East-West Center Research in the News

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11 August 2022—Hawaii hospitals still at full capacity despite declining COVID-19 case counts, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

Tim Brown, infectious disease expert at East-West Center in Manoa, said, “This week’s data implies we are now in a slow descent in both cases and positivity from the plateau we were sitting on a month earlier.”

He added, “This still leaves fairly high levels of community transmission, which continues to challenge our health care system through COVID-related absences of critical staff, even though COVID-related hospitalizations are declining slowly.” At this time, Brown said, “individuals should continue to take precautions, especially to protect the more vulnerable in their communities, workplaces and families.”

10 August 2022—On Taiwan, China meets its ‘gray-zone’ warfare match, Asia Times: Denny Roy

China, a world leader in the practice of gray-zone warfare, has suffered through what amounts to a US government gray-zone campaign involving Taiwan during the Trump and Biden administrations.

In the aftermath of the visit to Taiwan by US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, we are seeing through specific Chinese actions how Beijing addresses the more general problem.  China is attempting to halt an adversary’s gray-zone activity by a disproportionate display of readiness to escalate to actual war.

“Gray-zone” refers to hostile activities below the threshold that would normally trigger military retaliation from the targeted country. Many of the best examples of it involve China.

2 August 2022—In the tug of war over Taiwan, chips play a decisive role, New York Times: Dieter Ernst

Dieter Ernst, a senior fellow at the Center for International Governance Innovation who studies the semiconductor industry, said of Taiwan’s leaders, “Right now, they’re moving very much toward the U.S.” But from the perspective of the Taiwanese economy and most Taiwanese companies, he said, “they need to retain a link — and hopefully as close as possible a link — with China.”

2 August 2022—Hawaii Department of Health’s COVID-19 wastewater monitoring program hit by delays, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

Tim Brown, an infectious disease modeler at East-West Center, said any additional data, particularly wastewater COVID-19 data, would be helpful in efforts to pinpoint where Hawaii is in the pandemic.

The weekly COVID-19 case counts are becoming less reliable as more people shift to home test kits, he said, adding that wastewater would serve as a better proxy because the results should be the same regardless of whether people are getting PCR tested or using home test kits.

While the CDC’s online presentation of wastewater data is not useful or understandable to most people, Brown said, by contrast, Biobot presents an easy-to-understand graph plotting of clinical cases per 100,000 against virus levels in wastewater. At the bottom of the graphing, Biobot notes the percentage of COVID-19 variants detected in the wastewater.

In addition to DOH data, Brown looks at Biobot’s Kauai wastewater data and Walgreen’s COVID-19 index, which offers a recent snapshot of its total positive tests and variants in the state.

“Wastewater data tells us that COVID is still widespread in our islands,” Brown said.

The DOH’s biweekly variant report — showing the results of genome sequencing from positive COVID-19 test samples statewide — offers information that is outdated by the time it’s published, making it hard for the public to interpret what is going on, he said.

“We find out what was happening a month ago,” Brown said. “It’s too late.”

2 August 2022—Hundreds of Hawaii classrooms are found with poor ventilation, posing a COVID-19 risk, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

Infectious disease expert Tim Brown of the East-West Center, who spoke Monday on the Star-Advertiser’s “Spotlight Hawaii” livestream program, said the risk of transmission now in the schools is significant. “With schools opening, that’s a real concern because children in schools without masks will transmit (the COVID-19 variant) BA.5. There’s virtually no question of that,” Brown said. “And they will then take it home, and that will give it entry into our multigenerational households here in Hawaii. The people at the greatest risk with any COVID right now are the elderly.”

2 August 2022—High Carbon Dioxide Levels Raise Concern About Air Ventilation In Hawaii Schools, Honolulu Civil Beat: Tim Brown

Epidemiologist Tim Brown, an infectious disease expert at the East-West Center, said children are especially vulnerable to the highly contagious coronavirus variants as school began in the islands on Monday.

“With schools opening, that’s a real concern because children in schools without masks will transmit BA.5,” he said in an interview with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s “Spotlight” program. “There’s virtually no question of that. They will take it home, and that will give it entry into our multigenerational households in Hawaii. And the people of the greatest risk are elderly.”

2 August 2022—Editorial: Weigh options for COVID treatment, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

Further, the BA.5 subvariant has dominated the cases in Hawaii, East-West Center epidemiology expert Tim Brown said on Monday’s “Spotlight Hawaii” webcast. Its accelerated transmission has kept levels at an elevated plateau, Brown said, rather than continuing on a downslope since the surge started earlier this year.
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Brown noted the persistence of the hospitalizations and the death count in Hawaii. In the week ending Wednesday, 23 Hawaii people died of COVID-19 — a sober reminder that the disease must still be taken seriously. Brown suggested that outreach to the most vulnerable populations could help by getting the therapeutics to more COVID-19 sufferers.

2 August 2022—Denby Fawcett: Some People Have Never Had Covid. Scientists Want to Know Why, Honolulu Civil Beat: Tim Brown

Epidemiologist Tim Brown says if someone were to say to him that after dodging the virus for more than two years they probably won’t ever get it, he would say back: “Don’t bet on it.”

“They have probably not yet been exposed to a large enough dose of the virus or they may have already had Covid and not known it,” he says.
Brown, an infectious disease specialist and a senior fellow at the East-West Center, points out that researchers have found genetic mutations that offer true protection but only from a few viruses.
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But just because certain people have dodged the SARS2 coronavirus up until now, it’s unlikely their good luck will last forever, Brown says.
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And as Brown mentioned before, the answer to why some people have successfully eluded Covid might be because they simply haven’t been exposed to a high enough dose of it.

2 August 2022—The Attendance of Prime Minister Kishida at the Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), Japan Cabinet Public Affairs Office: Lora Saalman

From July 31 to August 1, Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio made a visit to the United States, and attended the Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as the first Japanese prime minister to attend a NPT Review Conference.

1 August 2022—VIDEO: Infectious disease expert Tim Brown joins the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s ‘Spotlight Hawaii’ Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

Infectious disease expert Tim Brown of East-West Center joined the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s “Spotlight Hawaii” livestream show today and answered viewer questions. This series shines a spotlight on issues affecting the Hawaiian Islands.

30 July 2022—Navy League-hosted security conference returning to in-person, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Satu Limaye

“The common waters, meaning the sea lanes, are so important to commerce, to global security and to transshipment of everything from vaccines to goods that we use,” said East-West Center Vice President Satu Limaye. “Hawaii has a unique combination of military institutions, academic institutions, exchange and education and leadership organizations … so it’s really both natural and logical that Hawaii hosts something like the Indo-Pacific Maritime Security Exchange.”
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“Overall peace and security of the region on which maritime order depends implicates the future not only of the region and the globe, frankly, but also directly Hawaii in a way unlike any other state,” Limaye said.

22 July 2022—Editorial: Get booster now as virus evolves, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

President Joe Biden has contracted COVID-19, though his symptoms are mild. In Hawaii, the seven-day average of new cases and the positivity rate rose this week, after weeks of decline. Meanwhile, the COVID-19 vaccine Novovax, made by a process used for years to create safe vaccines, has been approved for the U.S. market.

21 July 2022—China’s “containment” policy against America, Pacific Forum: Denny Roy

Chinese officials and government media constantly decry what they call the US “containment” policy against China. They allege that Washington’s intention is to prevent China from becoming relatively stronger or more globally influential, lest Beijing impede the pursuit of the US agenda in international affairs.

Calling a policy “containment” when it tolerates China having an annual bilateral trade surplus of $350 billion is questionable, to say the least. More importantly, such Chinese propaganda obscures the fact that the PRC also tries to limit America’s influence. When it comes to containment, China gives as good as it says it gets.

21 July 2022—Media taken to task for doomsday climate reporting, Radio New Zealand: Victoria Keener

The media has been taken to task for doom-laden climate crisis presentations, in a speech at an international workshop, and told to tell the full story.

Former Marshall Islands president, Hilda Heine, made the comments as keynote speaker at a recent international media conference in Hawaii hosted by the East West Center.

Don Wiseman listened in and filed this report.

21 July 2022—Hawaii COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations expected to climb with wave of new subvariants, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

Tim Brown, an epidemiologist at the East-West Center in Manoa, said a flattening of total cases is expected as Hawaii transitions from omicron subvariants BA.2 and BA.2.12.1 to BA.4 and BA.5.

Brown said Hawaii is likely at the trough of this transition, but following a plateau, COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations are likely to rise again as the BA.4 and BA.5 epidemic kicks in at higher levels.

“Hawaii hospitalizations have been only slowly declining, which is what we would expect as the number of new cases fell,” he said. “However, I would expect these to start rising again as the BA.4/BA.5 wave takes over.”

Hospitalizations lag behind case trends by about two weeks, said Brown, but COVID-19 case reporting is also becoming increasingly problematic as more people shift to home testing, results of which are not included in the data.

19 July 2022—Tech View: Disarming disinformation 1 relationship at a time, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

‘Connecting in a Zero-­Trust World,” the theme at the June 27-30 East-West Center International Media Conference at the Hawai‘i Convention Center, said it all. As trust in media, government, business, science and nongovernment organizations diminishes, truth becomes ever more elusive.

16 July 2022—Is Singapore pursuing a false climate solution by buying Mekong hydropower? South China Morning Post: Ming Li Yong

Ming Li Yong, a research fellow at the Honolulu-based East-West Center, said that since not all renewable energy was good for the environment, "there is a need to be more discerning when it comes to choosing between different types of renewable energy".

Yong, whose research focuses on transboundary water governance and hydropower development in the Mekong, said renewable energy production required the construction of infrastructure which would harm the environment.

"It is therefore important to assess the trade-offs between energy production and the socio-economic impacts of such infrastructure," she said, adding that large hydropower dams had a poor track record around social and environmental safeguards.

Yong said if Singapore's hydropower plan was successful, it was likely to scale-up such energy imports.

She added that the draw of a regional power grid was that nations such as Laos, which produces a surplus of energy, could sell this energy to countries where energy demand was high, such as Thailand and Vietnam.

These projects are also part of broader plans to strengthen economic and infrastructural connectivity and integration across Southeast Asian nations, she said.

"However, I would like to caution that the disadvantages of hydropower development outweigh its advantages," Yong said, adding that studies had shown that economic losses from the Mekong's ecosystem would outweigh benefits from electricity generation.

16 July 2022—An obstacle-strewn path to S. Korea-Japan reconciliation, The Straits Times: Denny Roy

South Korea's new President Yoon Suk-yeol seems determined to repair his country's relationship with Japan. The Japanese, as well, want a reconciliation. Both countries recognise that they share many common interests. Both are liberal democracies, US allies, advanced economies, resource-poor and highly dependent on international trade, potential targets of North Korean missiles, and worried about Chinese domination. Tokyo, however, is hesitant to meet Mr Yoon halfway. Japanese elites are sceptical that Mr Yoon can deliver a solution they can accept, and unwilling to take a political risk for an uncertain payoff.

15 July 2022—Shinzo Abe: A Prime Minister Of Consequence – Analysis, Eurasia Review: Charles Morrison

Following his recent assassination, late Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe received commendations from leaders around the world as well as a posthumous political accolade from the Japanese people: his Liberal Democratic Party’s massive victory in Upper House elections shortly after his death. The Economist and others have called him “the most consequential” Japanese prime minister of recent times, and even his numerous critics would not disagree. It is not just a matter of unprecedented longevity as prime minister, but significant accomplishments during his tenure.

12 July 2022—Analysts: China's Taiwan Strategy Signals Growing Resolve to Unify, Voice of America: Denny Roy

The Taiwan Affairs Office statement mainly amplifies China's previously stated ambitions, said Denny Roy, senior fellow at the East-West Center think tank in Hawaii.
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"Anything that makes Beijing think time is on its side is good,” Roy said, “because that strengthens the case for patience rather than attacking in the near future out of a belief that the trends are unalterably averse to China."
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Communist Party leaders had said in November they would produce a Taiwan strategy based on statements by Chinese President Xi Jinping, and the Taiwan office's statement offers follow-up ahead of the 20th Party Congress in late 2022, Roy said. The congress meets every five years.

9 July 2022—Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Hawaii visit and legacy remembered, KITV4: Denny Roy

"Abe legalizing Japan's participation in what's called collective self-defense, meaning that Japan could help another country that was at war," Denny Roy of East West Center explained, "For countries that had suffered at the hands of Japan during the Pacific war, it was understandable that wasn't welcome development."

9 July 2022—U.S. Grand Strategy Should Reject Declinism, The National Interest: Denny Roy

Whether the Russo-Ukrainian War has pushed the Biden administration into “triumphalism” is questionable. Washington has been cautious and worried about provoking Russian escalation. Biden and his senior officials have expressed what could be better described as a grim determination to rally and maintain support from the other NATO members to prevent an outright defeat of Ukraine.

8 July 2022—Tesla's China ties help EV maker bounce back from COVID chaos, Nikkei Asia, Eric Harwit

"Tesla invested billions of dollars in their factory in Shanghai for producing cars and for making batteries, and so that I think already gave them some kind of preference among the Shanghai officials," said Eric Harwit, an Asian-studies professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and an expert in politics of industrial development in China.

The fact that Tesla continued investing in the country at the height of U.S.-China trade tension under former President Donald Trump earned Elon Musk and Tesla "a lot of goodwill from the Chinese government," Harwit said.
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The fact that so many of Tesla's Shanghai-made vehicles were exported to Europe and other countries "gives some prestige to the Chinese, which shows that they can build cars in Shanghai and then sell those cars outside of the country, even though most of the technology is actually Western," Harwit said.

8 July 2022—Hawaii residents mourn the death of Abe, KHON2: Denny Roy

A Senior Fellow at the East-West Center points out that there will likely be some changes on how security is provided for dignitaries in the future.
“Japan will do a lot of thinking about increasing security for prominent folks and government and maybe other walks of life. And it’s a sad thing to see a crime like this having to force Japan to make changes like that,” said Denny Roy.

8 July 2022—Omicron subvariants continue to rise in Hawaii, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

"BA.4 and BA.5 are growing, " said Tim Brown, epidemiologist and senior fellow at the East-West Center in Manoa. "Bottom line, this is for the two-week period ending June 18. If we treat that as the midpoint, that's a month ago." That means that the data is a month old, said Brown, meaning there is likely more BA.4 and BA.5 than reported circulating in the state now.

8 July 2022—Media's Drowning Islands Trope 'Saps Pacific Will' MENAFN: Victoria Keener, Tammy Tabe

Victoria Keener, senior research fellow at the East-West Center and the discussion's moderator, said the dominant narrative of coverage casts the islands as passive and vulnerable, and the reporting is“framed in colonialism and paternalistic themes.”

Tammy Tabe, Oceania research fellow at the East-West Center from the Solomon Islands, said she has encountered newspersons covering environmental impacts in low-lying islands who will visit areas of coastal erosion but not other locations where examples of adaptation and resilience are underway.
“The media has that control over what's magnified in terms of vulnerability in Pacific Island countries, and it often displaces acts of daily resilience,” she said.

