Previous Events 2013

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Previous Events 2013


2013 Asia Studies Visiting Fellow, Wen-ti Sung, from Australian National University, discussed his analysis of the policy outcomes of China's Third Plenum and their implications for Sino-US-Taiwanese relations in his seminar at the East-West Center in Washington.December 12 Event: Prospects for US-PRC-Taiwan Relations after China’s Third Plenum

Since returning to power in late 2012, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the Liberal Democratic Party have promoted more assertive defense policies for Japan, including exercising the right of collective self-defense. The United States has long encouraged Japan to take a greater role in the shared security commitments of the alliance. The recent joint statement of the US-Japan Security Consultative Committee welcomed Japanese efforts in this regard and indicated a desire to collaborate closely. What would be the implications of Japan's decision to exercise the right of collective self-defense? This policy change is expected to have a significant effect on bilateral military operations, regional security, and Japan's global security activities... Read more...


A panel of experts discussed US-Korea trade relations, security issues and the alliance, student and other interpersonal exchanges and more. All areas highlighted in the new Korea Matters for America publication.December 11 Special Event: Korea and the United States: 60 Years of Partnership Going Forward

The latest edition of the Korea Matters for America/America Matters for Korea publication was launched on Wednesday, December 11th with an event on Capitol Hill in Washington, with remarks from congressional leaders and a panel discussion on US-Korea relations. Produced jointly by the East-West Center in Washington and The Asan Institute for Policy Studies in Seoul, Korea Matters highlights all aspects of the US-Korea relationship, including analysis of trade and investment levels, mutual travel and tourism rates, student exchanges, and the bilateral security alliance, among other things. The publication highlights state- and congressional district-level facts and figures to illustrate the importance of the relationship on a local level. Read more...


Dr. Yoshihide Soeya, a 2013 Japan Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington DC, speaks at the East-West Center in WashingtonDecember 4 Event: Potentials and Limitations of Japan-South Korea Relations

The US-China relationship is under structural transformation, and will remain the most critical common denominator for the national strategies of Japan and South Korea for many years to come. It has been assumed that these changes would bring these two treaty allies of the US closer together. Domestic political circumstances, however,have stymied efforts for the two governments to cooperate on strategic issues. In his talk at the East-West Center in Washington, co-sponsored in partnership with the US-Japan Research Institute (USJI) Dr. Yoshihide Soeya, argued that, ironically, the usual bilateral walls between Japan and South Korea appear to be getting higher, precisely because of this strategic convergence... Read more...


Mr. Julio Amador is a 2013 Asia Studies Visiting Fellow at the East-West Center in Washington.November 4 Event: Responding to the Rebalance: ASEAN between China and the US

The rebalancing of the United States to Asia in an effort to stem China’s surge in regional leadership has placed the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in a difficult position. While ASEAN recognizes China as one of its most important Dialogue Partners, the regional association’s members have always recognized that the US plays a special role in the Asia Pacific as the guarantor of security. Meanwhile, China and the US are set on a rivalry that, while not officially acknowledged, is apparent to observers in Southeast Asia. Within this context, how is ASEAN as a regional organization dealing with Chinese-American rivalry? In his off-the-record presentation at the East-West Center in Washington, Mr. Julio Amador III described the regional perspectives of the direction of ASEAN in the context of the US Rebalance... Read more...


2013 Japan Studies Visiting Fellow, Ian Rinehart, presented the results research conducted during his three month residency at the East-West Center in Washington.October 29 Event: Collective Self-Defense and US-Japan Security Cooperation

Since returning to power in late 2012, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the Liberal Democratic Party have promoted more assertive defense policies for Japan, including exercising the right of collective self-defense. The United States has long encouraged Japan to take a greater role in the shared security commitments of the alliance. The recent joint statement of the US-Japan Security Consultative Committee welcomed Japanese efforts in this regard and indicated a desire to collaborate closely. What would be the implications of Japan's decision to exercise the right of collective self-defense? This policy change is expected to have a significant effect on bilateral military operations, regional security, and Japan's global security activities... Read more...


Former Ambassador Jonathan Addleton discussed his book Mongolia and the United States: A Diplomatic History at the East-West Center in Washington.October 23 Event: The United States and Mongolia: A Diplomatic Perspective

While maintaining positive ties with its two powerful neighbors, China and Russia, Mongolia has also sought to strengthen relations with various "third neighbors" such as Japan, South Korea and the United States to help provide balance. For its part, the United States has responded by supporting Mongolia as an emerging democracy while strengthening development and commercial relations. Ambassador Jonathan Addleton discussed these and other aspects of the US-Mongolia diplomatic relationship, drawing heavily on his recently published book Mongolia and the United States: A Diplomatic History... Read more...


