May 24, 2008

Cross-strait opportunity

“Be careful what you wish for.” This Chinese proverb came repeatedly to mind when listening to incoming Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou’s forward-leaning inauguration address that sent so many olive branches toward Beijing that even some of his ardent supporters feared he had “gone too ...

Feb 23, 2008

Vision of ROK-U.S. alliance

HONOLULU — The inauguration Monday of Lee Myung Bak as the Republic of Korea’s new president will open the door for a revitalization of the ROK-U.S. alliance, a relationship that has been severely tested and strained in recent years as a result of policy ...

Jan 24, 2008

How Ma's 'three nos' policy could impact cross-strait ties

TAIPEI — Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate Ma Ying-jeou has proclaimed a “three nos” policy — no unification, no independence, no use of force — in outlining his planned approach to cross-strait relations should he win the March 22 Taiwan presidential election. This is a ...

Dec 24, 2007

U.S., Australia 'still mates'

HONOLULU — “Australia’s Path Bends Away from the U.S.’‘ Thus read the headlines of an international “news analysis” commenting on the Labor Party’s recent victory Down Under and new Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s decision to attend the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Bali and ...

Nov 26, 2007

One (very) small step forward for ASEAN

HONOLULU — The Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) has, in commemoration of its 40th anniversary, adopted its first formal charter, thus conferring “legal personality” upon this intergovernmental organization, complete with its own flag, emblem, anthem (to be written), and motto: One Vision, One ...

Oct 22, 2007

Potential for Korean progress

HONOLULU — “It could have been worse, a lot worse!” This was my initial reaction to the Oct. 2-4 summit meeting in Pyongyang between South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun and North Korea’s “Dear Leader” Kim Jong Il. The summit went relatively smoothly. The ...

Oct 11, 2007

Six-party talks make progress

HONOLULU — The joint declaration from the recently concluded round of six-party talks in Beijing points to a significant step forward, provided Pyongyang follows through as promised with a significant series of denuclearization steps between now and the end of the year. As has ...

Sep 8, 2007

ASEAN at 40: coming of age?

KUALA LUMPUR — The Association of Southeast Asian Nations turned 40 this summer. Is it facing a mid-life crisis? Or is it on the verge of maturing into a more cohesive, more relevant organization capable of promoting peace and stability not only in Southeast ...

Jun 29, 2007

Hope for six-party talks lives

SEOUL — It’s not exactly clear what Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Christopher Hill told (or promised) North Korean officials during his surprise visit to Pyongyang last week — or if the mere continuation of the long sought after one-on-one direct dialogue was sufficient ...

May 25, 2007

Fears of new 'Nixon shock'

HONOLULU — The U.S.-Japan relationship is on solid ground and growing stronger by the day. As a result of their recent Camp David summit, U.S. President George W. Bush and Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo have become each other’s new best friend — perhaps ...