Asia Pacific

The Fallout Over Taiwan

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to Taiwan predictably sparked outrage in China, which responded by flexing its muscles through some not-at-all subtle...

Destabilizing Major Powers

The Geopolitical Futures model argues that the northern tier of entities are the center of power in the global system and define how the...

In China, New Purges, New Targets

China’s restructuring of real estate giant Evergrande Group is not exactly going as planned. In mid-May, the company was on track to deliver a...

A Confrontation China Can’t Afford

A rare event occurred in Henan, China, earlier this month when more than 1,000 depositors gathered in front of a branch of the People’s...

Australia’s Energy Problems Are East Asia’s Energy Problems

Much has been said about how badly the rise in global commodities has affected import-dependent economies – and rightly so. Yet some export-oriented countries...

Japan Enters a New Phase in Its History

Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated last week. Days later, his political party won an overwhelming majority in parliament. The Liberal Democratic...

The Evolution of Great Powers

The evolution of military power is one of the most important if underrated geopolitical changes happening in the world today. Throughout the 20th century,...

A New Trade Pact in the Indo-Pacific

The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, the U.S.-led effort to counter China and foster economic engagement in the region, has officially launched. India, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand,...

Exerting Economic Influence in Latin America

(click to enlarge) In recent years, the U.S. has leaned more heavily on using economic engagement and economic warfare to exert influence over other countries....

The Global Economy Rebounds, Stumbles Again

(click to enlarge) Economic data for the past two years – that is, the majority of the COVID-19 pandemic – has finally been processed and...

Japan’s Return to History?

After World War II, the United States wrote a constitution for Japan that stated, in Article 9, that Japan would not maintain a military...

A New, Old Global Reality

The United States recently said that it would defend Taiwan in the event China invades it. More interesting is that Japan, a country that...

In China, a Challenge to Xi’s Power?

China has been teetering on the precipice of an economic crisis for quite some time now. Structural issues within the country's financial system and...

China’s Role in Sri Lanka’s Economic Crisis

Over the past several weeks, Sri Lanka has been experiencing an economic crisis that has brought the country to the brink of bankruptcy. Nearly...

The Beginning of a New Era

A week ago, I wrote a piece on the stages of history, pointing out systemic shifts that have taken place for more than 200...

China Struggles to Balance Zero-COVID and the Economy

Shanghai, China’s largest city and financial center, has been under strict lockdown since April 1 to contain an outbreak of the COVID-19 omicron variant....

The World and a Small War

No war is small when you are living in it, but the world is large, and large wars are rare. At the same time,...

Real Estate Is China’s Biggest Economic Vulnerability

China’s real estate sector is one of its economy’s most important assets. Real estate has contributed considerably to China’s transition to a socialist market-based...

Japan’s Chances at Regional Leadership

The war in Ukraine is a timely reminder that no matter what else may be happening in the world, China and Japan, the heavyweights...

On Ukraine, China Keeps Its Options Open

With all that’s happening in Eastern Europe, it’s understandable why so much attention has been paid to Russia, Ukraine, NATO, the European Union, the...

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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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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Latest Posts

Daily Memo: China’s Taiwan White Paper, Turkey Seeking Funds

Zero tolerance. China’s Taiwan Affairs Office issued a white paper in which it vowed zero tolerance for separatism and reaffirmed that it would seize...

A New Phase in the Global Economic War

When Russia invaded Ukraine in February, it didn’t just start a ground war in Europe – it opened up what would become a worldwide...

RealClearDefense: The Fallout Over Taiwan

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to Taiwan predictably sparked outrage in China, which responded by flexing its muscles through some not-at-all subtle...

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