over the Malaysian government's arrest of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on suspicious sodomy charges. Malaysian leaders responded angrily that the U.S. complaint constitutes interference in Kuala Lumpur's domestic politics and that Washington is not “the policeman of the world.”
  • Topic: Development, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Burma, Southeast Asia
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • 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, Indonesia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Robert Sutter, Chin-Hao Huang
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Chinese relations with Southeast Asia were overshadowed for most of the quarter by Chinese leadership preoccupations with the 2008 Olympic Games and various crises involving toxic Chinese milk supplies, turmoil in U.S. and international financial markets, leadership uncertainty in North Korea, and the Russia-Georgia war. Although official Chinese media highlighted President Hu Jintao's meetings with Southeast Asian and other world leaders at the Beijing Olympics, he and other top leaders did not travel to Southeast Asia except for the foreign minister's attendance at the ASEAN meetings in Singapore in July. New troubles emerged with Vietnam, notably over oil exploration in the South China Sea. The recent pattern of Chinese, Japanese, and South Korean leaders meeting independent of ASEAN, despite their continued avowals of ASEAN's “leadership” in East Asian regional matters, paused when Japanese officials announced the postponement of a planned summit among the three northeast Asian powers in September on account of the resignation of Japan's prime minister.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Japan, China, Beijing, North Korea, Southeast Asia
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: July 1, 2008: President Hu Jintao meets Thai Prime Minister Samak Sandaravej in Beijing to deepen bilateral cooperation based on the goals set forth in the Joint Action Plan on China-Thailand Strategic Cooperation signed last May. July 2, 2008: The joint China-Philippines-Vietnam seismic study in the South China Sea, an agreement signed by the three parties as a confidence-building measure aimed at conducting joint research oil and gas prospects in the disputed Spratly Islands, formally ends. China-Southeast Asia Relations 69 October 2008 July 11, 2008: The People's Liberation Army (PLA) and the Royal Thai Army begin a 20-day joint counter-terrorism training operation entitled Strike 2008 in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: China, Singapore, Southeast Asia
  • Author: David G. Brown
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Leaders in Taipei and Beijing continue to pursue improved cross-Strait relations despite political pressures and domestic criticism. The initial agreements are being implemented and behind-the-scenes negotiations are laying the ground for a second tranche of agreements when ARATS Chairman Chen Yunlin visits Taiwan in late October or early November. The Beijing Olympics occasioned some tensions over terminology until the leadership in Beijing stepped in to craft a satisfactory solution. Taipei's modest proposal at the UN aimed at participation in UN specialized agencies was rejected by Beijing. However, a debate is underway in Beijing on how to address Taipei's demand for increased international space and the Ma administration remains hopeful that Beijing will eventually devise a more forthcoming response. On October 3, the Bush administration notified Congress of a $6.5 billion arms package for Taiwan.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: China, Taiwan, Beijing, Taipei
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: July 2, 2008: Central Military Commission Vice Chairman Xu Caihou says there will be no change in People's Liberation Army readiness toward Taiwan. July 2, 2008: Foreign Minister Francisco Ou says Taipei will pursue “participation” in World Health Organization as a priority issue. July 3, 2008: Legislative Yuan unfreezes funds for production of Hsiungfeng IIE land attack cruise missile (LACM).
