Asia Pacific

VOA

With maritime disputes between China and its neighbors deepening, and with China moving to establish an Air Defense Identification Zone and conducting land reclamation projects in its nearby seas, tensions in the Asia-Pacific region are simmering. Human trafficking, piracy, and nuclear proliferation remain key challenges for the region, and thus for the United States, which seeks to shore up regional support with ambitious free trade agreements and enhanced military cooperation.

Latest in Asia Pacific

Social Media

The Philippines Deserves More From Facebook

Editor’s note: This article grew out of work done in our Georgetown University class on national security and social media. The class tackled an array of questions related to how hate groups exploit social media, exploring issues ranging from privacy and human rights concerns to technological and legal barriers. Working in teams, students conducted independent research that addressed a difficult issue in this problem space. —Dan Byman & Chris Meserole

Asia Pacific

Korea and Japan Clash Over History and Law

South Korea and Japan, two of America’s closest allies, are tumbling into a dangerous economic-diplomatic war over a South Korean Supreme Court decision that ordered Japanese corporations to compensate Korean forced-labor victims from World War II. At the heart of the dispute is a legal disagreement over a 1965 treaty that triggers centuries of bad blood and spiritual animosity between the two countries.

Water Wars

Water Wars: Disjointed Operations in the South China Sea

In the first weeks of May, U.S. vessels have been busy all over the South China Sea, drawing China’s ire and frustration. From May 2 to May 8, the destroyer USS William P. Lawrence joined ships from the Philippines, India and Japan in transiting through the South China Sea, performing formation exercises and other low-profile drills during the voyage.

Asia Pacific

Japan’s Evolving Position on the Use of Force in Collective Self-Defense

The Japanese Constitution was long understood as prohibiting the exercise of international law’s right of collective self-defense under all circumstances. Until just a few years ago, the government’s view had been that the Constitution’s war-renouncing clause, Article 9, permitted only the use of minimum necessary force to defend the territory and population of Japan—not other countries.

South China Sea

It’s Time for South China Sea Economic Sanctions

The most recent U.S. freedom-of-navigation operation (FONOP) in the South China Sea garnered the usual global headlines, but it also shows how ineffective such operations have been in deterring Chinese actions in the region. It was so inconsequential that the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs could not even be bothered to come up with new phrases in what is now a ritualized denunciation.

Water Wars

Water Wars: Bombers Away

On May 18, the China Daily reports, the People’s Liberation Army Air Force landed multiple H-6K bomber aircrafts on the disputed Woody Island in the South China Sea. This is the first time China has publicly landed its bombers on any of the features in the South China Sea region.

Asia Pacific

Ignore the Hype: The Taiwan Travel Act is Legally Binding

Last Friday, President Trump signed into law the Taiwan Travel Act, which makes it a U.S. policy to allow high-level meetings between Taiwan and U.S. government officials. News reports about the law have often described it as “non-binding.” This “not legally binding” view is widely shared, including by China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. But this reading is not quite right.

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