East-West Center Research in the News


9 February 2019—What's so scary about Huawei?, The Inquiry, BBC World Service: Eric Harwit

"Motorola, Lucent Technologies, those companies that were leaders just 20 years ago are pretty much out of the market because Huawei has taken over. You have companies like Cisco Systems that now have revenue that is half the size of Huawei's. They've developed chips that are more efficient, that have more function, that work better, at a price lower than Apple's, so it's not just the networking equipment. By next year, they may be the largest smartphone maker in the world. It's the economic threat that we have to worry about. That the Chinese companies are going to put some of our companies out of business, and in a way they're going to be eating our lunch."

6 February 2019—North Korea and America's second summit: Here's what Denny Roy thinks will happen, The National Interest: Denny Roy

There is little chance of a return to the high tensions of 2017 under the new conditions of 2019. For instance, China has relaxed its commitment to enforcing economic sanctions against North Korea, Seoul is enthusiastically moving to deepen North-South economic integration, and Pyongyang has stopped testing missiles and nuclear bombs. We are moving toward a new normal: North Korea as a de facto permanent nuclear weapons state, reduced tensions on the Korean Peninsula, and the chance to accelerate the Kim regime’s demise through increased exposure to South Korea’s subversive soft power.

29 Januaray 2019—Nuclear threat grows as US prepared to withdraw from INF treaty, TruthOut: Denny Roy

At a recent international gathering of visiting nuclear arms researchers, academics, and reporters hosted by the East-West Center, Denny Roy noted increased competition between the US and China in the areas of security and economics. “We’ve even seen this competition intensify to the point where the gloves seem to be off,” he said, pointing to a shift under the Trump administration by characterizing China not as a partner-competitor, but as an unambiguous adversary. He also pointed to a bolder stance by Chinese President Xi Jinping in calling for an end to US strategic pre-eminence in global governance. Roy said the US shouldn’t take for granted what he called China’s “minimal deterrent posture” but should avoid policy steps that would “provoke China into trying to compete as vigorously in the area of numbers of nuclear weapons as China competes with the United States in lots of other areas.”

22 January 2019—Nepal should hedge, My Republica: Denny Roy

At a time when relations between great power nations are uncertain and changing, Denny Roy, Senior Fellow at the East-West Center, suggests that a small country such as Nepal might initiate military cooperation with one super power to increase assurances of cooperation (particularly economic) with a rival power. 

18 January 2019—Vietnam gains bargaining power over China in conduct at sea talks, Voice of America: Denny Roy

Vietnam’s tough stance against China over sovereignty of the South China Sea will put Beijing on the defensive during regional talks on easing the regional maritime dispute. “Vietnam is in a difficult position as perhaps the country that is pushing back most vociferously against the gradual expansion of Chinese control over the South China Sea,” said Denny Roy, Senior Fellow at the East-West Center.“Hanoi must draw attention for playing the role of standing up to China,” Roy said. “Otherwise China will meet less resistance from ASEAN. In that sense Vietnamese pushback might make a difference.”

18 January 2019—Pentagon report hints at coming US-China escalation, ThinkProgress: Denny Roy

Denny Roy, Senior Fellow at the East-West Center, said there’s nothing new in how China views Taiwan. The United States, China, and Taiwan all know how to avoid direct conflict, so long as Taiwan doesn’t “make a clear move toward independence,” which the current government is unlikely to do. “The inexperience on all sides with the idea of using cyber attacks as part of a military campaign injects a wildcard, however,” Roy added.

9 January 2019—Kim Jong Un's visit to China preludes second Trump-Kim summit: China's role crucial, Straits Times: Denny Roy

Dr Denny Roy, a Senior Fellow at the East West Center in Honolulu, was pessimistic about a positive outcome from a second Trump-Kim summit. The most likely result would be "each government again claiming a victorious breakthrough, with little if any substantive change in the factors that created the crisis except Trump dropping the threat to take preventive military action against North Korea", he told the Straits Times.