Dr. Mark Borthwick, director of the US Asia Pacific Council (right), introduces Dr. Sophal Ear, assistant professor at the US Naval Postgraduate School (left) at a discussion of Dr. Ear's latest book: "Aid Dependence in Cambodia: How Foreign Assistance Undermines Democracy" at the East-West Center in WashingtonOctober 9 Event: Aid Dependence in Cambodia: How Foreign Assistance Undermines Democracy

International intervention liberated Cambodia from pariah state status in the early 1990s and laid the foundations for more peaceful, representative rule. Yet the country’s social indicators and the integrity of its political institutions declined rapidly within a few short years, while inequality grew dramatically. International intervention and foreign aid resulted in higher maternal (and possibly infant and child) mortality rates and unprecedented corruption by the mid-2000s. In his new book, Aid Dependence in Cambodia: How Foreign Assistance Undermines Democracy (Columbia University Press, 2013), Dr. Sophal Ear argues that the more aid dependent a country, the more distorted its incentives to develop sustainably. Read more...


Ms. Cleo Paskal presented her insight into the new players and waning Western influence among island nations of the South Pacific in her talk at the East-West Center in Washington.October 3 Event: The New Battle for the Pacific: How the West is Losing the South Pacific to China, the UAE, and Just About Everyone Else

The South Pacific is usually considered as being, literally, at the edge of the map. However, as the world pivots to the Asia-Pacific, the South Pacific region's true geopolitical, strategic and economic value is coming to the fore. In transit terms alone, as U.S. Pacific Command Commander Admiral Samuel Locklear said in the Cook Islands in 2012: "Five trillion dollars of commerce rides on the (Asia-Pacific) sea lanes each year, and you people are sitting right in the middle of it." Read more...


(Left to Right) Dr. Kent E. Calder, director of the Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies at Johns Hopkins SAIS, and Dr. Satu Limaye, of the East-West Center in Washington, address the audience at a launch and discussion of Dr. Calder's latest book: "The New Continentalism: Energy and Twenty-First Century Eurasian Geopolitics"September 25 Event: New Continentalism: Energy and Twenty-First Century Eurasian Politics

While much attention in the Asia Pacific in recent years has been focused on international interaction on the high seas, on issues such as maritime securuity and territorial disputes along the Pacific littoral, significant changes are taking place in the heart of continental Asia. In his groundbreaking book, The New Continentalism: Energy and Twenty-First-Century Eurasian Geopolitics (Yale, 2012), Dr. Kent E. Calder argues that a new transnational configuration is emerging in Asia, driven by economic growth, rising energy demand, and the erosion of longstanding geopolitical divisions. Read more...


(Left to Right) Dr. James Spencer, Dr. Melissa Finucane, and Dr. Satu Limaye at the East-West Center in WashingtonSeptember 17 Event: Rapid Urbanization and Infectious Disease Outbreaks: The Case of Avian Influenza in Vietnam

The global trend in urbanization is increasingly toward the “peri-urban,” areas that are unserviced and densely populated. Does increased human and animal density without good urban planning and design explain the emergence of new and reemerging infectious diseases in such areas? Are disease outbreaks in valuable livestock populations more common in the least developed areas? Or does the risk increase as the countryside transitions into city? To answer these questions, Dr. Melissa Finucane and Dr. James H. Spencer examined the link between multifaceted man-made environmental changes and outbreaks of avian influenza in poultry in Vietnam, where the “bird-flu” has caused widespread economic damage. Read more...


Experts on the US-Japan relationship, Professor Akira Kato (left) and Dr. Andrew Oros (right), discuss professor Kato's research on periods of crisis in the US-Japan alliance at the East-West Center in Washington.September 13 Event: Adrift Again? How to Anchor the Japan-US Alliance

In the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011, the joint rescue mission of the US Forces Japan and the Japan Self Defense Force, “Operation Tomodachi," was extolled in both countries as a rock-solid proof of the strong ties of the Japan-US alliance. However, within a year “Japan handlers” again sounded the alarm, warning that despite popularity boost from the disaster relief efforts, the long term strength of the alliance was at risk. The US wanted Japan to contribute more as a full-partner in at a time when Japan appeared to be at the crossroads either of fighting to maintain its status as a “tier-one nation” of global consequence, or quietly drifting into “tier-two status” under the weight of tremendous fiscal, political and regional challenges. In this way, argues Professor Akira Kato, the Japan-US alliance is seen to be drifting again as in the 1990’s, possibly into wreck this time. Read more...


