Previous Events 2012

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Previous Events 2012


Ms. Katherine Southwick gave her timely presentation less than a month after the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration was passed.December 14 Event: The ASEAN Human Rights Declaration: Context and Implications

In recent years, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has taken significant steps to establish a regional human rights system. The ASEAN Foreign Ministers achieved a milestone with the signing of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD) in November 2012 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. However, the AHRD has received mixed reviews. Civil society groups have complained of lack of meaningful consultation throughout the drafting process, and some observers have raised concerns that aspects of the Declaration do not meet international standards. Read more...


Dr. Satu Limaye (pictured second from left) welcomed a delegation of young Chinese professionals from a range of sectors as part of a co-sponsored program with the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR).December 12 Event: EWCW-NBR Cohosted Event: China's Rising Leaders Program - Media Roundtable Discussion

The East-West Center in Washington welcomed the 2012 class of the National Bureau of Asian Research's "China's Rising Leaders" program for a closed-door roundtable discussion with representatives from the American and "western" media. The participants exchanged views on a number of topics related to the US-China relationship ranging from the coverage of leadership changes in the US and China, to the rise of new media, to perceptions of each other in the media and in public discourse. Read more...


Left to Right: 2012 Japan Studies Visiting Fellow, Crystal Pryor, and discussant Dr. Jamese Clay Moltz take a question from the floor at Pryor's presentation at the East-West Center in Washington.December 7 Event: US-Japan-Asia Space Security Relations: Potential amidst Uncertainty

Over the past two decades, countries around the globe have become increasingly dependent on outer space for civil, military, and commercial purposes. Yet recent events in space have threatened its peaceful use, including provocative satellite shootings and the ever-growing threat of space debris. Moreover, new entrants to the once-exclusive group of space-faring nations present a challenge to existing space powers, bringing divergent views about the appropriate use of space. Read more...


Left to Right: Dr. Amitav Acharya, chair of the ASEAN Studies Center at American University and Dr. Satu Limaye, director of the East-West Center in Washington, display Dr. Acharya's latest book on Southeast Asia.December 5 Event: The Making of Southeast Asia: International Relations of a Region

The international relations of Southeast Asia have gone through profound changes in recent decades. The history of the region has been shaped by cultural, ideational and political influences from India and China and Western and Japanese colonialism. In more recent times, Southeast Asia has been a theatre of the Cold War, featuring significant regional conflict as well as one of the most enduring examples of regional cooperation in the developing world as represented by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Read more...


2012 Asia Studies Visiting Fellow, Ja Ian Chong presents his research at the East-West Center in Washington.November 27 Event: Buying in, Cashing out: Abandonment, Entrapment and the US-China Security Dilemma in Asia

China’s relative rise and the seeming relative decline of the United States can be disconcerting to governments in Southeast and Northeast Asia as they seek to preserve their interests in a changing environment. Regional governments see China as a major economic opportunity that looks set to grow in importance, even if Beijing’s ability to underwrite regional order remains unclear. They also view the United States as a linchpin of regional security and key to undergirding the open international economic system, but are unsure about America’s ability to persist in this role. Read more...


Peter Jennings (seated left), Former Deputy Secretary for Strategy in the Australian Department of Defence takes questions from the floor.October 11 Event: US-Australia Security Roundtable

Executive Director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), Peter Jennings, led an off-the-record roundtable discussion at the East-West Center in Washington on the topic of Australia and the US “pivot” to Asia. He engaged American colleagues from the academic, policy-making, and security sectors, on the implications of the US rebalance to the region, including for the US-Australia alliance and our mutual security strategies. Read more...


Sri Lankan Supreme Court Attorney Saliya Pieris speaks at the East-West Center in Washington.October 10 Event: Democratic Crisis in Sri Lanka: The Threat to Rule of Law in South Asia’s Oldest Democracy

The defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam by the Sri Lankan government, ending thirty years of war, has resulted in relative peace after decades of terrorism, violence, and destruction. However Sri Lanka’s years of civil war, coupled with systematic attacks on its democratic institutions by successive governments, has placed what was once one of Asia’s model democracies at risk; jeopardizing the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary and the freedom of its people. These developments have not gone unnoticed. Read more...