7 July 2022—West Big Data Hub Affiliate Launches Hawai’i Climate Portal, HPCwire: Ryan Longman

“The Hawaiʻi Climate Data Portal provides streamlined access to high-quality reliable data and information that can be utilized by a range of stakeholders and be incorporated into near-real-time planning activities and management decisions,” said East-West Center Fellow and ʻIke Wai researcher Ryan Longman, who worked on the development of the portal with a team of about twenty.

30 June 2022—Climate change, health, and migration: Profiles of resilience and vulnerability in the Marshall Islands, reliefweb: Laura Brewington

This report summarizes a two-part analysis of survey data from 199 households in the RMI about their past migrations and expectations to migrate in the future. Using hierarchical clustering analysis and logistic regression, it identifies groups among those surveyed with significantly different profiles of vulnerability, health outcomes, and migration agency.

30 June 2022—China’s military flights off Taiwan coast intended to send message to US: Analysts, The Print: Denny Roy

According to the Voice of America, a senior fellow at the East-West Center think tank in Hawaii, Denny Roy said, “The dominant narrative inside China is that the USA is increasingly promoting Taiwan independence as a way to contain China.”

“The Chinese are now watching for evidence that would confirm this. Lacking a creative new approach, Beijing has doubled down on what has become its standard form of hostile military signalling,” he added.

28 June 2022—Why Has China Increased Military Flights off Taiwan Coast? Voice of America: Denny Roy

“The dominant narrative inside China is that the USA is increasingly promoting Taiwan independence as a way to contain China,” said Denny Roy, senior fellow at the East-West Center think tank in Hawaii. “The Chinese are now watching for evidence that would confirm this. Lacking a creative new approach, Beijing has doubled down on what has become its standard form of hostile military signaling.”

26 June 2022—US, Taiwan conclude security talks amid growing tensions with Beijing; Arms sales likely discussed even as some seek clarity over US stance of strategic ambiguity, The Straits Time: Denny Roy

Regarding China's assertion that the Taiwan Strait is not international waters, East-West Centre senior fellow Denny Roy said it was "very likely" that Chinese President Xi Jinping has been under pressure to respond to Washington. He noted that Chinese media, officials and scholars have been portraying the US as allegedly increasing its efforts to encourage Taiwan "separatism" as a means of "containing" China.

"Implying that the Taiwan Strait is internal waters owned by the PRC (People's Republic of China), and therefore not available for 'innocent passage' by foreign warships, is a cost-free way for Beijing to look like it's hitting back, and might have the benefit of making the Americans think twice about sending US navy ships through the Strait," said Dr Roy.

However, the US Navy will presumably continue its pattern of transiting through the waterway, which has happened roughly every month this year, he said.

Making the declaration also does not necessarily lock China into taking more aggressive action, Dr Roy said, adding that Chinese harassment tactics would be what to watch out for.

24 June 2022—North Korea is facing a humanitarian and strategic challenge, Peterson Institute for International Economics: Marcus Noland

Having just conducted an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions, the North Korean regime appears to be preparing for another nuclear weapons test, which if it transpires, will elicit intensified international sanctions. The country also appears to be drifting toward a food crisis, undergoing its first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and experiencing an outbreak of a mysterious intestinal disease. How does one resolve these apparently contradictory developments?

In the case of North Korea, the usual typology of a complex humanitarian emergency—state failure leading to human suffering and death—is turned on its head: Rather than lack of state capacity, the core challenge is a "hard" state that does not adhere to international norms. 

23 June 2022—Hawaii’s COVID-19 cases leveling off, but masking still urged, Honolulu-Star Advertiser: Tim Brown

Tim Brown, an epidemiologist at the East-West Center in Manoa, warned that transmission levels in the isles are still high, and the matter should not be downplayed.

“We are still in a very epidemic situation, yet we’re downplaying it,” said Brown during the Honolulu Star-¬Advertiser “Spotlight Hawaii” live webcast that aired Monday. “We’re acting like nothing’s going on, but the reality is people should be masking.”

Brown estimated that Hawaii is probably a week or so out from the peak of the current surge, but said that the way down will be slow.
“Even if we are on the downslope it’s a slow downslope,” he said. “We’re still going to have high rates of community spread probably through mid-July at the rate we’re declining now.”
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Brown emphasized the importance of continuing to mask up, and of getting more eligible Hawaii residents boosted. This up-and-down cycle could potentially go on for years, he said, if transmission continues.

“Right now, this let-it-rip attitude is, in fact, contributing to the more rapid evolution of the virus,” he said, “and therefore, contributing to it getting around our existing protections.”

21 June 2022—‘We’re still in a very high surge’ West Hawaii Today: Tim Brown

Tim Brown, an infectious disease expert with the East-West Center, appeared on a livestreamed interview Monday to discuss the current rise in cases he said has largely been ignored by the general public.

However, Brown said people are “acting like nothing’s going on.”

“The problem is that the epidemic is being downplayed now from a political perspective and also a public health perspective,” Brown said. “The reality is that we’re still in a very high surge.”

Brown said current COVID test positivity rates are nearly 20%, although he noted that doesn’t take into consideration the thousands of home tests in circulation. But he estimated that there will continue to be large amounts of community spread until mid-July — as long as new variants don’t take hold.

21 June 2022—COVID-19 vaccines for Hawaii keiki under 5 roll out this week, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

Tim Brown, epidemiologist at East-West Center in Manoa, warned against underestimating the impact that COVID-19 has on children during a "Spotlight Hawaii " conversation on Monday.

Many compare the rates of COVID-19 in children to rates of COVID-19 in adults, especially older adults, he said, when they should be compared to rates of other illnesses that occur in children, such as rubella or chicken pox.
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"Every child death is to be avoided, " said Brown. "Children are not expected to die, especially in a country with a health care system as advanced as that of the United States."

Vaccines are really important for protecting children against severe illness and if there is one to prevent it, we should be using it, he said.

21 June 2022—Editorial: Weigh benefits of keiki vaccinations, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

It is the uncertain impacts of the disease that should be the most worrisome to parents, said Tim Brown, director of an epidemiology team at the East-West Center. He was speaking Monday on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser “Spotlight Hawaii” webcast.

More than 100,000 children have been hospitalized with COVID-19 in the U.S., Brown said, 86% of them admitted specifically because of serious effects of the viral disease, not merely testing positive while there for another illness.

“I would say that people are completely underestimating the impact that COVID has on children,” he added.

21 June 2022—Worrisome surge in COVID cases on Hawaii Island prompts calls for more testing, Hawaii News Now: Tim Brown

Epidemiologist Tim Brown has been tracking infection numbers statewide and says this surge is a product of relaxed attitudes toward the virus as well as a lack of testing and access to treatments.
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“We have a very serious epidemic situation, but people are acting like nothing’s going on and that’s a real issue,” said Brown, in an interview Monday with Honolulu Star Advertiser Spotlight Hawaii.

He expects this current wave to last through mid-July and a key factor in keeping cases low will be staying current with vaccines and boosters.
“Keep in mind, vaccine protection is waning,” Brown said.

“Protection due to previous infection is also waning, therefore, the population is getting more susceptible to more hospitalizations and more severe illness as we go forward because of that waning of protections.”

21 June 2022—Hawaii’s Extreme Drought Is Forcing Ranchers And Farmers To Get Creative, Honolulu Civil Beat: Ryan Longman

More than 100 years of data relating to rainfall has been compiled for the Pacific Drought Knowledge Exchange, an initiative led by East-West Center fellow Ryan Longman.

Using the data, Longman and his team are currently working on the Hawaii Rangeland Information Portal, which could help ranchers to make decisions on the size of their herds and how their grasses might perform in any given season, ahead of time.

Tools such as the rangeland information portal could potentially be adapted to also include crops aside from grasses, he says.

Longman says he hope the program, which is being developed alongside the Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council, will be launched by next spring.
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But in collecting data, there are always outliers. And this year is one, Longman says.

“La Nina should mean a really wet, wet season. Hopefully we get back on track next year,” Longman said. But next winter is months away. “We’ll probably have to get through one of the hottest summers in Hawaii (on record).”

20 June 2022—Infectious disease expert Tim Brown of the East-West Center joins the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s ‘Spotlight Hawaii’ Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

Infectious disease expert Tim Brown of the East-West Center joined the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s “Spotlight Hawaii” livestream show today and answered viewer questions. This series shines a spotlight on issues affecting the Hawaiian Islands.

9 June 2022—US-Marshal Islands relationship: free association? Pacific Island Times: Laura Brewington

The COFA also allows Marshallese citizens to freely live and work in the United States, where a large diaspora now resides. This allows RMI citizens to acquire education and skills that can be utilized on their return home, and many earn money overseas that is sent home in the form of remittances.

However, the impacts of climate change are causing some to question if they should return home. A recent survey of Marshallese living in the United States reported that 62 percent said that the impacts of climate change in the RMI would negatively affect their decision to go back.

9 June 2022—Hawaii’s average COVID-19 case count down over the week, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

“The data is giving indications that we may be plateauing at this point,” said Tim Brown, an infectious disease modeler at the East-West Center in Manoa, who noted that testing was down during Memorial Day weekend. “But we need to confirm that over the next couple of weeks. Right now our positivity rate is still increasing statewide.”

Positivity rates on Hawaii island appear to be declining, he said, but whether other counties will follow remains to be seen. Even if cases are leveling off, however, they are doing so at a high level.

“The levels are going to be high for probably the next month or month-and-a-half which means it’s not time to be letting your guard down,” he said. “There’s still a lot of COVID in the community.”

People should still take extra precautions, especially around the elderly and immunocompromised, he said.

4 June 2022—Left unsettled, Taiwan issue increasingly poisons US-China ties, The Straits Times: Denny Roy

The United States officially does not pledge to send its armed forces to help defend Taiwan in the event of an attack by China. But on May 23, while visiting ally Japan, President Joe Biden reinforced the impression that US policy has changed. Asked if he was "willing to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan", Mr Biden responded "Yes". He has made similar statements as president on two other occasions. In all three instances, other US officials or Mr Biden himself subsequently denied that Washington had abandoned "strategic ambiguity" for "strategic clarity". For outside observers, however, especially the Chinese government, Mr Biden's off-script statements have major ramifications for maintaining peace across the Taiwan Strait. These episodes raise the questions of what US policy actually is and why such a simple statement by a US president about a hypothetical scenario should cause such controversy.

4 June 2022—Tesla’s China Game – Analysis, Eurasia Review: Eric Harwit

“Not satisfied with dominating the US market, the company turned to China to expand its vehicle sales,” scholar Eric Harwit writes in a recent East-West Center AsiaPacific Issues paper, Tesla Goes to China. The paper explores Tesla’s expansion into the Chinese market over the last eight years and the various successes and struggles it has faced adapting to China’s playbook.

“The interest in China came naturally, because China’s overall vehicle market has been larger than that of the United States since 2008,” Harwit writes. China now also boasts the world’s largest EV market, driven by government financial support and consumer incentives. Notably, China’s government is aiming to have EVs make up 40 percent of all vehicle sales by 2030.

2 June 2022—Why were Chinese fighter jets ‘buzzing’ a Canadian aircraft? ‘That famous scene from Top Gun? ... That’s not normal’ Toronto Star: Denny Roy

But Denny Roy, senior fellow focusing on Asia-Pacific security issues at the East-West Center, an independent non-profit organization partly funded by the U.S. government, said it is still possible the pilots may have been acting alone.

China not answering Ottawa’s request to talk about the incidents may also serve a purpose, Roy said.

“It’s very common in the Chinese system to sort of give an indication of displeasure or hostile intent but then not follow up on it and let the adversary stew in anxiety for awhile.”

Roy said after the Hainan Island incident, Washington took up the matter with Chinese officials who are then said to have cracked down on the practice of getting too close to U.S. planes.

24 May 2022—Denby Fawcett: Don't Keep Us In The Dark About The Current Covid Surge, Honolulu Civil Beat: Tim Brown

Epidemiologist Dr. Tim Brown says a daily reporting of pandemic data is needed as a direct way to wake up people to the current spread.
“It is unfair to leave people on their own without enough information to gauge their risk,” Brown said.
Brown is an infectious disease expert and senior fellow at the East-West Center.
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Epidemiologist Brown says, “Keeping the public in the dark means the rest of the requirements for living with Covid will not be met and that Covid mortality will remain unacceptably high.”
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Also, it’s because of what Brown criticizes as “this strong desire on the part of all aspects of government to act like Covid is no longer among us and is now just like the flu” – reasoning he calls “shortsighted and wrong.”
He says: “The current caseload shows we are clearly still in a serious epidemic situation and the mortality rate is still far, far too high — much, much higher than flu in even its worst years.”

23 May 2022—Biden Is Talking About ‘Shared Values’ to Counter China. That Isn't Helping the U.S. in Asia, Time: Denny Roy

Biden’s most pressing task in the Asia-Pacific is to gather governments that will support the U.S. vision of a regional order over the Chinese vision. Only a handful of Asia-Pacific countries, however, are full-fledged liberal democracies. Many potential U.S. supporters and security partners are ambivalent if not hostile toward liberal values. That pool is growing as illiberalism is ascending and liberalism is declining in the region.

20 May 2022—Jakarta Flooding Prompts Plan To Relocate Indonesia's Capital – Analysis, Eurasia Review: Micah Fisher

Indonesian officials have high economic hopes, Fisher said, aiming to make the nation one of the world’s top five economies by 2045. But World Bank economists predict that if water-related threats such as pollution, inadequate sanitation, sea level rise and unsustainable groundwater extraction are not addressed, he said, the country will actually likely experience a 7.3 percent loss in GDP by that time.

“If you don’t deal with the issues of water, then there are very, very significant barriers to reaching those goals,” said Fisher. Even now, he said, rapid population growth is continuing to occur in areas where rivers are already stressed and polluted.

20 May 2022—Hawaiʻi is riding another COVID wave, The Converastion (Hawaii Public Radio): Tim Brown

19 May 2022—Health officials urge masking, boosters as COVID-19 cases surge in Hawaii, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

“I’d say we’re absolutely in a surge,” said Tim Brown, an epidemiologist at the East-West Center in Manoa. “It’s a nationwide surge. The problem is it’s an invisible surge because the case reporting has been broken.”
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Those additional boosters are important due to waning immunity, said Brown of the East-West Center, particularly with the growing rate of breakthrough cases among the elderly and vulnerable.
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“I really wish that our health care providers would be reaching out, especially to the elderly that they’re serving,” Brown said. “They really should be reaching out to people, and encouraging them to come in and get boosted.”

16 May 2022—With Marcos Jr. set to be next Philippine president, a Hawaiʻi connection is part of the story, Hawaii Public Radio: Sherry Broder

In 1995 a Honolulu court found the elder Marcos responsible for human rights abuses including the torture, murder and “disappearances of fellow Filipinos.”

Local attorney Sherry Broder says the legal battle to get the $2 billion award to the plaintiffs has been a long one.

“We’ve spent many years since then litigating in appellate courts in the United States of America — including the U.S. Supreme Court, the Sixth Circuit, the Ninth Circuit, state courts in California, Hawaiʻi, and other places in our effort to collect on the judgment," Broder said.

"We’ve also litigated in the Philippines. The Philippines courts have been very unfriendly, and haven’t been willing to enforce our judgment in the Philippines," she said.

