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  • 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
  • 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
  • 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: 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