Asia Pacific

What’s Driving the Spike in Energy Prices?

Inflation has been a big story around the world for much of 2021. But the spike in prices for consumer goods should have been...

Explanations for the Labor Shortage

FREE
The current breakdown of the global supply chain threatens to change the future of the world. If this worsens, the fabric of the global...

Why Evergrande Is Going to Plan

The saga of debt-ridden Chinese property giant Evergrande, which has been rattling markets at home and abroad, isn’t going away anytime soon. After missing...

China’s Economic Crisis and Its Foreign Policy

FREE
China has reached a critical point that many countries often reach and that, however painful, is cleansing in the long term. Consider what happened...

The Porcupine, or the Pit Viper?

China’s breakneck military buildup has generated all sorts of alarm in both Washington and Taiwan. U.S. arms sales to the island have spiked over...

How the Global Economy Works, or Seems To

FREE
There is an interesting pattern that takes place in the global system. A nation emerges that is able to produce industrial products at low...

Why Australia Spurned France

FREE
The decision by the Australian government to join a U.S.-British consortium to help construct a nuclear submarine capability enraged France, whose previous efforts to...

Rolling in the Deep of the Indo-Pacific

In a landmark announcement Thursday, Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom unveiled a new trilateral Indo-Pacific security alliance. The pact is expected...

Mexico’s Moment

The stars have aligned to present Mexico with the unique opportunity, however slight, to improve its position relative to the United States. Mexico’s proximity...

Bonus Chapter: The Five Eyes

Editor’s note: In a supplementary chapter of his book “The Storm Before the Calm,” GPF founder George Friedman wrote last summer about how the...

On Geoeconomics

Last week, I spoke and moderated at several conferences in person – a rare thing since the pandemic began – whose topics ranged from...

Brief: North Korea Tests a Missile and Biden

Background: North Korea has been relatively quiet for the past year or so while it deals with pandemic pressures and other internal matters, which...

Xi Jinping’s War on Everything

Each August, the Communist Party of China’s top powerbrokers slip away for a super-secret conclave at a beachfront resort in the city of Beidaihe....

Facing Reality: China’s Strategy

China is the definition of dynamic. Until the 20th century, the regions of Tibet, Xinjiang, Manchuria and Inner Mongolia were not under the political...

Brief: Concerning China’s Inequality

Background: China’s population has not shared in the country's past three decades of breakneck economic growth. The rising tide may have lifted nearly all...

In Europe, China Faces a Divided Front

Earlier this month, a diplomatic row erupted between China and an unlikely European nation. It began back in May, when Lithuania decided to leave...

US Credibility After Afghanistan

Over the past week, there's been a perplexing amount of consternation and, in some corners, elation about how the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan might...

Facing Reality: A New American Strategy

The United States has been at war for almost the entire 21st century, and it’s only 2021. In contrast, the United States was at...

The Nagging Question in the Indo-Pacific

Senior U.S. diplomats were fanned out across the Indo-Pacific last week. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin toured Southeast Asia, outlining to circumspect U.S. partners...

Brief: Russo-China Naval Drills

Background: By many accounts, the bilateral relationship between Russia and China is at an all-time high. It’s welcome news for Beijing and Moscow, and...

Recent Articles

East Asia is the world’s most dynamic economic region. Since the early 1980s, annual trans-Pacific trade has outpaced trans-Atlantic trade.

The center of gravity in East Asia is the relationship between the two countries with the region’s largest economies and strongest militaries – China and Japan – and their individual and collective relationships with the United States.

The key to this relationship is China’s internal economic and domestic political situation. When China is unified and strong, as it is at the moment, its influence in the Asian mainland is pervasive, with the peripheral states in southeast Asia looking to Japan and the United States for balance. When China goes through a fragmentary phase, as it did from the mid-19th century until the communists took power in 1949, the peripheral states can at times assert themselves.

Despite some saber-rattling in the South China Sea, East Asia’s challenges in recent years have had more to do with economics than with aggression. But it is important to keep in mind that the last 30 or so years in Asia have been something of an aberration. For most of the 20th century, East Asia was rife with instability and war.

U.S. strategy in East Asia is two-fold. On one hand, the U.S. seeks to maintain a balance of power between Japan and China. On the other hand, the U.S. employs a maritime strategy whereby it cultivates close relationships with island nations in the western Pacific to maintain its control over trade routes and contain the Chinese on the mainland.

Read Regional Assessment

Read Assessment of Australia

Required Reads: Asia Pacific

From our 2021 Forecast...

China needs and will search for access to global markets by using intelligence and economic power as political leverage. This will create friction with nations with which it needs economic relations, particularly European countries.

Asia Pacific in our Memos

Continue to the category

More from Asia Pacific

Continue to the category

Latest Posts

The U.S. Labor Disconnect

FREE
(click to enlarge) One of the more complicated aspects of the current economic volatility accompanying the rebound from the pandemic in the U.S. is the...

Daily Memo: Biden’s Comments on Taiwan, Evergrande Meets Deadline

U.S. commitment to Taiwan. U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday, in response to a town hall question on whether the U.S. would defend Taiwan...

In Search of the Normal

I have spent the past few weeks obsessing over the apocalypse of disappearing workers, lost Christmas presents, the pandemic that will not end, and...

Get Geopolitical Futures FREE newsletter

Understanding Our Geopolitical Model

Sign up now and receive our special report Understanding our Geopolitical Model

Get weekly analysis from New York Times bestselling author George Friedman and our global team of analysts, plus special offers.

Free Special Report


The World Explained in Maps

FREE with an annual subscription to Geopolitical Futures.

Subscribe Now