16 May 2022—China's Xi Bets It All on Zero-COVID Policy, Voice of America: Denny Roy

"From what we can see from the outside, he doesn't seem to be in very much danger of not getting a third term," said Denny Roy, senior fellow at the East-West Center think tank in Hawaii. "COVID is a problem and zero-COVID policy is prolonging it, but I don't think the COVID problem is necessarily fatal for Xi. It's not clear that a large part of the senior party leadership would favor doing anything much different."

The leader's policies outside the pandemic have broad party support, Roy said.

13 May 2022—Academics oppose depiction of Myanmar in 2022 Global Terrorism Index, Mizzima: Kevin Woods

 The Institute for Economics 'Peace (IEP) has agreed to redact Myanmar from the 2022 Global Terrorism Index after over 100 Myanmar academics and analysts signed a letter objecting to the Institute’s portrayal of Myanmar in the report.

The Global terrorism Index is an annual report that has been published by the IEP since 2000. It is supposed to provide a comprehensive summary of the key global trends and patterns in terrorism over the past year.

This year’s report claimed that Myanmar had the largest rise in terrorism with deaths increasing 20 times, from 24 deaths in 2020 to 521 deaths in 2021.

The letter’s signatories opposed the classification of these deaths as being due to terrorism. They say that what the IEP classified as terrorism was actually “attacks on military personnel by anti-junta forces” and that this is “guerrilla” rather than “terrorist” activity.

They explained: “most academic literature, indeed, differentiates between “guerrilla” and “terrorist” violence for good reason. Guerrillas seek to effectuate political change by targeting the state and its agents. They commonly do so by means of irregular warfare.”

11 May 2022—The Ukraine War Might Kill China’s Nuclear No First Use Policy, The Diplomat: Denny Roy

China and India are the only nuclear-armed countries in the world with a nuclear “no first use” policy (NFU). Beijing pledges that in the event of a conflict, China would use its nuclear weapons only after an enemy nuclear strike against China. It is in the interest of the United States and other potential adversaries that China maintain NFU, which is a unilateral Chinese strategic self-restriction. China’s NFU, however, is increasingly under strain, and the Ukraine war might provide the final persuasive impetus for Chinese leaders to dump the policy.

11 May 2022—Pacific Island Nations Want More Renewable Power. Climate Financing May Help, Honolulu Civil Beat: Zena Grecni

Meanwhile the countries face the most acute symptoms of climate change: sea level rise, intense seasonal weather events, agricultural failures and a loss of fisheries and coral reefs.

But at the heart of the countries’ vulnerability is their reliance on imported fossil fuels, according to Zena Grecni of the Pacific Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments program.

That reliance brings high costs for the residents for electricity and transportation because of oil price fluctuations, she said. But if climate financing were more available, that would not be the case.

“They have such abundant renewable energy resources — solar, wind, hydro, geothermal,” she said. “They have it all.”

10 May 2022—Biden and NATO finally confront Putin — but must do more to stop him, The Hill: Charles E. Morrison

David Beasley, head of the World Food Program, told CBS’s 60 Minutes last week that Ukraine’s agricultural products feed over 400 million people around the world. He appealed to the international community to open a sea lane to get the food out of Odessa. Charles E. Morrison of Hawaii’s East-West Center endorsed the idea, but cautioned, “The Black Sea humanitarian food corridor should be a priority for developing countries, and it is they, not NATO, who must lead the initiative.” 

10 May 2022—Machine learning improves Hawai'i rainfall mapping, PHYS:Ryan Longman

Rainfall map accuracy is vital in climate and hydraulic modeling and supports environmental management decision making, water resource planning and weather forecasting. University of Hawaiʻi and East-West Center researchers have developed more accurate monthly rainfall maps by using machine learning. They used a machine learning technique to detect erroneous rainfall maps. The results of this study were recently published in the Journal of Hydrometeorology.

10 May 2022—‘Machine learning’ improves rainfall mapping, water plans, University of Hawaii News: Ryan Longman

“Having a wide range of gridded products will allow researchers the opportunity to develop important decision support for the state such as fire, flood and drought risk and early warning systems,” said co-author Ryan Longman, an Oceania research fellow at East-West Center. “Now that high-quality rainfall maps are available in near-real-time, researchers can spend less time processing data and more time answering important questions that can help us better understand and adapt to changing environmental conditions.”

5 May 2022—Survey shows strong support among Hawaii residents for continued mask-wearing, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

For several months, Tim Brown, an epidemiologist at the East-West Center, has been urging the public to “up (its) masking game” by using high-quality masks such as N95s and KN95s to fend off currently circulating highly contagious variants.Echoing that sentiment, Barile said because these masks can be effective, “if you can wear one, you should.”

3 May 2022—In the Wake of Coup, Gold Mining Boom Is Ravaging Myanmar, YaleEnvironment360: Kevin Woods

Once-tranquil riverbanks are now cluttered with dredging machines, and the sound of the river’s flow is drowned out by revving engines. Dredging boats crowd waterways, while on land, excavator trucks dig pits into which gold miners blast water to dislodge the earth.

“Gold mining is suddenly popping up like mushrooms everywhere,” said a local environmental activist in the state capital, Myitkyina. Another civil society worker who researches extractive industries in Kachin estimated that gold mining has increased tenfold since last year’s coup, the result not only of an influx of small-scale miners but also larger operations using mechanized equipment.

29 April 2022—A financial miracle in Bihar created by Jan Dhan, Times of India: Sandeep Kandikuppa

The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, launched in 2014, is a national mission on financial inclusion that aims to ensure that all Indians, particularly low-income groups and weaker sections, have access to financial services, including a basic savings bank account, need-based credit, remittances, low-cost life and general insurance and pension.

27 April 2022—Hawaii begins COVID-19 'Transition Plan' KITV4: Tim Brown

Dr. Tim Brown, an infectious disease expert with the East-West Center, said a better indicator is the rate of positive tests out of all of those taken.

"That is clearly on a rapid upswing over time. We are still seeing pretty substantial spread in the community," said Brown.

26 April 2022—Solomon Islands Pact Clears Lane for China to Sail Into South Pacific, Voice of America: Denny Roy

Chinese business owners suffered "disproportionately" during riots last year and the unrest in 2006, said senior fellow at the East-West Center think tank in Hawaii.
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China had sought a dual-use port facility in Vanuatu as well but killed the idea after media found out, the research organization Brookings said in a 2020 study. Beijing has sought deals for dual-use ports in the South Pacific on other occasions, Roy said.
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Compared with China, Australia has historically had closer ties with nations in the South Pacific. It has provided more funding to the South Pacific than any other country, Roy said. Sino-Australian relations are strained now by their own trade and political issues.

Australia fears that a nearby Chinese military base would be a "concrete threat to Australia's security," Roy said. New Zealand's prime minister questioned the reason for the security deal, and Japan's chief Cabinet secretary said it could upset regional security.

22 April 2022—Risking Everything To Report On Myanmar’s Military Repression, Eurasia Review: Miemie Winn Byrd

Myanmar, which shares a border with China, is on the frontline of democracy and deserves global attention just as Ukraine does, said Miemie Winn Byrd, East-West Center adjunct fellow on US-Myanmar relations. “If Myanmar does not retain its democracy, it will send a huge message in the Indo-Pacific region,” she said.
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Significantly, Winn Byrd said, the military is seeing unprecedented defections and desertions. “When you have that low level of morale, you can’t win wars,” the Myanmar-born retired US military officer observed.
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It is clear that Ukraine has already impacted events in Myanmar. As a major supplier of weapons to the Myanmar regime, Russia may now be unable to continue its support, Winn Byrd said, reminding viewers that “Russian bombs and bullets are also killing Myanmar people on the ground as well.”
Myanmar opposition forces are watching and learning from Ukraine’s strong resistance to the Russian invasion, she said. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s effective use of the media in getting his message out to the world has been one lesson.

As with Ukraine, members of Myanmar’s diaspora abroad have mobilized to raise funds and provide technical support to resistance groups. When the regime attempts to track or block communications, technicians from outside the country send instructions on how to skirt the barriers, Winn Byrd said.

22 April 2022—State ends free COVID-19 testing program as cases rise, West Hawaii Today: Tim Brown

Tim Brown, an infectious disease modeler at the East-West Center in Manoa, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that he is alarmed because infection rates are climbing as testing is on the decline.

“Fundamentally what’s happening right now is that people have forgotten about COVID, but the reality is it is still spreading in the community,” Brown said. “We are clearly in a rising phase of the pandemic now.”

22 April 2022—How The Decline In Lab Testing Is Complicating Efforts To Track Covid, Honolulu Civil Beat: Tim Brown

“The case trend is very misleading right now because the number of tests is dropping,” said Tim Brown, who leads the East-West Center’s disease modeling team. “I think it’s anybody’s guess as to which direction it’s going to go, except that right now we’re headed upward, for sure.”
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And while vaccine-or-test mandates for workers and travelers have largely ended, a lab test is still needed to access lifesaving Covid treatments such as Pfizer’s Paxlovid anti-viral pill, Brown said.
“Congress’ inability to free up this funding is almost criminal because it basically is putting poor people in this country in a very disadvantaged position in terms of accessing testing, treatment and even vaccines,” he said.
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Brown cautioned against basing decisions solely on hospitalizations as the data can lag infections by weeks, allowing the pandemic to spread while “doing nothing to try to arrest it during that rising phase.”
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And in this mandate-free era of personal choice, it’s more important than ever for residents to have access to reliable data, whatever form it takes, Brown said.
“It’s not only more important, it’s absolutely critical,” he said. “You cannot make an informed choice if you do not know what Covid is doing in the community.”

21 April 2022—Positive COVID-19 tests on the rise as Hawaii’s free testing program comes to an end, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

Tim Brown, an infectious disease modeler at the East-West Center in Manoa, said the figures are alarming, considering the rate is climbing even as the daily number of tests is dropping, meaning overall infection levels in the community are increasing.

“We are clearly in a rising phase of the pandemic now,” Brown said. “Today’s numbers confirm what I’ve suspected all along.”
COVID-19 case counts are greatly underestimated and becoming less reliable as more people use home testing kits, the results of which are not shared with DOH, he said.

Given that no wastewater-¬monitoring data is available for Hawaii yet, Brown considers the positivity rate the best available indicator at this time.
“Fundamentally what’s happening right now is that people have forgotten about COVID, but the reality is it is still spreading in the community,” said Brown during his appearance Friday on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s “Spotlight Hawaii” livestream program.

“It’s spreading invisibly because people are not getting the information and data about what’s happening in the community.”
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Since the state’s indoor mask mandate ended in March, residents have been in the dark about COVID-19 data, according to Brown, who said DOH should be providing the numbers on a daily basis.

“To live with COVID, the public has to have a clear picture of what is happening with COVID in the community so they can make appropriate choices,” he said. “The fact that data is not visible to people any more is a major contributor to that ability to not respond.”

19 April 2022—End of mask requirement leads to tough decisions, KHON 2: Tim Brown

“If you had a whole bunch of people with COVID basically sitting there filtration system alone is not going to protect you and that’s where I think when they had the mask plus the filtration system that I do think flying was comparatively safe,” East-West Center senior research fellow Dr. Tim Brown said.

Things have changed since the early studies about COVID on planes according to Dr. Brown, who says newer strains like Omicron BA2 are much more contagious. He believes the traditional six-foot safety bubble should be more than 12 feet now.

19 April 2022—Improve detection as COVID evolves, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

Hawaii, like most places nationally, has transitioned primarily to tracking hospitalizations, which have remained low with the end of the last COVID-19 omicron surge. This measure is critical, but as Dr. Tim Brown observed last week, it doesn’t go far enough.

Brown is a senior fellow in the East-West Center research program, where he directs a team of epidemiologists and programmers. Speaking on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s “Spotlight Hawaii” webcast, he underscored that hospitalizations are a lagging indicator of disease spread. By the time numbers spike, there is a real problem.
“In the absence of a mask mandate, what becomes important is that the public knows what’s going on, that they have a clear picture of what’s actually happening with the epidemic in our community,” Brown said.
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The way to “live with the virus” is not to pretend that it’s gone, Brown said. That’s right, and nobody would agree with him more strongly than Mayor Rick Blangiardi, who tested positive last week.

17 April 2022—COVID cases likely three times more than reported, West Hawaii Today: Tim Brown

During a livestream on Friday with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, infectious disease expert and Senior Fellow in the Research Program at East-West Center on Oahu Dr. Tim Brown speculated cases could be underreported “by about a factor of three.”
When combining the average of 8,000 tests completed in early March with the current positivity rate of roughly 5%, Brown estimates new cases could be “over 450 cases a day right now,” as opposed to the 164 recorded over the last week by the DOH on Wednesday.
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“If you are six or more months out from your second dose, you have virtually no protection against infection from your vaccine,” said Brown. “In fact, your protection against hospitalization, in the latest U.S. study, is down about 60%.”
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“I expect, probably by the fall, they will come up with some vaccines that combine different variants,” Brown said. “The National Institutes of Health has a study where they’re looking at different combinations, like a delta-omicron variant, as opposed to a fourth booster with the old vaccines.”
Brown still recommends the current boosters for better protection against infection.
“It’s important to realize that if you didn’t get boosted, your protection against hospitalization is down,” said Brown. “You really should be thinking about getting that booster.”

16 April 2022—Pacific power play - how will the Solomons choose? The Straits Times: Denny Roy

The Pacific island states appear as tiny specks scattered across the vast blue expanse of ocean between Asia and North America. More often thought of by outsiders as idyllic, palm-fringed and tranquil, they have become of late a new arena of geopolitical competition.

15 April 2022—Infectious disease expert Tim Brown joins the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s ‘Spotlight Hawaii’ Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

Infectious disease expert Tim Brown of the East-West Center joined the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s “Spotlight Hawaii” livestream show today and answered viewer questions. This series shines a spotlight on issues affecting the Hawaiian Islands.

14 April 2022—Hawaii’s COVID-19 cases continue to rise, infecting Mayor Rick Blangiardi, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

Tim Brown, epidemiologist at the East-West Center in Manoa, said Hawaii is “clearly in a rising phase of the epidemic.”

The state’s seven-day average of new cases, as well as its average positivity rate, has increased every week over the past four weeks — with the latter rising from 2.9% in mid-March to 4.9% on Wednesday.

“We are back to where we were basically in mid-December in terms of the positivity rate,” said Brown, “which as far as I’m concerned is the only semi-reliable indicator we have.”

And that, he noted, is with half the number of COVID-19 tests compared to mid¬-December, meaning case counts are underestimated. His advice to others is to wear quality N95 masks indoors, which he considers the first line of defense against transmission.

13 April 2022—A new leader addresses the ‘State of the Mekong’ Southeast Asia Globe: Ming Li Yong

A key reason for that is its control of the Mekong’s source, explained Ming Li Yong, a fellow at the U.S.-based research group East-West Center.

“As an upstream country, there is no real reason or incentive to join the MRC because as an upstream country it is in an advantageous position,” Yong said.

