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  • Author: Sayuri Romei
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC), Stanford University
  • Abstract: Throughout the Cold War, Japanese leaders and policy-makers have generally been careful to reflect the public’s firm opposition to anti-nuclear sentiment. However, the turn of the 21st century has witnessed a remarkable shift in the political debate, with élites alluding to a nuclear option for Japan. This sudden proliferation of nuclear statements among Japanese élites in 2002 has been directly linked by Japan watchers to the break out of the second North Korean nuclear crisis and the rapid buildup of China’s military capabilities. Is the Japanese perception of this double military threat in Northeast Asia really the main factor that triggered this shift in the nuclear debate? This paper argues that Japanese élites’ behavior rather indicates that the new threats in the regional strategic context is merely used as a pretext to solve a more deep-rooted and long-standing anxiety that stems from Japan’s own unsuccessful quest for a less reactive, and more proactive post-Cold War identity.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Abdur Rehman Shah
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: For decades, China has pursued a policy of hands-off diplomacy towards regional and international affairs, while narrowly focusing on internal development. Beijing’s recent approach to the Afghanistan conflict, however, has been a major shift. Getting Pakistan’s full support to help end the Afghan insurgency is a possibility given that the U.S. and Afghan governments have utterly failed to bring it to a close. China’s change may signal a shift in China’s “non-interference” approach. However, despite its early activism in the form of outreach to major actors—hosting the Taliban for talks, participation in Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) and now Russia-led talks—China’s Afghan diplomacy has not produced any desirable results to alter Pakistan’s approach towards the Afghan insurgency. One explanation for this lackluster approach is that Pakistan has successfully stemmed the flow of cross-border militants toward China. Furthermore, post-2014 uncertainty in Afghanistan rather than strategic alterations prompted the shift of China’s Afghanistan policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Asia
  • Author: Michelle Nicholasen
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Last December, the Weatherhead Center recognized the upcoming retirement of University Distinguished Service Professor Joseph S. Nye, Jr. by dedicating the 2016 Manshel Lecture on American Foreign Policy to him. One of the most influential foreign affairs scholars of our time, Nye served as Center director from 1989 to 1992—though his roots at the Center trace back to its infancy in 1961, when he was a research assistant to Director Robert Bowie. Nye's accomplishments run deep. He began his distinguished career as a Harvard faculty member at the Kennedy School of Government in 1964, and became the school's dean in 1995. He held security appointments in both the Carter and Clinton administrations, and his thought leadership has influenced heads of state and policy makers around the world. He is perhaps best known for coining the term “soft power,” which describes the ability of states or institutions to attract and persuade others through noncoercive means. The Weatherhead Center sat down with Nye to discuss the fate of soft power in the context of current US foreign affairs—and also asked him to share his memories of early days at the CFIA.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Science and Technology, Soft Power
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Europe, Asia, North America
  • Author: Mark Halchin
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The reasoning behind North Korea’s continued efforts to develop a nuclear deterrent remains puzzling to many, with the heavy costs and behavior of the regime leading to the belief that it is irrational. This paper argues that North Korea’s nuclear weapons program is instead a rational strategy for the regime. The perceived threat from South Korean and American military forces, as well as its own ineffective conventional forces, make a North Korean nuclear program a viable and relatively cheap deterrent. Its limited foreign relations and near-total dependence on China largely insulate it from economic punishment. Finally, the nature of the regime allows it to disregard popular opinion while forcing it to accommodate military demands for a nuclear deterrent. The necessity of nuclear weapons for defence and the few downsides of possessing them means that Pyongyang is unlikely to give them up, thus dooming denuclearization efforts to failure.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Deterrence, Denuclearization
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, North America
  • Author: Bertrand G. Ramcharan
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University
  • Abstract: From the advent to power of the Chinese Communist Party on October 1, 1949 to the historic visits of Henry Kissinger and President Nixon in 1971-72, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the United States of America (USA) were bitter enemies during the Cold War. China and the U.S. fought a war in Korea from 1950 to 1953, and the two countries nearly came to war again on five different occasions: over Vietnam in 1954 and 1965, and over Taiwan in 1954-55, 1958-59 and 1962. However, the two sides were wary to come to blows again and each side engaged in efforts to help avoid this. However, the dangers of miscalculations, recklessness, or accidents were ever present. During the Korean War there was much talk in American circles about using nuclear weapons. A concerned British Prime Minister, Clement Atlee, after consulting his French counterpart, went to see President Truman to help reduce the risks of this happening. The full records on this have never been published, but there is an authoritative account on the outcome from a senior American official.1 In 1959, President Eisenhower, concerned about the danger of continuing PRC provocations over Taiwan, sent a message to Chairman to Premier Mao via Premier Khruschev. The minutes of Premier Khruschev’s discussion with Chairman Mao make for fascinating reading.2 Another situation involving the use of preventive diplomacy occurred during the Polish crisis of 1956 when the CCP made strong representations to the CPSU against the escalation of military forces against the Polish demonstrators. There were thus seven situations (two with Korea, three with Taiwan, one with Vietnam, and one with the USSR) that attracted preventive diplomacy and a notable range of methods of preventive diplomacy applied. Among these one can mention the following: overt and covert communications from one side to the other; diplomatic messages; ambassadorial talks; and third party intercessions. This study will be approached from the perspective of the concept of preventive diplomacy while having regard to the concept of historical analogy.