Dr. Mark Thomson pauses for a question at the East-West Center in Washington.September 25 Event: Australia’s Response to US Re-engagement in Asia: A Tale of Two Pivots

The US ‘pivot’ to Asia has received wholehearted support from both sides of Australian politics—hardly surprising for a country whose prosperity and security has benefited greatly from US involvement in the region since WWII. However challenges lie ahead. Australia is yet to develop a clear concept for balancing its economic ties to China with its strategic partnership with the United States. It also remains to be seen how Australia will meet rising US expectations for its allies in Asia—especially after the drastic cuts to the Australian defense budget earlier this year. Read more...


Dr. Alicia Campi presents charts of Mongolia's mineral holdings during her seminar at the East-West Center in Washington.September 18 Event: The New Great Game: Potential Impact of Mongolia’s Mineral Development on China, Russia, Japan and Korea

Mongolia has traditionally played a lynchpin role in Russian, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese strategic calculus in Northeast Asia, even before its mineral wealth became a factor, explained Asia Studies Visiting Fellow Dr. Alicia Campi. However, as the need for key minerals to feed the Chinese economic juggernaut, as well as the advanced economies of Japan and South Korea, the landlocked country has again attracted the attention of the global political and financial investment communities. Read more...


Visiting fellow Kai He addresses the audience in off-the-record program as director of the East-West Center in Washington, Dr. Satu Limaye, looks on.July 11 Event: Decision Making During Crises: Prospect Theory and China’s Foreign Policy Crisis Behavior after the Cold War

The rise of China is one of the most dynamic political phenomena in world politics in the 21st century. Although U.S.-China relations have been relatively stable since the end of the cold war, the two countries are far from establishing a high level of strategic trust and mutual confidence. Because of diverse strategic interests and different ideologies, diplomatic and military crises still seem unavoidable in future US-China relations. As Dr. Kai He, East-West Center in Washington Asia Studies Fellow, warned at an off-the-record seminar, if the two countries cannot manage foreign policy crises effectively and peacefully, escalating conflicts—even war—may occur unexpectedly between the two nations. Read more...


Retired Vice Admiral R.N. Ganesh, takes a question from the audience at his talk at the East-West Center in Washington.

June 26 Event: Securing India’s Vital Interests in the Maritime Domain

With the majority of the world’s trade traveling by sea, the importance of securing the maritime routes this trade depends upon has never been greater. For a country such as India with a developing economy and a population of over one billion people dependent upon such trade, ensuring this security is even more critical. Despite this, Retired Vice Admiral R.N. Ganesh, of the Indian Navy, described India as “sea-blind” up until recently. Read more...


From Left to Right: Akihiro Iwashita, Tony Payan, Thomas Bickford, Abraham Denmark, and Martin Pratt.

June 15 Event: Maritime Border Issues in Northeast Asia

Maritime challenges are increasingly at the center of Asia-Pacific regional security concerns, particularly in the South and East China seas. However, for all of the recent focus on tensions over maritime and territorial disputes in North and Southeast Asia, little attention has been paid to the underlying conflicts and challenges of “bordering” the sea. This seminar brought together leading researchers on border studies and experts on the perspectives of the United States and China and their approaches to maintaining and managing maritime border issues in the Asia Pacific. Read more...


Indian Air Marshal M. Matheswaran speaks at an off-the-record program as director of the East-West Center in Washington, Dr. Satu Limaye, looks on.June 14 Event: The Future Role for the Indian Air Force in the Indian Ocean and Beyond

The rise of neighboring militaries and aerospace technologies within the Asia-Pacific pose complex questions and concerns for India’s defense and foreign policy within the Indian Ocean and beyond. The Indian Air Force continues to develop, update and modernize its capacity and capabilities to meet these evolving changes. In a private round-table talk Air Marshal Matheswaran discussed the role of India’s Air Force in the region... Read more...


