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  • Author: Charles Knight
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Project on Defense Alternatives
  • Abstract: Most interlocutors thought that there is almost no chance that the presently stringent sanctions can force the DPRK to agree to disarm. The Chinese and the Russians generally believe that the maximal concession that sanctions can win from the DPRK is an agreement to freeze their warhead and missile development — particularly inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) development — in return for some combination of confidence-building measures, security guarantees, and progress toward political normalization. The North Koreans will not give up the nuclear weapons they already have… at least not until there is a permanent peace on the peninsula and the US is no longer understood to be an enemy.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power, Disarmament
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, North Korea, United States of America
  • Author: Charles Knight
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Project on Defense Alternatives
  • Abstract: The April 27, 2018 Inter-Korean Summit was a visibly cordial, even happy, event. At its conclusion, North and South Korea released a “Declaration of Peace, Prosperity and Unification.” This paper reviews a selection of key sections and phrases in “The Declaration” with attention to understanding their implications for the goal declared by both parties of ending “division and confrontation” on the peninsula and for addressing the overhanging issue of denuclearization. Notably, both parties strongly assert their rights as Koreans to take leadership in this task before them. Among the issues this review examines are the implications of various provisions in The Declaration for two great powers with long-standing interests in and influence on the Korean peninsula: China and the United States.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power, Disarmament
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, South Korea, North Korea, United States of America
  • Author: Sudha Ramachandran
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: China Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Upon coming to power in May 2014, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) adopted a more muscular approach to China than its predecessors. As part of this, it was not averse to using the Dalai Lama and the CTA to gain leverage in its dealings with China. Its recent move to put distance between itself and Dharamsala reflects an understanding that playing the ‘Tibet card’ brought India no benefits. In fact, the failure of the BJP’s four-year gambit reaffirms what many Indian diplomats and scholars have been saying for decades: there is no ‘Tibet card’ for India to play.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Bilateral Relations, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: China, India, Asia, Tibet
  • Author: Eric B. Setzekorn
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: In the decade between U.S. diplomatic recognition of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1979 and the Tiananmen Massacre in 1989, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) pursued a military engagement policy with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The 1979-1989 U.S.-PRC defense relationship was driven by a mutually shared fear of the USSR, but U.S. policymakers also sought to encourage the PRC to become a more deeply involved in the world community as a responsible power. Beginning in the late 1970s, the U.S. defense department conducted high level exchanges, allowed for the transfer of defense technology, promoted military to military cooperation and brokered foreign military sales (FMS). On the U.S. side, this program was strongly supported by National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski and Secretary of State Alexander Haig, who worked to push skeptical elements in the U.S. defense bureaucracy. By the mid-1980s, this hesitancy had been overcome and the defense relationship reached a high point in the 1984-1986 period, but structural problems arising from the division of authority within the PRC’s party-state-military structure ultimately proved insurmountable to long-term cooperation. The 1979-1989 U.S.-PRC defense relationship highlights the long-term challenges of pursuing military engagement with fundamentally dissimilar structures of political authority.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War, Diplomacy, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, Asia, Soviet Union, North America
  • Author: Meagan Torello, Rafael Leal-Arcas, Caitlin Werrell, Francesco Femia, Carmel Davis, Ziad Al Achkar, Ang Zhao, Buddhika Jayamaha, Jahara "Franky" Matisek, William Reno, Molly Jahn, Therese Adam, Peter J. Schraeder, Juan Macias-Amoretti, Karim Bejjit
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University