6 December 2018—Learning from the past: Japan's tree-planting efforts provide lessons for other countries, ENSIA: Gerald Marten

The tree plantations around Nishiawakura, Japan "have a sterile aspect in them, and down underneath there is not very much,” says Gerald Marten, an ecologist at the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, who has lived and conducted research in Japan. “The plantations’ aim was to produce good products—straight, big trunks, and to do that they required care, proper pruning, thinning and so on, and this has really declined a lot.” It was not only that they were not harvesting, but also in the expectation of not harvesting, they weren’t bothering to take care of them.” Today, massive reforestation campaigns are taking place around the world to build resilience and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. But many are making the same mistakes Japan made, using a single species or the wrong species.

2 December 2018—Climate change: Redraw policies to adapt, Honolulu Star Advertiser: Victoria Keener

As authors of the chapter covering Hawaii and the U.S.-affiliated Pacific Islands in the “Fourth U.S. National Climate Assessment,” which was released by the federal government on Black Friday, my colleagues and I encountered a dire picture of climate impacts that are now affecting communities and ecosystems across the state. {This op-ed article is only available to subscribers to the Honolulu Star Advertiser.]

29 November 2018—America is watching, My Republica (Kathamandu, Nepal): Christopher McNally

Adjunct Senior Fellow at the East-West Center, Dr Christopher McNally, offers some counsel. “Nepal is seen by China as an extremely important bridge country” to allow access to South Asian markets.” China “offers a country like Nepal many opportunities. “This puts Nepal in a favorable position” he said but warned that “Nepal has to be very smart about this. You can end up like a country that gets basically mangled between two major powers. And you end up with the worst of two worlds—massive indebtedness to China and yet continued economic and diplomatic dependence on India.”  

26 November 2018—Threat to Pacific from climate change more severe: US report, Radio New Zealand: Zena Grecni

The 4th US National Climate Assessment, just released, is the federally sanctioned work of about 300 academics and experts on the threat posed by climate change. Zena Grecni, Project Specialist for the Pacific Islands Regional Climate Assessment based at the East-West Center, said that in the four years since the last US National Climate Assessment, threats from climate change have increased substantially. "Especially with sea level rise. It's accelerated and is now actually beginning to damage beaches, eco-systems, infrastructure like roadways and airports and housing," Ms Grecni said. "The projections have been continually revised to be more severe and more quick." Freshwater systems would also be compromised, coral reefs destroyed, and the region's biodiversity would come under greater stress, she said.

26 November 2018—Why Taiwan is likely to remain an important card for the US to play against China, South China Morning Post: Denny Roy

Taiwan is expected to remain a major flashpoint for China and the US despite the election defeat of the independence-leaning ruling party over the weekend. Denny Roy, a senior fellow at the East-West Center in Honolulu, said he did not think the DPP’s losses would cause the party to adopt “any formulation implying that Taiwan is part of China.” Washington’s increasingly antagonistic mood towards Beijing also reduces the prospect that Donald Trumps’s administration, which has stepped up its military and diplomatic support for the island, will make any major changes in policy. “Some in the US policy-making community might see the election result as a welcome swinging of the pendulum in Taiwan back toward a cross-strait policy that lowers tensions with China, but others think the real troublemaker is China rather than Taiwan.”

25 November 2008—New climate change report not good for Hawaii, KHON2 (Honolulu): Victoria Keener

A new U.S. Climate Assessment report highlights many factors that could change the landscape of the islands and cost Hawaii billions of dollars. Victoria Keener of the East-West Center said, "All you have to do is go down Mapunapuna on a high-tide day, and you can see the roads already flooding. A lot of these impacts are happening sooner and more severely than was predicted in the past." She adds, "As the temperature changes, a lot of our native species are forced to go higher, and our coral reefs are bleaching from rising temperatures and from acidity."

24 November 2018—Climate report paints dire picture for Hawaii, Honolulu Star Advertiser: Victoria Keener

“It’s definitely a warmer future,” said Victoria Keener of the East-West Center, lead author of the Hawaii and U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands chapter of the fourth National Climate Assessment. “We can see it in the observed data, and it is reflected in the model projections. We can’t just keep living in a world of apathy.”

