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  • Administration Burma Policy: Lift Sanctions, Ask Questions Later

    President Obama’s meeting with Burma’s President Thein Sein at the White House today is a stark reminder of how far the Administration has come on Burma policy. In initiating the annual process for renewal of the ban on Burmese imports last week, Representative Joseph Crowley (D–NY) reiterated his desire that … More

    Burma: New Hill Leaders Step Up

    New leaders are emerging on Capitol Hill to draw a line on Congress’s acquiescence to the White House’s rush to lift comprehensive sanctions on Burma. Congressmen Trent Franks (R–AZ), Rush Holt (D–NJ), and Trey Gowdy (R–SC) are pressing for strict conditionality on the provision of military assistance to Burma. In … More

    China’s Claims on Its Neighbors Are No Laughing Matter

    The Chinese continue to unite their neighbors against them. The most recent controversy is a map featured in new PRC passports that poses particular problems for Manila, Hanoi, Taipei, and New Delhi. It encompasses vast swaths of territory that their countries also claim—most of it water (and the underlying resources) … More

    Secretary Clinton's Asia Tour: Keep the Pressure on South China Sea

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in the midst of a 10-day tour of the Asia-Pacific. Certainly there are many things to be discussed over the week-and-a-half visit, but high on the Secretary’s agenda should be the brewing conflict over the South China Sea and assertion of American interests there, … More

    Chen Guangcheng: The Value of One Voice

    Activist Chen Guangcheng and his immediate family are out of China. This is a good thing, and the Obama Administration deserves credit for making it happen. There will be plenty of opportunity for the American political system to assess the Administration’s initial handling of the matter and what it says about its … More

    Burmese Elections an Encouraging Signal—No More, No Less

    For months now, many encouraging signals have been coming from Burma’s military-backed regime. The list of reforms over the last year is well-known: release of hundreds of political prisoners, relaxation of press censorship and return of exiled journalists, legal amendments to allow for labor unions and strikes, ceasefires with ethnic … More

    Ike-Like Resolve Needed to Ensure Indonesian Religious Liberty

    Indonesians are proud of the respect for pluralism and tolerance embedded in their constitution. Indeed, Indonesia is largely tolerant of religious differences. Unfortunately, it is not yet fully governed by its constitution. Case in point: the continuing saga of GKI Yasmin church in Bogor, West Java. In the early 2000s, … More

    As Long as We’re Talking About 'Cold War Mentality'

    In recent weeks, representatives of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) have complained of America’s “Cold War mentality.” The rhetoric is in reaction to President Obama’s recent swing through the Pacific and particularly his announcement in Australia of a sustained rotation of aircraft and up to 2,500 Marines through northern … More

    Australia's Reversal of Uranium Ban to India Could Spur Trilateral Engagement

    In a November 15 op-ed in The Age, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced that she would push her Labor Party to overturn its ban on selling uranium to India when the party meets next month. The unexpected announcement is a testament to the growing importance that Australia attaches to … More

    Taking Sides in the Taiwan Strait

    In an article entitled “China and US on Edge over Vote in Taiwan,” today’s Financial Times (FT) quotes a “senior US official” as saying Taiwan DPP presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen “left us with distinct doubts about whether she is both willing and able to continue the stability in cross-Strait relations … More