Security

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Advancing the understanding of security issues in the Asia Pacific such as maritime security and security on the Korean Peninsula. 

Maritime Security

In recent years, tensions have flared between Asian nations that hold competing claims to territory in the South China Sea and East China Sea. On several occasions, nations have engaged in threats of military force and demonstrations of naval prowess; these rows threaten regional maritime security, raise concerns about the potential for conflict in the Asia-Pacific, and highlight the need for level-headed negotiation. China is an important player in these territorial disputes, and contests claims to the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea and numerous areas of the South China Sea. While the U.S. refuses to take a stance on sovereignty disputes, it also plays a significant role in the region by promoting multilateral negotiations, the freedom of navigation, and regional peace.

The CSIS Freeman Chair examines developments in the Asia-Pacific territorial disputes and their impact on maritime security issues, particularly in the following research areas:

  • The impact of territorial disputes on U.S.-China relations
  • The U.S. role in Asia-Pacific maritime security 
  • Mainland China’s and Taiwan’s responses to regional territorial disputes 
  • Regional institutions as forums for dispute negotiation and resolution 

Korean Peninsula 

Due to China’s close diplomatic relations with and proximity to North Korea, China is an influential player in the Peninsula and is rightfully concerned about instability in North Korea because of the potential impacts on China. The U.S. and China share an interest in a stable, peaceful, and non-nuclear Korean Peninsula and as a result have cooperated on denuclearization efforts.  Although their interests often converge, the order of the U.S.’s and China’s respective priorities differ and their approaches frequently diverge.

The Freeman Chair promotes U.S.-China dialogue on parallel and joint preparation for responding to unforeseen instability on the peninsula. In addition, the Freeman Chair investigates China-North Korea ties and the impact of North Korea on U.S.-China relations to better understand and inform U.S. policy on the Korean Peninsula. 

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