2022 Issues & Insights Index

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Issues & Insights is Pacific Forum’s publication series that includes special reports (SR), conference reports (CR), and working papers (WP). These in-depth analyses cover a range of topics and are published on an occasional basis. The following have been published in 2022 and are available online here.

Issues & Insights Vol. 22, WP1 — Progress and Challenges to Implementing Women, Peace and Security in Southeast Asia by Jennifer Howe

October 2020 marked 20 years since the adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325), which is a cornerstone of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda. To commemorate the 20th anniversary of its passage, this paper assesses the implementation of UNSCR 1325 across Southeast Asia. It provides an in-depth analysis of progress and challenges to realizing core WPS commitments and achieving gender equality in Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam. These countries were selected because each has endured recent or ongoing conflict and instability. In addition, five of these states are members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), allowing the study to explore the institutionalization of WPS within regional forums and how this shapes national-level WPS implementation.

Issues & Insights Vol. 22, WP2 — Compound Gender-Climate-Security Threats and Vulnerabilities within the Indo-Pacific by Maryruth Belsey Priebe

In 2021, signs of climate change intensification were evident in unprecedented wildfires, floods, cyclones, landslides, suggesting that climate-security threats are intensifying as well. Home to several rising powers and strategic trading partners, the Indo-Pacific is a vital region for the United States, yet it is one of the most vulnerable regions in terms of climate threats. A McKinsey report states that, “Asia stands out as being more exposed to physical climate risk than other parts of the world in the absence of adaptation and mitigation.” Other research has shown that Asian countries have the highest numbers of people exposed to climate hazards such as floods, droughts, and storms.

Climate change is an emerging security risk, and one that deserves greater study given the significant diversity of security and climate scenarios. In particular, the role of women as sources of climate security intelligence has been understudied. This paper aims to correct that oversight and assess which countries within the Indo-Pacific have the greatest combined gender-climate-security risk factors and why. A detailed breakdown of data from several indices related to fragility, gender inequality, conflict, and climate change is summarized for all countries within the area covered by the US Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) in Table 1. Using this data, this paper examines in greater depth Bangladesh, Fiji, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, and Vietnam—due to their diversity in environmental conditions and political conditions—to determine their specific gender-climate-security challenges. This paper begins with an overview of a gender-climate-security framework, provides focus country assessments, examines US INDOPACOM’s greatest vulnerabilities, and explores ways in which women may act as bellwethers of emerging climate-related conflicts if meaningfully and consistently consulted.

Issues & Insights Vol. 22, WP3 — Feminist Peace and Security and The Other ASEAN Way by Maria Tanyag

This paper aims to critically re-examine the role of the “ASEAN Way” and regional governance more broadly in promoting feminist peace and security in Southeast Asia. Expansive definition and aspirations embodied by the ASEAN Way are typically traded for a more state-centric version. The term is commonly used as a short-hand for the failures and limitations of regional governance, and rarely for its virtues. Consequently, insufficient attention has been paid to how the ASEAN Way also relates to the agency of regional networks of civil society actors who collectively serve as the permanent background to regional governance in Southeast Asia. Bringing together disparate international relations scholarship on ASEAN regionalism and the WPS agenda, this paper makes a case for the importance of recognizing this other and less examined aspect of ASEAN Way to arrive at a fuller account of both ASEAN regionalism and the gendered root causes of insecurity in Southeast Asia. It concludes with a recommendation to rectify knowledge gaps on the various strategies regional civil society networks employ to advance human rights and wellbeing in ASEAN including those aligned with the WPS agenda, while adapting to the enormous challenge of building and caring for a regional community perpetually beset by multiple crises..

Issues & Insights Vol. 22, WP4 — Trouble on the Rocks: US Policy in East China Sea and South China Sea Disputes by Akhil Ramesh

Between 2016 and 2020, nations of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) became patently aware of the risks posed by an authoritarian state such as China controlling much of global value chains. This realization among leaders of the Quad nations can be attributed to a general rise in populism around the globe—which ignited a debate on globalization—to the COVID-19 pandemic, China’s acts of economic coercion against Australia and aggression against India in the Galwan Valley. To prevent China from weaponizing interdependence, nations of the grouping have launched several supply chain diversification and economic security initiatives such as the Supply Chain Resilience Initiative (SCRI) and Economic Prosperity Network (EPN). While these initiatives are a step in the right direction, a larger reformatory initiative is needed to prevent diversification projects from becoming a flash in the pan. Shifting supply chains out of China and into India has the potential to be that much needed reformative initiative. This exploratory study of the challenges and opportunities associated with shifting supply chains into India tests this hypothesis by examining the domestic political economy in India and the complexities of the US-India relationship.

This study observes major impediments to a supply chain diversification project. One, trade protectionism is a common feature among Indian administrations. India’s diverse political landscape has warranted coalition governments, which has prevented administrations from taking reformative action on liberalizing the economy. Two, the US-India relationship historically had ups and downs. The two democracies even came to the brink of war in 1971, and 20 years later, the US unleashed economic sanctions on India for their nuclear tests. A concerted recalibration of the US-India relationship is required to solidify any form of economic partnership, short of an alliance.

To summarize, the Indian government should continue liberalizing its economy through the land, labor, and corporate governance reforms. The US should adopt a more conciliatory approach to India’s domestic issues to avoid fissures in the relationship. Subsequently, the US, Australia, and Japan will be able to capitalize on the opportunities the Indian economy and the Indo-Pacific economy at large present for supply chain diversification. These opportunities can be capitalized through creating a trade bloc exclusive for the Quad and establishing a wealth fund to fund investments in the wider region.

Issues & Insights Vol. 22, SR1 — Resilient Alliance: Moving the US-Philippines Security Relations Forward Edited by Jeffrey Ordaniel and Carl Baker

Authors of this volume participated in the inaugural U.S.- Philippines Next-Generation Leaders Initiative, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, through the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines. With backgrounds from academia, public policy, civil society and industry, the cohort brings rich insights on the past, present, and future of the U.S.-Philippines bilateral security relations.

Issues & Insights Vol. 22, SR2 — US-China Mutual Vulnerability: Perspectives on the Debate Edited by David Santoro

The study US-China Mutual Vulnerability: Perspectives on the Debate analyzes the mutual vulnerability question in US-China strategic nuclear relations. It asks whether the United States should acknowledge mutual vulnerability with China and, if so, how and under what conditions it should do so. The goal is not to give a yes-or-no answer but to provide a comprehensive examination of the issue to better understand the benefits, costs, and risks associated with various options. The study includes chapters by US, Japanese, South Korean, Australian, and Chinese scholars.

Issues & Insights Vol. 22, SR 3 — South Korea’s Place in the Indo-Pacific: A Research Showcase for Pacific Forum’s Korea Foundation Fellows Edited by Rob York

Papers by the Pacific Forum’s current and previous Korea Foundation Fellows examine pressing issues facing the Korean Peninsula in the 21st century. These include the Great Power Competition between the US and China, North Korea and nuclear security, critical new technologies, and energy security. These papers by emerging leaders in the Korean Studies field offer fresh perspectives on Korean security issues – both well-known and emerging – useful for watchers of the peninsula both inside and out of Northeast Asia.

Authors of this volume participated in the Pacific Forum’s Korea Foundation Fellowship program between 2019-2022, with the generous support of the Korea Foundation .

The statements made and views expressed are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of their respective organizations and affiliations. Pacific Forum’s publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its staff, donors and sponsors.

Issues & Insights Vol. 22, SR4 — Small Modular Reactors: The Next Phase for Nuclear Power in the Indo-Pacific? Edited by David Santoro and Carl Baker

In an effort to understand the rising interest worldwide in so-called “small modular reactors” (SMRs) and their companion “floating nuclear power plants” (FNPPs), the Pacific Forum commissioned three papers on this topic. Written by Victor Nian, the first paper unpacks SMR/FNPP technologies and discusses their applicability in the Indo-Pacific. The second paper, authored by Jor-Shan Choi, examines the safety, security, and safeguards (i.e., the “3S”) considerations associated with SMRs/FNPPs. Finally, penned by Miles Pomper, Ferenc Dalnoki Veress, Dan Zhukov, and Sanjana Gogna, the third paper addresses the potential geopolitical implications of SMR/FNPP deployments in the Indo-Pacific. By looking at these three areas – the technology, the 3S considerations, and geopolitics – the papers seek to provide a comprehensive, albeit preliminary, analysis of the SMR/FNPP question in the Indo-Pacific.

Issues & Insights Vol. 22, SR5 — US-Singapore: Advancing Technological Collaboration and Innovation in Southeast Asia Edited by Mark Bryan Manantan

In this special publication, authors were encouraged to reflect on what stronger US and Singapore cooperation looks like in concrete policy terms amid ongoing geopolitical volatility. Beyond the technical and geopolitical perspectives, the contributions in this edited volume emphasize the importance of cross-sectoral collaboration and sustainability for an enduring US-Singapore strategic partnership.

Issues & Insights Vol. 22, WP6 — Chinese Cyber Nationalism During the Pandemic: A Discourse Analysis of Zhihu by Talkeetna Saiget

The COVID-19 global pandemic has elicited a rise in cyber nationalism in China, as the world’s most populous nation outperformed the “scientifically” advanced western nations in the handling of the crisis. Chinese netizens on social messaging platform Zhihu cite upsurging cases of COVID-19 and death tolls in western countries as evidence of China’s zero-COVID strategy success, and have generated a new trend of Chinese cyber nationalism. Within this new trend, positive perceptions of western countries and their ideologies declined greatly. As previous studies have predicted, Chinese netizens are becoming more and more disappointed in western countries and “have no choice but to side with China.” This has also prompted China to be more confident in challenging the global narrative and seeking to guide the international order on COVID-related issues amid the China-US rivalry and thus facilitating a strong emotion of “China against the West.” However, this strong surge of emotion does not accurately translate into support of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s zero-COVID-19 policy.

