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  • Author: Victor D. Cha
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The quarter saw a plethora of provocations by North Korea, ranging from ballistic missiles tests to the country's second (and more successful) nuclear test. The United Nations Security Council responded with Resolution 1874 that called for financial sanctions and the institutionalization of a counter proliferation regime that would have made John Bolton proud. The U.S. and ROK presidents held their first summit amidst all this noise and sent clear signals of alliance solidarity. Washington exhibited the closeness of the alliance, being the only country to send a presidential delegation to the funeral of former President Roh Moo-hyun. These rhetorical demonstrations of the alliance's strength, however, cannot drown out the potential substantive setback to the alliance as the KORUS Free Trade Agreement continues to languish.
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, North Korea, Korea
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: April 1, 2009: The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s state radio accuses U.S. RC-135 surveillance aircraft of spying on the launch site on its northeast coast and threatens to shoot it down. The DPRK also vows to wage war against Japan if it tries to shoot down a missile that the DPRK says will carry a communications satellite. April 2, 2009: Reuters reports that President Barack Obama told President Lee Myung-bak that he wants to make progress on a free trade deal between the two countries.
  • Topic: Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Korea
  • Author: Joseph Ferguson
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: President Barack Obama traveled to Moscow in early July to meet the Russian leadership, the political diarchy of President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. The meetings were conducted in a cordial atmosphere, but this particular summit stood out from summits of the past two decades between U.S. and Russian leaders: there was no backslapping camaraderie or use of first names. Obama conducted the visit with a minimum of pomp and a maximum of professionalism. His job was to assess the state of U.S.-Russian relations, assess the leadership situation in Russia, and to decide on the best path to improve bilateral relations. Although most of the headlines stated that the results of the summit were “mixed,” Obama seems to have achieved what he wanted and laid the groundwork for achieving normalcy in relations for the next six months or so. The most pressing issues, however, remain unresolved, and it is not clear if progress can be sustained beyond the end of the year.
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Moscow
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: April 1, 2009: In London President Barack Obama meets President Dmitry Medvedev for the first time ahead of a G20 summit to address the global economic crisis. April 3, 2009: NATO holds its 60th anniversary celebration at a summit in Strasbourg, France. At the Strasbourg summit, President Obama criticizes the Russian “invasion” of Georgia, and states that “we can't go back to the old ways of doing business.
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States
  • Author: Sheldon W. Simon
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Southeast Asia media and elites praised President Barack Obama's Cairo address for opening a new dialogue with Muslims and acknowledging U.S. transgressions after 9/11. Washington excoriated Burma's ruling junta for transferring opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to prison for violating the regime's detention law, characterizing the charges as ”baseless” and an excuse to extend her incarceration beyond scheduled elections in 2010. Thai political turmoil disrupted ASEAN and East Asia Summit meetings in April. In the Philippines, this year's Balikatan exercise involved 6,000 U.S. troops and focused on responses to natural disasters. Meanwhile, the Philippine Congress is scheduling new hearings on the Visiting Forces Agreement for its alleged unduly favorable treatment of U.S. military personnel. Human rights concerns in Southeast Asia were raised again in the annual U.S. watch list on human trafficking with most of the region cited for an unwillingness or inability to stop the notorious trade. Finally, the U.S. praised Southeast Asian maritime defense cooperation in suppressing regional piracy as well as contributing to counter-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden.
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, East Asia, Philippines, Southeast Asia
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: April 1, 2009: Twelve members of the U.S. Congress urge internet giants Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo to resist Vietnam's efforts to restrict online political speech. April 1, 2009: U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Jim Steinberg says the U.S. is open to a new framework to discuss relations with Burma. April 2, 2009: U.S. charge d'affaires in Burma Larry Dinyer says Washington has so far provided a total of $74 million in humanitarian assistance to Cyclone Nargis survivors. April 7, 2009: Visiting Vietnam, Sen. John McCain calls for closer economic relations and also greater political freedom. U.S-Southeast Asia Relations 63 July 2009 April 10-12, 2009: The annual ASEAN summit convenes in Pattaya, Thailand, including meetings with the association's major dialogue partners. On April 12, the meeting is disrupted by pro-Thaksin opposition demonstrators and foreign leaders flee by helicopters and ships. April 11, 2009: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a Cambodian New Year's message cites progress in Khmer-U.S. relations over the past year including U.S. Navy humanitarian ship visits, economic assistance, and the presence of U.S. Peace Corps volunteers in 11 provinces. April 13, 2009: A group of 10 U.S. women senators urge UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to put pressure on Burma's ruling junta to scrap election plans and release Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest. April 14, 2009: State Department spokesman Robert Wood characterizes the anti-government violence in Thailand that led to the cancellation of an ASEAN plus 3 and the East Asia Summit as “unacceptable” and urges political opponents to return to peaceful demonstrations.