“China would want to do things on their own terms rather than on the terms set by Lower Mekong countries,” said Yong, who studies water governance in the Mekong Basin, adding that the Chinese government “might cooperate with the MRC in non-controversial ways.”
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While Yong said prior consultation was limited by its inability to say “yes or no” to a dam, she noted the process “definitely helped in terms of increasing scrutiny of the dams, disseminating information about the proposed projects and creating a space for public debate around these dams.”

9 April 2022—Can the Blockchain Give This Island Nation Threatened by Climate Change a Digital Future? Discover Magazine: Victoria Keener

Victoria Keener, a climate change research fellow at Honolulu’s East-West Center, says the projections for Tuvalu are consistent with the global average for sea-level rise, as rising global temperatures continue to melt ice sheets and glaciers into the world’s oceans. “They’re seeing their annual mean temperatures go up [and] their nighttime temperatures not going as low as they used to,” Keener says. “So they’re seeing more warm nights, more extremes, and then more intense tropical storms.”

...

Keener, the climatologist, believes the people of Tuvalu may simply adapt to life in a partially submerged world. Moving furniture to their roofs on flood days, capturing rainwater, and breeding more salt-tolerant varieties of staple crops are some of the changes that Tuvaluans could make to avoid evacuating their homeland. Keener points to the example of Ubay Island, a tiny isle in the Philippines that was partially flooded during an earthquake in 2013. Since then, many residents have remained, building elevated walkways between houses even as seawater regularly covers their floors. “I feel like people are always going to adapt in order to stay in the places they love and call home,” she says.

7 April 2022—Taiwan’s Middle Power Humanitarian Diplomacy, Taiwan Insight: Denny Roy

Shared concerns and discontent for irredentist, repressive coercion have buttressed Taiwan’s confidence to support Ukraine, even when the 23-million de facto nation has stood on the front line of Beijing’s economic and military coercion. As pointed out by Denny Roy, a senior fellow at Honolulu-based East-West Centre think tank, Taiwanese people’s special sympathy for Ukrainians is solid, given many similarities shared by the two sides. The courage to fight back against powerful and tyrannical neighbours and the love for freedom and democracy are notable parallels that people in Ukraine and Taiwan have sought to strengthen in the face of Russia’s and China’s intimidation.

8 April 2022—Where Do India's Farmers Go From Here? The Diplomat: Sandeep Kandikuppa

Yet, notwithstanding these insults and insinuations, the government ultimately acquiesced to the farmers’ demand and repealed the laws. How did these “simple-minded” farmers come up trumps against a government that is adept at using mass media, social media, and its own electoral majority to overcome opposition and push through even the most contentious policies without much discussion? And what are the implications of this movement beyond the realm of farming?

5 April 2022—Fifty years later, despite US pivot, Taiwan has done well economically, South China Morning Post: Denny Roy

“Other countries have managed to work around Taiwan being officially a non-state enough for Taiwan to be prosperous and a major world trader,” said Denny Roy, senior fellow at the East-West Centre think tank in Hawaii.

“The Shanghai Communique was an important part of a US-China reconciliation that helped create a regional environment in which Taiwan and other countries thrived,” he said. “The contribution of the communique was that it successfully finessed the Taiwan issue enough to allow both sides to bypass it.”

1 April 2022—The overstated danger of a peaking China, Asia Times: Denny Roy

Several respected foreign affairs analysts have recently argued that China’s relative power is peaking and will soon go into decline, prompting Beijing to behave more aggressively between now and the end of the decade.

This view is well-argued and consequential, but – fortunately – questionable.

Proponents of this view first point out the well-known obstacles to China achieving superpower status. China is running out of resources, its productivity is decreasing, its economic growth is permanently slowing and its population is rapidly aging.

31 March 2022—Biden Wants To Spend $892 Million To Protect Guam From China’s Missiles, Honolulu Civil Beat: Denny Roy

"Guam being a key base, a key hub, is vulnerable because there’s so much capabilities packed into a small area that is perfect for an adversary like China because China happens to be particularly good at missiles,” explained Denny Roy, a senior fellow at the East-West Center specializing in Asia-Pacific security issues.
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Roy from the East-West Center said it’s understandable local communities might not welcome more military presence, particularly islands like Rota that aren’t already militarized.

“Even close U.S. security partners in the region are not exactly enthusiastic” about being places where the military could rapidly set up in a crisis, Roy said.

26 March 2022—Is Taiwan next?, Toronto Star: Denny Roy

In fact, China wasn't planning an imminent invasion anyway but Russia's catastrophic attack on Ukraine has likely caused Beijing to reconsider plans for military action against Taiwan in the near future, said Denny Roy, senior fellow at the East-West Center, an independent non-profit organization partly funded by the U.S. government.
 
Roy said Beijing's decision whether to use force against Taiwan is predicated upon domestic politics in both countries, plus the chance of U.S. involvement. Still, Russia's troubles in Ukraine have not gone unnoticed. The Russian army's poor progress would likely factor into any thought from Chinese Communist Party officials that taking Taiwan would be easy, he said.

25 March 2022—Hawaii’s COVID mandates set to end tonight, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

“The fundamental issue we face right now is there is real fatigue with this,” he said. “People are tired of COVID, but that doesn’t make COVID any less dangerous going forward. When we’re asking people to make their own choices about safety, then it’s really critical that they have accurate information on which to base those choices.”
Otherwise, Brown said, “we’re pretty much flying blind into this.”

Those who are immunocompromised, seniors or under age 5 — and the economically disadvantaged — remain the most vulnerable as restrictions are lifted, he said.

23 March 2022—As Russia’s war on Ukraine continues, some eyes shift to China and Taiwan, Toronto Star: Denny Roy

In fact, China wasn’t planning an imminent invasion anyway but Russia’s catastrophic invasion of Ukraine has likely caused Beijing to reconsider any plans for military action against Taiwan in the near future, said Denny Roy, senior fellow at the East-West Center, an independent non-profit organization partly funded by the U.S. government.

Roy said Beijing’s decision whether to use force against Taiwan is predicated upon domestic politics in both Taiwan and China, plus the chance of U.S. involvement. Still, Russia’s troubles in Ukraine have not gone unnoticed and could further dissuade China from attacking.

18 March 2022—Struggle for democracy continues in Myanmar amid deepening violence and humanitarian crisis, Eurasia Review: Charles E. Morrison

With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine dominating the international news, it is important to remember that a year after Myanmar’s military coup, the popular struggle goes on there against another increasingly violent authoritarian regime.

The coup followed the country’s November 2020 general elections, which were overwhelmingly won by the National League for Democracy, or NDL, led by popular icon Aung San Suu Kyi. The opposing, military-backed party was almost wiped out in the voting.

Having failed at the democracy game, the Tatmadaw, as the armed forces are called, fell back on its older tactics. Junta leader General Min Aung Hlaing and his allies insisted there had been widespread election fraud, and on February 1, 2021 they arrested Aung San Suu Kyi and other NLD leaders, and proclaimed that after one year of a state of emergency, there would be new elections.

18 March 2022—North Korea’s nuclear weapons have not been a ‘game changer’, Melbourne Asia Review: Denny Roy

North Korea was arguably the biggest story in Northeast Asia in 2017—2018, and the world continued to watch closely as the summit diplomacy between Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump fizzled in 2019.  Pyongyang has been less prominent since then, with most of the region’s political oxygen consumed by pandemic-induced strife and China’s aggressiveness on several fronts.  Now widely accepted as having a nuclear weapons capability, North Korea continues to negatively impact international security and cooperation in several ways.  Importantly, however, what the outside world commonly terms ‘provocative’ behaviour by the Kim regime has not appreciably increased since it went nuclear.

16 March 2022—Why Taiwanese are Donating Food, Money and Medical Supplies to Ukraine, Voice of America: Denny Roy

“No doubt people in Taiwan feel a special sympathy for Ukrainians, whose situation has many similarities with that of Taiwan’s people,” said Denny Roy, senior fellow at the East-West Center think tank in Honolulu. “In the background, Taiwan also wants to show that it did what it could to help another invaded people free, in case Taiwan ever finds itself similarly pleading for the international community’s help against an aggressor.”

15 March 2022—Yoon’s Presidential Victory In South Korea May Also Be A Win For Washington – Analysis, Eurasia Review: Denny Roy

As with most ideologically liberal Korean politicians, outgoing President Moon Jae-in’s support for the US-Korean alliance was lukewarm. Many observers assessed that his foreign policy aimed for equidistance between Washington and Beijing. In contrast, Yoon is strongly supportive of the alliance, saying it should be the “central axis of Seoul’s foreign policy.”

He also backs the idea of South Korean participation in the Quad, a dialogue group—with core members India, Australia, Japan and the USA—that Beijing frowns upon. Yoon even said he favored the idea of the United States deploying nuclear weapons in South Korea, a policy Washington is not advocating.

14 March 2022—Experts: The face masks are coming off in Hawaii, but the threat of COVID will remain, Hawaii News Now: Tim Brown

“My sense is that probably about half of our population here will take precautions and will be careful,” Brown said. “I think about half our population will take a ‘let it rip’ attitude and the problem is ‘let it rip’ will basically spread a lot of COVID in the community among that 50% that don’t take precautions.

“The other problem is people have not been keeping up on their vaccines.”

Brown says that once the mask mandate ends, it becomes a matter of personal responsibility to wear a mask in crowded settings or around at-risk people and keep up with boosters.

14 March 2022—Anybody can make a rainfall map with this new climate portal, Hawaii Public Radio: Ryan Longman

"So the portal has several features. There's the data feature that allows you to actually get maps and data. And you can use those products for writing proposals or presentations or just, you know, educational purposes," said Ryan Longman, one of the climate science researchers for the portal.

"And then there's a lot of qualitative information on the portal as well. So, you know, we have all the Hawaiʻi-based climate and ecology-based papers that are available in the electronic library. We have quick access to other tools that are available," Longman told HPR.

Longman explains his 8-year-old child was able to create and download a rainfall map. It's easy for users to navigate information on the portal.

13 March 2022—Amid new sanctions, US-North Korean talks isn’t expected soon, Weekly Blitz: Denny Roy

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea conducted seven rounds of missile tests in January, which is more than the total number of tests in the previous year. Pyongyang has been developing sophisticated hypersonic missiles that are hard to intercept and that is prompting Tokyo to seek counterattack capability. And yet the country does not seem to gain much international relevance and projection, in spite of its military capacities and nuclear deterrence.

8 March 2022—Hawaii Joins Rest of States In Jettisoning Masks Inside, New York Times: Tim Brown

Tim Brown, an epidemiologist and a senior fellow at the East--West Center, a research organization in Honolulu, said on Tuesday that he believes the governor lifted the mandate in part because he was under pressure from local politicians.

''I understand the political drive to do this, but I'm a little uncomfortable with the move at this point,'' said Mr. Brown, adding that Omicron was still circulating in Hawaii.
Even with restrictions lifting, he believed ''a good chunk'' of people in Hawaii would continue to wear masks for the considerable future.

He said that Hawaii may have been the last state to decide to end its pandemic restrictions because of three factors: the state had limited hospital beds, its strict Covid rules had kept mortality rates relatively low and its stringent travel requirements had successfully kept transmission rates down.

7 March 2022—U.S. forces in Hawaii watch China as world keeps eye on Ukraine, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Charles E. Morrison

“Because China is seen as the most significant near-competitor, I would not expect decreased defense resources coming to Hawaii or U.S. facilities and deployments further west in Guam, Japan or South Korea,” said Charles Morrison, former president of the East-West Center in Manoa.

“But since the balance of power in Europe has become important again, we will probably see more defense spending, with most additional resources going to Europe,” Morrison added. “This will squeeze other U.S. discretionary spending.”

7 March 2022—SOLOMON ISLANDER JOINS EAST-WEST CENTER, Solomon Star: Tammy Tabe

As she settles into her new apartment in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, Dr. Tammy Tabe reflects on her life’s journeys. The young Solomon Islander woman recently moved to Honolulu to take up an appointment as a fellow at the East-West Center (EWC).

Tammy, as she is known amongst friends, comes from Wagina Island in the Solomon Islands’ Choiseul Province. She is a descendant of I-Kiribati people who were relocated to Solomon Islands in the mid-1950s and early 1960s by the British colonial administration from what was then the Gilbert and Ellice Islands (present day Kiribati and Tuvalu).

Tammy’s scholarship immerses her deep in her people’s stories of displacement, relocation, resettlement and adaptation. It informs her histories, charts her future and could prove valuable to her job at the EWC. It provides a window into contemporary issues of population displacement, relocation, resettlement and adaptation, especially in relation to climate change, which is one of her research subjects nowadays. She says she “never imagined working at the EWC. I applied knowing it was a tough competition, and here I am.”

7 March 2022—Ukraine invasion doesn’t mean Taiwan is next, Asia Times: Denny Roy

The ongoing war should serve as a warning to Beijing that its irredentist claims over Taiwan would not shield China from international condemnation as a war-criminal regime, or from economic retribution, if it attacked Taiwan.

Nor could it expect the people of Taiwan to accept forced annexation supinely. Ukraine’s heroism reverberates around the world, including in the Taiwan Strait.

6 March 2022—Hawaii is moving toward the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

“I think the problem we’ve got in this country is we’re incapable of taking a nuanced, gradual approach to anything, and it’s a problem,” said Tim Brown, an infectious disease modeler at the East-West Center in Manoa. “It’s either masks on or masks off.”

The transition could be gradual, he said, with the message that people should still consider masking up if they are in particularly crowded, indoor settings.

6 March 2022—Chinese Checkers, ahramonline: Denny Roy

At the Security Council, along with India and the United Arab Emirates, China abstained from voting, while 11 countries supported the draft. The US was hoping to win 14 out of 15 votes, to send a clear message to Putin that he is isolated and rejected on the world stage. Yet a Chinese abstention remained a better option for Washington than a second veto at the Security Council, which would have been tantamount to Beijing taking concrete steps on the ground in support of Russia and Putin.

4 March 2022—UH launches revolutionary climate data portal, University of Hawaiʻi News: Ryan Longman

“The Hawaiʻi Climate Data Portal provides streamlined access to high-quality reliable data and information that can be utilized by a range of stakeholders and be incorporated into near-real-time planning activities and management decisions,” said East-West Center Fellow and ʻIke Wai researcher Ryan Longman, who worked on the development of the portal with a team of about 20 from across UH and the community.

4 March 2022—FB Live with Mel & Charlie - Discussion with Dr. Tim Brown, Mel and Charlie Show: Tim Brown

3 March 2022—UH Launches New Climate Data Portal, Big Island Now: Ryan Longman

Several University of Hawai‘i agencies and others have teamed up to provide easy public access to climate data and information, creating a powerful new tool that also helps close data gaps.

UH’s Hawai‘i Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, or Hawai‘i ESPCoR, ‘Ike Wai project and the Hawaiʻi Data Science Institute partnered with the UH Water Resources Research Center and East-West Center to launch the Hawai‘i Climate Data Portal, an open-source platform that hosts a wide range of data products, climate tools and resources.

3 March 2022—Revolutionary climate data portal critical to future planning, UH News: Ryan Longman

“The Hawaiʻi Climate Data Portal provides streamlined access to high-quality reliable data and information that can be utilized by a range of stakeholders and be incorporated into near-real-time planning activities and management decisions,” said East-West Center Fellow and ʻIke Wai researcher Ryan Longman, who worked on the development of the portal with a team of about 20 from across UH and the community.