Issues & Insights Vol. 22, SR6 — AUKUS: A Look Back at The First Analyses Edited by David Santoro and Rob York

Announced just over a year ago on Sept. 15, 2021, the Australia-United Kingdom-United States (AUKUS) security partnership promised work on two interrelated lines of effort between the three allies. One entailed providing Australia with a conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarine capability. The other involved cooperation on developing and providing joint advanced military capabilities to promote security and stability in the region, including in cyber, artificial intelligence and autonomy, quantum technologies, undersea capabilities, hypersonic and counter-hypersonic systems, electronic warfare, and information sharing.

AUKUS sent shockwaves across the Indo-Pacific and beyond. Some praised the new partnership, explaining that it would tighten the US hub-and-spokes alliance system and stand as a powerful deterrent to China’s new assertiveness in the region. Others¾with the People’s Republic of China in the lead¾were much less enthusiastic, even outright critical, insisting that it would create unnecessary tensions, possibly leading to arms races or crises, and undermine nonproliferation norms and rules. France was also deeply upset because AUKUS immediately led to Australia’s cancellation of a French-Australian submarine deal, without notice.

In the days, weeks, and months that followed the AUKUS announcement, the Pacific Forum published, via its PacNet Commentary series, several preliminary analyses on the trilateral partnership, each reflecting a specific national perspective from throughout the Indo-Pacific and beyond. One year later, and as implementation of the AUKUS partnership remains ongoing, we have compiled these analyses into a Pacific Forum Issues & Insights volume.

Issues & Insights Vol. 22, SR7 — Abe Shinzo: In Memoriam Edited by Rob York

Since Abe’s shocking assassination on July 8, the Pacific Forum has sought to ensure that the fullness of this legacy is remembered, and as such used our PacNet series to explain his impact from a variety of perspectives. In doing so, we reached out to many old friends whose names are familiar to the Pacific Forum’s long-time readers. In PacNet #37, Brad Glosserman, Pacific Forum’s senior advisor and my co-editor at Comparative Connections, identifies the specific attributes of Abe’s—specifically his strongly held opinions and behind-the-scenes advocacy—that made it possible for him to be this institutional builder and to restore Japan’s role on the foreign policy stage. In PacNet #36 Stephen Nagy of the International Christian University in Tokyo provides a comprehensive overview of Abe the diplomat, including his successful managing of relations with the PRC, which were actually at a low point before his lengthy stint as PM. In PacNet #39 Kei Koga of Nanyang Technological University demonstrates how under Abe, Japan countered the PRC’s growing influence in Southeast Asian countries through sustained engagement, winning their trust despite their unwillingness to match his hawkishness toward Beijing. Furthermore, in PacNet #43 Jagannath Panda of ISDP, Sweden explains how Abe’s dealings with India paved the way for the latter’s increased engagement with the outside world, including through the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue. In PacNet #40, I note that Abe’s tireless engagement with American presidents across changes in parties has made good relations with Tokyo that rarest of things in US politics: an area of bipartisan agreement that looks unlikely to change, regardless of the outcome of the 2024 election.

The Pacific Forum also reached beyond its regular contributors’ list to acquire new perspectives. Shihoko Goto of the Wilson Center details Abe’s prescient vision for the defense of Taiwan, something the US would gradually awaken to. Jada Frasier—an MA student in Asian Studies at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service that we believe policy professionals will be hearing from more and more in the future—explains how despite causing tensions in the Japan-South Korea relationship, Abe also deserves credit for increasing the two East Asian democracies’ opportunities for security cooperation through his emphasis on minilateral groupings.

Now that Japan has laid the former prime minister to rest last week, those who remember the darker side of his leadership will find grounds to do so, and some of those criticisms will be warranted. Abe, however, left a legacy far beyond those unpleasantries, especially if, as was the case with Churchill, his country and the international community rise to the challenge they presently face.

Issues & Insights Vol. 22, SR8 — Next Steps for the US-China Strategic Nuclear Relationship Edited by David Santoro

Conducted with the generous support of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, this study seeks to provide an in-depth analysis of strategic nuclear issues of significance to the bilateral relationship to pinpoint the challenges to, and opportunities for, improving the current state of affairs between Washington and Beijing. The study, in other words, aims to propose an assessment of key issues and, insofar as possible, solutions or mitigation measures to address US-China strategic nuclear problems, including those that are seemingly intractable. It is motivated by the idea that even (or perhaps especially) when stark pessimism dominates, it is essential to be clear about what is in “the realm of the possible” to improve the situation, and to act on it.

Issues & Insights Vol. 22, SR9 — An Alliance Renewed? Future-proofing US-Japan Security Relations Edited by Christopher Lamont and Jeffrey Ordaniel

Authors of this volume participated in the inaugural U.S.-Japan Next-Generation Leaders Initiative, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, through the U.S. Embassy Tokyo. With backgrounds from academia, government, military and industry, the cohort brings rich insights on the past, present, and future of the U.S.-Japan bilateral security relations.

The statements made and views expressed are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of their respective organizations and affiliations. Pacific Forum’s publications do not necessarily reflect the positions of its staff, donors and sponsors.

Issues & Insights Vol. 22, WP7 — Rising from the Ashes: The Future of Arms Control by Victor Mizin and Yue Yuan

This paper employs a comparative approach to provide an initial comprehensive analysis of the political interactions, contemporary nuclear policies, and military strategies and capabilities of China, Russia, and the United States in the context of the unstable international security landscape. At a time when the global arms control regime is teetering on the brink of disintegration, the authors aim to offer practical and feasible policy recommendations for remodeling the arms control regime from the Chinese and Russian perspectives. The authors stress the need to revive “traditional” arms control and advocate the search for ways to control emerging military technologies. This paper endeavors to present a two-pronged vision proposed by representatives of two major global players.

Issues & Insights Vol. 22, CR1 – Getting Past Constraints: Deepening US Security Relations with Vietnam and Indonesia by Jeffrey Ordaniel and Carl Baker

Pacific Forum reconvened two Track 2 dialogues with Vietnam and Indonesia in August 2022 to help identify ways the United States and its two Southeast Asian partners can work together to enhance bilateral cooperation on security issues of shared concern. Functional cooperation between Washington and its two Southeast Asian partners has considerably advanced in the past ten years, but differing strategic considerations still handicap some aspects of these relationships. The two security dialogues emphasized these findings, among other takeaways.

Issues & Insights Vol. 22, CR2 – US-Taiwan Deterrence and Defense Dialogue: Responding to Increased Chinese Aggressiveness by Ralph Cossa

Taiwan is already under attack by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) politically, economically, psychologically, and militarily—the latter through more aggressive Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) gray zone military operations short of actual direct conflict. This multidimensional threat requires a multidimensional response in ways that complement and enhance military deterrence. PRC behavior represents a global problem that demands a global response.

PRC pressure on Taiwan has increased considerably over the past year, even before Beijing used the visit by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as an excuse to further ramp up pressure. The August 2022 PLA military exercise around Taiwan appears aimed at further creating a “new normal” that could reduce warning times should Beijing invade. However, such PRC actions are not “normal.” They are unilateral, destabilizing, and, in some instances, illegal changes to the status quo. Such Chinese pressure tactics, combined with the “wake up call” provided by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, have sensitized the citizens and governments of Taiwan, the United States, and the international community to the growing possibility—if not probability—of a PRC invasion and have increased public perceptions about the need and willingness to defend Taiwan democracy.

The PRC’s nuclear build-up is also a great cause of concern. This concern is driven not by the threat of nuclear war (given US nuclear superiority) but by the possibility of nuclear blackmail aimed at discouraging Washington from getting involved in a Taiwan confrontation. Taiwanese are concerned about crisis escalation (especially to the nuclear level) but worry more about the PRC deterring the United States.

The United States, working closely with allies and other like-minded states, should be more proactive and less reactive in responding to increased PRC aggressive behavior. With the US Department of Defense (DoD) in the lead, the US Government needs to better assess Chinese strengths and weaknesses vis-à-vis Taiwan with an eye toward countering strengths and exploiting weaknesses, while also examining ways to broaden the challenge along multiple fronts in cooperation with various allies and partners. Think tanks can and should supplement this analysis.

While continued strong support for Ukraine is important to demonstrate Western resolve and prevent more Russian territorial gains, the PRC remains the “pacing threat” and thus should remain the focus of US national security policy and defense procurement strategy.

Issues & Insights Vol. 22, CR2 – US-Taiwan Deterrence and Defense Dialogue: Responding to Increased Chinese Aggressiveness

Executive Summary

Taiwan is already under attack by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) politically, economically, psychologically, and militarily—the latter through more aggressive Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) gray zone military operations short of actual direct conflict. This multidimensional threat requires a multidimensional response in ways that complement and enhance military deterrence. PRC behavior represents a global problem that demands a global response.

PRC pressure on Taiwan has increased considerably over the past year, even before Beijing used the visit by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as an excuse to further ramp up pressure. The August 2022 PLA military exercise around Taiwan appears aimed at further creating a “new normal” that could reduce warning times should Beijing invade. However, such PRC actions are not “normal.” They are unilateral, destabilizing, and, in some instances, illegal changes to the status quo. Such Chinese pressure tactics, combined with the “wake up call” provided by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, have sensitized the citizens and governments of Taiwan, the United States, and the international community to the growing possibility—if not probability—of a PRC invasion and have increased public perceptions about the need and willingness to defend Taiwan democracy.

