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Recent Commentary and Q&A

January 2015

Xi Jinping’s New Foreign Policy

Commentary

In light of the backlash against its recent actions in the East and South China Seas, China has indicated that it is rethinking its regional strategy. The logic driving this new foreign policy, however, remains largely unchanged.

January 2015

Afghanistan-Pakistan: Building Peace, Ensuring Stability

Commentary

The challenge for the Af-Pak region in 2015 will be to build peace and maintain fragile stability as the drawdown of international forces begins. A weak economy, ethnic divisions, and terrorist organizations waiting for international forces to leave will pose challenges for future U.S. engagement in the region.

January 2015

Cyber Insecurity

Commentary

Cyber insecurity is a major problem for the U.S. economy, national security, and foreign relations. The end of 2014 brought marginal progress on cybersecurity policy, but much more remains to be done in the 114th Congress.

January 2015

What the Ukraine Crisis Means for Asia

Commentary

The Russian invasion of Crimea will have a lingering effect on Asia in 2015: from enduring questions about future U.S. engagement in the region to potentially closer ties between Beijing and Moscow, enhanced Russian energy partnerships with the region, and perhaps even an interconnected Korean Peninsula.

January 2015

The Road Back to Democracy in Thailand

Commentary

The Thai military government’s consolidation of power and crackdown on political expression are preempting a crucial national dialogue on the country’s approach to democracy. The military government is gambling on the Thai people’s willingness to surrender their basic rights for an undefined political future.

January 2015

High-Profile Negotiations across the Pacific

Commentary

The coming year is pivotal for U.S. trade policy and Asia’s future path to regional economic integration. Progress on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), U.S.-China economic relations, and regional economic partnerships will all impact U.S. competitiveness in Asia.

January 2015

India’s Economic Diplomacy

Commentary

Under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi, India is pursuing a policy of “economic diplomacy” centered on major domestic reforms and international outreach to attract foreign investment.

January 2015

North Korea’s Nuclear Capability

Commentary

Recent cyberattacks and subsequent U.S. sanctions on North Korean actors have refocused international attention on the threat posed by the Kim Jong-un regime. Even greater concern should surround the country’s other emerging asymmetric capability: its slowly advancing nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

January 2015

Divisions between China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan

Commentary

Political divisions in and among China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan will continue to simmer throughout 2015. Developments in 2015 will determine the course of Hong Kong and Taiwan’s elections in 2016 and 2017, which could alter economic and governance relations with Beijing.

January 2015

Iran’s Year to Come in from the Cold

Commentary

The beginning of 2015 will be a critical period for determining Iran’s future position in the international community. While negotiations over the country’s nuclear program will be closely watched, militant activities in Iraq, the possibility of new U.S. sanctions, and cooperation with Asian countries on energy will be other important issues to follow carefully.

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