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FOCUS May 2012


  1. Buszynski, Leszek.
    The South China Sea: Oil, Maritime Claims, and U.S.–China Strategic Rivalry.
    Center for Strategic and International Studies, March 19, 2012, 2 pages.
    "The risk of conflict escalating from relatively minor events has increased in the South China Sea over the past two years with disputes now less open to negotiation or resolution." (From CSIS)

  2. Chang, Amy.
    Indigenous Weapons Development in China's Military Modernization.
    U.S.‐China Economic and Security Review Commission, April 5, 2012, 41 pages.
    "China's process of modernizing its armed forces has involved the development of indigenously designed weapons systems—some of which appeared to undergo a process of development, procurement, and/or deployment that outpaced the estimates of U.S. and other foreign observers. This paper specifically focuses on four key weapons platforms that have been discussed as 'surprise' developments to U.S. analysts." (From U.S.‐China Economic and Security Review Commission)

  3. Dobbins, James and others.
    What's the Potential for Conflict with China, and How Can It Be Avoided?
    RAND, April 17, 2012, 2 pages.
    "Over the next 20 years, China's gross domestic product and defense budget could exceed those of the United States, making it a true peer competitor. Despite this potential, China’s security interests and military capabilities will remain focused on its immediate periphery. China does not appear interested in matching U.S. military expenditures, achieving a comparable global reach, or assuming defense commitments beyond its immediate sphere. As a result, armed conflict between the United States and China is unlikely." (From RAND)

  4. Douglas, Walter.
    Public Diplomacy for a New Era.
    Center for Strategic and International Studies, April 13, 2012, 2 pages.
    "You don't hear much about public diplomacy these days. Following September 11, however, strategic communications and messaging were all the rage. Americans asked themselves why some people in the Middle East would do such a thing. The sense was that if we could communicate to people in that wider region, we could overcome misunderstanding and prevent another attack on America." (From CSIS)

  5. Glaser, Bonnie S.
    Armed Clash in the South China Sea.
    Council on Foreign Relations, March 23, 2012, 9 pages.
    "Bonnie Glaser of the Center for Strategic and International Studies discusses the significant risk of conflict in the South China Sea and how the United States can prevent becoming involved in an armed clash." (From Council on Foreign Relations)

  6. Green, Michael J.
    Rethinking U.S. Military Presence in Asia and the Pacific Report.
    Center for Strategic and International Studies, April 13, 2012, 3 pages.
    "For the past six decades the U.S. military has enjoyed preeminence in the Western Pacific, but there are increasing questions about whether this advantageous position is sustainable given a combination of budget cuts, asymmetrical military threats, and local opposition to bases." (From CSIS)

  7. Ikegami, Masako.
    China-North Korea: Renewal of the "Blood Alliance."
    East-West Center, April 5, 2012, 2 pages.
    "Recently, the China-North Korea 'blood alliance,' a concept of allies that originated during the Korean War, has been renewed, and it is in China's interests that North Korea consolidates its 'absolute deterrence' capability to deter US forces in the region." (From the East-West Center)

  8. Kan, Shirley A.
    Guam: U.S. Defense Deployments.
    (CRS Report for Congress)
    Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, March 29, 2012, 23 pages.
    "Since 2000, the U.S. military has been building up forward-deployed forces on the westernmost U.S. territory of Guam to increase U.S. presence, deterrence, and power projection for potential responses to crises and disasters, counterterrorism, and contingencies in support of South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan, or elsewhere in Asia." (From CRS Report)

  9. Kassenova, Togzhan.
    Global Non-Proliferation and the Taiwan Dilemma.
    Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, March 22, 2012, 4 pages.
    "In the pursuit of nuclear security, Taiwan represents a special case for the international community, because its legal status as an ‘outsider’ prevents it from formally participating in the many global arrangements to prevent proliferation of WMD material and know-how." (From the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace)

  10. Manyin, Mark E. and others.
    Pivot to the Pacific? The Obama Administration's "Rebalancing" Toward Asia.
    (CRS Report for Congress)
    Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, March 28, 2012, 29 pages.
    "In the fall of 2011, the Obama Administration issued a series of announcements indicating that the United States would be expanding and intensifying its already significant role in the Asia-Pacific, particularly in the southern part of the region. The fundamental goal underpinning the shift is to devote more effort to influencing the development of the Asia-Pacific’s norms and rules, particularly as China emerges as an ever-more influential regional power." (From CRS Report)

  11. Romberg, Alan D.
    After the Taiwan Election: Planning for the Future.
    Stimson Center, March 30, 2012, 25 pages.
    "This essay focuses on the aftermath of and reactions to the election, both in Taiwan and the Mainland, including the challenges facing the second Ma administration, what new policies, if any, the DPP will adopt after its defeat, and the prospects for continued progress in cross-Strait relations." (From Stimson Center)


Category - Economics

  1. 2012 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers: Taiwan. 
    Office of the United States Trade Representative, April 2, 2012, 7 pages.
    "The U.S. goods trade deficit with Taiwan was $10.1 billion as of August 2011, up $3.6 billion from the same period in 2010. U.S. goods exports in January 2011 to August 2011 were $17.8 billion, up 9.2 percent from the previous year." (From USTR)