The PRC’s nuclear build-up is also a great cause of concern. This concern is driven not by the threat of nuclear war (given US nuclear superiority) but by the possibility of nuclear blackmail aimed at discouraging Washington from getting involved in a Taiwan confrontation. Taiwanese are concerned about crisis escalation (especially to the nuclear level) but worry more about the PRC deterring the United States.

The United States, working closely with allies and other like-minded states, should be more proactive and less reactive in responding to increased PRC aggressive behavior. With the US Department of Defense (DoD) in the lead, the US Government needs to better assess Chinese strengths and weaknesses vis-à-vis Taiwan with an eye toward countering strengths and exploiting weaknesses, while also examining ways to broaden the challenge along multiple fronts in cooperation with various allies and partners. Think tanks can and should supplement this analysis.

While continued strong support for Ukraine is important to demonstrate Western resolve and prevent more Russian territorial gains, the PRC remains the “pacing threat” and thus should remain the focus of US national security policy and defense procurement strategy.

Key Findings & Recommendations

Responding to PRC Pressure

Finding: PRC pressure on Taiwan—economically, politically, and especially militarily—has increased considerably over the past year. The early August 2022 PLA military exercise around Taiwan appears aimed at further creating a “new normal” that will reduce warning times should Beijing decide to invade.

  • Recommendation: The United States (along with its allies and the broader international community) should reject the “new normal” characterization and brand PRC actions for what they are: unilateral, unacceptable, destabilizing, and, in some instances, illegal changes to the status quo. Beijing should be called upon to honor previous cross-Strait arrangements, including center line delineations, that have preserved stability and helped prevent naval and air accidents in the past.
  • Recommendation: The United States Navy and the navies of like-minded states like Japan, Australia, etc., along with commercial carriers, should continue to transit the Taiwan Strait to invalidate Chinese claims that this broadly recognized international body of water is Chinese internal waters or its territorial sea.

Finding: PLA activities appear aimed, in part, at developing the capability to quarantine or blockade Taiwan. Xi Jinping and the PLA have demonstrated increased willingness to take risks while both stirring up and responding to increased Chinese nationalism.

  • Recommendation: The United States should make clear that attempts to blockade, quarantine, or otherwise boycott or embargo Taiwan are not “gray zone” actions but acts of war that are likely to force a US response. US Navy ship visits to Taiwan would be a logical first reaction to any announced blockade or embargo of Taiwan ports.
  • Recommendation: The United States should assist Taiwan in making its ports and airfields more survivable.
  • Recommendation: DoD and the Taiwan Ministry of Defense (MoD), if they haven’t already done so, should develop plans, both individually and collectively, for how they would combat a Chinese embargo or blockade and how to respond to missile and air assaults or mining operations against Taiwan ports and airfields. Conducting visible training and exercises could help strengthen deterrence.

Finding: Beijing’s military (as well as economic and political) pressure against Taiwan will steadily increase. A failure by Taiwan and the United States to demonstrate their preparedness and willingness to respond will send the wrong signal to Beijing.

  • Recommendation: DoD and Taiwan’s MoD, if they haven’t already done so, should develop plans, both individually and collectively, for how to better respond to PLA gray zone activities.

Helping Taiwan Defend Itself

Finding: Participants from both sides agreed that Taiwan cannot overcome an all-out PLA assault without outside assistance. A lack of clarity regarding the nature and extent of outside support complicates Taiwan defense planning and acquisitions. So does the lack of a common view of the battlefield within the Taiwan military and a lack of awareness in Washington and Taipei of one another’s plans for the defense of Taiwan.

  • Recommendation: DoD should hold private “roles and missions” discussions with Taiwan defense planners to help Taiwan better understand the types of capabilities the United States could bring to bear in the event of a Chinese attack. Such action, while not providing a guarantee of US assistance, would still assist Taiwan defense planners in developing their own roles and missions and defense acquisition plans.
  • Recommendation: DoD and Taiwan’s MoD should develop a common defense plan or, at a minimum, share one another’s plans for the defense of Taiwan. To the extent politically possible, they should train and exercise together in order to more effectively implement these plans.
  • Recommendation: US defense planners should assist Taiwan in developing a common operational picture of the battlefield, given admitted Taiwan shortcomings in developing and employing joint operations. As noted last year, the United States should also encourage Taiwan to produce its own National Security Strategy to better inform its public and to put its own defense strategy in broader perspective.

Finding: The Russian invasion of Ukraine has had a sobering “wake-up” effect on Taiwan and its international supporters. As a result, Taiwan is placing increased emphasis on asymmetrical warfare and the development of homeland/territorial defense capabilities (as recommended in last year’s dialogue report).

  • Recommendation: The United States should assist Taiwan in the development of its homeland and territorial defense capabilities and, where they fit in the national defense structure, should assist Taiwan’s interaction with other nations that have extensive experience in this area. It should encourage Taipei to increase the length of compulsory military service and assist in making such training more realistic and relevant.
  • Recommendation: While recognizing that the war is still on-going and final lessons and outcomes have yet to be learned, the United States and Taiwan should more comprehensively review, both together and individually, the immediate lessons. They should focus on the manner in which Ukraine has thus far successfully held its own against the Russian military. Identifying what has not worked or what could be improved would be useful as well; this could be the subject of supporting academic research.

Finding: US arms sales to Taiwan have increased but Washington should do more to help prepare Taiwan to defend itself. Procurement lag times remain a serious problem. Time to prepare remains but the window is closing. Many of the assembled US and Taiwan military experts worried that some PRC experts are underestimating PLA capabilities. These experts fear that PLA risk-taking tendencies could lead to an inadvertent or accidental incident that could escalate, or that other events could prompt an earlier invasion.

  • Recommendation: The United States should “fast track” arms sales to Taiwan and examine coproduction and prepositioning alternatives either on Taiwan or nearby to be prepared to respond should Beijing attack plans be accelerated or other events lead to a military confrontation. Participants repeated last year’s recommendations that the United States consider giving selected weapons systems to Taiwan without charge and that Taiwan focus on “large numbers of small things.”

Clarifying US Defense Policy

Finding: Taiwan participants from both government and academia sought clarity as to the details of the otherwise well-received US concept of “integrated deterrence” and its application to Taiwan; few have been provided so far. The absence of unclassified versions of the US National Defense Strategy, the Nuclear Posture Review, and Missile Posture Review at the time of the 2022 Dialogue added to the uncertainty regarding US defense policies and priorities expressed by Taiwan participants.[i]

  • Recommendation: As recommended last year, the US Department of Defense and/or State Department should consider sending a team to Taiwan, or at a minimum work closely with the AIT team in Taipei, to explain the concept of integrated deterrence and its implications for Taiwan.

Finding: Senior US officials have become increasingly clear in expressing America’s commitment to help Taiwan defend itself while still maintaining strategic ambiguity as to whether and how the US would come to the defense of Taiwan if the PRC attacks it. While voices calling for strategic clarity have grown louder, a more nuanced view seems to have emerged, calling for strategic ambiguity at the policy level but strategic clarity at the operational level. Some experts, domestically and especially among US allies, remain concerned about Chinese reaction to an announced US policy change in this regard.

  • Recommendation: The United States should focus on how (and how much and how fast) to bring strategic clarity at the operational level, even as the academic community continues the debate regarding the benefits, costs, and risks associated with embracing strategic clarity as a matter of policy.
  • Recommendation: The United States should consult closely with allies and partners like Taiwan, Japan, and Australia, among others, before making any policy pronouncements.  The United States should also understand their concerns and to give them advance warning to prepare in the event of official policy changes. Finally, he United States should also keep its allies apprised of the White House’s evolving operational approach to this issue.

Enhancing Deterrence

Finding: Beijing will most likely have factored a US response into any decision to attack Taiwan.

  • Recommendation: The deterrence discussion in Washington and Taipei should focus not on “if the United States will assist” but on how both, individually and collectively, can increase the costs associated with a PLA invasion. The capability to respond is at least as important as the perceived willingness to do so. Strategic clarity without capability has limited deterrent value.
  • Recommendation: US Taiwan-related defense preparations should be more visible; as one Taiwan expert opined, “for real deterrence value, Beijing must be aware of what we are doing.”
  • Recommendation: The United States should carefully assess, preferably through consultations with Taiwan officials, the impact of Taiwan-related actions and policy decisions on Taiwan security interests. They should understand that Taiwan scholars, like their US counterparts, have mixed views regarding the advisability of greater strategic clarity since (as the aftermath of Rep. Pelosi’s visit demonstrated) the PRC’s response to what they perceive as “hostile” US actions is often to Taiwan’s detriment.

Finding: The US desire to strengthen extended deterrence while decreasing the role of nuclear weapons appears contradictory to many Taiwanese participants. The role/impact of Russian nuclear threats on the US/NATO decision to avoid direct engagement with Russia in Ukraine is also troubling to them.

  • Recommendation: The United States should more carefully explain the role of nuclear weapons within the broader, more inclusive concept of extended deterrence. The development of the nuclear employment strategy may provide such an opportunity.
  • Recommendation: The United States should explain precisely how nuclear weapons fit in the new integrated deterrence concept. It should dispel the idea increasingly in vogue in Taiwan and some allied capitals that efforts to integrate deterrence may reduce the importance of extended deterrence, especially extended nuclear deterrence.