  • Political Geography: China, Taiwan
  • Author: Aidan Foster-Career
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Relations between the two Koreas, having already worsened from April when North Korea took umbrage with South Korea's new president, Lee Myung-bak, deteriorated further during the third quarter. This may have been inevitable. In a break from the “sunshine” policy pursued over the past decade by his two liberal predecessors, Kim Dae-jung (1988-2003) and Roh Moo-hyun (2003-08), Lee had signaled that henceforth expanded inter-Korean cooperation would depend on progress in denuclearization under the Six-Party Talks (6PT). Not only did this linkage displease Pyongyang in principle, but the current 6PT stalemate and North Korea's proclaimed restoration of facilities at its Yongbyon nuclear site, have made inter-Korean progress difficult given the Lee administration's conditionalities. And yet, and yet. By early July, his popularity plunging barely four months into his five-year term (after the U.S. beef import protests and a series of gaffes), the president formerly known as “bulldozer” was ready to try a different tack. On July 11 he told the new National Assembly – elected in April, but only now convening due to inter-party wrangles – that “full dialogue between the two Koreas must resume.” He also renewed his offer of humanitarian aid.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, South Korea, North Korea
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: July 1, 2008: Sources in Seoul say the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has asked both Koreas that their athletes march together during the opening and closing ceremonies at the Summer Olympics in Beijing. July 3, 2008: The DPRK's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland (CPRF) denounces the ROK for officially commemorating the sixth anniversary of what it now dubs the “Second Yeonpyeong Naval Battle” on June 29, calling this a provocation. six ROK sailors died in a border clash when fired on by DPRK vessels. July 6, 2008: In Seoul, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon – a former ROK foreign minister – offers to play “a facilitator role” in improving inter-Korean relations.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Beijing, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Scott Snyder
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Games of the 29th Olympiad had preoccupied Chinese leaders for almost a decade as they sought to utilize it to project to domestic and international audiences China's accomplishments on an international stage. It has framed many issues in Sino-Korean relations, especially given the many resonances between the 1988 Olympics in Seoul and the Beijing Olympics two decades later. But now that the Games are over, Chinese leaders may adopt a different frame for viewing the world and the Korean Peninsula, the details of which have begun to emerge in the “post-Olympics era.” President Lee Myung-bak was among the many world leaders who attended the opening ceremonies, while President Hu Jintao returned the visit to Seoul only two weeks later, less than a day after the closing ceremonies in Beijing. In contrast, Kim Jong-il was a no-show not only for the Olympics, but also for the 60th anniversary commemoration of the founding of the DPRK on Sept. 9. The Olympics brought with it a surprising undercurrent of popular anti-Korean sentiment in China, most of it stimulated through internet rumors and the attempt by Korean journalists to tape and release a portion of the Olympic opening ceremonies days before the event. This sentiment may suggest that the “Korean wave” (Chinese attraction to Korean pop culture) is receding – or at least that it is accompanied by a strong undertow of backlash among certain segments of Chinese society. On the Korean side, Chinese product safety issues are another drag on the relationship.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: China, Beijing, Korea
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: July 1, 2008: South Korean biotech company RNL Bio Ltd. and Tiantan Puhua Hospital in Beijing announce a collaboration to commercialize stem cell technology and research. July 8, 2008: President Lee Myung-bak meets President Hu Jintao on the sidelines of the G8 summit in Toyako, Japan. July 23, 2008: The Korea Electric Power Corporation announces that it will build wind-power facilities worth $150 million in Neimeng and Gansu provinces in China.
  • Political Geography: China, Beijing, Korea
  • Author: James J. Przystup
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The issue of contaminated frozen gyoza moved to the bilateral front burner during the quarter. In his meeting with President Hu Jintao on the sidelines of the G8 summit at Lake Toya, Hokkaido and again during the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics, Prime Minster Fukuda Yasuo emphasized the importance of making progress on the six-month old case. Hu promised to accelerate efforts to identify the source of the problem and in mid-September, Japanese media reported that Chinese authorities had detained nine suspects at the Tianyang factory. The commemoration of the end of World War II on Aug. 15 passed quietly with only three Cabinet ministers visiting the Yasukuni Shrine. Meanwhile, joint Japanese and Chinese public opinion polling data revealed markedly different perceptions on the state and future course of the bilateral relationship. In early September, Japan's Ministry of Defense released its Defense White Paper 2008, which again expressed concerns about China's military modernization and its lack of transparency. Later in the month, the Maritime Self-Defense Force sighted what was believed to be an unidentified submarine in Japanese territorial waters. Reacting to Japanese media speculation, China's Foreign Ministry denied that the submarine belonged to China's Navy.
