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China and East Asia

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September 2003
Feeding China: From Wanting to Wasting
by Vaclav Smil
"The food-related China fears of yesterday-the country's predicted inability to feed itself, thus putting an unbearable burden on global food supplies-have today been replaced by new worries, about pandemic possibilities."

September 2003
China and North Korea: The Limits of Influence
by Andrew Scobell
"The Bush administration should recognize that on North Korea, only limited support will be forthcoming from Beijing. The best Washington can expect is a China actively pressing the United States and North Korea to talk and willing to host or participate in further meetings. But this presumes that both Pyongyang and Washington are ready to sit down in the first place."

September 2003
America and South Korea: The Ambivalent Alliance?
by Victor D. Cha
"If South Korean resentment of America's military presence is less clear-cut than many would suggest, so, too, are the policy differences supposedly dividing American and South Korean leaders."

September 2003
Democracy Endangered: Thailand's Thaksin Flirts with Dictatorship
by Joshua Kurlantzick
"Ultimately, if reformist elements . . . do not restrain [Prime Minister Thaksin], Thailand could develop into a larger version of Singapore: a state with a veneer of democratic politics covering a one-party system."

April 2003
North Korea: The Sequel
by Bruce Cumings
The current crisis with North Korea "has the same solution as the original [in 1994]: get North Korea's nuclear program mothballed and its medium- and long-range missiles decommissioned by buying them out at a set price. That price is American recognition of North Korea, written promises not to target the North with nuclear weapons, and indirect compensation in the form of aid and investment."

April 2003
The Nuclear Crisis on the Korean Peninsula: Avoiding the Road to Perdition
by The Task Force on U.S. Korea Policy
"Confrontational United States policies toward North Korea, adopted unilaterally, would not only exacerbate the nuclear crisis but also undermine United States relations with Northeast Asia as a whole. . . . The United States would end up with the worst of both worlds: a nuclear-capable North Korea and severely strained relations with key powers important to United States interests globally as well as regionally. Conversely, by pursuing constructive engagement in concert with its friends and allies in the region, the United States would maximize the pressure on North Korea for an acceptable nuclear settlement and promote the long-term United States objective of liberalizing the North Korean system."

April 2003
Asia's Nuclear Dominos?
by Jon B. Wolfsthal
"Nuclear proliferation is neither out of control nor inevitable. The tools required to reduce the demand for nuclear weapons exist and remain effective if they are used constructively by the United States and other concerned countries. But if these tools are left unused, . . . [the] dominos could start toppling."

April 2003
East Asia's Slow Recovery from Financial Crisis
by Jean-Marc F. Blanchard
"Given East Asia's positive economic attributes, it is easy to conclude that the region's long-term economic future will be bright. . . . Unfortunately, the capacity and political will to implement the right choices may be lacking."

September 2002
Sino-American Relations since September 11: Can the New Stability Last?
by David Shambaugh
"Although Taiwan, missile proliferation, missile defense, and the American military presence in Asia and Central Asia have the potential to upset Sino-American relations over the next year, the current stability is reason for cautious optimism. . . . Neither country needs or seeks a deterioration of relations or a return to the roller coaster of the 1990s. Indeed, both are otherwise preoccupied."

September 2002
China's New Leadership: The Challenges to the Politics of Muddling Through
by Tony Saich
"Whoever succeeds [Jiang Zemin as general secretary] will take almost a full term to consolidate his position. . . . Whether this politics of muddling through will be sufficient for the next period is debatable-the leadership might be pressured to take a more dynamic approach."

September 2002
Waiting for China's Lech Walesa
by Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom
"Has the Chinese body politic finally been infected by what Beijing officials have sometimes dubbed the 'Polish disease' . . . ? Could China's 2002 turn out to be like Poland's 1981, a turning-point year when cleansing fevers (to invert the medical metaphor) began to take effect?"

September 2002
China's War on
by Jason Kindopp
"China's leaders are well aware of the dangers of precipitating a Falun Gong-style campaign against another religious group, and appear eager to avoid doing so. Stung by the Falun Gong's tenacity and exhausted by the extraordinary measures required to flog its adherents into submission, they no longer have any illusions about the difficulty of wiping out religious groups that specialize in producing righteous martyrs. . . ."

September 2002
Xinjiang: China's Future West Bank?
by Dru Gladney
"Not unlike Hong Kong (which under the one-country, two-systems formula continues to fly its own flag), the unique situation in Xinjiang calls for dramatic and creative solutions. The future of this region, which the American sinologist Owen Lattimore once called the 'pivot of Asia,' depends on it."

September 2002
Quiet Struggle in the East China Sea
by Selig S. Harrison
"Growing attention has been devoted in recent years to projected oil and gas pipelines that would link Russian gas fields in eastern Siberia and Sakhalin Island to China, Japan, and the two Koreas. By contrast, there is little awareness of the high economic and political stakes involved in the quiet struggle now unfolding in Northeast Asia over seabed petroleum resources, especially the conflict between China and Japan over the East China Sea."

September 2002
China and North Korea: The Close but Uncomfortable Relationship
by Andrew Scobell
"Many in Beijing would like to see the Pyongyang regime survive indefinitely, and the Chinese are doing what they can to prop it up." But China would also like to see "gradual (not dramatic) change in North Korea. It hopes to nurture the emergence of a reform-minded North Korea. . . . How realistic this goal is and how far Beijing is willing to pursue it remain unclear."

September 2002
Sino-Japanese Relations: Competition and Cooperation
by Jonathan Lemco and Scott B. MacDonald
"Many analysts choose to focus on the points of contention between the Asian giants. This is perfectly understandable, for China's industries will grow and compete with Japan's worldwide, and Japan's more assertive military will complicate China's foreign policy goals. But the tensions are only half the story."

April 2002
Sunset for Kim Dae-jung's Sunshine Policy?
by Manwoo Lee
"Although Kim Dae-jung's sunshine policy has been buffeted by political turbulence, it is not dead; his successor can only modify his policy, not abandon it altogether."

April 2002
Japan's Slow-Moving Economic Avalanche
by Scott B. MacDonald and Jonathan Lemco
"For now Japan is too integrated into the world financial system and too big to fail. . . . But a time of reckoning is coming if changes are not made."

April 2002
Post-Crisis Asia: Economic Recovery and the Challenges Ahead
by Shalendra D. Sharma
Almost all the East Asian economies have recaptured the economic momentum disrupted by the 1997 financial crisis in the region. Although that momentum was slowed with the global economic downturn in 2001, the process of financial and corporate rebuilding and restructuring in response to the crisis has not.

September 2001
Cracks in the Wall: China's Eroding Coercive State
by Murray Scot Tanner
China's coercive system still shows a capacity to suppress individuals deemed threatening to the state. Beneath the surface, this system is facing unprecedented challenges to central control, effectiveness, and discipline, all of which could produce a growing crisis of governability for Beijing.

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