Finding: The greatest concern associated with Chinese nuclear build-up is not the threat of nuclear war (given US preponderance of nuclear weapons) but rather nuclear blackmail by the PRC aimed at discouraging Washington from getting involved in a Taiwan confrontation. Taiwanese are concerned about crisis escalation (especially to the nuclear level) but worry more about the PRC deterring the United States.

  • Recommendation: The United States should conduct joint intelligence assessments with Taiwan government officials (and US allies) about the implications of the PRC’s nuclear build-up. Such assessments should focus on the implications now as well as in the future, based on possible and most likely developments.
  • Recommendation: The United States and Taiwan (as well as US regional allies) should identify ways to respond to the PRC’s unprecedented build-up by looking at options at the conventional level as well as possibly through nuclear-sharing arrangements in the Indo-Pacific. Both should encourage, if not financially support, security-oriented think tanks to conduct research on the desirability and feasibility of such arrangements in the Indo-Pacific (and what can be learned from existing nuclear-sharing arrangements in the NATO context). Such arrangements could help strengthen strategic deterrence. An important potential benefit from a US perspective would be that they could help reduce proliferation incentives, which are rising to unprecedented levels in several allied capitals.

Finding: Ukrainian lessons learned have thus far focused on the war’s impact on Taiwan threat perceptions and defense preparations, less on lessons that the United States has learned, and even less on lessons Beijing has learned and how it is responding.

  • Recommendation: While recognizing that the Ukraine war is far from over and its outcome still unclear, US Government officials, researchers, and independent scholars should carefully assess emerging lessons learned not just for Taiwan but for US defense strategy and preparedness.
  • Recommendation: DoD should more deeply examine the prospects of, and the necessity of being prepared for, two simultaneous major conflicts, given both Russian and Chinese territorial ambitions. Since the PRC remains the “pacing challenge,” US defense acquisitions and border procurement strategy should focus on responding to Chinese contingencies.
  • Recommendation: US government officials, researchers, and independent scholars should also carefully assess the lessons that the PRC appears to be learning from the Western response to the Russian invasion and any corrective actions Beijing is taking or preparing to take in response to those lessons.
  • Recommendations: With the DoD in the lead, the US Government and think tanks should assess PLA strengths and weaknesses with an eye toward countering the strengths and exploiting the weaknesses in any Taiwan-related scenario. To be most effective, this data should be shared with Taiwan defense planners.

Increasing Public/Allied Awareness

Finding: Ukrainian lessons learned have thus far focused on the war’s impact on Taiwan threat perceptions and defense preparations, less on lessons that the United States has learned, and even less on lessons Beijing has learned and how it is responding.

  • Recommendation: Officials in Washington and Taipei should put greater emphasis on articulating the differences between Ukraine and Taiwan in the eyes of their respective publics. Both should publicize public opinion polling in the United States that reinforces both growing awareness of the Chinese threat and the need to respond to this challenge specifically but not exclusively in defense of Taiwan. Greater public awareness of the domestic, regional, and global implications and consequences should the PLA invade and occupy Taiwan could further strengthen the resolve among the United States and its regional and global allies and partners to deter such Chinese actions.
  • Recommendation: Washington and Taipei should better assess and understand the impact of Chinese disinformation campaigns on public opinion and both individually and jointly develop information plans to counter these ongoing disinformation attacks.

Finding: US allies and partners have an important role to play in deterring a PRC invasion of Taiwan. Japanese and Australian officials in particular have become more outspoken in warning of the threats posed to regional stability (and more specifically to Japan’s national security interests) due to increased Chinese assertiveness and both the prospects and implications of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan.

  • Recommendation: The United States and its allies and partners should continue stressing the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait in official joint and multilateral statements such as the various “two plus two” and broader joint statements.
  • Recommendation: The United States needs to develop and/or sponsor public information campaigns that better articulate the implications and/or consequences of a successful Chinese invasion (including broad distribution and US Embassy-sponsored public information sessions for key allies and partners explaining the results of studies such as the soon-to-be-completed Pacific Forum assessment of the consequences should Taiwan fall).
  • Recommendation: DoD should develop joint contingency plans with affected allies such as Japan and Australia on how to best counter Chinese military action, specifically including a blockade or boycott of Taiwan, to be better prepared to respond if the political decision in their respective capitals is made to provide such assistance.

Finding: Taiwan is already under attack politically, economically, psychologically, and through more aggressive gray zone operations. This multidimensional threat requires a multidimensional response in ways that complement and enhance military deterrence. Chinese behavior represents a global problem, which demands a global response by the United States, Taiwan, and like-minded states.

  • Recommendation: The United States should be more proactive and less reactive in responding to Chinese aggressive behavior toward Taiwan, including through increased political and diplomatic efforts with allies and partners to clearly articulate the PRC threat and the implications for regional security should Taiwan be attacked by the PRC.
  • Recommendation: The United States should implement an aggressive information campaign not only to counter Chinese disinformation efforts but also to exploit the double-edged sword of increased Chinese nationalism. US/Taiwan information campaigns should also focus on what the Chinese people stand to lose if war breaks out across the Straits, since Chinese “internet nationalism,” in part, reflects Chinese peoples’ frustration with their own government, which should be exploited. An information campaign aimed at attacking the CCP’s legitimacy is a good place to start.
  • Recommendation: The US Government should coordinate closely with allies and other like-minded states in responding to the global challenge posed by Chinese economic as well as military and political coercion both vis-à-vis Taiwan and more generally. While continued strong support for Ukraine is important to demonstrate Western resolve and prevent more Russian territorial gains, the PRC remains the “pacing threat” and Taiwan is the greatest flashpoint. The PRC in general and the defense of Taiwan in particular should remain the focus of US national security policy and DoD’s acquisition planning.
  • Recommendation: Recognizing that Taiwan has “comprehensive vulnerabilities,” the US Government should sponsor research aimed at assisting Taiwan in identifying non-military security-related vulnerabilities, such as its reliance on outside energy sources, to reduce Taiwan’s susceptibility to economic coercion in peacetime and especially during times of conflict.

Other Recommendations

Finding: Washington and Taipei have already acted upon or incorporated many of the recommendations outlined in the 2021 Dialogue Report; a few others have been overtaken by events. Other recommendations are consistent with the findings and recommendations outlined in this report and are worth repeating:

  • Recommendation: The US and Taiwan governments and militaries must prepare for the worst-case all-out invasion scenario, even while identifying measures to combat Chinese gray zone activities. Both need to improve strategic communication. The United States should more clearly articulate not just the military but also the political and economic costs associated with any Chinese kinetic action against Taiwan.
  • Recommendation: The United States needs to better prepare for military contingencies, with the aim of increasing the “risk” factor in any Chinese “risk-reward” calculus.
  • Recommendation: The United States should continue its firm support for greater Taiwan involvement in international organizations and initiatives, including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and other trade and economic entities, and carefully explore the prospects for Taiwan involvement in bilateral and multilateral military training and exercises. More pushback is needed against Chinese efforts to limit Taiwan’s international space.
  • Recommendation: Taiwan needs to reassure the United States that it retains the will and ability to defend itself and the United States should continually reaffirm that its support of the Taiwanese is “rock solid.” Both must develop effective measures to fortify integrated deterrence.

[i] As noted in this report, the US Government did release unclassified versions of these key national security documents in October 2022. The unclassified National Defense Strategy still contains little or no explanation of Taiwan’s integrated deterrence role.

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Issues & Insights Vol. 22, CR1 – Getting past constraints: Deepening U.S. security relations with Vietnam and Indonesia

Executive Summary

INTRODUCTION

Pacific Forum reconvened two Track 2 dialogues with Vietnam and Indonesia in August 2022 to help identify ways the United States and its two Southeast Asian partners can work together to enhance bilateral cooperation on security issues of shared concern. Functional cooperation between Washington and its two Southeast Asian partners has considerably advanced in the past ten years, but differing strategic considerations still handicap some aspects of these relationships. The two security dialogues emphasized these findings, among other takeaways.

FINDINGS SUMMARY

In its February 2022 Indo-Pacific Strategy document, the United States stressed that “collective efforts over the next decade will determine whether the PRC succeeds in transforming the rules and norms that have benefitted the Indo-Pacific and the world.” The 2021 U.S.-Vietnam and U.S.-Indonesia security dialogues had made clear that such framing would not generate broad Southeast Asian cooperation. This year’s dialogues echoed similar themes while underscoring functional cooperation as vital to the two countries’ security relations with the United States. Their strategic autonomy and agency are central to their response to threats from Beijing, and they are reluctant to align outright with the United States on China-related strategic considerations. Nevertheless, Indonesia and Vietnam are interested in working with the United States when it strengthens their strategic autonomy and ability to stand up to threats, including those from China. Two interconnected factors determine Indonesian and Vietnamese strategic thinking regarding China’s assertive behavior and willingness to cooperate with the United States on security issues. First, geography makes China an everyday presence for Hanoi and Jakarta and their economies. Second, the self-help regional security environment compels Jakarta and Hanoi to be extra cautious in dealing with Chinese assertiveness. They are not U.S. treaty-allies. Vietnamese and Indonesian interlocutors do not expect the United States to defend Vietnam and Indonesia should Beijing use force.