3 March 2022—University of Hawaii unveils public portal for information on climate, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Ryan Longman

"Folks need to start to adapt to the coming changes, " said a UH researcher, East-West Center fellow and a member of the Hawaii Climate Data Portal climate science team.
"I work with resource managers who are making decisions based on future projections and historical trends, " he said. "So I think there's no better time than to think about the inevitable, which is a warmer world in the future."
...
"Maybe there are three or four people in the state who could do this a month after the data was made available, " the researcher said. "Now my 7-year-old son can come in and make this thing in two minutes."
...
Longman said researchers especially are going to appreciate the new portal because it will allow them to focus more time on their analyses and less time on data collection and processing.
"This provides that huge first step of providing the actual data all at once—and quality-controlled, " he said.

1 March 2022—Chinese checkers, Al-Ahram Weekly: Denny Roy

“The result of that expectation,” China surpassing the United States economically, “has been a bolder PRC [People’s Republic of China] foreign policy that seeks to settle regional disputes in China’s favour and de-legitimize US regional and global leadership under the assumption that China is destined to set the new rules of international relations,” said Denny Roy, senior fellow at the East-West Centre think tank in Honolulu.

25 February 2022—Hawaii holds onto mask mandate as loosened U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance looms, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

Tim Brown, an infectious disease modeler at the East-West Center in Manoa, said he personally is not ready to unmask indoors.
“Omicron is still extremely contagious,” Brown said. “It’s still present in the community, and I’m certainly in an older category where I have to be concerned even though I’m fully vaccinated. I have zero intention of moving away from masks.”

Brown said though positivity rates are trending down, the state should take a cautious approach in easing indoor masking requirements.

“If we drop the mask suddenly rather than gradually scaling it down,” he said, “then, fundamentally, a whole group of new people become eligible to contract the virus, and we could see a resurgence.”

24 February 2022—Charles Morrison joined KITV to give a better understanding of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, KITV: Charles E. Morrison

Charles Morrison, former President of the East-West Center discusses economic sanctions and what outcomes to expect from the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

23 February 2022—North Korea Is Irrelevant Again, The Diplomat: Denny Roy

North Korea held seven rounds of missile tests in January 2022, the most ever in a single month and more than its total number of missile tests for all of 2021. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken attributed the spate of tests to Pyongyang “trying to get attention.” Blinken’s assessment is an over-simplification; the Kim regime tests for technical reasons as well as for political signaling.

Superficially, North Korea appears relevant again. In fact, however, it will be more difficult than in the past for Pyongyang to turn the renewed attention into leverage.

22 February 2022—Denby Fawcett: Is Hawaii Pau With The Pandemic? Scientists Say Not So Fast, Honolulu Civil Beat: Tim Brown

“Society may want the virus to end, but I am not convinced the virus is ready to let us go,” said Dr. Tim Brown, an infectious disease expert at the East-West Center.
In a phone conversation Friday, Brown said he sees at least two new variants coming to Hawaii later this year. “We don’t know how dangerous they will be,” he said.
...
Brown said that if government officials here lack the political will to retain restrictions, they should follow California’s lead: find better surveillance methods to give people early warnings of the next lethal variant and give them tools to effectively protect themselves when it comes.
Better surveillance methods in Hawaii would include having hospitals get a more accurate handle on case numbers by testing not only symptomatic people but asymptomatic people as well, Brown said.

20 February 2022—Are early mornings a safe time to exercise outdoors? Possibly NOT, not even in green Powai, Planet Powai: Summeet Saksena

It might appear to be a puzzle why the air is not safe enough in the early morning when there is much less traffic and reduced industrial activity. The answer lies in a certain metorological phenomenon called atmospheric inversion that occcurs only early in the morning in cooler months. The inversion creates a kind of a lid over the city, thereby trapping air and pollutants under it. The trapped pollutants are the ones that were released from cars and industries the previous evening and late at night. Normally winds play an important role in flushing away pollutants. But the inversion suppresses air movement.

20 February 2022—Column: The crisis in Myanmar is deepening, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Charles E. Morrison

The coup followed an election overwhelmingly won by the National League for Democracy (NLD), led by icon Aung San Suu
Kyi. Having failed at the democracy game, the armed forces, known locally as the Tatmadaw, fell back on past tactics. Junta
leader Gen. Min Aung Hlaing insisted there had been widespread election fraud, arrested the NLD leaders, and declared a
state of emergency.

He may have thought that the people and outside world would simply accept the new course, but the military brass was
clearly out of touch. After weeks of street protests, during which hundreds of protesters were killed and thousands arrested,
the military is now contending with “silent” protests in the cities and an unprecedented, spreading rebellion countrywide.

17 February 2022—Future proofing the Olympics: Lessons from Beijing and Tokyo, The Japan Times: Charles E. Morrison

With the Summer Olympics, Japanese public opposition, driven by the pandemic and mounting expenses, almost forced the Japanese government to cancel. It is hard to imagine most other democratic governments, including future Summer Games hosts Paris (2024), Los Angeles (2028) and Brisbane (2032), being able to persevere in the face of such public opposition. For the Winter Olympics, China’s human rights record prompted strong calls in some countries to boycott. In the end, many found ways to allow their athletes to participate, but the controversy has not made it easy for athletes or sponsors.

The most obvious future-proofing strategy is to spread the Games in any one year to multiple venues, much as a company enhances resilience by diversifying markets or supply chains. This would also increase inclusiveness and stakeholders. To augment local audiences and enthusiasm, hosting might be associated with regional sports prowess. Why not experiment, for example, with track and field events in Africa, swimming in Oceania, team events like baseball and soccer in Latin America, and weightlifting, judo, and wrestling in Asia?

12 February 2022—Secretary of State Antony Blinken to meet with Asian officials in Hawaii, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Denny Roy

The respective approaches of Japan, South Korea and the U.S. have frequently diverged. Denny Roy, a senior fellow at the East-West Center in Manoa, noted that aggressive rhetoric by American officials and lawmakers during the Trump years alarmed officials in Seoul.
...
“That was a problem for Japan because Japan could be hit by medium-range missiles,” Roy said. “So it was as if the Americans are saying, ‘Your problems are not our problem.’ So that also was something that exacerbated a potential cleavage among the three allies.”
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Roy argues that, ultimately, while the three governments have publicly stated a desire to see North Korea dismantle its nuclear program, most officials have come to accept it as a reality. He added that while North Korean missiles are the stated emphasis of the meeting, Blinken might have other priorities as he seeks to repair alliances that have been severely tested.

“Certainly (North Korean missiles are) an issue that our three countries would want to talk about, but I wonder if talking more about China isn’t also an equally high priority and they didn’t want to emphasize that part of it,” Roy said. “The U.S. government is pushing Japan and South Korea hard to get on board with the idea that we all need to show a united front, we all need to ‘decouple’ in sensitive areas, we all need to change our long-term economic plans to include China less.”

12 February 2022—Despite declining cases, health experts urge caution as fans plan to gather for Super Bowl, Hawaii News Now: Tim Brown

“Many of the cases may be asymptomatic, a lot of the cases are being tested at home. They’re using home test kits that are not being picked up. They’re not in our system,” said Tim Brown, an infectious disease expert at the East-West Center.
...
“If you’re getting together with a large group of 30 to 40 people, there’s probably a decent chance that somebody in that room is infected with Omicron,” said Brown.
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“Test yourself just before you go to the party, don’t do it a day in advance, do it the day of the party” said Brown.
“It takes 15 minutes to do the test, so you can do it as part of the pre-game preparations.”

9 February 2022—Off the News: Boosters still deserve a boost, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

One assumes that the add-on vaccine booster requirement at Maui venues generated grumbling from patrons not expecting it. But there’s also been a drop in COVID-19 cases and strains on hospitals, which eased the Maui mayor’s decision to end it on Monday.

9 February 2022—Yes, Taiwan is in the Olympics. How the Winter Games play into uneasy relations with China, USA Today on MSN.com: Denny Roy

"U.S. officials prize Taiwan as a close economic partner and key supplier of semiconductors (a key component in many electronics devices), a staunch political supporter of the U.S. and a counterweight to China’s rise in Asia," said Denny Roy, a senior fellow at the East-West Center foreign affairs think tank in Honolulu.
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"Defeating a Chinese athlete would also be an affirmation of Taiwan’s way of life, overcoming China’s advantages of much larger population size and a much more rigorous state-supported effort to develop Olympic champion athletes," added Roy, who specializes in Asian security affairs.

8 February 2022—Infectious disease expert urges Hawaii to stay cautious despite declining COVID-19 cases, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

“I think we’re in a fairly good position right now,” said Brown, an infectious disease modeler and senior fellow at the East-West Center in Manoa. “I think the fact that omicron did turn out to be less severe than previous variants had been, in terms of fatalities and hospitalizations, has worked out in our favor.”
That, combined with the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccinations, helped Hawaii “dodge the bullet,” he said.
...
Brown said it’s clear that the omicron surge peaked sometime in January and that case counts are now moving in the right direction. He warned, however, that case numbers may be skewed due to testing capacity limits and the fact that more people are using home tests, which are not reported.

7 February 2022—VIDEO: Infectious disease expert Tim Brown of East-West Center joins the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s ‘Spotlight Hawaii’ Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

Infectious disease expert Tim Brown of East-West Center joined the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s “Spotlight Hawaii” livestream show today and answered viewer questions. This series shines a spotlight on issues affecting the Hawaiian Islands.

6 February 2022—Column: Tax enables sharing the cost of carbon, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Jaymen Laupola

The Hawaii Legislature has introduced Senate Bill 2732 and House Bill 2278, which will assess taxes on fossil fuels around $51 per ton of carbon dioxide, which the Federal government currently estimates as the marginal cost of carbon emissions. At that rate, fossil fuel companies would be charged for costs currently being shouldered by society — they would be paying their fair share.

A carbon tax would discourage the consumption of fossil fuels and result in price increases for products that are heavily dependent on fossil fuels. The increased (more accurate) costs will lead people to conserve energy, shift to energy-efficient appliances and equipment, adopt electric cars and renewable energy, and other behaviors that will reduce fossil fuel dependence.

5 February 2022—The 'hypersonic' panic in North-east Asia, The Straits Times: Denny Roy

So-called "hypersonic missiles" are raising tensions in North-east Asia following tests, first by China last August and then two more by North Korea, the most recent just last month.
 
Publications including The New York Times, The National Interest and Asia Times have called hypersonic missiles a "game changer", as have US senators Lindsey Graham and Angus King. America's top general Mark Milley said the Chinese hypersonic test last year was "very close" to "a Sputnik moment", referring to a Cold War episode in which Americans suddenly feared they had fallen dangerously behind the Soviets in aerospace technology.
 
Much of this anxiety is misplaced, but the prominence of these advanced weapons unfortunately heralds a continued rise in regional tensions.

2 February 2022—Ranked Choice Voting Would Improve Democracy In Hawaii, Honolulu Civil Beat: Benjamin Reilly

For over 100 years, Australians have used ranked choice voting, known as RCV, which allows voters to indicate their preference between candidates, rather than the single “take it or leave it” choice used in much of the United States, including Hawaii.

Hawaii’s Legislature is currently considering a bill — Senate Bill 2162 — to introduce RCV for one-off special vacant county council seats and federal elections. If successful, Hawaii would join Maine and Alaska, and major cities such as San Francisco and Oakland in California, and Minneapolis, Minnesota, in choosing some or all of their politicians this way.

2 February 2022—Why the Kim regime just won’t die: a primer, Asia Times: Denny Roy

With a spate of missile test launches in January, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has moved back into the consciousness of the broader global community. Some observers may be asking, “You’re still here? Why?”

Seemingly against the odds, the Kim regime persists. The explanation of why involves several factors, both domestic and international. Ostensibly, the North Korean regime should have collapsed by now because of multiple governance failures.

26 January 2022—Hawaii’s High Costs Leave Many Struggling To Get By, Honolulu Civil Beat: Andrew Mason

In the next decade or so, economists predict Hawaii will face a significant social and economic crisis, as the number of older retirees balloons and there aren’t enough working people paying taxes needed to support kupuna.

Struggling To Get By project badge

Federal programs like Social Security and Medicare will be stretched to their limits. Personal savings for retirement – for those fortunate enough to have pensions or to have built equity in their homes – will be starting to run thin. And, compared with other states, Hawaii will have an unusually high number of people living past 85.

“Aging in the U.S. is going to bring a great deal of pressure to the systems of support, and that’s going to rebound to Hawaii,” says Andrew Mason, a professor emeritus of economics at the University of Hawaii who has extensively studied the state’s demographics.

26 January 2022—Accuracy of COVID case counts in doubt amid growing use of at-home tests, Hawaii News Now: Tim Brown

“It certainly means some cases are not getting into the system,” said Dr. Tim Brown, epidemiologist and senior fellow at the East-West Center.
Brown added the case counts are also off because they don’t include many asymptomatic people who don’t get tested because they don’t know they’re infected.

“The PCR is much more sensitive,” said Brown. “It’ll pick up across a longer span of the virus but the at-home test is much better at detecting infections and that’s really what people what to use them for.”

Brown said he’d like to eventually see an app that could automatically send the at-home test result to health departments. Medical experts said for now they are getting enough data to understand the trends ― even with the influx of at-home testing kits.

23 January 2022—The Civil Beat Editorial Board Interview: EWC President Suzanne Vares-Lum, Honolulu Civil Beat: Suzanne Vares-Lum

Suzanne Vares-Lum: My vision is that the East-West Center will be that go-to place, that place where people need to talk about these critical issues that we’re facing in the region, particularly climate change, governance, food, water insecurity. Even now, more natural disasters occur in this region than any other place, and we’ve seen that with Tonga. How do we respond when we’re sitting all of us together in the center of this vast blue continent? And what does that mean for us as we respond to natural disasters and as we see the climate changing for those who are on small atolls? Our brothers and sisters throughout the region definitely feel it more than others.

23 January 2022—Learning From Climate Impacts On Health And Migrations In Marshall Islands, Eurasia Review: Laura Brewington, Nancy Lewis

In a recent East-West Center AsiaPacific Issues paper, A Changing Climate and Its Implications for Health and Migration in the Pacific: Examples from the Marshall Islands, authors Laura Brewington, Kelli Kokame and Nancy Lewis use the current situation—and response—in the Marshalls to consider potential Pacific-wide strategies for the future.

Not only does climate change directly and indirectly impact health itself, they write, but its impacts “also shape mobility, which in turn has consequences for health. In the Pacific Islands, public health [is] already negatively affected by changes in temperature, rainfall, extreme events, sea level rise, and ocean acidification.”

These changes have wide-ranging health consequences. Ocean acidification affects the availability of reef fish, which can increase reliance on imported and processed foods. Drought and rising temperatures limit the availability of fresh drinking water, while, on the other end of the spectrum, heavier than normal rainfalls increase the potential for diseases transmitted by contaminated floodwater, mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas. And medical facilities can themselves be impacted by storm damage.