Australia's former ambassador to Israel, Indonesia, Japan, and the United States, Rawdon Dalrymple, drew on his extensive experience to explain the possible impacts of the recent national elections, and the role of regional relations on Australia's domestic and foreign policy in his talk at the East-West Center in Washington.September 10 Event: China, Japan, and the United States: The View from the Outback

In the background of Australia’s September 7th national election, is the question of how China's rise and America's response will affect the country’s future. China is already Australia’s biggest trading partner, hungry for the country’s natural resources. Lack of funding and indecision, however, have left Australia dependent on its alliance partner, the United States, for defense. Meanwhile, Japan’s economic might and expanding military potential bring new considerations to the region.In his post-election seminar, Retired Ambassador Rawdon Dalrymple began by discussing the swing to the Liberal National Party at the polls, and describing some of the new officials that may appear in Australian foreign affairs. Read more...


Burma/Myanmar expert Dr. David Steinberg of Georgetown University (right) served as discussant and guest-host for Dr. Nich Farrelly's (left) presentation at the East-West Center in Washington on what the new capitol of Naypyitaw means for Myanmar.September 6 Event: Naypyitaw: A Home for Myanmar's Unexpected Democracy

Myanmar’s ongoing political reorganization comes with an array of revitalized institutions and a brand new capital city, Naypyitaw. Carved out of scrubland and paddy fields five-hours north of the former administrative capital of Yangon, and regularly denigrated by local and international commentators for its unusual design, the city is an expansive, confusing, and contradictory addition to the national political geography. To help illustrate its role in Myanmar’s unexpected democracy, Dr. Nicholas Farrelly focused on some of the unremarked aspects of this so-called “abode of kings." Read more...


2013 Asian Studies Visiting Fellow Xiaobo Su gives his presentation on China's antidrug policies in Southeast Asia as an alternative form to regional integration at the East-West Center in Washington.August 21 Event: China's War on Drugs: Antidrug Policies and Regional Integration in Northern Laos and Myanmar

Drug trafficking from the Golden Triangle to China through Yunnan has become a serious challenge to social stability and economic development along the cross-border regions between China and mainland Southeast Asia. In order to handle this non-traditional security challenge and provide a drug-free and socially stable environment for China in general and Yunnan province in particular, the Chinese state activated its war on drugs, with Yunnan as the major frontline. In his seminar, Dr. Xiaobo Su explored the two interrelated components of China's antidrug policies (coercive crackdown and opium substitution program) while examining the effectiveness of these efforts in reducing opium cultivation and cross-border drug trafficking. Read more...


Dr. Rikako Watai (seated left) explains her research on the foreign direct investment regulation in the US and Japan in the case of national security in her seminar at the East-West Center in Washington.July 31 Event: Balancing National Security and Free Trade: Regulation of Foreign Investment in the US and Japan

As the first and third largest economies in the world, the United States and Japan are major recipients of inward foreign direct investment (FDI). FDI from competitor states can raise national security concerns, yet the free competition-based economic order does not allow national security as an excuse for protectionist trade and investment policies. Dr. Rikako Watai explained how despite this, both nations have passed laws that allow the government to halt the foreign takeover of domestic companies if deemed a threat to national security. Read more...


Left to Right: K. V. Kesavan, Kent E. Calder, Tomoyuki Tono, and Satu LimayeJuly 10 Event: India-Japan Partnership: Its Changing Dynamics in the Post-Cold War Years

India and Japan recently celebrated the sixtieth anniversary of their diplomatic relations. Though bilateral ties have witnessed several vicissitudes, the partnership has been marked by strong currents of warmth and understanding marked. Until recently, Indo-Japanese interactions largely economic in nature, but today encompass a wide spectrum of interests including global and regional security, to UN reform and climate change. In this panel discussion Dr. K.V. Kesavan was joined by Dr. Kent Calder and Mr. Tomoyuki Tono as they discussed the latest trends in the India-Japan partnership, which has become an important component in the evolving economic and security architecture of the Asia-Pacific region. Read more...


Pictured left to right: Dato Din Merican, Ms. Hui Hui Ooi, Amb. John Mallot, and Dr. Satu Limaye.June 27 Event: What Happens Next in Malaysia? The Political and Economic Aftermath of the May 5 Elections

Malaysia’s May 5 elections resulted in the ruling coalition returning to power despite losing the popular vote. Following this historic event, the East-West Center in Washington hosted a panel discussion featuring two Malaysian perspectives on what is happening in Malaysia, politically and economically, following the vote, as well as an American perspective on what the elections mean for US-Malaysia relations. Read more...