23 November 2018—US climate report warns of worsening weather disasters, Honolulu Civil Beat from The Associated Press: Victoria Keener

“This report makes it clear that climate change has arrived far sooner and as a greater threat than we previously thought,” Dr. Victoria Keener stated in a press release from the East-West Center on Friday. “Here on Oahu, we already see road closures during morning rush hour because of flooding, and with sea level rise we’ll see this more and more. Our Pacific Island neighbors on atolls will face sustainability challenges sooner rather than later. The world’s largest insurers recently stated that climate change is creating an ‘uninsurable’ world. Only by acting now can we hope to effectively manage these risks."

23 November 2018—East-West Center researchers see impacts of climate change in Hawaii, KHON2 (Honolulu): Victoria Keener

Researchers from the East-West Center say we're already seeing the impacts of climate change here in Hawaii from rising sea level temperatures to coral bleaching and changes in rainfall patterns. "All you have to do is go down Mapunapuna on a high-tide day," said East-West Center researcher Victoria Keener. "You can see the roads already flooding.  They call that sunny day flooding. It's not raining.  It's ocean water and fish in the street. We really have to start looking at this. It's impacting us now, can impact our families, where we live and the way we live our lives. There are some impacts we can't reverse, but we can do our part to slow things down."

22 November 2018—The many ways climate change will leave us high and dry, in one table, ThePrint (New Delhi, India): Abby Frazier

“So many studies look at how individual climate hazards will change in the future, but none of them consider all of the variables together,” Abby Frazier, climate scientist at the East-West Center and co-author of a recent study published in Nature told ThePrint. “This paints an unrealistic picture of the future and underestimates the consequences that climate change will have on humanity.”

22 November 2018—460+ ways climate change affecting humans: Shocking study, India Today: Keith Bettinger

"From a practical perspective, our recent findings, published in Nature illustrate the compounded and synergistic effects of climate change impacts," East-West Center Fellow and expert on climate change adaptation Keith Bettinger said. "This underscores the necessity of taking anticipatory adaptation action that will be necessary to confront these challenges," he added.

20 November 2018—Society faces much larger threat from climate change than perceived, Business Standard: Abby Frazier and Keith Bettinger

East-West Center researchers Abby Frazier and Keith Bettinger are among the authors of a recent study published in Nature "Most previous studies have focused on a single climate hazard and its intensification due to increasing greenhouse gas emissions," Frazier said. "But when you study the impact of these hazards individually you really don't see the full picture of the total impact of climate change on humanity." "From a practical perspective, these findings illustrate the compounded and synergistic effects of climate change impacts," ast-West Center Adjunct Fellow and expert on climate change adaptation Keith Bettinger said. "This underscores the necessity of taking anticipatory adaptation action that will be necessary to confront these challenges."

20 November 2018—Unnecessary fussing: China, the United States and APEC, International Policy Digest: Charles Morrison

Charles E Morrison of the East-West Centre in Hawaii noted, “Some wag described APEC as an international dating service for leaders.” On this occasion, the dates failed to reach a merry accord.

13 November 2018—Wary of China, US wants South Asia to join Indo-Pacific Strategy, My Republica (Kathmandu): Denny Roy and Christopher McNally

“China and United States at the moment are essentially competing for some degree of control over the same geographic space. So this is an irreconcilable situation at the moment,” said Dr Denny Roy, Senior Fellow at the East-West Center. Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center Dr Christopher McNally does not see it that way. It might seem like we are entering a new cold war with China, he said, but “this is not going to be the case. There will be friction, there will be competition and the future may be chaotic. At some point it's going to be quite harmonious, at other points it's going to be laden with friction.”

13 September 2018—US makes move on trade war talks as pressure mounts ahead of midterm elections, South China Morning Post: Christopher McNally

Christopher McNally, an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the East-West Center in Hawaii, said the Trump administration may seek a deal on the trade war before the elections, though he cautioned that the president could easily throw out any negotiated settlement if he felt it did not “help him politically or doesn’t go far enough, doesn’t make him look good enough.”

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