  • Topic: Cold War, Diplomacy, History, Korean War
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: June Teufel Dreyer
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: Palm Beach heaved a collective sigh of relief as Chinese President Xi Jinping’s plane lifted off from the county airport. Gone were the noisy cheers of his supporters and the anti-Xi banners and jeers of Falongong practitioners, human rights advocates, and admirers of Tibet and Taiwan. The Palm Beach Post reverted from moment-to-moment briefings from the chief of police on street blockages and security precautions to issues of more immediate concern like rip tides and coverage of the Master’s golf tournament competition. Members of Trump’s exclusive Mar-a-Lago private club, whose initiation fee had doubled to $200,000 after his election, could now return to accessing the privileges for which they had paid so handsomely.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: China, America
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS), Georgetown University in Qatar
  • Abstract: The Red Star and the Crescent (Oxford University Press/Hurst, 2018) provides an in-depth and multi-disciplinary analysis of the evolving relationship between China and the Middle East. Despite its increasing importance, very few studies have examined this dynamic, deepening, and multi-faceted nexus. James Reardon-Anderson has sought to fill this critical gap. The volume examines the ‘big picture’ of international relations, then zooms in on case studies and probes the underlying domestic factors on each side. Reardon-Anderson tackles topics as diverse as China’s security strategy in the Middle East, its military relations with the states of the region, its role in the Iran nuclear negotiations, the Uyghur question, and the significance and consequences of the Silk Road strategy.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: China, Iran, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Jaganath Sankaran
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: The United States and Japan are jointly developing and deploying an integrated advanced regional missile defense system meant to counter threats from North Korea. North Korea possesses a large and diversified arsenal of short- and medium-range missiles that could strike Japanese cities and military bases in the event of a crisis and cause measurable damage. The missile defense system currently in place provides strong kinematic defensive coverage over Japanese territory. However, in general, the offense enjoys a strong cost advantage. It is impractical to deploy as many defensive interceptors as there are offensive missiles, which, in turn, limits the efficiency of missile defenses. It should be understood that regional missile defenses in the Asia-Pacific are neither capable nor expected to provide 100% defense. Rather, their goal is to provide sufficient capability to bolster deterrence and, should deterrence fail, to provide enough defense in the initial stages of a crisis to protect vital military assets. Additionally, U.S. and Japanese forces apparently also need to develop a better command and control architecture to operate the Asia-Pacific regional missile defense system. Finally, while the system is meant to defend only against regional threats, China has argued that the system might in the future be able to intercept Chinese ICBMs, thereby diluting its strategic deterrent against the United States. Maintaining effective defenses against North Korea while reassuring China will be one of the major challenges the U.S. and Japan face in their missile defense endeavor.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Naoko Aoki
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs have spurred Japan and South Korea to develop their own ballistic missile defense (BMD) systems and to regenerate their interest in regional missile defense cooperation with the United States. Has North Korea reacted to such developments, and if so, how? This paper looks at North Korea’s missile capacity development as well as its official proclamations and concludes that while Pyongyang likely does not believe that it is the region’s sole target for U.S. and allied BMD, it feels deeply threatened by its deployment. Existing and potential BMD systems have not discouraged Pyongyang from building its own missiles. Rather, North Korea is accelerating its efforts to improve and expand its missile arsenal to develop a survivable force, likely perceiving BMD systems as part of an overall U.S. strategy that is hostile to Pyongyang.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Regional Cooperation, Nonproliferation
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Naoko Aoki
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: In 1994, the United States and North Korea signed the Agreed Framework, in which Pyongyang promised to abandon its nuclear program in exchange for energy aid and improvement of relations with Washington. An international consortium led by the United States was created to implement the key provisions of the deal, including the delivery of two light water reactor (LWR) units. While multi-national efforts are common in commercial nuclear projects, the case of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) was unique. KEDO’s challenges ranged from the lack of diplomatic relations between its main members and North Korea, to the country’s poor infrastructure. This paper examines KEDO’s experience and concludes that cooperation among its member states—Japan, South Korea, the United States and others—helped ensure the project’s financial and political feasibility, even if work did not proceed smoothly. While the construction of the LWRs was never completed due to larger political changes, KEDO’s experience offers lessons for future nuclear projects that face similar hurdles. EXPLORE:
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Regional Cooperation, Nonproliferation, Deterrence
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea