PacNet #2 – ‘Muddle Through’ Strategy Won’t Work

The more things change in Japan, the more they seem to stay the same. It’s undeniable that 1998 was a time of vast turbulence and institutional upheaval in a country that greatly values stability. The financial system wobbled, a credit crunch blanketed the economy, unemployment hit record levels, two huge banks were nationalized, the Ministry […]

PacNet #1 – Competition and Consensus: China’s “New Concept of Security”

In a fascinating coincidence of timing both the People’s Republic of China and the United States have within the last six months published official documents that spell out the security strategy that each country believes will bring lasting peace and stability to East Asia – a shared objective. It may come as a surprise to […]

PacNet #49 – Mischief Reef: A Double Betrayal

Manila: “Betrayed!” That’s the word I have been hearing most from people both within and outside the national security community in Manila. Betrayed twice, once by China and then again by the Philippines’ ASEAN colleagues.

PacNet #48 – China Stirs

The activism that China has brought to its foreign policy this year has eclipsed anything seen since the Communists came to power in 1949.

PacNet #47 – U.S.-DPRK Talks: Time to Break Bad Habits

The U.S. and North Korea will enter into a round of talks in New York between Dec. 4-8 to discuss North Korea’s suspicious underground construction project. This would be an excellent time for both sides to break counterproductive old habits and start talking with, rather than merely lecturing to, one another.

PacNet #46 – Vice President Gore and the Rule of Law in Malaysia

Major U.S. papers have supported Vice President Al Gore’s criticism of Malaysia at the pre-APEC dinner for the region’s businessmen. His remarks may help Mr. Gore at home, but they caused confusion and criticism among participants who questioned the appropriateness of such remarks. One problem was that Gore mixed his messages and examples. He cited […]

PacNet #45A – PRC-Japan Relations: Will an Apology Bring Reconciliation?

Beijing has demanded that Japan issue a detailed, specific written apology for its past aggression against China when President Jiang Zemin visits Japan on November 25-30. China is reportedly seeking “a clear and accurate picture” of past transgressions such as was contained in the “heartfelt apology” provided to South Korean President Kim Dae-jung during his […]

PacNet #45 – Firmness and Realism Needed on North Korea

As President Clinton visits Seoul, it is high time to review creaking American policies toward the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. A “soft landing” is a wish, not a policy. Equally, the administration’s pride, the four year old “Agreed Framework” despite worthy success in freezing a part of North Korea’s nuclear weapons efforts, is also […]

PacNet #44 – Easing the Military Confrontation in Korea

North Korea’s launch of a new missile has set off alarm in Japan. The alarm is warranted insofar as the new missile, called the Taepodong I by U.S. intelligence, is capable of reaching Japan. Yet the launch was more likely an unsuccessful attempt to mark Kim Jong Il’s formal accession to power by boosting a […]