18 January 2022—Local epidemiologist calls for better COVID data systems, booster requirement for Safe Travels, Hawaii Public Radio: Tim Brown

East-West Center epidemiologist Tim Brown predicted this situation and warned people weeks ago to invest in a higher quality mask.

"I think the latest numbers would indicate we're still on an upward trend across the islands," Brown said. "Again, we've done nothing to try and throw any circuit breakers to slow this continued spread down."

In light of the health department's data reporting problems, Brown said he considers the current situation dire.

"I think the problem we've got is that, once again, I think we've exceeded the capacity of our already rather sparsely supported Department of Health," he told The Conversation. "We never really staffed up DOH other than the contact tracing branches during the COVID pandemic, even though it's been going on for two years at this point."

17 January 2022—China’s Economy Predicted to Overtake US Economy by 2030, Invision Mag: Denny Roy

Denny Roy, senior fellow at the East-West Center think tank in Honolulu, told VOA the Chinese government has “unfettered domestic political power” to make economic investments that advance the leadership’s political objectives.

“The result of that expectation (China surpassing the United States economically) has been a bolder PRC (People’s Republic of China) foreign policy that seeks to settle regional disputes in China’s favor and to de-legitimize U.S. regional and global leadership under the assumption that China is destined to set the new rules of international relations,” he said.

17 January 2022—Availability of Hawaii COVID-19 quarantine facilities dwindling, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

Tim Brown, an infectious disease modeler at East-West Center, said it is still in the best interest of public health to provide quarantine for those infected, particular for vulnerable Filipino and Pacific Islander families living in more crowded settings.

“They are front-line workers, and so they are the people that multiple people run into on a daily basis,” he said. “It is in the best interest of public health to provide them safe quarantine opportunities.”

In addition, Brown said those infected with omicron could suffer from long-term effects, as was seen with previous variants. Rather than giving up, the state should continue to prevent any infection that can be avoided, with isolation- quarantine for those who need it, he said.

“It’s one of many failures of the current response here,” he said.

17 January 2022—Textbook dilemma traps US, China in a war spiral, Asia Times: Denny Roy

Both Beijing and Washington frame the other side as an aggressor trying to change the status quo in its own favor. Each attempts dissuasion through military means. Each reacts to the other side’s military moves with alarm and believes it must respond with a show of resolve. The result: worsening tensions.

5 January 2022—China’s hegemonic intent increasingly hard to deny, Asia Times: Denny Roy

Goldman argues that the defining feature of a hegemon is that it sends its military to seize overseas territory for colonies, which become part of an “imperial economy” from which the hegemon extracts resources. By these criteria, Goldman argues, China is not a hegemon, because the “Chinese never sent their armies or large numbers of colonists around the world.”

This, however, is a selective and idiosyncratic definition of hegemony. Major powers can be domineering without following the Rome, fascist Japan or USSR models. The current superpower, for instance, neither militarily occupies foreign countries against their will nor operates an “imperial economy.

4 January 2022—China’s Economy Could Overtake US Economy by 2030, Voice of America: Denny Roy

“Beijing has the funds and the unfettered domestic political power to use China’s large public treasury to make strategic investments in the service of the leadership’s national and global objectives,” said Denny Roy, senior fellow at the East-West Center think tank in Honolulu.

3 January 2022—Keep schools safe with proactive plan, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

And none from Dr. Timothy Brown, who heads an epidemiology and disease modeling team at the East-West Center. Brown, who spoke Friday on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s “Spotlight Hawaii” webcast, also said schools should distribute high-quality masks to students and staff.

And as for safeguards: “I don’t think 3-foot distancing is enough,” Brown added.

3 January 2022—Hawaii public schools prepare for students’ return as omicron surge fuels safety concerns, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

Infectious disease expert Dr. Tim Brown of the East-West Center also has called for the use of N95 or KN95 masks in schools, and said the state should have made a plan to use federal funds to purchase and provide them for students and teachers.
Brown and Miscovich in separate remarks also said that the schools’ use of 3 feet as a standard for distancing is no longer adequate with

31 December 2021—As cases spike, epidemiologists and policymakers clash on response to Omicron, Hawaii News Now: Tim Brown

“Our curve is just shooting straight up right now,” said epidemiologist and East-West Center senior fellow, Tim Brown. “We are in a surge unlike anything we have seen before, and it is irresponsible of public officials not to step in and basically try and stop that surge.”
In an interview with Hawaii News Now on Friday, Brown sounded the alarm on Omicron and called for the shutdown of bars, nightclubs and large events.

However, Brown contends it’s premature to make an estimate on how hospitals would be impacted.
“We are adding a whole lot of new infections every day right now and so, it is far too early to say what’s going to happen two to three weeks from now,” Brown said.
Citing a lack of testing capacity, Brown also estimates the actual number of infections could be two or three times higher than what’s being reported.

25 December 2021—Hawaii sees new single-day record of 1,828 COVID cases since start of pandemic, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

“I don’t see it slowing down,” said Tim Brown, an infectious disease modeler at the East-West Center in Manoa. “It’s huge, and that’s a massive problem because we aren’t going to see the hospitalization impacts for another two to three weeks because it’s rising so rapidly. But when those impacts come, they’re going to come comparatively fast.”

Brown, who predicted Hawaii’s case numbers would surpass the delta peak, created a graph to compare the omicron and delta waves on Oahu. The omicron surge is much steeper — almost a vertical line upward.
“We are rising so much faster than the delta wave, it’s insane,” he said.

25 December 2021—Will U.S.-China Relations Ever Recover?, The National Interest: Denny Roy

Relations between the United States and People’s Republic of China (PRC) have been in a serious downturn since at least March 2020, when Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Zhao Lijian infamously blamed the pandemic on U.S. soldiers and U.S. president Donald Trump called Covid-19 the “Chinese virus.” Nearly two years later, observers are understandably looking for the first signs of recovery in a relationship in which both sides recognize the value of cooperation and the dangers of unbridled tensions. But they may be looking in vain.

22 December 2021—Rapid rise in COVID-19 cases prompts Hawaii hospitals into crisis preparation mode, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

Tim Brown, an infectious disease modeler at the East-West Center in Manoa, predicts Hawaii’s case count will reach a new record high — higher than the peak of the delta surge — and that there probably will be 2,000 cases a day by Christmas at the current rate of growth if no further restrictions are implemented.
During a webinar Tuesday, he warned that the trajectory would be steeper compared with the delta variant, with cases doubling every one to two days, based on trends seen in other countries.

21 December 2021—Local epidemiologist says officials have not conveyed enough urgency about COVID surge, The Conversation (Hawai'i Public Radio): Tim Brown

East-West Center epidemiologist Tim Brown thinks state officials have fallen short in conveying a sense of urgency about how our health systems could be once again overwhelmed as we saw back in July and August. So the worst may not be over even though many people have been vaccinated and boosted. Brown explained more about why he doesn't care if people call him the grinch for warning not to let their guard down during holiday gatherings.

21 December 2021—As Hawaii reports 707 new COVID cases, experts warn of ‘exponential’ spread in coming weeks, Hawaii News Now: Tim Brown

“This is ridiculous frankly because this is the second time we’ve been caught with our pants down,” said epidemiologist Dr. Tim Brown. “We were caught by Delta because we were told it was coming. We knew it was coming and we watched it spread in other countries, we didn’t do anything about it. We did that again with Omicron.”

In an East-West Center webinar Tuesday, Dr. Brown outlined his frustration and concern with Omicron’s arrival, saying an early lifting of restrictions has contributed to the rise in cases and models compared with Delta show we’re right in the middle of another wave.

“You can see basically how it compares with the Delta wave back in July,” Dr. Brown said. “As you can see, it is rising much much more rapidly. It also shows no signs of being near the peak and yet, we are getting very close to what the Delta peak looked like.”
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Brown has said Omicron has changed the immune landscape, adding a two-dose shot of Pfizer is 35% effective against the strain, but a booster nearly doubles the protection.
So he and health experts agree that a third shot along with gathering safely and vigilant, testing at the first sign of symptoms, remain the best weapons available.

18 December 2021—Hawaii Gov. David Ige urges residents to get vaccinated for COVID as omicron, delta variants surge on Oahu, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

Tim Brown, an infectious diseases modeler for the East-West Center in Manoa, agrees more needs to be done immediately.
“We are clearly in a surge, a surge which is far faster than the delta surge in July,” he said. “This is rising at least twice as fast as the delta surge, so we are definitely not in a good situation right now.”

Brown believes the current spike resulted from Thanksgiving gatherings and eased restrictions that went into effect Dec. 1.

People should cancel large Christmas parties, he said, and not gather in restaurants without masks.

“At this point there is no logical, sensible way to carry out a large event when omicron is widespread in the community,” Brown said. “Even if it’s just delta in the community, if that 797 (new cases) is largely delta and not omicron, that indicates there are not enough precautions to prevent the spread of delta, much less omicron.”
Multiple layers of prevention are necessary, according to Brown, including vaccinations, boosters, quality masking, preventing large crowds, improved ventilation and accessible testing.

8 December 2021—Japan-S. Korea ties: When the past holds the present and future hostage, The Straits Times: Denny Roy

Last month, US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman hosted the vice-foreign ministers of Japan and South Korea in Washington. The apparent purpose of this trilateral meeting was to highlight the progress made by the Biden administration in improving the relationships among these three governments. The meeting, however, failed to transcend the ongoing conflicts between Tokyo and Seoul.

5 December 2021—What will America fight for?, The Economist: Denny Roy

Mr Biden, however, has sounded more hawkish of late. On one recent occasion he declared that America had a “commitment” to defend Taiwan; on another he said the island was “independent”. Each time, officials have clarified that there was no change of policy. “Biden’s statements could not be better. It’s perfect. It’s ambiguous,” says David Stilwell, who worked on China policy in the Trump administration. A more explicit commitment to defend Taiwan, as some now advocate, would be counter-productive, he argues. “If you draw red lines the Chinese will test them. Red lines are good only if the threat to respond and impose costs is credible.”
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“The assumption is that it’s in America’s interest to have a forward presence and a shaping influence in Asia,” says Denny Roy of the East-West Centre, “But it’s going to be more expensive and more risky to sustain. We should at least ask the question: what would be the cost of retrenching?”

3 December 2021—Omicron variant has reached Oahu, officials confirm, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

Tim Brown, an infectious disease modeler at the East-West Center in Manoa, said omicron’s arrival calls for immediate action from public officials. “All the lifting of restrictions have got to go,” he said. “They need to be removed as of yesterday. We cannot have people gathering in bulk this weekend. It’s the height of insanity to let people gather in large groups now that we know omicron is here.” In addition, he said Hawaii needs to implement coronavirus testing for out-of-state travelers in addition to proof of COVID-19 vaccination, ideally within 24 hours of boarding a plane and three to five days after arrival to the state. Brown said he is particularly concerned the infected Oahu resident had no travel history, meaning omicron has possibly been circulating locally for a couple of weeks already. Hawaii also needs to ramp up its testing ability for COVID-19, he said, adding he hopes health officials are “radically contact-tracing right now.”

30 November 2021—Omicron variant hasn’t yet been detected in Hawaii but it’s already impacting travel, Hawaii News Now: Tim Brown

Dr. Tim Brown, East-West Center senior fellow, said travel bans may slow the mutation’s spread but they won’t stop it. “It’s really a question of whether there’s fertile ground when it gets there,” he said.
Regarding upcoming international travel, he added, “I’d be extremely cautious (about traveling) just in the sense that any country is likely to slap on restrictions at any point in time.”

30 November 2021—Why South Korea should join the CPTPP, Nikkei Asia: Michael Plummer

The case for Korean membership was already strong in 2013 when Seoul first considered joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the predecessor of the CPTPP. South Korea's achievements in technology and trade, its prominent role in global supply chains and prior negotiations, including a bilateral agreement with U.S., made it a natural candidate.

So it was not surprising that President Moon Jae-in used his 2021 New Year's address to express, once again, South Korea's interest in joining the CPTPP, and that Trade Minister Yeo Han-koo later added, "I think we are ready."

17 November 2021—Holiday gatherings return but caution urged, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

Tim Brown, an infectious disease modeler for the East-West Center in Manoa, warned that holiday gatherings and travel can potentially lead to another surge, and that as many safety precautions as possible should be taken in Hawaii. “If someone is coming in from the mainland, get them tested,” Brown said. “If you’re going to the mainland and coming back, make sure you’re tested when you’re back.” Brown’s advice is to get rapid COVID-19 tests and to have everyone tested before entering a home for a gathering. “That’s the best way to keep Gramma safe,” he said.

14 November 2021—COVID-19 boosters counter waning efficacy, officials say, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

The issue of waning vaccines comes as no surprise to Tim Brown, an infectious disease modeler and senior fellow at the East-West Center in Manoa, who monitored studies from Israel and Singapore several months ago with similar results.
Brown said Hawaii is in a “sweet spot” right now, where the majority of the adult population has been vaccinated, which, combined with those who acquired immunity through infection, puts the state in a good position.

12 November 2021—Biden, Xi Support APEC Declaration Ahead of US-China Summit, Voice of America: Charles E. Morrison

The Glasgow statement moves the two countries significantly back toward a cooperative relationship in the many areas where Biden and Xi have complementary or similar interests, said Charles Morrison, adjunct senior fellow at the East-West Center, a research group established by the U.S. Congress in 1960 to strengthen relations among the peoples of Asia, the Pacific and the United States.

“What I would like to see is a collaborative examination of where they have common ground and next an implementation strategy,” Morrison added.

10 November 2021—Self-apotheosis doesn't make Xi a good leader, Asia Times: Denny Roy

Chinese paramount leader Xi Jinping’s relentless campaign of personal political aggrandizement was on display this week as the Chinese Communist Party’s 376-member Central Committee met for its Sixth Plenum.  The result, as expected, was more official promotion of Xi’s status as an equal of Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping within the historical pantheon of People’s […]

30 October 2021—A Xi-Biden summit: What to expect, Straits Times: Denny Roy

The US government's announcement that President Joe Biden and Chinese paramount leader Xi Jinping will meet in a virtual summit meeting before the end of the year creates hope of an improvement in China-US relations after months of what many observers have called a "new Cold War".

24 October 2021—Xi Jinping’s top five foreign policy mistakes, Asia Times: Denny Roy

Xi Jinping’s aggressive foreign policy is stimulating increased international opposition to the Chinese Communist Party’s agenda, undoing years of effort by People’s Republic of China officials to assure regional governments that a stronger China will be peaceful and non-domineering.

19 October 2021—Editorial: Bringing back pre-travel testing? Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

Dr. Tim Brown, epidemiologist from the East-West Center, said COVID-19 protections have helped drive a decline in infections. He also said, on Monday’s Star-Advertiser “Spotlight Hawaii” webcast, that there is a 20% share of the population still vulnerable and able to fuel another spike, so he would favor bringing back pre-travel testing for all inbound travelers, vaccinated or not.

19 October 2021—Mayor: No county-specific rules on tap for Oct. 31, West Hawaii Today: Tim Brown

On the other hand, the state and county should be cautious about opening up too quickly, said Tim Brown, research fellow at the University of Hawaii’s East-West Center, during a livestreamed interview Monday.