KEY FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE TWO SECURITY DIALOGUES

Finding: China has specifically designed its operations in the South China Sea to avoid thresholds for escalation and response by using civilian or non-military actors to operationalize claims using tactics that fall short of kinetic armed conflict. China would perceive any response to a gray zone coercion either as “escalatory”—possibly provoking a stronger Chinese response that could result in a complete reversal of status quo of certain features—or “muted”—which could encourage Beijing to attempt more coercive maneuvers.

  • Recommendation: The United States and its partners must challenge the narrative surrounding the existence of civilian and non-military actors in the South China Sea. First, Washington should support regional partners’ efforts to identify, document, and publicize militia operations, including publishing photos and videos in open source, disseminating evidence in Track 1 forums and venues like the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Defense Ministers Meeting Plus and the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Second, Washington must link the behavior of China’s maritime militia and Coast Guard to its interactions with the PLAN. The United States should communicate publicly and privately that it expects the PLAN, the Coast Guard, and the maritime militia to abide by the internationally recognized standards of seamanship and communications, including the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES).
  • Recommendation: Washington should take three actions to address the gradual, non-kinetic nature of China’s gray zone tactics. First, it should help improve situational awareness through capacity-building efforts that enhance partners’ maritime domain awareness, such as through provisions of maritime Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities, including remote sensing tools, unmanned platforms, and coastal radar. Second, it should help address the asymmetry in capabilities by tailoring defense assistance to partners with more surface assets to maintain sustained presence and expanding maritime law enforcement capabilities through initiatives like Coast Guard ship-riding programs. Finally, the United States and its partners should thoroughly discuss potential non-kinetic tactical responses to harassment.
  • Recommendation: The United States should establish a task force within the Seventh Fleet, modeled on Task Force 59 in the Fifth Fleet, to develop and deploy unmanned and automated maritime domain awareness platforms in coordination with Vietnam and other regional partners. This could vastly improve the ability to monitor and identify Chinese gray zone actors in a persistent and affordable manner.

Finding: U.S. efforts at direct deterrence (e.g., U.S. Navy operations to defend its own freedom of navigation) in the South China Sea have been much more successful than extended deterrence (e.g., assisting Vietnam and other coastal states in the region to protect their own maritime rights and interests against Chinese coercion).

  • Recommendation: The United States should reinforce the principle of freedom of navigation in the South China Sea by clearly articulating through official documents and in meetings with China that the use of force to deny U.S. civilian or military vessels from rightful access to the South China Sea is a red line for the United States.
  • Recommendation: The United States should articulate through official documents and in meetings with regional states that changing the status quo of disputed features by using force or gray zone coercion (e.g., ejecting existing Vietnamese presence on a disputed land feature) is another U.S. red line. The United States should engage its regional partners to establish acceptable parameters for a combined response and then respond appropriately in coordination with partner countries.

Finding: In a gray zone maritime crisis involving China, Vietnam will simultaneously de-escalate by engaging Beijing and defend its interests by deploying non-military assets to assert presence or control. Coordinating with Washington to address a China-related gray zone crisis would not be a top priority for Hanoi. Meanwhile, Indonesia will resolutely respond to a gray zone crisis by safeguarding its interests and preventing a fait accompli while maintaining its strategic autonomy. Jakarta will use its diplomatic, military, and paramilitary assets to maintain the status quo. The Indonesians would prefer the United States carefully balance its engagement and avoid direct involvement in any Indonesia-China tension. Both Hanoi and Jakarta expect that their strategic space to de-escalate or arrive at an acceptable solution would be severely constrained once the United States is directly involved, and the crisis would be reframed in the context of “great power competition.”

  • Recommendation: Addressing a gray zone crisis requires coordination between Washington and the partner country directly involved. In this regard, the United States should immediately consult with partner countries about the best course of action before making any move.

Finding: Beijing is unlikely to use outright aggression against Southeast Asian states. Instead, China will continue to push the envelope in the South China Sea and elsewhere through gray zone/non-kinetic means. Absent any effective response, Beijing will achieve more fait accomplis, which are extremely difficult to roll back without the use of force.

  • Recommendation: The United States should continue to devote more resources (e.g., by sponsoring more tabletop exercises, research, and dialogues) to better understand China’s use of gray zone coercion and draft plans accordingly. The United States should also discuss potential responses to counter gray zone coercion with partners and allies.

KEY FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE U.S.-VIETNAM SECURITY DIALOGUES

Finding: Vietnam’s policy documents regard defense cooperation, including joint exercises, with other countries as important “to improve capabilities to protect the country and address common security challenges.” However, Vietnam makes a distinction between military exercises that are aimed at developing war-fighting skills (tp trn) and military training exercises to learn or improve basic skills (din tp). Vietnam will not participate in the former with the United States, which could potentially explain Hanoi’s lack of interest in joining the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise.

  • Recommendation: When the United States invites Vietnam to join a bilateral or multilateral exercise, Washington should clarify that the purpose is to improve basic skills (din tp). In bigger exercises like the RIMPAC, U.S. invitation extended to Hanoi should stress the din tp value of the activities.

Finding: The United States sees Hanoi as a stabilizing force in the region. Vietnam has shown determination to continue the trajectory of its military modernization, which could present opportunities for the United States, not just in providing hardware, but also in deepening institutional ties, interoperability, and long-term trust. In 2021, Vietnam committed to “building a streamlined and strong Army by 2025, and a revolutionary, regular, highly-skilled and modern People’s Army by 2030,” vowing to prioritize Air Defense/Air Force Service, Navy, Signal Force, Electronic Warfare Force, Technical Reconnaissance Force, Cyber Warfare Force, and Cipher (cryptology) Force.

  • Recommendation: Washington could offer to help Hanoi realize some of the aspects of its 2030 military modernization plan, for example, by building on the successful U.S.-Vietnam deal for the transfer of three T-6 trainers by 2023, along with spare parts and a maintenance package. The U.S. should continue to probe Vietnamese willingness to purchase more T-6s with a package including simulators, maintenance, and participation in an expanded aviation leadership program. This could provide the basis for Vietnam to acquire more advanced fighter jets in the future. Helping modernize Vietnam’s military capabilities could promote mutual trust, which in turn could result in deeper bilateral cooperation. It could also help Hanoi secure its maritime zones amidst Chinese coercion and contribute to regional security free from Chinese dominance.

Finding: Vietnam is unlikely to reinvigorate its civilian nuclear power program in the near future.  Despite the high expectations surrounding the advent of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), interest in Vietnam is still not enough to push policymakers to reconsider a 2016 decision to halt Vietnam’s pursuit of nuclear energy. The view remains that Vietnam and Southeast Asia broadly have considerable alternatives to nuclear power. Nevertheless, Vietnamese experts stressed that SMRs and floating nuclear power plants are important topics for research, but any development is beyond the 10-year horizon.

  • Recommendation: The U.S. Government should provide educational opportunities for Vietnamese nuclear engineers and nuclear policy/security experts. This would ensure that U.S.-educated engineers and experts are readily available should Hanoi decide to restart its civil nuclear program. This would counter potential Chinese or Russian influence in determining the trajectory of Vietnam’s nuclear energy policy.

Finding: The U.S. and Vietnamese responses to the Itu Aba exercise conducted at the U.S. Vietnam Track 2 dialogue revealed the undercurrents in U.S. and Southeast Asian strategic thinking. First, Washington would not go to war against China to defend partner countries over small offshore territories in the South China Sea. Second, Southeast Asians’ primary consideration when dealing with Chinese provocation is the idea that when hostilities escalate, they are on their own. U.S. partners do not expect the U.S. military to fight for them should there be a conflict.

  • Recommendation: capacity-building initiatives should focus on helping partner countries obtain capabilities that allow them to maintain an active, sustained and visible presence in their own maritime zones. This means providing partner countries with surface assets like law enforcement patrol vessels that are capable of navigating their vast exclusive economic zones for longer periods and with the capacity to respond to Chinese coercion.

KEY FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE U.S.-INDONESIA SECURITY DIALOGUES

Finding: Disagreement related to Archipelagic Sea-Lane (ASL) passage could become a long-term operational issue between Indonesia and the United States. The United States wants Indonesia to allow all navigational rights and freedoms within its archipelago as described in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Indonesia, however, remains reluctant to introduce more archipelagic sea-lanes, fearing the presence of more foreign warships in its archipelagic waters.

  • Recommendation: The United States should have regular, standalone maritime security dialogues with Indonesia at the Track 1 and Track 2 levels to understand the factors that inhibit Indonesia from fully complying with the ASL provisions of the UNCLOS and help reassure Jakarta that U.S. military operations fully respect Indonesian sovereignty and territorial integrity. On the former, Indonesia’s lack of maritime domain awareness may be discouraging it from establishing additional ASLs, in which case the United States could be helpful. On the latter, regular interactions between Indonesian and U.S. maritime institutions and experts would increase trust over time, which could lead to more maritime cooperation that accommodates both U.S. preferences and Indonesian interests.

Finding: Indonesia’s growing Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) capabilities, while not targeted at any specific country, could complicate assumptions about force flows, supply chains, and ally reinforcements. In this context, Indonesia could potentially close off its waters from all military forces, including the United States and its treaty allies, in the event of a crisis, for example, over Taiwan.

  • Recommendation: U.S. military planning should take into account access to Southeast Asian territorial seas, and archipelagic waters (including their airspaces) to assess the impact of potential restrictions or differing interpretations of international maritime law.
  • Recommendation: More U.S. Government-sponsored dialogues and tabletop exercises should include Indonesia and other important partner countries in Southeast Asia to help promote common understanding and appreciation of key issues that arise during crises.

Finding: Two U.S.-led frameworks, the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT) and the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), could assist Indonesia with its Counterterrorism and Counterproliferation capacity-building. Neither the GICNT nor the PSI creates new obligations for participating states. Instead, cooperation is voluntary, with individual members’ respective national authorities coordinating to help ensure that bad actors, including extremists, do not obtain Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)-related materials. Indonesia’s persistent refusal to join U.S.-led security institutions is a political decision, rather than an objection to their operating principles.

  • Recommendation: Washington should clearly articulate in Track 1 dialogues involving policymakers that both GICNT and PSI would allow Indonesia to remain carefully protective of its own national sovereignty and independence. The United States should also underscore the multilateral nature of these arrangements.

About this report

Pacific Forum, in collaboration with local partners, the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam (DAV), and the Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia (FPCI), organized the Track 2 U.S.-Vietnam and U.S.-Indonesia Security Dialogues in August 2022. With support from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), ten U.S. strategic thinkers, including scholars, policy experts, and retired military and government officials, traveled to Hanoi on August 3-5, 2022, and to Bali on August 9-11, 2022, to meet and engage with 19 counterparts from Vietnam and 14 from Indonesia. Both Track 2 dialogues included one day of panel discussion on thematic issues and one day devoted to a scenario-based exercise.The recommendations contained in this report, unless otherwise specifically noted, were generated by the discussions as interpreted by the Principal Investigators. This is not a consensus document. Both the agenda and participant list are included in the appendix; all participants attended in their private capacity.The statements made and views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of the Pacific Forum, the project sponsors, or the dialogue participants’ respective organizations and affiliations. For questions, please email .

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Issues & Insights Vol. 22, WP7 – Rising from the Ashes: The Future of Arms Control

Abstract

This paper employs a comparative approach to provide an initial comprehensive analysis of the political interactions, contemporary nuclear policies, and military strategies and capabilities of China, Russia, and the United States in the context of the unstable international security landscape. At a time when the global arms control regime is teetering on the brink of disintegration, the authors aim to offer practical and feasible policy recommendations for remodeling the arms control regime from the Chinese and Russian perspectives. The authors stress the need to revive “traditional” arms control and advocate the search for ways to control emerging military technologies. This paper endeavors to present a two-pronged vision proposed by representatives of two major global players.

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About the Authors

Victor Mizin is a leading research fellow at the Institute of International Studies of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University) and a senior research fellow at the Center of International Security Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of World Economy and International Relations. He is a member of of the trilateral Deep Cuts Commission. He was a diplomat at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Russia/Soviet Union). He served at the Russian mission to the United Nations as a political affairs counselor and was an inspector of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection Commission. He was a senior research fellow at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey in the United States. He received a PhD from the Institute for US and Canadian Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 1991. He participated as an adviser in arms-control negotiations, including START I and START II, INF, SCC on the ABM Treaty, Conference on Disarmament, and the UN Disarmament Commission.

Yue Yuan is a PhD candidate of China Foreign Affairs University and Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University). She is an ACONA fellow (2021–2022) of Harvard University’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies. She is pursuing research on space security policy, China-US-Russia relations, and nuclear arms control and disarmament. She worked with the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research’s space security team and the Center on Terrorism, Extremism, and Counterterrorism at the Middlebury Institute. She holds a dual master’s degree in international affairs from MGIMO University in Russia and nonproliferation and terrorism studies from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey in the United States.

Issues & Insights Vol. 22, SR9 – An Alliance Renewed? Future-proofing U.S.-Japan Security Relations

About this Volume

Authors of this volume participated in the inaugural U.S.-Japan Next-Generation Leaders Initiative, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, through the U.S. Embassy Tokyo. With backgrounds from academia, government, military and industry, the cohort brings rich insights on the past, present, and future of the U.S.-Japan bilateral security relations.

The statements made and views expressed are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of their respective organizations and affiliations. Pacific Forum’s publications do not necessarily reflect the positions of its staff, donors and sponsors.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: An Alliance Renewed? Future-proofing U.S.-Japan Security Relations | Christopher Lamont & Jeffrey Ordaniel 
Chapter 1: The Cornerstone and the Linchpin: Reconstituting U.S.-ROK- Japan Trilateral Security CooperationJada Fraser
Chapter 2: The Evolution of U.S.-Led Alliance Systems: A Minilateralist Approach in the Indo-Pacific | Cassie Rodriguez
Chapter 3: Japan-U.S. Alliance in Harmony? Perspectives from Power, Interests, and Values | Yu Inagaki
Chapter 4: Extended Gray Zone Deterrence in the South China Sea | Shusuke Ioku
Chapter 5: Enhancing Taiwan’s Resistance: Military and Diplomatic Roles of the U.S.-Japan Security Alliance | Ayae Yoshimoto
Chapter 6: Why Defending Taiwan is Crucial for the Future of the U.S.- Japan Alliance? | Rena Sasaki
Chapter 7:
Applying NATO’s Practices to the Japan-U.S. Alliance | Shinichi Hirao
Chapter 8: Expanding the Eyes: Japan and the Five Eyes Alliance | Brittany Bardsley-Marcial


This collection of papers begins with contributions that explore how the alliance will continue to evolve in the face of emergent challenges. Indeed, the first paper by Jada Fraser places an emphasis on rethinking how the United States can more effectively harness its alliance relationships in East Asia to advance shared interests and counter emerging threats. Fraser identifies the “advantages of organizing the U.S.-Japan-ROK trilateral as a form of flexible multilateralism based on overlapping frameworks of cooperation rather than a formally binding agreement.”

The second contribution to this volume, by Cassie Rodriguez, examines how U.S. relationships in East Asia are shifting from a more traditional network of ‘hub-and-spokes’ security arrangements to a ‘minilateralist’ approach that favors informal alignments of countries that are more targeted and issue-specific. For Rodriguez, the U.S.-Japan alliance could become a model for minilaterlism and a driver for the establishment of robust, yet flexible small groupings of states working closely together on shared challenges. An example of this is the Quad.

The next two papers offer insights from international relations theory. Yu Inagaki draws on Kosaka Masataka’s power, interests, and norms framework to offer recommendations for both the United States and Japan to bring both countries into closer alignment. Meanwhile, Shusuke Ioku presents quantitative data analyses of territorial aggression and formal modeling of gray zone conflicts to argue that the key to deterring gray zone coercion is helping sustain the presence of Southeast Asian claimants through capacity building related to reinforcement of presence, constant naval and air patrols, and other measures that would allow them to withstand low-level aggression without backing down. Ioku recommends that Japan and the United States channel limited recourses accordingly and not be content with symbolic joint exercises and rhetorical support for rules-based resolution of disputes.

The next four papers delve deeper into issue-specific areas and contingencies that present challenges and opportunities for the U.S.-Japan alliance going forward. First, Ayae Yoshimoto provides Japan’s perspective on heightened tensions over Taiwan. Offering recommendations that aim to bolster Taiwan’s own position and image in the international community alongside more practical observations relating to a Taiwan contingency, Yoshimoto underlines the critical importance of Taiwan for Japan’s national security. Next, Rena Sasaki provides a more granular analysis of the legislative, regulatory, and political constraints that a more limited Taiwan contingency scenario would pose for Tokyo. Both Yoshimoto and Sasaki underline how Taiwan contingencies demonstrate the urgent need for Tokyo and Washington to bolster crisis response mechanisms.

Shinichi Hirao then turns to examine how NATO standards can enhance the U.S.-Japan alliance. Benchmarking against NATO’s core tasks of Deterrence and Defense, Crisis Management, and Cooperative Security, as outlined in the 2022 Strategic Concept, Hirao draws lessons for the U.S.-Japan security relationship. Hirao also concludes by offering specific recommendations to Tokyo for defense procurement. The final paper of this collection, by Brittany Bradley-Marcial, explores the question of bringing Japan into the Five Eyes community, analyzing both the rationale and the obstacles to membership, as well as potential paths forward that could bring Japan into a closer intelligence sharing relationship with the Five Eyes.

In sum, each contribution to this volume contains new insights into the U.S.-Japan alliance from the next generation of scholars, decision-makers, or military leaders. To be sure, this collection of papers attests to one of the critical factors that explains the longevity of the U.S.-Japan alliance: the alliance’s continuous ability to remake itself in the face of new and emerging challenges.


About the Authors

Brittany Bardsley-Marcial is a graduate student at Missouri State University pursuing a master’s degree in Cybersecurity. Brittany interned with the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (DKI- APCSS), where she had many opportunities to work with faculty members on projects related to Indo-Pacific security issues. She helped developed a strategic game scenario at APCSS, which was incorporated into one of the courses run in February 2022. Brittany received her BA in Political Science, with a Minor in Japanese from Hawaii Pacific University. To broaden her understanding of the Japanese language and culture, she studied abroad at Nagoya University of Foreign Studies, for one year.

Jada Fraser is an M.A. Student in Asian Studies at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. Previously, she was a Policy Research Fellow with the Edwin O. Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies at Johns Hopkins SAIS. Her research for the Center primarily focused on prevailing geopolitical trends in the U.S.-Japan-China strategic triangle. Prior to joining SAIS, Jada worked as a Research Assistant with the Japan Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. She focused on issues in the U.S.-Japan Alliance and U.S. and allies’ Indo-Pacific strategy. Her work has been published on the CSIS website. Jada graduated with High Honors and Departmental Special Honors from the University of Texas at Austin where she completed her B.A. in International Relations and Global Studies and was awarded a certificate in Security Studies from the Clements Center for National Security. Her current research interests include U.S. alliance strategy in the Indo-Pacific, Japan-South Korea relations, and strategic competition with China.

