US–ROK nuclear renegotiations not as easy as 123

The Singori-1 and Signori-2 nuclear power stations in Busan, South Korea (4 December 2012). The stations account for 3.3 percent of total electricity production in South Korea (Photo: AAP)

Author: Ashley Hess, Pacific Forum CSIS

The US–South Korea Civil Nuclear Agreement (the 123 Agreement, required by US law before bilateral nuclear cooperation can take place) was first signed over 40 years ago and will expire next March. A bill to extend the treaty until March 2016 (HR 2449) was introduced into the US House of Representatives in June and was unanimously approved on September 17. Read more…

China in the regional order: it’s not about parity

Filipino protesters display their placards of cartoon Po from the film 'Kung Fu Panda' during a rally outside the Chinese Consular office in Makati's financial district of Manila, Philippines, 16 June 2011. The protesters condemned the Chinese government's military incursions into the West Philippine Sea even as they called for a peaceful resolution to the conflict and demilitarization of the contested areas. (PHOTO: AAP)

Authors: Robert A. Manning, Atlantic Council, and James J. Przystup, NDU

To answer Hugh White’s initial question, ‘what is America’s ultimate aim in Asia today?’, there is no mystery about American aims in Asia: it is simply a rules-based order with unimpeded access to the global commons.

To the degree that other stakeholders are willing and able to help enforce such a system, they are welcome as partners. The question we posed remains unanswered. Parity does not tell us what regional order China would like to preside over. Read more…

Russia: between the US and China

US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice (L), Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin (C) and Chinese Ambassador to the UN  Li Baodong speak before a UN Security Council vote on Syria 19 July, 2012, in New York. Russia and China vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that would impose sanctions against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad if he does not end the use of heavy weapons in Syria. (PHOTO: AAP)

Author: Artyom Lukin, Far Eastern Federal University

As the geopolitical competition between China and the US intensifies, other actors must decide how they will position themselves in this power struggle. Of these, Russia is arguably one of the most crucial ‘swing states’ in the contemporary global arena.

Russia and China have been close ‘strategic partners’ since the late 1990s, but there is speculation that Russia will eventually Read more…

Rebalancing Asia: Panetta visits India

US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta delivers a speech on Indo-US Defense Relations at the Institute for Defense Studies and Analysis in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, 6 June, 2012. (PHOTO: AAP)

Author: Louise Merrington, ANU

US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s visit to India in June highlighted both India’s increasing importance as a regional balance in the US ‘pivot’ to the Asia Pacific and the extent to which the US–Pakistan relationship has deteriorated in recent months.

Although the US–India relationship reached a high note with the 2008 civilian nuclear deal, several Read more…

Northeast Asia’s eternal triangle is really an American affair of sorts

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak attends the 5th Trilateral Summit Meeting among China, South Korea and Japan at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on 13 May 2012. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Takashi Terada, Doshisha University

The Beijing Trilateral Summit Meeting held in May 2012 was the occasion for two significant events: China, Japan and South Korea announced that their trilateral FTA negotiations should commence within the year, and they signed a trilateral investment agreement.

Northeast Asian regionalism is finally showing signs of willingness to reach a level of economic integration similar to other regions like Southeast Asia. Read more…

US–China collusion and the way forward for Japan

Guided-missile destroyer USS John McCain (L) pulls alongside the aircraft carrier USS George Washington during a refueling at sea during the "Keen Sword" US-Japan joint military exercises in the Sea of Japan close to the coast of South Korea, 5 December, 2010 . (Photo: AAP)

Author: Susumu Yabuki, Yokohama City University

Many people think that current US–China relations are comparable to US–Soviet relations during the Cold War. This is completely mistaken.

It is often said that the US and China are rivals — even potential combatants — in areas near Okinawa and the South China Sea. Some Japanese military strategists go as far as asserting that Read more…

China’s non-confrontational assertiveness in the South China Sea

Chinese entertainers perform in front of the newly-built deepwater pipelaying crane vessel Hai Yang Shi You 201 before it leaves the Port of Qingdao for the South China Sea, in Qingdao city, to the east of the Chinese proviince of Shandong, 21 May 2012. The vessel is set to advance Chinese deepwater resources exploration strategy. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Li Mingjiang, RSIS

The past few years have been particularly eventful for the South China Sea dispute.

The tensions and related diplomatic pressures exerted on China have prompted unprecedented debate among China’s foreign-policy community. Policy makers and analysts have undertaken serious reviews of other countries’ policies and deliberated on appropriate responses and future policy options. These internal debates offer insight into China’s likely future policy in the South China Sea. Read more…