Dr. Rizal Ramli describes the challenges and opporunities the modern Indonesian economy offers at the East-West Center in Washington.

June 12 Event: Indonesia's Economic Outlook and Asian Economic Integration

Fifteen years since the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, Indonesia has emerged as a major economic player, both regionally and globally. Steady growth over the past decade hit its stride in recent years, making Indonesia’s economy the 14th largest in the world, and Indonesia the only Southeast Asian member-state of the G-20. Dr. Rizal Ramli analyzed the past and current performance as well as medium outlook of the Indonesian economy, including the impact of the European crises and the global economic slowdown... Read more...


Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Joseph Yun answers questions from the audience at an off-the-record program at the East-West Center in Washington.June 6 Event: Next Steps in the United States and Asia Partnership

United States engagement with Asia saw a banner year in 2011; with highlights such as the American host year of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, the passage of the Korea-US free trade agreement (KORUS), and the largest ever joint US-Japan humanitarian relief/disaster assistance mission, “Operation Tomodachi.” In a luncheon at the East-West Center in Washington, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Joseph Yun discussed how the US can maintain this positive momentum in the Asia Pacific region, which Secretary of State Hillary Clinton named “critical to America's future.” Read more...


Timor-Leste's ambassador to the US, Constancio Pinto, was among the dignitaries who met the USSP/USTL scholarship students at an evening reception at the East-West Center in Washington.May 31 Event: Reception Honoring the US-South Pacific and US-Timor-Leste Scholarship Program Participants

Nine 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 that allow them to develop leadership qualities and skills that will contribute to the human capacity and development of their respective countries. Read more...


From Left to Right: Joseph Snyder, Ambassador Chan Heng Chee, Thomas Reckford (Moderator), Ambassador James Keith, and Muthiah Alagappa.May 11 Event: Relations Between Malaysia and Singapore

Relations between Malaysia and Singapore have been complicated ever since the mid-1960s, when Singapore was expelled from Malaysia just two years after independence from the United Kingdom. The creation of ASEAN in 1967, however, improved relations between the two countries, and cooperation has grown significantly in the last decade. There is still a natural rivalry between Malaysia and Singapore, based in part on religious and racial differences and historical legacies, but the countries have learned to work together for economic, political, and security reasons. Read more...


Nick Bisley shares his observations of Asia's evolving regional order at the East-West Center in Washington.

April 26 Event: An Assertive China and Asia's Emerging Regional Order: The View from a Potentially Conflicted American Ally

It is widely recognized that Asia’s regional order is experiencing a period of flux due to the shifting fortunes and policies of the region’s major powers. Uncertainty about the future is widespread and a key driver of the recent increases in military spending across the region. Dr. Nick Bisley argued that while not entirely settled, many of the key components of Asia’s emerging order are already in place, most particularly the policies of the US and the PRC toward the region... Read more...


Left to Right: Hans Klemm and Wendy Cutler field questions from the audience at an off-the-record seminar at the East-West Center in Washington.April 19 Event: Maintaining the Momentum: APEC in 2012

Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) received a substantial boost in recent years due to a renewed focus on securing tangible, concrete outcomes toward increased trade and investment flows and deeper regional economic integration. U.S. Senior Official for APEC, Ambassador Hans Klemm gave an overview of the history of APEC as an institution, its recent revitalization, and previewed what topics will be highlighted at the summit in 2012, while Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Wendy Cutler went over the accomplishments and lessons learned from last year when the U.S. hosted APEC. Read more...


