The unfolding international response to Typhoon Haiyan, in the same super-destructive league as the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Cyclone Nargis in 2008, and Japan’s 2011 triple disaster, has again underscored the importance of the naval dimension to Humanitarian and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations across the Indo-Pacific.
The Third Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee focused on deepening China's economic and political reform. Among the long list of "to-dos" released after the meeting, the most concrete, and perhaps the most eye-catching, is the establishment of a State Security Committee (SSC).
Achieving a “new type of great power relations” with the United States is a cornerstone of China’s emerging foreign policy. But it remains a brittle one. Although first expressed by former President Hu Jintao, the term has achieved elevated status since President Xi Jinping’s summit meeting with President Barack Obama at Sunnylands, California, some four months ago.
"History" again raised its ugly head when Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo failed to get even a brief session with South Korean President Park Geun-hye while they were both in Southeast Asia earlier in October.
At the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting in Bali earlier this month, there was no missing the cold atmosphere between ROK President Park Geun-hye and Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo. Their frosty interactions were like a scene from a Korean drama, especially when contrasted with the warmth shared between Park and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
Not even the sharpest media spin can spare the United States from criticism making the rounds in East Asia over President Barack Obama’s inability to show up for the ASEAN-led summit season earlier this month. The contrast could not be clearer.
The world stands on the threshold of a stunning demographic transformation. Over the next few decades, global aging will affect everything from the shape of the family to the shape of the geopolitical order. Perhaps most fatefully, it could throw into question the ability of societies to provide a decent standard of living for the old without imposing a crushing burden on the young.
On Oct. 3, the United States and Japan held the Security Consultative Committee (SCC) meeting, often referred to as “two-plus-two” because it includes the US secretaries of state and defense and Japan’s foreign and defense ministers, in Tokyo.
A few days before President Barack Obama was to travel to the region to underscore his Asia pivot, it turned out that United States domestic policy needed to be rebalanced more urgently.
For the first time in nearly a decade, people watched as soldiers, tanks, and missiles rolled through the streets of central Seoul. For many observers, the purpose of the military parade was clear: a show of force meant to deter North Korea from engaging in military provocations.