Jan 7, 2010

Obama on track in Asia

With one exception, U.S. relations with East Asian countries are better today than when the Obama administration took office. This is no small accomplishment since the Bush administration left Asia in good shape. Let’s look at the exception first. The one relationship that has ...

Dec 21, 2009

Taiwan poll's weight overhyped

HONOLULU — Voters in Taiwan went to the polls in 17 counties and cities recently to elect mayors and magistrates. The ruling Kuomintang (KMT) party won 12 of the 17 seats and enjoyed an overwhelming victory in elections of county and city councilors and ...

Sep 12, 2009

DPP scoring political points at Taiwan's expense

What’s going on in Taiwan? A year ago, there were serious concerns about the viability of Taiwan democracy. The Nationalist Party (KMT) had achieved an overwhelming majority with a sweeping victory in Legislative Yuan elections and had regained the presidency as a result of ...

Jun 4, 2009

The path with North Korea

What is North Korea up to? Is it trying to undermine the six-party talks in order to force Washington to deal with Pyongyang directly, as some experts claim? Or, as others maintain with equal certainty, is it sending a signal that it is not ...

Apr 22, 2009

Nuclear disarmament: too much, too soon?

There is no country on Earth more committed to global nuclear disarmament than Japan. Ever since experiencing firsthand the horrors of nuclear weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Japanese government and people have been steadfast in calling for the total elimination of nuclear weapons ...

Mar 11, 2009

Gauging Obama's Asia policy

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s recent trip to Asia underscored elements of continuity and change in the Obama administration’s Asia policy. Generally speaking, her visits to Japan, South Korea and China represented continuity; her trip to Indonesia signaled change. Her first stop was ...

Nov 13, 2008

Advice on Asia for Obama

Foreign policy bloggers and pundits are already gushing forth with advice for President-elect Barack Obama. Allow me to add some of my own, at least as far as Asia policy is concerned. The first bit of more general advice is to remember that the ...

Oct 20, 2008

North Korea: settling for half a loaf

The conventional wisdom is that the Bush administration, in its never-ending face-off with North Korea over its nuclear ambitions, has once again been the first to blink. President George W. Bush has been severely criticized for removing North Korea from the State Sponsors of ...

Jun 25, 2008

What to expect from North Korea

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recently announced that North Korea will soon release its much anticipated (and long overdue) “complete and correct declaration” of all its nuclear activities. In return, the Bush administration will remove Pyongyang from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list ...