“If we lift some restrictions and wait a couple weeks and nothing changes, then we should move to the next step,” Brown said. “Lifting the restrictions all at once would be potentially very hazardous.”

18 October 2021—Trick-or-treating gets a green light this year as COVID-19 cases fall, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

“The situation has definitely improved, there is very little question of that,” said infectious disease expert Tim Brown on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s “Spotlight Hawaii” livestream program on Monday. Brown attributed the decline in cases to the increase in vaccination, continued mask- wearing and the increased levels of natural immunity that have been obtained as the delta variant spread rapidly through the unvaccinated population.

18 October 2021—Infectious disease expert Tim Brown of the East-West Center joins the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s ‘Spotlight Hawaii,’:Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

Infectious disease expert Tim Brown of the East-West Center joined the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s “Spotlight Hawaii” livestream show today to answer viewer questions. The series shines a spotlight on issues affecting the Hawaiian Islands.

14 October 2021—Asia-Pacific security expert on growing US-China and Taiwan-China tensions, Hawaii Public Radio: Denny Roy

What a month it has been as tensions between China and Taiwan take to the skies and allies, including the U.S., watch developments closely. Over the weekend, China marked the anniversary of its Communist Party with tough talk, threatening Taiwan.

What to make of the posturing? Is China really preparing to attack Taiwan? East-West Center Senior Fellow Denny Roy focuses on Asia-Pacific security issues and thinks the answer is no.

13 October 2021—State epidemiologist says COVID-19 was 'far deadlier than the flu,' Hawaii Public Radio: Tim Brown

“If you actually look at the reporting on flu, there's virtually no flu reported in the last year," said Tim Brown, an epidemiologist and a senior research fellow at the East-West Center. Brown appeared on The Conversation on Monday.

11 October 2021—Local epidemiologist says Oʻahu's relaxed COVID-19 rules are cautious enough, The Conversation (Hawaii Public Radio): Tim Brown

"I think they took a comparatively conservative approach to opening up, which I believe is the proper way to do this. Delta is extremely contagious and that means even at the vaccination levels we're at right now, you can still see very, very rapid growth," Brown told Hawaiʻi Public Radio. "So I think we do have to be cautious, we have to monitor this carefully. But I think what they're doing with outdoor events is a step in the right direction."

10 October 2021—Free The Covid Cluster Data. Tell Us Where Outbreaks Are Occurring, Honolulu Civil Beat: Tim Brown

“I understand the arguments about anonymity, but we’re in a public health emergency,” says Brown. “We need detail and depth to understand the context in which Covid was contracted. We need to give people enough information so they can act on it.” Brown would like to see DOH produce an aggregated, comprehensive report that tracks all cluster data for the last six months and details the conditions under which transmission occurred.

1 October 2021— Lawmakers, parents frustrated over governor’s decision to continue ban on fans at UH gamesHawaii News Now: Tim Brown

However, Dr. Tim Brown, senior fellow of the East-West Center thinks the governor is right to be cautious.

“Remember, people have a much higher viral load with delta. So, they transmit much more easily and that’s extremely important to keep in mind,” Brown said. “So no, I do not consider outdoor crowds to be safe at this point.”
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Brown said the return to normal will come, but we shouldn’t rush it.

“Open up with a relatively low number of people in the stands, require vaccination, require masking, ban food and drinks and require social distancing,” said Brown. “Monitor whether or not people are adhering to those requirements during the game.”

1 October 2021—‘These are not statistics’: Deadliest month of the pandemic in Hawaii comes to a close with 193 fatalities, Hawaii News Now: Tim Brown

“That is a very, very high death rate in one month,” said Tim Brown, East-West Center senior fellow. “These are not statistics, these are family who have died leaving the family behind and grieving.”
...

“Typically what they find is the average is around 17 to 18 days from the time when you start getting symptoms or get diagnosed until you die,” said Brown.

“Any death of that sort is a real shame. We often lose sight of the human dimension of this.”

30 September 2021—$6.36M supports Pacific climate change resilience, UH News

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Water Resources Research Center will work with the East-West Center, Arizona State University (ASU) and other stakeholders to kickoff the next phase of NOAA’s Pacific Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (Pacific RISA) program.

30 September 2021—ASU receives $6.36M grant to launch Pacific Island research center, Arizona State University News: Victoria Keener, Laura Brewington

“With our network of stakeholders from over a decade of use-inspired research, this expanded partnership between ASU, the East-West Center and the University of Hawaiʻi positions the program to implement new adaptation initiatives for climate impacts and extremes across the region,” said Brewington.

28 September 2021—Climate Education month across UH features public forums, UH News: Wendy Miles

The University of Hawaiʻi Office of Sustainability will present in October Climate Education Month 2021, a series of interactive online public forums exploring sustainability and resilience. Register online for the series and receive more information.

15 September 2021—Event on climate action in Hawaiʻi features internationally acclaimed scientist, UH News: Victoria Keener

As Hawaiʻi’s state delegation prepares for the upcoming United Nations climate summit, or COP26, in Scotland this November, the University of Hawaiʻi and the state climate commission are organizing a series of events to connect climate diplomacy with state and local action.

13 September 2021—How firm is Biden's commitment to be Asia-Pacific's top dog?, The Straits Times: Denny Roy

Under the pressure of burgeoning Chinese power, American strategists are debating whether the United States should continue trying to be the strongest and most influential power in the Asia-Pacific region.

13 September 2021—Climate change: a new arena of US-China tension, Asia Times: Denny Roy

It seems irrational that a collection of political disagreements could prevent the world’s two strongest states from cooperating to prevent the planet they share from becoming uninhabitable. Sadly, history presents several cases of societies that destroyed themselves through poor stewardship of their natural environment.

In some instances, elites pursued political conflicts at the expense of resource conservation, with the eventual result of desolating their own homelands. On Rapa Nui (Easter Island), for example, competition between chiefs to build more impressive moai caused catastrophic deforestation, as transporting the huge blocks of stone required logs as rollers.

9 September 2021—‘Strategic distraction’: 9/11 took America’s eye off Asia as China hit its military stride, Stars and Stripes: Denny Roy

In April 2001, a Chinese J-8 fighter jet collided with a U.S. Navy EP-3 reconnaissance plane as it flew near China’s southern island province of Hainan.

The Chinese pilot died during bailout, and the crippled Navy aircraft made an emergency landing on Hainan, where the 24 crew members were detained and questioned before being released after an 11-day diplomatic standoff between Beijing and Washington.

The crisis was the first faced by a recently sworn-in President George W. Bush, who during the 2000 presidential campaign had promised to deal with China as a competitor rather than as a “strategic partner.”

8 September 2021—Mu variant detected in Hawaii, but threat is low now, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

The mu variant of the coronavirus, which may be better at evading protections offered by the available vaccines, has been found in nearly every state, including Hawaii, where its prevalence is second only to Alaska, according to data from Scripps Research.

The variant has been flagged by the World Health Organization as a “variant of interest,” and Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said recently that it’s something officials are “keeping a close eye on.”

But local health experts say they don’t consider the variant to be a particular threat right now.

7 September 2021—Delta variant, lack of restrictions will bring Hawaii hospitals to brink soon, expert says, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

Brown, a senior fellow at the East-West Center in Manoa, believes that far more stringent measures were needed sooner rather than later to stop the skyrocketing number of COVID-19 cases and the increasing strain on hospitals in Hawaii.

“Where we are now is already concerning enough that I think we need to be taking more aggressive measures to bring this under control,” said Brown during a Honolulu Star-Advertiser Spotlight Hawaii conversation on Monday.

6 September 2021—Tim Brown, East-West Center senior fellow, joins the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Spotlight Hawaii, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

Tim Brown, a senior fellow at the East-West Center, joined Spotlight Hawaii, a series from the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that shines a spotlight on issues affecting our islands, today for a livestream video and took viewer questions.

1 September 2021—With some still hesitant about the vaccine, doctors examine effectiveness of Regeneron treatment, Hawaii News Now: Tim Brown

“So many more of the unvaccinated end up infected,” said Dr. Tim Brown of East-West Center Senior Fellow. “And number two, the unvaccinated also remained with a higher viral load for an extended period, which means that they will be capable of developing new variants for a much longer period of time than vaccinated individuals.”

Brown said the viral load for a vaccinated person is 4-5 days, but for the unvaccinated, it’s more than double that, 10 to 11 days.
...
Brown said vaccines by themselves are just a part of the solution adding that masking and improved ventilation can help prevent the spread.

30 August 2021—Hawaii disease expert says booster shots are working well, KHON2: Tim Brown

“What they found is that the boosters are producing about a tenfold reduction in the level of breakthrough infections, and also a tenfold reduction in the level of severe illness from those breakthrough infections,” East-West Center senior fellow Dr. Tim Brown said.

27 August 2021—Discussion with Dr. Tim Brown, Facebook Live with Mel & Charlie: Tim Brown

19 August 2021—Clark welcomes new tenure-track and visiting faculty for 2020–21 academic year, Targeted News Service via Nexis Uni: Abby Fraizer

Clark University is pleased to welcome new faculty members for the 2021-22 academic year, who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to areas including psychology, music, geography, management, and -- particularly our colleagues from Becker College -- interactive media design.

18 August 2021—Chinese Hackers Used Cyber-disguising Technology Against Israel, Report Finds, Voice of America: Denny Roy

Denny Roy, a senior fellow at the Washington-based East-West Center research organization, told VOA that this is an indication of the depth of China’s commitment to cybertheft as part of China’s national development strategy: The top leadership blesses it despite the possibility of offending important trade or political partners, in this case, Israel.    

“It suggests Chinese hubris — that Beijing thinks China’s economic importance to the world allows China to get away with almost anything. The more China aspires to be a global great power, the more it will encounter contradictory pressures in its foreign policy, such as trying to simultaneously portray itself as a friend to both Israel and Iran,” Roy added.

18 August 2021—Afghanistan Fiasco Does Not Destroy US Credibility in Asia-Pacific, The Diplomat: Denny Roy

The disturbing scenes from the chaotic collapse of the U.S.-backed government in Afghanistan, along with fears of the hardships that may await the Afghan people with the return of Taliban rule, have provoked hot takes that focus on U.S. “abandonment” and “betrayal.”  In particular, many analysts emphasize the adverse consequences the Afghanistan withdrawal will have for broader and longer-term U.S. foreign policy goals. They argue that U.S. strategic reliability is now in question, that U.S. guarantees to security partners are no longer credible, and that the United States has lost its “resolve.”

15 August 2021—Hawaiians Look to Tradition to Cope With Climate Change, Voice of America News: Victoria Keener

“Some rainfall is on average going up over time. Some is going down,” said Victoria Keener, who studies climate change and natural resource management at Honolulu’s East-West Center. “In Hawaii, we’ve actually seen drying out,” with increased fire risk in parts of the islands and more rapid warming and environmental changes at higher elevations, she said.

Unstable weather triggered severe storms and flooding on Maui and other islands in March, destroying homes and bridges and providing a preview, scientists said, of what can happen in the future.

Moreover, climate change has additional consequences, Keener said, contaminating “groundwater wells near the coast,” harming agriculture and threatening infrastructure.

15 August 2021—Epidemiologist: COVID-19 vaccine less effective against delta variant, KITV4: Tim Brown

"We are clearly in a far worse situation than we ever were last year. And yet last year, we're going to pull out all the stops and basically do everything we could to stop it now," he (Brown) said. "Right now at the rate we're going up, there are going to be severe demands in a two to three week period on our entire medical system. And we are going to see people with heart attacks people with strokes, people with accidents, who will not be able to get appropriate care. And that is not acceptable in the state of Hawaii, as far as I'm concerned."

15 August 2021—Infectious disease expert says stricter measures are needed to stop the delta variant in Hawaii, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

Infectious disease expert Tim Brown believes that far more stringent measures are needed to stop the upward spiral of daily new coronavirus cases in Hawaii.

The Delta variant is a game changer, according to Brown, given the median viral load is up to 1,000 times higher than the original COVID-19 strains, making it almost twice as transmissible as the virus that drove last year’s epidemic.

13 August 2021—Some public health experts want Governor David Ige to shut down Hawaii for 30 days, KITV4: Tim Brown

"The government has to set out restrictions, where the vaccine gets you things that you won't get if you're not vaccinated," Dr. Brown said.

And if the state doesn't want to stop travel -- experts suggest reimposing the pretravel testing requirement and cut the tourism numbers by half.

"It's amazing to me that last year with far fewer cases, we were willing to impose a lockdown this year. We're not willing to do anything when we've got an average of 729 cases per day for the last three days," Dr. Brown said.

12 August 2021—Hawaii infectious disease expert warns pandemic could last at least 2 more years, Hawaii News Now: Tim Brown

“I’m going to close with telling you something you don’t want to hear,” said Dr. Tim Brown, a senior fellow at the East-West Center and an infectious disease expert, at the end of his Zoom presentation last week.

“When will this pandemic be over? It ain’t going to be at the end of this year. It probably ain’t going to be at the end of next year. Honest truth we are in the long haul with COVID. You are looking at probably another two to three years of dealing with this,” he said during his presentation.

11 August 2021—Experts say limiting Hawaii gatherings not enough to stop surge of coronavirus, KHON2: Tim Brown

“We need to go back to doing something similar to the bubbles that we were using last year, where you hang together with a limited number of people, primarily from your household and maybe a small additional group,” said Tim Brown, a senior research fellow at the East-West Center.

10 August 2021—Gov. David Ige looking at new COVID-19 restrictions for Hawaii, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

Top state state officials previously believed that achieving a 70% vaccination rate could be enough to achieve herd immunity, a level of vaccination that largely prevents the virus from spreading. With the delta variant, the threshold could be as high as 85% to 90%, according to Tim Brown, an infectious-disease modeler and senior fellow at the East-West Center.

6 August 2021—'Delta Variant Has Literally Changed the Game,' Says Epidemic Tracking Expert, Hawaii Public Radio: Tim Brown

BROWN: Fundamentally Delta has literally changed the game with this because it has increased its transmissibility so much. So in a lot of countries where previous levels of masking and social distancing were being effective, for example, in Taiwan or Thailand, we are now seeing major outbreaks of COVID, because of the Delta variant.

31 July 2021— Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, Association of Accredited Public Policy Advocates: Denny Roy

Xi’s views on diplomacy are noteworthy not for their brilliance, but rather as a barometer for what Beijing thinks is appropriate external behavior for China. Although Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy is an exercise in public relations by Beijing intended to win over the international community, a close reading of it still provides plenty of cause for the rest of the world to be concerned about China’s growing global influence and impact.

31 July 2021—Zheng He's voyages - the sequel, The Straits Times: Denny Roy

On July 11, China observed its National Maritime Day which, since 2005, has commemorated the first long-distance voyage to South and South-east Asia by the Chinese eunuch admiral Zheng He in the year 1405.

29 July 2021—APEC forum leaders’ meeting reaffirms commitment to close collaboration, Penza News: Denny Roy

Denny Roy, Senior Fellow at East-West Center, expert on Northeast Asian international security issues, the extraordinary summit demonstrated the group can flexibly respond to an emergency.

