Asia Pacific

The World in 2022

“The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you can see,” Winston Churchill once quipped. Predicating expectations of the future on an understanding...

An Update on Inflation in 2022

After our last piece on energy prices and inflation scares, readers asked for updates, specifically on whether energy should be the primary concern moving...

1991: False Dawn

We do not normally think of 1991 as a defining year. We are aware of particular events that might have changed something, but we...

Globalization After the Pandemic

We enter 2022 with the same hope that we had as we entered 2021: that the pandemic will end soon. This time, we will...

2021 Year-End Review

(click to enlarge) Scale: Hit, Partial Hit, Inconclusive, Partial Miss, Miss Global The defining feature of 2021 will be insularity. Countries will simply be too consumed with...

A New Periphery in Eastern Europe?

Eastern Europe has been a buffer region between Russia and the West for centuries. In a nutshell, that means it has nearly always been...

The US-China Competition in Central America: Key Countries

The competition between the United States and China for influence over Central America and the Caribbean isn’t exactly news, and the reason for the...

The World Ocean Versus the Continent

For centuries, the power that controls the seas – the “World Ocean” – has successfully stymied continental rivals and dictated the rules of world trade. The...

Japan’s Indispensable Role in Southeast Asia

One of the funnier moments of the past few years in geopolitics took place in 2017 in Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's bedroom. Duterte had...

Fertilizers and Food Insecurity

Next week is Thanksgiving, a U.S. holiday that celebrates, and is celebrated with, food. This year, however, Americans are reckoning with rising food prices....

A New Mutually Assured Destruction

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Xi Jinping’s Coming Winter of Discontent

At some point, roughly a year from now, the Communist Party of China will hold its semidecennial Party Congress. It's always a very big...

Forecasting Time

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Around November each year, we at GPF begin our forecasting process for the coming year. In a real sense, we are always forecasting, as...

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

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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

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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?

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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

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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

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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...

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 2022 Forecast...

China will avoid intense involvement in international affairs. Where it does engage, it will do so economically rather than militarily.

Asia Pacific in our Memos

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