Posts Tagged ‘Asia’

The U.S.-China Relationship

December 9, 2011

The U.S.-China relationship is the most important international relationship today.  Our countries are linked economically and the security and stability of the international system depends on actions that we take collectively or unilaterally.  However, greater friction is occurring today as a result of China’s rise and the decrease of U.S. supremacy abroad.  Neither sees eye to eye on many important international issues, and the prospects for cooperation and rapprochement are strained.

The National Strategy Forum Review has published a report about the status of the U.S.-China relationship.  We compiled a series of interviews with our contacts in Beijing and Shanghai, and have synthesized the substance of these discussions into a report about China’s strategic objectives and the means to improve the U.S.-China relationship.  This report serves as a baseline for ongoing discussions with our Chinese counterparts on how to guide the U.S. and China through tense diplomatic waters.  Cooperation is not a foregone conclusion, but the U.S. and China must first understand what each other wants before we can accommodate cooperation that is mutually beneficial.  We argue that the U.S. and China are bound to compete for influence in the Asia-Pacific, but this competition can be directed in constructive ways if the interactions are based upon established rules of the game.  The report, “The U.S.-China Relationship: Building Constructive Competition,” is now available online.

In addition to the report, we asked Drs. Bernard Cole and Cynthia Watson from the National Defense University to discuss China’s military modernization and strategic objectives in East Asia.  Their insights are unique and valuable contributions to the discussion.  Finally, Mr. Mark Frazzetto wrote a review of Joel Brenner’s new book on cyber security titled, America the Vulnerable.

These articles and the entire issue of the National Strategy Forum Review: Fall 2011, Volume 20, Issue 4  are now available online.

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Why Taiwan Matters

August 30, 2011

U.S.-PRC-ROC relations are heating up, with rumors of a proposed F-16 fighter jet sale to Taiwan being debated in Washington.  Taiwan, also called the Republic of China (ROC), punches above its weight class in many respects.  For example, it is the world’s 19th largest economy, and one of the largest trading partners of the U.S. and PRC, despite being roughly the size of Maryland and Delaware combined.  However, Cross-Strait relations between the PRC and ROC have wide ranging implication for global politics, and particularly U.S. national security strategy.

Professor Shelley Rigger’s new book, Why Taiwan Matters: Small Island, Global Powerhouse, is an insightful look at this disproportionate impact this tiny island has on world politics.

For a book review and summary on this topic, by Eric S. Morse, please click here.

President Ma’s Cross-Strait Strategy: The Tiger’s New Posture

June 6, 2011

On May 12, 2011, President Ma of Taiwan gave a speech via videoconference to a National Strategy Forum audience in Chicago and a Center for Strategic & International Studies audience in Washington, DC.  The substance of the speech was Ma’s strategy for managing the Cross-Strait negotiations, with wide-ranging implication for the China-Taiwan and U.S.-Taiwan relationships.

For a summary and analysis of the speech, read the article:

President Ma’s Cross-Strait Strategy: The Tiger’s New Posture

Missiles and the Balance of Power

February 9, 2011

Missiles are again prominent in international news.  This time, however, it is not the United States or Russia that is making headlines, as was the case during the Cold War, but rather small and rising powers across the globe.  The ramifications of diffuse missile technology is altering the face of geopolitical power and causing advanced countries to rethink their strategies.  Developing countries with small military forces are finding that they can effectively counter-balance larger, more advanced militaries by deploying low-tech missile technology.

There are four recent examples of missiles changing the balance of power in the international system.  Read the analysis in the article below.

Missiles and the Balance of Power

By Eric S. Morse

Fighter Gaps: Why the Chinese J-20 Matters for U.S. Air Power

January 27, 2011

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates laid out a comfortable air defense scenario in a July 16, 2009 speech to the Economic Club of Chicago:

“[B]by 2020, the United States is projected to have nearly 2,500 manned combat aircraft of all kinds. Of those, nearly 1,100 will be the most advanced fifth generation F-35s and F-22s.  China, by contrast, is projected to have no fifth generation aircraft by 2020. And by 2025, the gap only widens…”

Mr. Gates went back to China in January 2011.  U.S. and international news sources reported test flights during his trip for a “J-20” fighter, whose external appearance, at least, resembled the U.S. F-22 Raptor.  Old fighter program data and old relative power projections for 2015-2025 may need revision.

The past few weeks have seen a significant re-evaluation of U.S. air power strategy.  The J-20 appears to have caught the U.S. militay by surprise and it is questionable how they will adapt their strategy to meet this new challenge.

William A. Price evaluates the F-22 fighter program in an National Strategy Forum Review: Special Report titled Fighter Gaps.  Mr. Price’s detailed analysis of the F-22 and F-35 strike fighter programs, the U.S. Air Force procurement strategy, and comparisons of aircraft capabilities pose some striking questions.  Is the U.S. adequately preparing for the air superiority challenges of the future?

Fighter Gaps

By William A. Price

ECFA, Taiwan, and the East Asian Balance of Power

July 9, 2010

Taiwan and China signed an important free trade agreement last week.  On the surface, the agreement appear positive, but dig a little deeper and there are some major national security implications for the United States, Taiwan, and East Asia.

ECFA, Taiwan, and the East Asian Balance of Power

By Eric S. Morse