“Nevertheless, US-China tensions were the inescapable backdrop for the meeting. The meeting could have been an opportunity for a first face-to-face interaction between Biden and Xi Jinping, albeit virtually and as part of a group, but Xi Jinping’s remarks to the meeting were pre-recorded. Perhaps part of the reason Xi Jinping did it this way was to retaliate for Biden not yet meeting with him since Biden became president,” the expert said.

26 July 2021—South Korea Too Preoccupied with Survival to be Asia’s Sweden, The National Interest: Denny Roy

South Korea’s circumstances may garner sympathy and a measure of respect, but they are not conducive to the country gaining global recognition as a transcendent authority on how to improve the international system.

25 July 2021—Hawaii’s Safe Travels Program Won’t Likely Be Lifted Anytime in 2021, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

“No, I don’t believe that’s a safe benchmark anymore,” said Dr. Tim Brown, an infectious disease modeler and senior fellow at the East-West Center, according to the Honolulu Star Advertiser. “It actually would have been a safe benchmark probably for the virus last year. It was low enough, effectively, at that point. The problem is, the more infectious the virus is, the higher the level of protection needed to reach so-called herd immunity.”
... “The seven-day average of new cases went vertical this week,” Brown said. “Most of the rest of the U.S. is going vertical too.”

7 July 2021—2020 saw a baby bust in Hawaii. But declining fertility rates are poised to ‘last forever,’ Hawaii News Now: Andy Mason

Andrew Mason, a senior fellow at the East-West Center who studies population, demographics and aging, notes many of the factors contributing to record low fertility rates in Hawaii and the US are — on their face — positive. Women have more opportunities in the workplace. Teen pregnancies are way down. Family planning resources are more accessible. But taken together, he said, those factors and more are helping to drive a radical shift — one that’s poised to have ramifications that will touch every corner of our daily lives.

30 June 2021—China and USA Not Full Partners on North Korea, The National Interest: Denny Roy

China’s importance to any process for bringing about peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula is undeniable. That makes China a potential partner of the USA, South Korea, and Japan, but also a potential spoiler. Beijing’s actual performance has been a combination of both roles.  “Partnership” implies working toward the same outcomes, but Beijing’s agenda for the Peninsula is clearly different from the agendas of Washington, Seoul, and Tokyo.

27 June 2021—The One Thing That North Korea Does Well Is Survive, The National Interest: Denny Roy

The ruling Kim regime of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is on death watch again. The country faces a serious food shortage on top of pandemic fears and a recent cutoff of trade with China.

19 June 2021—Why Taiwan looms large for Japan, The Straits Times: Denny Roy

Normally careful about annoying China, Tokyo is moving closer to a policy stance that could scarcely be more abhorrent to Beijing: a commitment to help defend Taiwan against a possible Chinese military takeover attempt.

15 June 2021—Project Spotlight: Pacific Islands CASC Supports Drought Community of Practice in Hawai’i, US Geological Survey: Abby Fraizer, Ryan Longman

“We realized that we needed a much more formal way for researchers and managers to be communicating on drought,” says Frazier.

Their creation: the Pacific Drought Knowledge Exchange, a formal partnership between PI CASC-funded researchers and natural resource agencies in Hawaiʻi.

“We really wanted to demonstrate how we can provide easier access to drought climate information and data sources [in the Pacific],” says Frazier. “We wanted to provide better and more comprehensive information, improved technical assistance, and a more collaborative information transfer environment.”

14 June 2021—Study About Storms and Rainfall on Oʻahu To Improve Water Management, Maui Now: Ryan Longman

“If storm tracks are to shift poleward due to climate change, then we may see fewer cold fronts pass over the islands,” Longman said. “As a result, leeward areas that are dependent on disturbance driven rainfall could potentially become even drier in the future.”

14 June 2021—Better water management goal of storm, rainfall data analysis, University of Hawaiʻi News: Ryan Longman

“If storm tracks are to shift poleward due to climate change, then we may see fewer cold fronts pass over the islands. As a result, leeward areas that are dependent on disturbance driven rainfall could potentially become even drier in the future,” said Longman.

14 June 2021—Kona lows, other storm events make outsize contribution to state's rainfall, Yahoo! News: Ryan Longman

"If you have a lot of Kona low storms, you're going to have a wet year, " Longman said.
...

"Not only are you not receiving that rainfall from the crossing front ; you're actually getting conditions that are drier than what it usually is, " Longman said.

With climate scientists warning that storm tracks are shifting poleward due to climate change, it looks like the islands could see more noncrossing cold fronts in the future, Longman said And because leeward regions are dependent on storm events for much of their rainfall, he said, it appears those areas will be even drier as climate change becomes more prevalent.

12 June 2021—Biden puts pressure on G7 leaders on a unified approach to counter China, Emnetra: Denny Roy

However, there is no guarantee that Biden will be able to convince the remaining G7 partners to take concrete action.

Denny Roy, a senior fellow at the East-West Center, said all G7 members were “willing to oppose China as much as Washington demands.” South China Morning Post..

“Most people want to have a constructive economic relationship while quietly opposed to certain Chinese practices,” Roy said. “Even Japan, which is generally hawkish against China, is hesitant to sign sanctions against China for Uighur abuse. Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.. “

12 June 2021—Biden to press G-7 leaders to adopt a unified approach to counter China’s rising influence, CNBC: Denny Roy

Not all G-7 members are “willing to be as confrontational toward China as Washington asks,” Denny Roy, a senior fellow at the East-West Center, told The South China Morning Post.  

“Most would rather have a constructive economic relationship while quietly opposing certain Chinese practices,” Roy said. “Even Japan, which is generally hawkish toward China, has been hesitant to sign on to sanctions against China over the mistreatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang.”

10 June 2021—G7 to roll out green rival to belt and road with US rallying support to confront China, South China Morning Post: Denny Roy

The Group of Seven is set to roll out a green initiative to rival Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative at a summit in Britain this week, as the leaders look towards the post-pandemic recovery with a wary eye on a more assertive China.

3 June 2021—Biden Tasks Intelligence Community to Answer Wuhan Questions, Clearance Jobs: Denny Roy

The intelligence community has been tasked by President Biden to sleuth out what transpired in Wuhan, China in late-2019 at the root of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the tasking may seem to those unfamiliar with the ways of intelligence tasking as new, one may be assured this question has been on the operating directive of the entire intelligence community since early in the pandemic.

31 May 2021—Wuhan lab-leak theory is back with consequences, Asia Times: Denny Roy

Once widely dismissed as a conspiracy theory, the allegation that Covid-19 originated in a Chinese government laboratory in Wuhan is gaining renewed attention.

According to this theory, Chinese scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) engineered the virus as part of a biological weapons program and the pandemic started when the virus escaped into the surrounding community.

14 May 2021—Tough sell for Moon in summit with Biden, The Straits Times: Denny Roy

Next week, South Korean President Moon Jae-in will have the opportunity to personally urge US President Joe Biden to expedite restarting negotiations with North Korea. Mr Moon's pitch will likely be unsuccessful.

6 May 2021—Trio of Nations May Counter Beijing's Vaccine Offer to India, Voice of America: Denny Roy

As India sets new daily records in COVID-19 deaths and infections, some experts see the humanitarian crisis as an opportunity for other nations to counter China's vaccine diplomacy elsewhere.

29 April 2021—Japan on the pointed horns of a China dilemma, Asia Times: Denny Roy

Japan’s China dilemma is intensifying. Japanese economic health is deeply dependent on the same country that increasingly threatens Japan’s security.  

The squeeze Japan is suffering does not result from a “security dilemma” or some other impersonal structural force of the international political system. It is the intended result of the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) foreign policy.

23 April 2021—Questions abound as US grapples with Taiwan dilemma, The Straits Times: Denny Roy

As China in effect normalises crossing the median line in the Taiwan Strait - flying warplanes into Taiwan's air defence identification zone - the line that the United States has been walking with regard to China and Taiwan is becoming thinner, and questions abound.

20 April 2021—As ‘AAPI’ grows as label in US, Pacific Islanders point out uniqueness of their cultures and concerns, South China Morning Post: Mary Hattori

Asians living in America are under assault. Rarely a day passes without a report about someone of Chinese, Filipino, Thai or Indonesian descent being attacked or even killed. Legislation meant to address the onslaught is moving through Congress. And US President
Joe Biden has set up a task force, warning that “we have to act” to stem the tide of violence.

19 April 2021—U.S.-North Korea Relations will Follow Same Pattern Despite Coronavirus, The National Interest: Denny Roy

The most notable new development is that the outbreak of the coronavirus has pushed North Korea’s economic problems to a crisis level, even as Kim Jong-un continues to consolidate his nuclear deterrent by refining his delivery systems.

16 April 2021—Report: Japan’s PM to Visit India, Philippines to Strengthen Regional Ties, Voice of America: Denny Roy

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is expected visit India and the Philippines in late April, in a move to strengthen regional ties after meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden.

15 April 2021—UH campuses celebrate Earth Day 2021, University of Hawai'i News: Victoria Keener

The campuses of the University of Hawaiʻi are hosting a variety of programs and events to celebrate Earth Day 2021.

10 April 2021—Japan is less secure - despite improved US ties, The Straits Times: Denny Roy

The Japanese are rightly pleased that their Prime Minister, Mr Yoshihide Suga, will be the first foreign leader to meet United States President Joe Biden in person on April 16.

Japan was also the first foreign country visited by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin. This respectful treatment from the US, however, only partially offsets a generally deteriorating security situation for Japan.

7 April 2021—Honolulu mayor wants eased virus restrictions despite uptick, Associated Press: Tim Brown

HONOLULU (AP) — Honolulu’s mayor wants to change Oahu’s coronavirus guidelines to allow for less restrictions despite a growing number of COVID-19 cases on the island.

7 April 2021—Mayor Rick Blangiardi makes request to change Oahu’s tier criteria, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Tim Brown

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi, in the face of rising case counts, has set forth his intention to keep Oahu operating under Tier 3 rather than falling back to Tier 2. Blangiardi on Tuesday said he sent a request to Gov. David Ige asking that the criteria for Tier 3 be increased to a seven-day average case count of 50 to 100, which is what it currently is for Tier 2.

4 April 2021—Australia could be called on to defend Taiwan from China, News.com.au: Denny Roy

East-West Center senior fellow Denny Roy argues Beijing has other things on its mind. “To be sure, the PRC threat to Taiwan has grown steadily, and the trends are still adverse,” he writes. “For Taiwan and its friends, however, the situation is not as dire as portrayed by those warning that Beijing will soon opt for war.”

20 March 2021—Rumors of War in the Taiwan Strait, The Diplomat: Denny Roy

A war scare, rather than actual war, remains the optimal policy for the PRC. The top leadership may see it as a chance to “win without fighting,” and it demonstrates to the Chinese masses and potential political rivals that the Xi government is doing something to prod Taipei toward negotiating unification. Unfortunately for Taiwan’s people, even if the risk of war is low, persistent tension is the best they can hope for.

13 March 2021—Summit and high-level diplomacy signal Washington's Asia priorities, The Straits Times: Denny Roy

It lost momentum because China still seemed to pose more opportunity than threat, Dr Denny Roy, senior fellow at the East West Centre in Honolulu, told The Straits Times.

But, he added: "Now, each of the four has a stronger common interest in blocking Chinese expansionism, and the Quad looks more like a nascent alliance, with even India's traditional non-alignment less of an obstacle."

"Beijing now faces a new US leader who rallies rather than alienates his allies," Dr Roy said. "He is coordinating with important partners... before meeting with (Chinese President) Xi Jinping and before announcing a detailed US approach to China and North Korea."

4 March 2021—Livestream Next Week: Hearing on Insular Area Climate Change Act on Thursday, March 4, Public.: Zena Grecni

The full Committee, led by Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), will hold a legislative hearing to consider a discussion draft of the Insular Area Climate Change Act.

1 March 2021—US-South Korea ties: From crisis to muddling through,The Straits Times: Denny Roy

The danger of an existential crisis in the United States-South Korea alliance has passed. The Biden White House is not hankering for a break-up.

18 February 2021—Lieutenant Governor believes COVID-19 variants can be controlled in Hawaii, KITV4: Tim Brown

Dr. Tim Brown, an Epidemiologist with the East West Center at the University of Hawaii, says there's still a chance the UK variant becomes the dominant strain in Hawaii. "I think the real challenge is as we're scaling up vaccinations, we also need to be sustaining our masking or social distancing, so on, to make sure we don't give the virus more opportunities to spread because the more spread occurs, the more likely the variant can get a foothold and for it to evolve," Brown said.

13 February 2021—How China Squandered Its Chance for a Peaceful Rise, National Interest: Denny Roy

Chinese leaders have known for decades that the ideal circumstance for a “rising” China is for other powerful nations such as the United States to acquiesce rather than resist. Consequently, a major component of recent Chinese diplomacy has been reassurance: trying to persuade foreigners that China is in no way a threat to them.

31 January 2021—Los esfuerzos diplomáticos de Beijing porestablecer su rol en la pandemia, El Mercurio: Denny Roy

26 January 2021—Climate Change in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands: Indicators and Considerations for Key Sectors, ReliefWeb: Zena Grecni, Wendy Miles, Victoria Keener

Hotter weather, stronger typhoons, coral reef death, and human health risks are among the major challenges detailed in a new report on climate change in the CNMI. Threatened resources include high-value coastal infrastructure and the millions of dollars that ocean ecosystems add to the CNMI economy annually, according to the report by the Pacific Islands Regional Climate Assessment (PIRCA), a consortium of several government, NGO, and research entities.

25 January 2021—Molokai’s fabled Axis Deer are starving to death in droves, Honolulu Civil Beat: Abby Fraizer

For more than a century, the axis deer that roam Molokai have played an integral role on the island. Lately, however, those light-colored, spotted animals have fallen into disturbingly bad shape.

24 January 2021—Delaware folk politics shaped Biden, plus memories of him here, Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Charles E. Morrison

The mob attack on the U.S. Capitol and Joe Biden’s inauguration brought back memories of a simpler time and a young senator.

21 January 2021—Will Joe Biden meet Xi Jinping? China awaits clues to future of US relations, South China Morning Post: Denny Roy

Given that “threats” perceived during the Donald Trump administration had included China’s ruling Communist Party , it raises the question of whether early talks between Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping are feasible and could help fix a relationship at a 40-year low on nearly all fronts.

20 January 2021—Biden inherits qualified North Korea policy failure, Asia Times: Denny Roy

A more accurate assessment, however, is that Trump was as unsuccessful as his predecessor presidents in imposing America’s will on Pyongyang, although Trump’s lack of success was singularly spectacular. Trump set the world on edge when he threatened to use military force to stop North Korea’s nuclear ICBM development, but then had the dubious distinction of being in office when the DPRK apparently attained the critical capabilities.

13 January 2021—Power Dynamics, More Than Ideology, Drive US-China Tensions – Analysis, Eurasia Review: Denny Roy

During the recent US elections, for example, both major parties tried to position themselves as tough on China. Much of the criticism pointed to the ideology of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as the root of poor US-China relations. On China’s part, Xi Jinping’s government has re-emphasized the threat that liberal democratic ideas pose to the CCP’s vision for the “great rejuvenation” of China, a vision premised on maintaining the party’s monopoly on national political power.

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East-West Center Research in the News: 2020

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