Shinichi Hirao is a Captain of the Japan Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF). He received his BA in law from the University of Tokyo in 2014. After graduation, he joined the JGSDF and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 2016. He served as a platoon leader and joined a disaster relief operation in Kumamoto in 2016. He was then selected to study in the United States, where he earned his Master of Public Policy degree from the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, the University of Virginia, in December 2020. Upon graduation, he returned to the JGSDF, and was appointed as Operations and Training Officer of an infantry company under the 34th Infantry Regiment, Gotemba, Shizuoka.

Yu Inagaki is a research assistant at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF) working under the Japan-U.S. Program. He is also an active member of the Young Leaders Program at the Pacific Forum. Yu received his MA from the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, where he majored in international relations and strategic studies. His research interests include theories of International Relations, grand strategy, international order, and security in the Indo-Pacific. Among his latest work is a paper comparing the Indo-Pacific Strategy of Japan and the United States. Previously, he interned at the Hudson Institute and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), both in Washington, DC, and also at the Asia Pacific Initiative in Tokyo. At SPF, he helps run several study groups on Japan-U.S. relations and assists in related research.

Shusuke Ioku is a Ph.D. student at the Department of Political Science, the University of Rochester where he studies formal Political Theory and International Relations. His current research projects address inefficiency of coercive diplomacy and subnational political consequences of Chinese economic statecraft. He has a particular interest in gray-zone maritime disputes in the East and South China Seas since he did an internship at the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative under the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Before coming to the United States, he received an M.A. in Political Science from Waseda University and B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Tokyo.

Casimira “Cassie” Rodriguez of San Bernardino, California is a graduate student and a Scholars in the Nation’s Service Initiative (SINSI) fellow at Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs. She graduated from Princeton in 2019 with an A.B. in Politics and certificates in East Asian Studies and the History and Practice of Diplomacy, completing a senior thesis on Japanese security policy. Following graduation, she studied advanced Japanese in Yokohama at the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies as a Blakemore Freeman fellow and presented her research on alliance politics. She has interned at both the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the Sasakawa Peace Foundation in Washington, D.C., taking part in research/publications on U.S.-Japan issues and helping facilitate U.S.-Japan exchange events. Her areas of research include Japanese foreign policy, the international relations of East Asia, and security politics. As part of her SINSI fellowship, she will complete two years of federal government service before graduating from her MPA program. She is currently working on the Japan Desk at the U.S. Department of State.

Rena Sasaki is a graduate student at the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, pursuing a Master’s degree in Foreign Service. Rena was a senior associate at Strategy& (formerly Booz & Company), global management consulting firm and has engaged in defense and security projects with the Japanese Ministry of Defense and the defense industry for more than five years. She has deep knowledge of defense equipment acquisition, domestic supply chains for defense manufactures, and game-changing technology. She is interested in regional security issues in the Indo-Pacific and has engaged in several research projects on China’s military and economic security. She was selected as a delegate for the U.S-.China Dialogue which is a student-to-student dialogue between Georgetown University and Peking University. She graduated from Waseda University with a Bachelor’s in Engineering and Master’s in Engineering, and majored in Statistics. Rena is an intermediate-level Mandarin speaker.

Ayae Yoshimoto is currently working at the Consulate-General of Japan in San Francisco. Previously, she was a junior visiting fellow at the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA). She received her B.A. in Communication from Doshisha University in Japan and then her M.A. in International Relations from the National Chengchi University in Taiwan. Her research interests include Japan’s foreign and security policy, Sino-Japan relations, cross-strait relations, and U.S.-Japan Alliance. While in graduate school in Taiwan, she did a research internship on Taiwan-Japan relations at Taiwan NextGen Foundation. In addition to her mother tongue, Japanese, she is fluent in English and Chinese.

About the Editors

Christopher Lamont is Assistant Dean of E-Track Programs and Associate Professor of International Relations. Previously, he held a tenured position at the University of Groningen, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Ulster. He was also previously a Fulbright scholar at the University of Zagreb in Croatia. He holds a PhD from the University of Glasgow and has published widely on human rights and transitional justice. His recent publications have appeared in the Journal of Democracy, the International Journal of Human Rights, Global Policy, Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, and Human Rights Review. He also co-edited, New Crifical Spaces in Transitional Justice (with Arnaud Kurze, Indiana University Press, 2019) and is the author of two research methods textbooks, Research Methods in International Relations (Sage 2015, second edition 2021), and Research Methods in Politics and International Relations (with Mieczyslaw Boduszyński, Sage 2020). In addition to his scholarly work, his writings have also appeared in Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, and the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage.

Jeffrey Ordaniel is Director for Maritime Security (non-resident) at the Pacific Forum. Concurrently, he is also Associate Professor of International Security Studies at Tokyo International University (TIU) in Japan. He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations and specializes in the study of offshore territorial and maritime entitlement disputes in Asia. His teaching and research revolve around maritime security and ocean governance, ASEAN regionalism, and broadly, U.S. alliances and engagements in the Indo-Pacific. From 2016 to 2019, he was based in Honolulu and was the holder of the endowed Admiral Joe Vasey Fellowship at the Pacific Forum. Since 2019, Dr. Ordaniel has been convening several track II dialogues on U.S. security relations in the Indo-Pacific, and workshops on maritime security issues. His current research on maritime security in Asia is funded by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). With JSPS funding, he also serves as Project Researcher with RCAST- Open Lab for Emerging Strategies, The University of Tokyo.


Photo: President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio participate in an arrival ceremony, Monday, May 23, 2022, at Akasaka Palace in Tokyo. Source: Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz/Public Domain

Issues & Insights Vol. 22, SR8 – Next steps for the US-China strategic nuclear relationship

About

Conducted with the generous support of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, this study seeks to provide an in-depth analysis of strategic nuclear issues of significance to the bilateral relationship to pinpoint the challenges to, and opportunities for, improving the current state of affairs between Washington and Beijing. The study, in other words, aims to propose an assessment of key issues and, insofar as possible, solutions or mitigation measures to address US-China strategic nuclear problems, including those that are seemingly intractable. It is motivated by the idea that even (or perhaps especially) when stark pessimism dominates, it is essential to be clear about what is in “the realm of the possible” to improve the situation, and to act on it.

Download the full volume here.


Table of Contents

Introduction
David Santoro

Chapter 1 | Intensifying US-China nuclear competition: The evolution of US and Chinese nuclear strategies
David C. Logan

Chapter 2 | Baby steps: Laying the groundwork for US-Chinese arms control and risk reduction
Gerald C. Brown

Chapter 3 | Five scenarios for the P5 process: Opportunities for Beijing and Washington
Heather Williams

Chapter 4 | A bridge too far: US-China cooperation on the Korean Peninsula
Duyeon Kim

Chapter 5 | US-China areas of cooperation: Nonproliferation and nuclear security
Miles A. Pomper and Sanjana Gogna

Issues & Insights Vol. 22, SR7 – Abe Shinzo: In Memoriam

Introduction

Rob York

A Sharp-Elbowed Politician, an Irreplaceable International Statesman  

A famous, albeit fictional, statesman once said “A good act does not wash out the bad, nor a bad act the good.”

As Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, Abe Shinzo left a legacy. Fair-minded individuals would be able to find grounds for criticism in that record: Abe climbed to leadership of the Liberal Democratic Party by stoking doubts about his country’s record in World War II, provoking outrage from neighboring countries. He relished sparring with his rivals in Japan’s other political parties and in the press; his country’s press freedom ranking consequently declined under his leadership. His efforts at addressing his country’s stagnant economy and moribund birthrate saw, interpreted charitably, only modest successes.

But Abe Shinzo should be remembered for much more than that. Much as Winston Churchill should be remembered, both for his foresight regarding the rise of the Nazi threat and his record as ruthless defender of Britain’s colonial interests, proponents of the “free and open Indo-Pacific” vision that Abe championed should remember his record as a partisan, but also as an international institution builder in an age where both “freedom” and “openness” are under attack in the Indo-Pacific. In doing so, he revived Japan as an international player and helped set the stage for multilateral cooperation to preserve existing rules and norms, such as the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (the “Quad”) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Such efforts make him one of the most influential statesmen of this era.

Since Abe’s shocking assassination on July 8, the Pacific Forum has sought to ensure that the fullness of this legacy is remembered, and as such used our PacNet series to explain his impact from a variety of perspectives. In doing so, we reached out to many old friends whose names are familiar to the Pacific Forum’s long-time readers. In PacNet #37, Brad Glosserman, Pacific Forum’s senior advisor and my co-editor at Comparative Connections, identifies the specific attributes of Abe’s—specifically his strongly held opinions and behind-the-scenes advocacy—that made it possible for him to be this institutional builder and to restore Japan’s role on the foreign policy stage. In PacNet #36 Stephen Nagy of the International Christian University in Tokyo provides a comprehensive overview of Abe the diplomat, including his successful managing of relations with the PRC, which were actually at a low point before his lengthy stint as PM. In PacNet #39 Kei Koga of Nanyang Technological University demonstrates how under Abe, Japan countered the PRC’s growing influence in Southeast Asian countries through sustained engagement, winning their trust despite their unwillingness to match his hawkishness toward Beijing. Furthermore, in PacNet #43 Jagannath Panda of ISDP, Sweden explains how Abe’s dealings with India paved the way for the latter’s increased engagement with the outside world, including through the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue. In PacNet #40, I note that Abe’s tireless engagement with American presidents across changes in parties has made good relations with Tokyo that rarest of things in US politics: an area of bipartisan agreement that looks unlikely to change, regardless of the outcome of the 2024 election.