From Left to Right: Shabbir Ahmad, Mahboob Ali, Sajid Hussain, and Hafsah Syed.March 26 Event: Pakistan Media Perspectives on US-Pakistan Relations

The US-Pakistan relationship is one that has been crucial to regional stability, yet as producer at Pakistan’s Geo News network, Shabbir Ahmed put it, US-Pakistan relations have never been stable. He described them like a rollercoaster “based on high expectations and low trust.” Ahmed was among four members of Pakistan’s media participating in the East-West Center’s Pakistan-United States Journalists Exchange Program who lead a discussion on this complex relationship while visiting Washington D.C. as part of their multi-city study tour of the United States. Read more...


Dr. Claude Meyer, Associate Professor of International Economics at Sciences Po, in Paris, France, shared a European perspective on Asia's preeminent powers at the East-West Center in Washington.March 5 Event: China or Japan: the Rivalry for the Economic and Strategic Leadership of Asia

The twenty-first century will doubtless be that of Asia, which by 2030 will be home to three of the world's mightiest economies, including India. According to a widely held view, Asia's future is already mapped out with the irresistible rise of China and the ineluctable decline of Japan, already eclipsed by China in 2010 as second-biggest economy. However, Dr. Claude Meyer warns that such a view is probably ill-advised, just as the notion of an unstoppable Japan proved to be in the 1980s. Read more...


Left to Right: Nicholas Bequelin and Phelim Kine, senior Asia researchers at Human Rights Watch, explained how the next generation of CCP leaders are attempting to seek reform without loosing control.March 2 Event: Human Rights in the Year of China’s Leadership Transition

2012 is the year of leadership transition in China; China’s President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao will “exit stage left” in the next 12 months. They will turn over the reins of power of the world’s second largest economy to their presumptive successors Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang. Drawing on Human Rights Watch’s wide body of work on human rights in China, Dr. Nicholas Bequelin and Phelim Kine asked what will be the human rights legacy of the Hu/Wen era? Read more...


USAID American Association for the Advancement of Science fellow, Daniel Aldrich, explains the selection process of nuclear power sites in Japan and its correlation with the strength of local-level civil society.March 1 Event: The Past, Present, and Future of the Fukushima Nuclear Crisis

Over the past fifty years, Japan has developed one of the most advanced commercial nuclear power programs in the world, largely due to the Japanese government’s broad repertoire of policy instruments that have helped further its nuclear power goals. By the 1990s, however, this carefully cultivated public support was beginning to break apart. Following the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011 and resulting nuclear crisis in the Fukushima nuclear complex, the political and social landscape for energy in Japan has been dramatically altered, Dr. Daniel Aldrich explained. Read more...


Mayor of Nago City, Okinawa, Susumu Inamine discusses the local resistance to the plan to expand an existing US military facility in Nago to accomodate the Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.February 7 Event: Futenma Relocation: The View from Henoko

In 2006 the American and Japanese governments agreed to a base realignment plan to relocate the Marine Corp Air Station Futenma from its dangerous high-population location near Okinawa’s capital to the more remote Nago City to the North. Since then the local political situation in Nago has shifted against the relocation of the base to the city’s Henoko ward, as the base issue in Okinawa continues to be a point of contention between Naha, Tokyo, and Washington. Nago City mayor Susumu Inamine came to DC to explain that the majority of the citizens of his town are against the plan to build the replacement facility in Henoko, and that it has become a “grave” political and social issue. Read more...


Dr. Ganeshan Wignaraja and Dr. Ellen Frost discuss the future of prospects for India and China's growing economies at the East-West Center in WashingtonJanuary 30 Event: Reforms, Regionalism, and Trade in China and India

In the world economy, still recovering in many regions from the effects of the 2008 financal crisis, China and India have emerged as Asia’s economic “giants.” With the PRC ahead in world trade due to manufacturing, and India leading in skill-intensive IT exports, Dr. Ganeshan Wignaraja, of the Asian Development Bank characterized the giants rise as “impressive,” but warned that many uncertainties lie ahead and how each country moves to meet them will determine their continued success in the future. Dr. Ganeshan was joined by Dr. Ellen Frost of the Peterson Institute for International Economics in a discussion on the economic strategies and aims of China and India. Read more...