  • Topic: Development, War
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Beijing
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: July 4, 2008: Japanese Supreme Court upholds lower court decision dismissing claims for compensation raised by wartime Chinese forced laborers in port of Niigata. The court, while acknowledging abuse occurred, cited expiration of statute of limitation. July 4, 2008: Taiwan National University Maritime Research ship intrudes into Japanese territorial waters in the vicinity of the Senkaku Islands.
  • Topic: Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Island
  • Author: Ji-Young Lee, David C. Kang
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Although there was little movement in Japan's relations with North Korea, this quarter was dominated by the news leaking out of North Korea in early September that Kim Jong-il was potentially very sick. Questions about Kim's health, the status of his leadership in North Korea, and the future of North Korea's leadership quickly dominated discussion. Coupled with Japanese Prime Minister Fukuda's surprise resignation and the quick choice of Aso Taro as prime minister, Japanese foreign policy was on a brief hiatus while the new leader set his own agenda. Known as a conservative, it is expected that Aso will take a harder line toward the North – and the region more generally – than did Fukuda. But his official appointment, coming on Sept. 24, was so recent that it is too early to see how Aso plans to proceed. Thus, there was actually little substantive change in Japan's relations with North Korea, and the quarter ended basically where it began.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Japan, North Korea, Korea
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: July 9, 2008: New York Times carries a full-page advertisement, “Do you know?” claiming South Korean sovereignty over the Dokdo/Takeshima islets. July 10-12, 2008: A Heads of Delegation Meeting of the Six-Party Talks is held in Beijing. July 14, 2008: The Japanese government announces that new guidelines for middle school teachers will describe the Dokdo/Takeshima islets as an integral part of Japanese territory.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Japan, New York, Korea
  • Author: Yu Bin
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The third quarter of 2008 was quite eventful for Russia and China as well as their bilateral relationship. The 29th Summer Olympics in Beijing opened and concluded with extravaganza and a record 51 gold medals for China. Shortly before the opening ceremony on Aug. 8, Georgia's attacks against South Ossetia – a separatist region of Georgia – led to Russia's massive military response, a five-day war, and Russia's recognition of their independence. Thus, the August guns and games brought the two strategic partners back to the world stage. One consequence of the Georgian-Russian war is that China's “neutrality” is widely seen as a crisis in China's strategic partnership with Russia.
  • Topic: Security, Markets
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Beijing, Georgia
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: July 9, 2008: President Hu Jintao and President Dmitry Medvedev meet in Toyako, Hokkaido, on the sidelines of the G8 summit. The two agree to promote bilateral strategic and cooperative partnership, and express their determination to give priority to the development of a long-term and steady partnership. July 17, 2008: One hundred Chinese children affected by a devastating earthquake in Sichuan Province arrive in the Kemerovo region to spend three weeks in a regional children recreation center. A total of 1,000 Chinese children from the quake area would go to Russian resorts during the third quarter.
  • Topic: Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Tajikistan
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: With the presidential elections in the U.S. scheduled for Nov. 4, the candidates' views of relations with Asia are of great interest to the foreign policy community in the U.S. and throughout Asia. In an effort to provide some insight into the policies of Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama, we have surveyed both campaigns' statements to answer a series of questions regarding their Asia policy stances as the basis of this quarter's Occasional Analysis. Overall priorities for East Asia Senator Obama America's future prosperity and security are closely tied to developments in Asia. Our relations with Asia's diverse countries and economies have been stable but stagnant these past few years. Our narrow focus on preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction and prosecuting a war on terrorism have earned us some cooperation, but little admiration. The war in Iraq has lost us good will among both allies and adversaries and has distracted our attention and policy initiatives from Asia's issues. Our preoccupation with Iraq has given a strategic advantage to China in the region, with as yet uncertain consequences. Barack Obama believes that the U.S. needs to strengthen our alliances and partnerships and engage more broadly in the regional trend toward multilateralism in order to build confidence, maintain regional stability and security, restore our international prestige, and promote trade and good governance in this crucial region.
  • Topic: Security, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Asia