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  • East Asia

    Asia Pivot Should Be More Than Just Rhetoric and Good Intentions

    President Obama’s impending trip to Asia in April is an opportunity for the U.S. to go beyond mere rhetorical commitment to the Asia pivot. At a recent event at The Heritage Foundation, experts Randy Shriver of Project 2049 and Heritage fellows Bruce Klingner and Walter Lohman laid the framework for … More

    Indonesia: Elections an Opportunity for Improved Governance

    Upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections in Indonesia are heating up after the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle’s (PDI-P) announcement that Jakarta’s popular governor, Joko Widodo (known as “Jokowi”), will run for president. As the vastly favored candidate, Jokowi’s popularity offers promise for consolidation of democracy. Improvement in Indonesia’s democratic credentials … More

    The State of Economic Freedom in Asia

    Asia is home to some of the economically freest and least free nations in the world, according to the recently released Index of Economic Freedom. The Index, published yearly by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal, surveys 186 countries and gives each country a score based on 10 … More

    Burma: ASEAN Can’t Ignore Persecution of Religious Minorities

    As Burma assumes its role as chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), its ability to credibly deal with serious human rights issues is in serious question. Burma has come out with a statement that, under its chairmanship, ASEAN will not address concerns about the persecution of the … More

    Growing Tensions in the Air, Literally, over East Asia

    On November 23, the People’s Republic of China announced a new air defense identification zone (ADIZ) covering a large swath of the East China Sea. Most importantly, it covered the airspace over the disputed Senkaku islands. This move, effectively escalating tensions in Asia, led the United States to order two B-52s … More

    Burma Is Not Ready for Mil-to-Mil Cooperation with the U.S.

    Has Burma made enough reforms to have military-to-military cooperation with the U.S.? Congressman Steve Chabot (R–OH) says no. In a recent speech at The Heritage Foundation, Chabot noted that the Obama Administration has been too hasty to reward Burma for its reforms and is unclear on what its policies in … More

    Time to Prepare for a North Korean Collapse

    “I’m not predicting that [a North Korean] collapse is imminently going to occur, what I am trying to argue is that we need to be imminently preparing for such a thing,” said Bruce Bennett of the RAND Corporation at an event at The Heritage Foundation. In his recently released report, … More

    Southeast Asia: In Obama’s Absence, China Takes Initiative

    Reactions to President Obama’s absence from this year’s Asia–Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum highlighted the stakes of American leadership in Southeast Asia and shined a spotlight on China’s rising challenge to U.S. influence in the region. Amidst the ongoing government shutdown, President Obama abruptly canceled his highly anticipated trip to … More

    Southeast Asia and the Limits of American Soft Power

    Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s swing through Southeast Asia last week was notable not for the headlines and handshake photos he generated but the ones generated by the Chinese. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was hosting the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) foreign ministers in Beijing during the Secretary’s … More

    Burma: Neighbors Call Out Regime on Rohingya Ethnic Cleansing

    Burma’s neighbors are finally speaking out about the ethnic cleansing occurring at their doorsteps. Both Indonesia and Malaysia have made public statements asking Burma to revisit its policy toward the Muslim minority Rohingya as violence continues to escalate in the nation. Earlier this week, Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa called … More