  • Political Geography: United States, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Robert Sutter, Chin-Hao Huang
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The highlight of China's relations with Southeast Asia this quarter was continued maneuvering by China and Southeast Asian claimants over disputed territory and related economic claims in the South China Sea. Last quarter's widely publicized face-off between the U.S. surveyor ship USNS Impeccable and harassing Chinese vessels was followed by incidents and commentary this quarter that underlined China's view of an important U.S. role in challenging Chinese maritime claims in Southeast Asia. Chinese official statements and commentary and the actions by Chinese defense and security forces underlined a firm Chinese position in support of territorial and resource rights disputed by some Southeast neighbors and the U.S. Meanwhile, the pace of Chinese diplomacy picked up with economic support to Southeast Asian neighbors weathering the decline in trade and investment during the ongoing global economic recession along with visits and interaction with senior Southeast Asian leaders.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Southeast Asia
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton kept her promise and showed up at the first ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Ministerial Meeting to take place on her watch and, also as promised, signed ASEAN's Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) on behalf of the United States. Unfortunately, North Korean “Dear Leader” Kim Jong-il also kept his promises: to ignore all UN Security Council resolutions, to shoot more missiles, and to never, ever (or at least not this past quarter) return to the Six-Party Talks. In response, Washington pledged to continue its full-court press on enforcing UN-imposed sanctions despite a few “good-will gestures” from Pyongyang. U.S. President Barack Obama also kept his promise to take significant steps toward global disarmament, chairing a UN Security Council session to underscore his commitment to this ideal. Meanwhile signs of the promised recovery of the global economy were in evidence this past quarter, with Asia leading the way.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Asia, North Korea
  • 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
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China
  • Author: Nicholas Szechenyi, Michael J. Green
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Hatoyama Yukio led the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) to a landslide victory in the Aug. 30 Lower House election and was elected prime minister after a spirited campaign for change both in the form and substance of policymaking. Exit polls showed that the public had grown weary of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) but had not necessarily embraced the agenda of the coalition government Hatoyama would subsequently form with an eye toward consolidating power in an Upper House election next summer. Though the election centered primarily on domestic policy, Hatoyama began his tenure by outlining foreign policy priorities during visits to the UN in New York and the G20 summit in Pittsburgh less than a week after he took office.
  • Topic: Security, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, New York
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan
  • Author: Bonnie Glaser
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The inaugural session of the Strategic and Economic Dialogue was held in Washington in July, combining pomp with substantive discussions on issues of great consequence for the two countries and the world. High-level exchanges continued with the visit to the U.S. by Wu Bangguo, the head of the National People's Congress – the first visit by China's top legislator in two decades. A special meeting of the Military Maritime Consultative Agreement was held in Beijing to discuss the confrontations inside China's exclusive economic zone between U.S. Navy surveillance ships and Chinese vessels that took place earlier this year. The U.S. imposed tariffs on tire imports from China, prompting Beijing to file a formal complaint against the U.S. at the WTO and launch an investigation into U.S. exports of chicken meat and auto parts. Presidents Barack Obama and Hu Jintao met in New York and both attended the G20 in Pittsburgh. They will meet again in November when Hu hosts Obama for his first visit to China.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, China, New York, Washington
  • 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
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China
  • Author: Victor D. Cha
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The quarter saw a good deal of U.S.-Korea activity, largely the result of several trips by high-level U.S. officials to the region. While extended deterrence was a major topic of conversation between the allies, Washington and Seoul also coordinated policy on North Korea with some indication that groundwork for reengagement in nuclear negotiations may be in the offing. Former President Bill Clinton's surprise visit to the North was successful in achieving the return of detained U.S. journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, North Korea, Korea
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Washington, Korea
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: U.S.-Russia relations began the quarter with an informal, yet cordial summit in Moscow in early July. The two presidents met again in New York and Pittsburgh in late September and agreed to push forward a number of agreements, most notably covering arms control and cooperation in Afghanistan. The two also appeared to agree that the incipient Iranian nuclear program needs urgent attention. In what some viewed as a huge concession from Washington, the Obama administration announced prior to the Pittsburgh G20 meeting that it was scrapping a controversial missile defense system that was due to break ground soon in Poland and the Czech Republic. This move, combined with vague Russian promises of support for sanctions against the newly emboldened Iranian regime, gave observers hope that relations could find a common strategic footing. Nevertheless, optimism surrounding U.S.-Russia relations is strictly cautious, as major areas of disagreement still remain, including most notably Moscow's hostile relationship with the governments of Georgia and Ukraine.
  • Topic: NATO
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, New York, Ukraine
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: NATO
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, United States
  • Author: Sheldon W. Simon
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Despite the renewed incarceration of Burma's Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi after a July “show trial” as well as renewed economic sanctions against the military junta, in late September Washington announced a change in its Burma policy, agreeing to reengage members of the regime. The opening to Burma is an acknowledgement that the decades-long isolation policy has failed to change Burma's politics and that China's influence has increased significantly. Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced an extension of the deployment of U.S. Special Forces in Mindanao to continue assisting the Philippine armed forces' suppression of the radical Islamist Abu Sayyaf. Gates also announced an expansion of U.S. aid in Mindanao for humanitarian and disaster response, climate change, drug trafficking, and maritime security. While expressing shock and offering condolences to Indonesia in the wake of the July terrorist bombings of two hotels in Jakarta, Washington praised the Indonesian police in mid-September for tracking down and killing the perpetrator of the attacks, notorious Jemmah Islamiyah leader, Mohammad Noordin Top. USAID is organizing a new program to assist civic social organizations in the troubled Thai south to promote governance and human rights. All of these activities indicate that, as Secretary of State Clinton exclaimed in Bangkok: “The United States is back!”
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Southeast Asia
  • 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
  • Political Geography: United States, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Robert Sutter
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Myanmar's military offensive against armed militias of minority groups along the border with China disrupted the status quo that had prevailed along the frontier for the past two decades and complicated the extensive Chinese interests that have developed in the border region during this period. Frictions over territorial claims, fishing, and surveillance among China, Southeast Asian countries, and the U.S. over the South China Sea were less prominent than in recent quarters. China signed an investment agreement with ASEAN members marking the completion of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area, which is to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2010. Chinese commentary joined other regional media in highlighting, with some reservations, the prominence of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the more activist U.S. regional agenda at the ASEAN Regional Forum Foreign Ministers' Meeting.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Southeast Asia