  • Abstract: In the first issue of our 20th volume, the cooperative and conflictual nature of climate change in international relations is explored. Rafael Leal-Arcas analyzes the necessity of a symbiotic relationship between bottom-up and top-down negotiations to implement clean energy consumption. Following, Caitlin Werrell and Francesco Femia begin this issue's dialogue on climate change and security. Carmel Davis discusses the effects of climate change on Sub-Saharan Africa's ability to develop and subsequently mitigate conflict. Similarly, Ziad Al Achkar outlines the economic, environmental, and security threats in the Arctic as its ice continues to melt. Zhao Ang then discusses China's ability and incentives to pursuing a greener economy. Following, Buddikha Jayamaha, Jahara Matisek, William Reno, and Molly Jahn discuss the security and development of climate change implications in the Sahel region. The main portion of this issue proudly concludes with the Journal's interview with former Swiss Ambassador Therese Adam on climate change negotiations and the great potential for civil society engagement. Following the climate change portion of this issue, we feature a special sup-topic: Africa Rising. Here, Peter Schraeder discusses the effects of President Donald Trump's foreign policy in Africa. Juan Macías-Amoretti analyzes the role of Islam in Moroccan politics, while Karim Bejjit concludes with a discussion on Morocco's growing relationship with the AU.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Diplomacy, Environment, Islam, Regional Cooperation, Conflict, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Europe, Asia, North Africa, Switzerland, Morocco, Sahel, Global Focus
  • Author: Arthur Herman
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: There is certainly no denying that, in terms of trade and investment alone, the burgeoning economic partnership between Israel and China has at least the potential of transforming not only Israel itself but also Israel’s position vis-à-vis the rest of the Middle East—and most notably vis-à-vis Iran, which happens to be Beijing’s other key partner in the region. Inevitably, it could also have an impact on Israel’s relations with the United States. But is this a marriage made in heaven? Or is it something else? Weighing the answer to that question involves probing beneath the two countries’ currently successful dynamic of trade and commercial transactions to their respective geopolitical agendas. When it comes to Israel, the acknowledged junior partner, it also requires examining whether and how the relationship with China could become a dependency. Such a change might please Beijing, but it would impose on Israeli national security a new kind of vulnerability, one very different from the challenges it has faced successfully in the past.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, National Security, Bilateral Relations, Partnerships, Geopolitics, Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Middle East, Israel, Asia
  • Author: Maaike Okano-Heijmans, Frans-Paul van der Putten, Louise Van Schaik
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute of International Relations
  • Abstract: As China’s role as a major power in international affairs is growing, the Chinese government is becoming more active and more influential in the United Nations (UN). This is likely to have – or, in the eyes of some, already has – a significant impact on the UN’s (future) functioning. Growing Chinese influence is important for all UN members, and particularly so for Western countries, including the Netherlands, which strives to maintain and strengthen the international legal order as a principal foreign policy aim. This report by Maaike Okano-Heijmans and Frans-Paul van der Putten, with contributions from Etienne Béchard, Louise van Schaik and Vishwesh Sundar, aims to provide a better understanding of the process currently underway. It does so, first, by analysing how and in which direction China’s involvement in the UN is evolving. Next, the discussion turns to the question of how China’s growing involvement is relevant to the setting and the developing of norms and standards within the UN. Finally, the authors explore where European countries and China have common interests, and where their interests are conflicting through presenting three case studies in three thematic areas, namely human rights, development finance and climate change.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, United Nations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Netherlands
  • Author: Naoko Aoki
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: Policy-makers, scholars, and analysts disagree about whether North Korea will take any meaningful denuclearization steps after its leader Kim Jong Un met with U.S. President Donald Trump in Singapore in June 2018. Many believe that the breakdowns of the 1994 Agreed Framework and the Six Party Talks process in the 2000s show that North Korea’s nuclear weapons program cannot be constrained through cooperation. According to this view, Pyongyang violated its previous commitments once it received economic and political benefits, and it will do so again. The underlying assumption is that Washington was fully implementing its own commitments until Pyongyang broke the deal. But is this true? This paper discusses three key findings drawn from an analysis of U.S. implementation of past denuclearization agreements with North Korea. The first is that the United Stated did not always follow through with its cooperative commitments because of domestic political constraints, even when North Korea was fulfilling its commitments. This makes it difficult to determine whether North Korea ultimately did not honor its obligations because it never intended to or because it was responding to U.S. actions. The second is that some parts of past deals were more susceptible than others to being undercut by domestic opposition because they received insufficient political attention. The third is that such domestic interference could be minimized by obtaining the widest possible coalition of domestic support from the negotiation stage. The roadmap for North Korea’s denuclearization is unclear, as the Singapore summit did not determine concrete steps toward that goal. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to Pyongyang in early July also did not yield specifics such as the scope and timeline of denuclearization. But based on the findings from past agreements, this paper argues that the only way for the United States to find out if engagement will work this time is to test North Korea’s intentions by carrying out Washington’s own cooperative commitments more consistently than in the past.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Nonproliferation, Deterrence
