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 ...

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 ...