Asia Pacific

Explaining China’s Unusual Maritime Activity

China recently made several unusual military moves in the broader Pacific rim. From July 10 to July 15, the Shandong carrier strike group of...

Beijing’s Nervous Resolve Amid Third Plenum

China’s leadership is holding its third plenary session in Beijing this week, one of the most important political meetings of the year. It’s organized...

Explaining the China-NATO Spat

NATO recently issued a statement directly accusing China for the first time of supplying weapons to Russia. The alliance urged China to withdraw “all...

Graphic Essay: Global Chokepoints in Maritime Trade

Editor’s note: The following is the first of what we hope will be many Monthly Graphics, a visual-rich, subscriber-only essay that complements our long-form...

Young, Rich and Restless in China

According to an analysis published by British investment migration consultancy Henley & Partners, an unprecedented 128,000 millionaires are expected to relocate to different countries...

Civil-Military Relations in Xi’s China

As China struggles with its most serious financial crisis as a major power, it also faces the vital political challenge of maintaining civilian supremacy...

Daily Memo: Hezbollah Considers Its Options

Plan for Hezbollah. A senior officer from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps met in Baghdad with leaders of pro-Iranian factions in Iraq to discuss...

Peru Follows the Money to China

Peruvian President Dina Boluarte will pay a weeklong visit to China at the end of June – the first head of state to do...

Why China and Australia Are Playing Nice

Chinese Premier Li Qiang is set to pay a widely publicized and highly anticipated visit to Australia this weekend. He will be the first...

China’s Pakistan Problem

While ordinarily strong, Sino-Pakistani relations have been strained lately, at least in part by the political and economic meltdown in Islamabad. The tension was...

Russia and China, Nukes and Alliances

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Last week, Moscow revived an oft-repeated threat to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine. Their use, of course, requires a few important things. They must...

The Reality of Russo-Chinese Relations

There’s a building in a certain district of Moscow that has adapted to geopolitical trends better than most others. Until 2020, it was car...

A New Front in the US-China Trade War

In mid-May, U.S. President Joe Biden unveiled a proposal for new tariffs on a variety of Chinese imports. This year, the U.S. will raise...

China Signals Economic Policy Changes

Senior Chinese officials are signaling that Beijing will announce a significant adjustment in the country’s economic strategy in July during a key meeting of...

Beijing’s View of the Chinese Economy

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At an economic forum last week in Shanghai, a senior Chinese government adviser named Liu Yuanchun, who is also the president of the Shanghai...

In Myanmar, China Considers a New Strategy

In mid-April, China’s People’s Liberation Army conducted live-fire drills along its southern border – the second of its kind this month – amid deteriorating...

Daily Memo: France Calls Out Azerbaijan, Russian Peacekeepers Go Home

French blowback. France recalled its ambassador to Azerbaijan for consultations after accusing Baku of taking “unilateral actions damaging to the relationship between our two...

Is Japan the Next AUKUS Member?

The partnership comprising Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States known as AUKUS is intended to be among the most closely integrated national...

China’s Shrinking BRI Ambitions

Last week, the head of China's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection laid out the watchdog’s main goals for this year. His report focused on...

Is Vietnam Facilitating US-North Korea Talks?

North Korea lies athwart the interests of the world’s most important geopolitical actors – namely, the United States, China and Russia. The government in...

Latest Posts

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.

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From our Forecast...

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

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Latest Posts

Daily Memo: Palestinian Unity, EU Funds for Armenia

Coming to agreement. Some 14 Palestinian factions, including Hamas and Fatah, signed a reconciliation declaration following China-mediated talks this week, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV...

Turkey’s Uphill Battle to a Rapprochement With Syria

Since the 1950s, Turkey has expressed interest in the domestic affairs of Syria more than any other Arab country, driven by a long shared...

Daily Memo: China Cuts a Deal and Lending Rates

Surprising terms. China and the Philippines tentatively agreed on a code of conduct for the resupply of Philippine forces at Second Thomas Shoal, a...

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