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Korea
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: Despite US determination on the strict application of its sanctions on Iran, it has granted a waiver for the development of Iran’s Chabahar port, in which both India and Afghanistan participate. In addition, it granted waivers for eight Iranian oil-importing countries from sanctions, temporarily, until they find other alternatives. The move, announced by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on November 7, seems to be closely related to Washington’s assessment of its relations with Asian powers, particularly India and China, as well as the future of political and security arrangements in Afghanistan. However, this move could send mixed signals that might ultimately affect Iran’s stance on sanctions.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Oil, Sanctions, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, South Asia, India, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: William B. Brown
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI)
  • Abstract: This chapter takes the perspective of North Korea’s leadership as it confronts difficult economic problems in the remaining months of 2018. The major current and potential issues are listed and prioritized. Short and longer-term remedies are presented, each with trade-offs that affect other economic and policy issues. Given the absence of direct reporting from North Korea, the issues and debates presented are speculative, designed to give the reader a more comprehensive understanding of North Korea’s current problems than is ordinarily presented in western media. Kim Jong-un’s recent diplomatic offensive, reaching out to South Korea, China, and the United States is, in this view, suggestive of these internal economic troubles in addition to the nuclear security issues. The troubles are both short-term—the collapse in trade with China in just the past few months—and long-term, the slow-motion collapse of the communist country’s “command” economy. And much more than in the past, the problems relate to the regime’s unusual and dangerous monetary system, money being a normal issue for most governments but a relatively new one for this still partially rationed, or planned, oriented system. The leadership may have little choice but to let the domestic economy move further from the plan—allowing decentralized market and private activities more sway—than ever before. This would help cushion the central government from losses due to the sanctions and open the door to a much more prosperous future. Without major moves in this direction, inflation and unemployment may cascade into social crisis. It should be noted, that the recent Assembly Meetings, which annually focus on the economy, gave little official indication of policy changes, only a sense of digging in further to protect the regime from outside forces. But just a week later, Kim may have telegraphed an upcoming sea change when, in his address to the Party Central Committee plenum, that he is instituting a new Party Line, socialist economic construction, as the total focus of the Party and the country. Major changes, if they are to occur, will likely come after the upcoming important summits with South Korea and the U.S.1 There is little doubt that the economy in 2018 is in very poor condition, delivering one of the worst productivity rates—productivity in terms of labor and of capital—in the world, but it is important to recognize that this is due not to natural circumstances but to decisions the government has made over the years, and trade-offs it has already made. This suggests that astute government policy can create solutions and restore growth. Remedies of the sort expressed here, for example in liquidating, that is selling or leasing state assets to private buyers, raising fixed prices for state delivered electricity and for water and other utilities, and giving large pay raises to the millions of state workers who now rely on rations, while culling their numbers, would require difficult economic and social trade-offs; one might say there is no free lunch for Kim and his regime although no doubt they are looking for one, even in these summits. The chapter discusses just what kinds of decisions might be made and the likely consequences. Negotiations being set with South Korea and with the United States, and likely more discussions with China, may weigh heavily in how far Pyongyang will be willing to go in these respects. In my view the regime will be looking for: outright aid, payments for pushing back the nuclear weapons program, and premature relief from sanctions, which would only give the regime time to avoid the hard choices needed to permanently fix the broken economic system.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Economics, Sanctions, Services, Trade
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North Korea, Korea