  2. Cline, William R.
    Projecting China's Current Account Surplus.
    Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics, April 17, 2012, 12 pages.
    "For several years China has run current account surpluses that have been widely seen as the most serious source of global imbalances on the surplus side. Its exchange rate intervention limited appreciation of the currency and led to a buildup of external reserves to more than $3 trillion." (From Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics)

  3. Cooper, William H. and others.
    The U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA): Provisions and Implications.
    (CRS Report for Congress)
    Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, March 19, 2012, 54 pages.
    "The KORUS FTA is the second-largest U.S. FTA (next to NAFTA). South Korea is the seventh-largest trading partner of the United States, and the United States is South Korea's third-largest trading partner. The KORUS FTA covers a wide range of trade and investment issues and, therefore, could have substantial economic implications for both the United States and South Korea." (From CRS Report)

  4. Isaacson, Walter.
    "The Real Leadership Lessons of Steve Job."
    Harvard Business Review, April 2012, pp. 92-102.
    "Six months after Job's death, the author of his best-selling biography identifies the practices that every CEO can try to emulate." (From Harvard Business Review)

  5. Scissors, Derek.
    Chinese Commercial Espionage: U.S. Policy Recommendations.
    The Heritage Foundation, April 9, 2012, 3 pages.
    "Sino–American economic conflicts are often characterized as “bad but improving.” For example, the trade deficit is ugly, but exports to China are rising, protection of intellectual property is said to be slowly expanding, and so on. There is an important matter, however, where the situation is bad and the case that it is getting better is very thin: commercial espionage." (From the Heritage Foundation)

Category - Politics

  1. Coleman, Kevin J. and others.
    Contemporary Developments in Presidential Elections.
    (CRS Report for Congress)
    Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, March 26, 2012, 51 pages.
    "This report considers contemporary developments in presidential elections. It emphasizes three topics chosen for their recurring importance and notable recent developments: (1) nominating procedures; (2) campaign finance; and (3) the electoral college. The report highlights significant developments in these areas, particularly for the 2008 and 2012 elections. It also provides background information about the presidential election process in general." (From CRS Report)

  2. Mitchell, Amy and Tom Rosenstiel.
    Overview from State of the News Media 2012.
    (New Devices, Platforms Spur More News Consumption)
    Pew Research Center, March 19, 2012, 4 pages.
    "The annual State of the News Media report is a comprehensive analysis of the health of journalism in America, which includes detailed analysis of eight different media sectors as well as an overview that identifies key trends and key findings of the essential statistics about news in the last year." (From the Pew Research Center)

  3. Romey, Mitt.
    "Toward More Jobs, Less Debt, Smaller Government."
    Vital Speeches of the Day
    , April 2012, pp. 112-114.
    "A 20% income tax reduction … a 25% corporate tax cut … and a permanent R&D tax credit" (From Vital Speeches of the Day)

  4. Singh, J. P.
    Communication Technologies: Five Myths and Five Lessons from History.
    The Brookings Institution, March 2012, 19 pages.
    "What lessons can policymakers learn from the last 60 years of deploying communication technologies for development? Looking beyond the growth rate numbers suggests processes that either need to be continued or encouraged, but also fine-tuned at micro levels to address demands." (From the Brookings Institution)


    Category - Global Issues

  1. 2012 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report: Taiwan.
    U.S. Department of State, March 7, 2012, 8 pages.
    "Taiwan is not a major transit/transshipment point for illegal drugs destined for the United States or other countries; however, illegal drugs continue to transit Taiwan. Taiwan's proximity to China, long coastline, large container port in Kaohsiung, and significant fishing fleet are important facilitating factors in Taiwan's use as a transit/transshipment point for illegal drugs destined for international markets." (From U.S. Department of State)

  2. Alessi, Christopher and Stephanie Hanson.
    Combating Maritime Piracy.
    Council on Foreign Relations, March 23, 2012, 6 pages.
    "A surge in pirate attacks off the Somali coast in recent years has prompted the deployment of an international coalition of navies. But experts say that military force alone cannot address the underlying issue of failed Somali governance." (From Council on Foreign Relations)

  3. Smith, Aaron.
    The Future of Money in a Mobile Age.
    Pew Research Center, April 17, 2012, 35 pages.
    "Within the next decade, smart-device swiping will have gained mainstream acceptance as a method of payment and could largely replace cash and credit cards for most online and in-store purchases by smartphone and tablet owners, according to a new survey of technology experts and stakeholders." (From the Pew Research Center)

  4. Snyder, Scott A.
    North Korea's Missiles, Nukes, and False Promises: How to Respond?
    Council on Foreign Relations, April 18, 2012, 7 pages.
    "In his testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Scott Snyder argues that the United States should redouble its efforts to shape North Korea's strategic environment rather than try to identify the right combination of carrots and sticks to be used in a negotiation with Pyongyang." (From Council on Foreign Relations)


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