The American chapter of the global organization The Club of Rome, launched its latest report at the East-West Center in Washington. Pictured left to right: Dr. Francesco Stipo, PhD; Dr. Anitra Thorhaug, PhD; Dr. Ryan Jackson, MD; and Dr. Satu Limaye, PhD.June 18 Event: The Future of the Pacific and its Relevance for Geo-Economic Interests

In a special program at the East-West Center in Washington, the US Association of the Club of Rome released its report: “The Future of the Pacific and its Relevance for Geo-economic Interests.” This study was prepared by three committees composed of American lawyers, scientists and doctors, to identify the primary problems in political and economic relations between the primary players in the Asia Pacific, and present solutions to their respective governments. Read more...


Singapore's Ambassador to the United States, Ashok Kumar Mirpuri, spoke at an off-the-record program at the East-West Center in Washington.June 17 Event: Where Worlds Meet: Singapore’s View of the Asia Pacific Region and US Engagement

As an economic, cultural, and strategic crossroads, Singapore sits at the center of the opportunities and challenges of the emerging Pacific Century. It is a founding member of ASEAN and maintains friendly relations with its Asian neighbors. It is also a close partner of the US, with relations underpinned by free trade and strategic framework agreements. In his off-the-record talk at the East-west Center in Washington, Ambassador Ashok Kumar Mirpuri gave his views of the current regional environment, particularly that of Southeast Asia, and of US engagement of the region. Read more...


(Left to Right) Department of State Country Coordinator for Timor-Leste, Drake Weisert, chats with Leoneto Elizario, a USTL scholarship recipient. Mr. Elizario's Washington internship was at the Office of the Hon. Eni Faleomavaega , U.S. Representative to American Samoa.June 5 Event: Reception Honoring US-South Pacific and US-Timor-Leste Scholarship Program Participants

Seven student recipients of the U.S.-South Pacific (USSP) and the U.S.-Timor-Leste (USTL) Scholarship Programs were honored at a reception hosted at the East-West Center in Washington. These scholarship programs assist students from the island nations of the South Pacific and Timor-Leste who are pursuing degrees degree at universities in the United States in various fields. Representing four nations, Fiji, Soloman Islands, Timor-Leste, and Vanuatu, each of these remarkable students were in Washington DC to participate in a five-week summer internship, a required portion of their scholarship. Read more...


Dr. Ong is an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto. Her research into the push for urbanization by China's local governments revealed a lucrative revenue source for some and loss of livelihood for others.May 17 Event: State-Led Urbanization in China: Skyscrapers, Land Revenue, and Concentrated Villagers' Living

Increasingly, municipal and local governments across China are undertaking a policy called “concentrated villagers’ living,” or removing villagers from their farmland and into apartment blocks. In her off-the-record talk at the East-West Center in Washington, Dr. Lynette Ong examined the rationale behind the local government’s push for urbanization, and the political-economic and social implications of the “concentrated villagers’ living” policy. Read more...


Retired Commodore C. Uday Bhaskar served in the Indian military for 37 years and is an expert on maritime security and strategic issues.May 7 Event: India's Maritime Security Challenges

India’s maritime security challenges cover the entire range from low intensity conflict and piracy, all the way to major-power strategic contests. Given its distinctive geography and the recent shift of global maritime focus from the Atlantic-Pacific combine to the Indo-Pacific continuum, the importance of the Indian Ocean Region in India’s national security calculus has greatly increased in the post-Cold War/post 9-11 era. As Ret. Commodore C. Uday Bhaskar explained in his seminar, there is a growing awareness at the national level that over the next two decades, India’s future aspirations and anxieties will be increasingly shaped by its ability to address the challenges and opportunities of the maritime domain Read more...


Prof Karla Simon speaks about the development of civil society in China at the East-West Center in Washington.April 24 Event: Civil Society in China Through the Ages: What Impact Does the Past Have on Developments Today?

In accord with the slogan “small government-big society,” China’s government today seeks to downsize the role of the state sector in civil society. Professor Karla W. Simon explained that up until 5 years ago, it was difficult in China to set up a non-governmental organization due to the requirement of "Dual Management"- in essence requiring permission from a relevant government agency. Recently announced revisions will make it easier to establish certain types of NGOs ushering a period of transformation for China's civil society. However, this community would not be starting at square-one, but building off of a rich history civic engagement in China. Read more...


