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Asia Unbound

CFR experts give their take on the cutting-edge issues emerging in Asia today.

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Showing posts for "Elizabeth C. Economy"

Podcast: Human Rights in the Shadows of Authoritarianism

by Elizabeth C. Economy
Beijing-police-camera A policeman makes a recording of a journalist during lawyer Pu Zhiqiang’s verdict outside the second intermediate people’s court of Beijing on December 22, 2015. (Adam Rose/Reuters)

Who and what define a human right? And when rights are violated, what recourse do citizens have to seek redress? On this week’s Asia Unbound podcast, Eva Pils, reader in transnational law at King’s College London, visiting professor at Columbia Law School, and author of the forthcoming book Human Rights in China: A Social Practice in the Shadows of Authoritarianism, offers a detailed overview of the state of human rights in China. Read more »

Podcast: Everything Under the Heavens

by Elizabeth C. Economy
A worker looks through the fence of a construction site that is decorated with pictures of the Great Wall at Badaling, north of Beijing, China, September 1, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Peter A worker looks through the fence of a construction site that is decorated with pictures of the Great Wall at Badaling, north of Beijing, China on September 1, 2016. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

One of the first things any student of China learns about is the country’s illustrious five thousand years of history. While those millennia were replete with accomplishments in science and philosophy, they were also characterized by territorial expansion and the coercion of surrounding nations into shows of deference. On this week’s Asia Unbound podcast, Howard French, associate professor of journalism at the Columbia Journalism School and author of Everything Under the Heavens: How the Past Helps Shape China’s Push for Global Power, explores the relationship between domestic narratives of China’s history and geopolitical realities. Read more »

A Note to President Trump: What NOT to Do in Mar-a-Lago

by Elizabeth C. Economy
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach is seen from West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., as Trump prepared to return to Washington after a weekend at the estate, March 5, 2017. REUTERS/Joe Skipper/File Photo President Donald J. Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach is seen from West Palm Beach, Florida. Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet at Mar-a-Lago on April 6 and April 7, 2017. (Reuters/Joe Skipper)

There are many people who have ideas about what should happen at the Xi-Trump summit. Almost as important, however, is what should not happen. Here are my suggestions for the top five things President Donald J. Trump should NOT do at his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Mar-a-Lago. Read more »

Podcast: What to Expect When Trump Meets Xi

by Elizabeth C. Economy
A Chinese magazine poster showing U.S. President Donald Trump is displayed at a newsstand in Shanghai, China March 21, 2017. REUTERS/Aly Song A Chinese magazine poster showing U.S. President Donald Trump is displayed at a newsstand in Shanghai, China on March 21, 2017. U.S. and Chinese citizens are anticipating a summit between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping this week. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Two days from now, U.S. President Donald J. Trump will welcome Chinese President Xi Jinping to the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida for a historic summit between two of the world’s most powerful leaders. On this week’s Asia Unbound podcast, former Deputy National Security Adviser to the Vice President Ely Ratner cuts through the flurry of anticipation surrounding the summit and analyzes the key issues at stake. Ratner, who now serves as the CFR Maurice R. Greenberg senior fellow in China studies, argues that even before Xi’s plane touches down, the meeting is already off to a bad strategic start. Read more »

Podcast: A Conversation With Qingguo Jia

by Elizabeth C. Economy
Attendees leave the Great Hall of the People after a plenary session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in Beijing, China, on March 9, 2017. (Damir Sagolj/Reuters)

On this week’s Asia Unbound podcast, Dr. Qingguo Jia, dean of Peking University’s School of International Studies and member of the Standing Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), offers his take on U.S.-China relations and explains the inner workings of the CPPCC. Jia makes predictions for next week’s Trump-Xi summit in Florida and argues in support of stronger sanctions on North Korea and the value of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue. Jia also sheds light on Chinese domestic politics, shares his own experience at the annual CPPCC gathering in mid-March, and explains the process by which delegates debate and propose thousands of policy recommendations for the year ahead. Read more »

