The return of Confucius as a notable figure in the Chinese government’s public presentation has been the subject of substantive scholarly discussion. Unlike much of this work, however, the present paper engages two questions difficult to assess within pure academia: how does the government fare when judged from a traditional perspective it now uses to justify its own actions, and what effects, if any, would closer adherence to that tradition have on modern governance?
Although Central Asia stands as a region of strategic importance, relations between the United States and the five Central Asian republics are limited in scope. Why? [T]he absence of a Central Asian lobby, the nature of the many “linkages” between the “Stans” and other nearby Great Powers, and the onset of a “New Cold War” between Russia and the West impede the fostering of greater ties between the United States and the Central Asian republics. Central Asia’s importance from a U.S./Western perspective will also likely continue to dissipate unless local elites implement significant reforms in the near future.
The United States will not tolerate any other power establishing “exclusive hegemonic control” over Asia or the Pacific, according to renowned Asia scholar Michael Green. In a magisterial work, Green argues persuasively that this anti-hegemonic impulse has been the central driver of American grand strategy toward the Asia-Pacific for over two centuries.
To achieve its goal of deepened integration with ASEAN, India has established and continuously emphasized opportunities for economic and security partnership. All the while, it has simultaneously appealed to socio-cultural ties. Closer integration with ASEAN, India hopes, will allow the two to jointly balance China’s growing regional influence.
North Korea recent attempts to change its image in the world should be viewed with caution, according to SAIS student Jaeeun Lee. She identifies several recent examples of North Korea’s use of the “beauty tactic.” By placing beautiful women such as Ri Sol-ju and beauty cheerleader squads at the center stage of their recent diplomatic efforts, she argues that the country is employing a diplomatic façade meant to obscure the reality of the regime.
How can China’s ideas of development assistance to Africa be regarded within the context of a wider struggle among global powers? In contrast to the dominant public understanding that Chinese aid has “no strings attached,” authors Salvador Regilme and Henrik Hartmann from the University of Leiden show that US and Chinese governments’ aid strategies champion their own geostrategic national interests in the African continent.
Despite the increasing centralization of China under Xi Jinping, SAIS student Yujin Zhang uses the example of China’s Coal-to-Gas program to show that principal-agent problems and competing interests between Beijing and local governments still negatively affect environmental policy implementation. Effective environmental policies require long-term institutional reforms, not short term campaign-style enforcement.
Early childhood education (ECE) should be an integral part of Kazakhastan’s Strategy 2050, argues SAIS student Brynn Koeppen. ECE would help prepare students for university and productive careers and allow more mothers to return to the workforce sooner, growing the economy. It would also help close the gap in opportunity between rural and urban areas of the country and contribute to a more cohesive society.
At a time when China is increasing its power on the world stage, Dr. Shahid Yusuf, the Chief Economist of The Growth Dialogue at the George Washington University School of Business in Washington DC, attempts to investigate the effects of China’s Belt Initiative. In doing so, he discovered that the project will certainly increase China’s influence and economic power in Central Asia but it will also place the Chinese economy under heavy strain as Chinese growth begins to slow.
In this article, Dr. Michael F. Duggan traces the roots of the present conflict on the Korean Peninsula to its origins during the Korean War. After a discussion on the causes and the course of the war, he then discusses the implications of a North Korea with nuclear weapons as well. He then discusses the reasons why North Korea would seek to develop a nuclear bomb in the first place. Dr. Duggan then closes by proposing ways that the US and China could work together to avert a potential nuclear war on the peninsula.