The Pacific Forum also reached beyond its regular contributors’ list to acquire new perspectives. Shihoko Goto of the Wilson Center details Abe’s prescient vision for the defense of Taiwan, something the US would gradually awaken to. Jada Frasier—an MA student in Asian Studies at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service that we believe policy professionals will be hearing from more and more in the future—explains how despite causing tensions in the Japan-South Korea relationship, Abe also deserves credit for increasing the two East Asian democracies’ opportunities for security cooperation through his emphasis on minilateral groupings.

Now that Japan has laid the former prime minister to rest last week, those who remember the darker side of his leadership will find grounds to do so, and some of those criticisms will be warranted. Abe, however, left a legacy far beyond those unpleasantries, especially if, as was the case with Churchill, his country and the international community rise to the challenge they presently face.

Table of Contents

PacNet 35, 07/11/2022. Abe Shinzo and the Japan-South Korea relationship: Near- and long-term legacies by Jada Fraser

PacNet 36, 07/14/2022. Post-Abe Indo-Pacific regional dynamics: A legacy beyond the man by Stephen Nagy

PacNet 37, 07/15/2022. Abe’s death creates a void in Japan by Brad Glosserman

PacNet 39, 07/22/2022. Abe Shinzo’s legacy in Southeast Asia by Kei Koga

PacNet 40, 07/25/2022. Abe Shinzo: How to handle an unpredictable America by Rob York

PacNet 43, 08/05/2022. Post-Abe India-Japan ties: Does Kishida have what it takes? by Jagannath Panda

PacNet 45, 08/10/2022.  The prescience of Abe’s vision for Taiwan by Shihoko Goto

 

Photo: State Funeral of Shinzo Abe by the Prime Minister’s Office of Japan

Issues & Insights Vol. 22, SR6 – AUKUS A Look Back at The First Analyses

Introduction
David Santoro and Rob York

Announced just over a year ago on Sept. 15, 2021, the Australia-United Kingdom-United States (AUKUS) security partnership promised work on two interrelated lines of effort between the three allies. One entailed providing Australia with a conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarine capability. The other involved cooperation on developing and providing joint advanced military capabilities to promote security and stability in the region, including in cyber, artificial intelligence and autonomy, quantum technologies, undersea capabilities, hypersonic and counter-hypersonic systems, electronic warfare, and information sharing.

AUKUS sent shockwaves across the Indo-Pacific and beyond. Some praised the new partnership, explaining that it would tighten the US hub-and-spokes alliance system and stand as a powerful deterrent to China’s new assertiveness in the region. Others¾with the People’s Republic of China in the lead¾were much less enthusiastic, even outright critical, insisting that it would create unnecessary tensions, possibly leading to arms races or crises, and undermine nonproliferation norms and rules. France was also deeply upset because AUKUS immediately led to Australia’s cancellation of a French-Australian submarine deal, without notice.

In the days, weeks, and months that followed the AUKUS announcement, the Pacific Forum published, via its PacNet Commentary series, several preliminary analyses on the trilateral partnership, each reflecting a specific national perspective from throughout the Indo-Pacific and beyond. One year later, and as implementation of the AUKUS partnership remains ongoing, we have compiled these analyses into a Pacific Forum Issues & Insights volume.

It is our hope that these publications will provide a basis for further study and additional recommendations.

Table of Contents

PacNet 41, 09/20/2021. After the shock: France, America, and the Indo-Pacific by Bruno Tertais

PacNet 44, 09/29/2021. How AUKUS advances Australia’s commitment to collective defense by Ashley Townshend

PacNet 46, 10/05/2021. After AUKUS, “present at the creation” in the 21st century by Brad Glosserman

PacNet 48, 10/19/2021. New Zealand and AUKUS: Affected without being included by Robert Ayson

PacNet 50, 10/26/2021. Fold, call, or raise? China’s potential reactions to AUKUS by Yun Sun

PacNet 51, 11/03/2021. What AUKUS means for European security by Marie Jourdain

PacNet 54, 11/22/2021. What AUKUS means for Malaysia’s technological future by Elina Noor

PacNet 57, 12/10/2021. Building on AUKUS to forge a PAX Pacifica by Henry Sokolski

PacNet 58, 12/14/2021. Why the UK was the big winner of AUKUS by David Camroux

PacNet 59, 12/21/2021. “JAUKUS” and the emerging clash of alliances in the Pacific by Artyom Lukin

PacNet 60, 12/28/2021. AUKUS’ short- and long-term implications for Taiwan by Fu Mei

PacNet 05, 01/21/2022. AUKUS’ opportunities and risks for Indi by Manpreet Sethi

PacNet 11, 02/24/2022. Nuclear submarines for our Pacific Allies: When to say yes by Henry Sokolski

Issues & Insights Vol. 22, WP6 — Chinese Cyber Nationalism During the Pandemic: A Discourse Analysis of Zhihu

Executive Summary

The COVID-19 global pandemic has elicited a rise in cyber nationalism in China, as the world’s most populous nation outperformed the “scientifically” advanced western nations in the handling of the crisis. Chinese netizens on social messaging platform Zhihu cite upsurging cases of COVID-19 and death tolls in western countries as evidence of China’s zero-COVID strategy success, and have generated a new trend of Chinese cyber nationalism. Within this new trend, positive perceptions of western countries and their ideologies declined greatly. As previous studies have predicted, Chinese netizens are becoming more and more disappointed in western countries and “have no choice but to side with China.” This has also prompted China to be more confident in challenging the global narrative and seeking to guide the international order on COVID-related issues amid the China-US rivalry and thus facilitating a strong emotion of “China against the West.” However, this strong surge of emotion does not accurately translate into support of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s zero-COVID-19 policy.

About the Author

Talkeetna Saiget  a MAIA (Master’s in Asian International Affairs) graduate at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, focusing on China. She received a B.A. in Japanese studies at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. During her years at Tsinghua University, she was nominated as an exchange student to Kyoto University where she got her JLPT N1 certificate. She became increasingly interested in international relations after working at the Republic of Sierra Leone embassy in Beijing. Her research interests include China-US relations, US-Japan relations, Japan-China relations, Japanese history, and Chinese history.

Issues & Insights Vol. 22, SR5 – US-Singapore: Advancing Technological Collaboration and Innovation in Southeast Asia

About

In this special publication, authors were encouraged to reflect on what stronger US and Singapore cooperation looks like in concrete policy terms amid ongoing geopolitical volatility. Beyond the technical and geopolitical perspectives, the contributions in this edited volume emphasize the importance of cross-sectoral collaboration and sustainability for an enduring US-Singapore strategic partnership.

Download the full volume here.


Table of Contents

Introduction
Mark Bryan Manantan

Setting the overview, Mr. Manantan emphasizes the confluence of geopolitical and technological events over the past year which shaped the foundation of the digital publication. Building on the lessons learned from the Pacific Forum’s inaugural US-Singapore Cyber&Tech Security Virtual Series (2020-2021), and the recently concluded US-Singapore Tech & Innovation Virtual Dialogue (2021-2022), Mr. Manantan advocates to reframe policy conversations. Beyond the narrow, zero-sum competition, the US-Singapore bilateral cooperation must champion resilience, inclusion, and sustainability to catalyze Southeast Asia’s digital transformation.

Chapter 1: Singapore’s sanctions against Russia: What are the long-term implications?
Manoj Harjani

Mr. Harjani assesses the long-term implications of Singapore’s sanctions against Russia. Harjani canvassed the drivers of Singapore’s decision to use export controls on military and select dual-use goods that the Kremlin may use to conduct cyber operations. He also discussed Singapore’s efforts to target cryptocurrency loopholes as part of the city-state’s sanctions package against Russia.

Chapter 2: Defending Supply Chain Cybersecurity: Opportunities for Singapore-United States Cooperation
Andreas Kuehn, Ph.D.

Dr. Kuehn examines the growing importance of supply chain cybersecurity frameworks, given the growing complexity of supply chains and the multiplicity of Information and Communications Technology providers. Going just beyond the “Know your ICT supplier” to ensure accountability and transparency, Kuehn offers practical advice on how Singapore, as an innovation hub in Southeast Asia in cooperation with the US, can test pilot new initiatives to safeguard supply chain cybersecurity at the organizational, industry, and multilateral levels.

Chapter 3: Digitalization and Sustainable Energy in ASEAN
Courtney Weatherby

Ms. Weatherby investigates Southeast Asia’s conundrum on how to meet its carbon emission targets amid increasing pressure on supply chain resilience and energy transitions. Weatherby also highlights the growing role of blockchain technologies in facilitating renewable energy certification given the growing intra-ASEAN energy trade. Reflecting on the outcomes of the US-ASEAN Summit and relatedly the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), Weatherby notes the shared expertise of the US and Singapore in capacity-building to lubricate Southeast Asia’s ongoing energy transition.

Chapter 4: Sustainable Considerations for Inclusive Digital Futures
Natalie Pang, Ph.D.

Recognizing the region’s medium to long-term prospects in the data-driven economy, Dr. Pang examines the urgency of addressing the current gaps and vulnerabilities in Southeast Asia’s digital future. Pang notes the need to fast track digital literacy to address burgeoning concerns over privacy and algorithms, as well as the increasing negative effects of electronic waste or e-waste, mainly from large data centers, that carry environmental and health risks for local communities.

 

Listen to the accompanying podcast episodes on Spotify here.

And on Apple Podcasts here.