Podcast: The End of the Asian Century?

by Elizabeth C. Economy
Soldiers shout slogans as they march past a stand with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and other officials during the parade celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea, in Pyongyang October 10, 2015. Isolated North Korea marked the 70th anniversary of its ruling Workers' Party on Saturday with a massive military parade overseen by leader Kim Jong Un, who said his country was ready to fight any war waged by the United States. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj Soldiers shout slogans as they march past a stand with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and other officials during the parade celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea, in Pyongyang on October 10, 2015. (Damir Sagolj/Reuters)

Observers frequently characterize Asia as “emerging”, “ascendant”, or headed for an “inexorable rise”. But what if demographic, economic, and security trends are instead propelling the continent in a different direction? On this week’s Asia Unbound podcast, Michael Auslin, resident scholar and director of Japan Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, lays out the provocative arguments at the heart of his new book The End of the Asian Century: War, Stagnation, and the Risks to the World’s Most Dynamic Region. He suggests that while Asian countries have previously reaped demographic dividends from their large youth populations, governments now confront new challenges. Read more »

Podcast: The Future of China’s Civil Society

by Elizabeth C. Economy
Jack-Ma-climate-conference Alibaba Executive Chairman Jack Ma delivers his speech during the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) at Le Bourget, near Paris, France, December 5, 2015. (Stephane Mahe/Reuters)

On this week’s Asia Unbound podcast, Andreas Fulda charts the shifting dynamics that are transforming how Chinese NGOs and their foreign partners operate. Fulda, assistant professor at the University of Nottingham and editor of Civil Society Contributions to Policy Innovation in the PR China, argues that because of increasing domestic pressures—such as that from China’s new foreign NGO management law—international actors face a challenging dilemma: ride out the political waves or pull out of China completely? Read more »

Podcast: China’s Unlikely Partners on the Road to Reform

by Elizabeth C. Economy
Unlikely-Partners-edit Cover: Harvard University Press

Over the past forty years, the Chinese economy has undergone a striking transformation. In 1976, in the wake of Mao’s death and the Cultural Revolution, planned production and fixed pricing stifled market forces. Today, thriving capitalism vies for dominance with the socialist tenets of China’s past. What forces, and which individuals, brought about such a dramatic evolution? Read more »

When the United States Abdicates the Throne, Who Will Lead?

by Elizabeth C. Economy
U.S. President Donald Trump gives a thumbs-up to reporters as he waits to speak by phone with the Saudi Arabia's King Salman in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S. January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst U.S. President Donald Trump gives a thumbs-up to reporters as he waits to speak by phone with Saudi Arabia's King Salman in the Oval Office on January 29, 2017. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

President Donald J. Trump’s initial forays into foreign policy suggest a desire to abdicate the throne. Not his own position as president of course, but rather the United States’ position as the world’s preeminent power—both as a driver of a globalized world and a defender of the traditional liberal order. He has withdrawn the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Asia-Pacific trade pact that would have cemented U.S. leadership among the economies that make up 40 percent of the world’s GDP. Read more »

Podcast: A Great Place to Have a War

by Elizabeth C. Economy
A Buddhist monk poses next to unexploded bombs dropped by the U.S. Air Force planes during the Vietnam War, in Xieng Khouang in Laos September 3, 2016. REUTERS/Jorge Silva A Buddhist monk poses on September 3, 2016, next to unexploded bombs dropped by the U.S. Air Force planes during the Vietnam War in Xieng Khouang in Laos. The United States dropped more than two million tons of ordnance on Laos in the course of the war. (Jorge Silva/Reuters)

While Vietnam and Cambodia loom large in American memories of the Vietnam War, neighboring Laos recedes into the background. But during the 1960s and 1970s, the tiny, landlocked nation was the site of the CIA’s transformation from a loosely organized spy agency to a powerful paramilitary organization. Read more »