Dr. Rizal Ramli is the Executive Director at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Jakarta, Indonesia.April 4 Event: Democracy in ASEAN: Foundation for Regional Security

The unstated assumption behind Indonesia's push for democracy in ASEAN in 2003 had been the belief that regional security would be better ensured when member states adhere to democratic developments. Indonesia, as the proponent of the idea, expected that democracy would serve as the foundation of regional security. Now, ten years after ASEAN agreed to include democracy in its regional cooperation agenda, it is time to reflect on the extent to which democracy has or has not served as the foundation of regional security in Southeast Asia. Read more...


Dr. Somei Kobayashi, 2012 Japan Studies Visiting Fellow and professor at Kyung Hee University in Seoul, South Korea, presented some of his findings from his archival research in Korea.March25 Event: Okinawa Reversion and the “Secret Pacts”: New Evidence from South Korean Archives

The U.S. returned Okinawa to Japan in 1972, after 27 years of occupation. Since Okinawa’s reversion, the existence of so-called “secret pacts” negotiated between Japan and the US concerning not only national security but also economic issues have been widely discussed. After the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) was elected in 2009, the Japanese government began to investigate the “secret pacts,” focusing on four potential tacit agreements... Read more...


(Left to Right)Dr. James Schoff, Senior Associate of the Asia Program, and Hideshi Futori following their presentation at the East-West Center in Washington.March 20 Event: Japan’s Disaster Diplomacy: Fostering Military to Military Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific Region

One Japanese strategy to contribute to a more stable and peaceful international order in the Asia Pacific is to utilize so-called disaster diplomacy to engage a wide range of actors in Southeast Asia. Alongside principal humanitarian objectives, disaster relief operations that utilize military assets have the potential to institutionalize a framework for military-to-military engagement in the Asia Pacific region, where there is little tradition of multilateral security cooperation. Read more...


(Left to Right) Najia Ashar, Abdul Ghani Kakar, Nisar Ali Khokar, and EWCW director, Dr. Satu Limaye (moderator)March 11 Event: Rising Violence in Pakistan: A Complex Challenge

The story of violence and extremism in Pakistan is extremely complex, with many varying actors and motivations at play. Solutions are equally complicated and will not just involve combating militants in the frontier regions and Federally Administered Tribal Areas. In an evening program at the East-West Center in Washington, veteran members of Pakistan’s media provided unique insight and nuanced perspectives on the reports of increasing violence... Read more...


Professor at University of Tokyo, Dr. Yasuhrio Matsuda examined all angles of the current dispute between Japan and China over the Senkaku-Diaoyutai islands to a full-house at the East-West Center in Washington.February 13 Event: Power Struggle and Diplomatic Crisis: Past, Present and Prospects of Sino-Japanese Relations over the Senkaku Conundrum

In 2012, the latent dispute over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands developed into a serious contaminant of Sino-Japan relations. Why did this “Senkaku Conundrum” breakout? Does there appear to be a correlation between both countries' leadership changes and the Senkaku issue? Dr. Yasuhiro Matsuda made an effort to offer some answers to this string of questions surrounding the pressing territorial issue in the East China Sea. Read more...


2012 Japan Studies Visiting Fellow, Dr. Llewelyn Hughes, of George Washington University presented the results of his fellowship research on Japan's electric vehicle (EV) standards strategy at the East-West Center in Washington.February 11 Event: Japan’s Standards Strategy in Electric Vehicles

The government of Japan, as well as governments and auto manufacturers in Europe and elsewhere are also promoting the electrification of transport. Yet while the cross-national harmonization of standards promotes the faster deployment of electric vehicle (EV) technologies and infrastructure, Japan is proposing the CHAdeMO standard, while US, European, and Chinese manufacturers are developing incompatible alternatives. "International standards have emerged as an important source of non-market competition in EVs" Dr. Llewelyn Hughes explained in his seminar at the East-West Center in Washington. Read more...


Australia's Assistant Secretary for Strategic Issues and Intelligence Branch (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade), John Quinn, spoke with Asia-Pacific and security experts in a closed-door roundtable discussion, on Australia's view of the US pivot to Asia. February 11 Event: US-Australia Security Roundtable

In this invitation-only and off-the-record roundtable, John Quinn, Australia’s Assistant Secretary for Strategic Issues and Intelligence Branch at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, discussed his work on the Asian Century White Paper (which sets out the Australian Government's blueprint for engagement with Asia) and discussed with members of the Washington policy and security community topics relating to Austrlia’s views of the US reblanacing to Asia. Read more...