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FOCUS September 2014

Category - International Relations

  1. Facts on U.S. Engagement in Pacific. Click to read the full text
    IIP Digital, August 1, 2014, 8 pages.
    "The Pacific islands are steadfast friends and neighbors of the United States, and positive relations with the Pacific region are an enduring U.S. foreign policy priority. The United States shares the values and aspirations of its Pacific neighbors, and its ties to the Pacific island countries are deep and long-standing." (From IIP Digital)

  2. Kerry, John.
    U.S. Vision for Asia-Pacific Engagement. Click to read the full text
    U.S. Department of State, August 13, 2014, 16 pages.
    "I want to talk to you today about four specific opportunities: creating sustainable economic growth, powering a clean energy revolution, promoting regional cooperation, and empowering people." (From U.S. Department of State)

  3. Krasner, Stephen D.
    China Ascendant? Click to read the full text
    Hoover Institution, July 22, 2014, 3 pages.
    "Will the country's rise disrupt the international order the way Germany's did in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries? " (From the Hoover Institution)

  4. Lampton, David M.
    The US and China: Sliding from Engagement to Coercive Diplomacy. Click to read the full text
    Center for Strategic and International Studies, August 4, 2014,
    2 pages.
    "2010 is a year to remember in US-China relations. Since the second decade of the 21st century, the very strategic foundation of the relationship has undergone incremental erosion – five or so years later the cumulative result is serious." (From the CSIS)
 Category - Official Text
  1. 2013年國際宗教自由報告:台灣部分。Click to read the full text 
    Taiwan 2013 International Religious Freedom Report.
    Click to read the full text
    OT-1407, July 29, 2014, 5 pages.
    "The constitution and other laws and policies protect religious freedom and, in practice, the authorities generally respected religious freedom. Taiwan labor law, however, does not guarantee domestic service workers and caretakers a right to a day off, effectively making it difficult or impossible for such workers to attend religious services." (From AIT)

  2. 美國在台協會處長馬啟思高雄分處喬遷儀式致詞稿。Click to read the full text 
    Remarks by AIT Director Christopher J. Marut at Opening of New AIT Kaohsiung Branch.
    Click to read the full text
    Office Friday, August 8, 2014 China Steel Building, Kaohsiung.
    OT-1408, August 8, 2014, 4 pages.
    "Kaohsiung is a prosperous and resilient city, and AIT has always cherished being part of this vibrant community.  Today I am honored to join my colleagues to dedicate our new AIT Branch Office in this beautiful China Steel Building, which demonstrates our commitment to southern Taiwan." (From AIT)

Category - Economics & Trade

  1. Elwell, Craig K. and others.
    Bitcoin: Questions, Answers, and Analysis of Legal Issues.  Click to read the full text
    (CRS Report for Congress)
    Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, July 29, 2014, 21 pages.
    "Bitcoin offers users the advantages of lower transaction costs, increased privacy, and long term protection of loss of purchasing power from in flation. However, there are also a number of disadvantages that could hinder wider use. These include sizable volatility of the price of Bitcoins, uncertain security from theft and fraud, and a long term deflationary bias that encourages the hoarding of Bitcoins. " (From CRS Report)

  2. Fischer, Stanley.
    The Great Recession: Moving Ahead. Click to read the full text
    The Federal Reserve System, August 11, 2014, 20 pages.
    "The recession that began in the United States in December 2007 ended in June 2009. But the Great Recession is a near-worldwide phenomenon, with the consequences of which many advanced economies--among them Sweden--continue to struggle. Its depth and breadth appear to have changed the economic environment in many ways and to have left the road ahead unclear." (From the Federal Reserve System)

  3. Froman, Michael.
    Growing the Development Dividend: U.S. Trade Policy and Global Development in the 21st Century. Click to read the full text
    Office of the United States Trade Representative, July 29, 2014, 6 pages.
    "That's why, for the last 70 years, the United States has consciously opened up its market – even at times asymmetrically – to help war-torn countries rebuild and poor nations develop.  We have done this not only because it is consistent with our values, but also because we have an interest in the stability that comes with poverty alleviation and the new markets that come from the emergence of a global middle class." (From the USTR)

  4. Wilson, William T.
    Market Solutions Should Be Central to U.S.'s Taiwan Policy. Click to read the full text
    Heritage Foundation, August 1, 2014, 12 pages.
    "Largely locked out of the free trade agreements proliferating across Asia, Taiwan is quickly becoming ever more economically dependent on China. Taiwan has also grown dependent on China for its outward-bound foreign direct investment (FDI). Accession to regional economic agreements and economic liberalization would allow Taiwan to create a more diverse, flexible network of economic relationships and fully operationalize its economy’s comparative advantages." (From the Heritage Foundation)

Category - Politics 

  1. Bloomberg, Michael.
    "Not to Teach Students What to Think, But to Teach Students How to Think."
    Vital Speeches of the Day, August 2014, pp. 254-257.
    "Tolerance for other people's ideas and the freedom to express your own are inseparable values.  Joined, they form a sacred trust that holds the basis of our democratic society." (From Vital Speeches of the Day)

  2. Seghetti, Lisa and others.
    Unaccompanied Alien Children: An Overview. Click to read the full text
    (CRS Report for Congress)
    Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, July 28, 2014, 15 pages.
    "This report opens with an analysis of the data of the recent surge in UAC crossing the border. It then discusses current policy on the treatment, care, and custody of the population. The processing and treatment of UAC is detailed, with a discussion of each agency that is involved with the population. The report then discusses both Administrative and congressional action to deal with the current crisis." (From CRS Report)

  3. Department of Defense.
    Department of Defense Strategy for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction. Click to read the full text
    U.S. Department of Defense, June 2014, 19 pages.
    "The Department of Defense Strategy for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction seeks to ensure that the United States and its allies and partners are neither attacked nor coerced by actors with WMD.  It outlines three end states: no new WMD possession, no WMD use, and minimization of WMD effects.  The strategy also establishes countering WMD priority objectives for the Department of Defense (DoD), defines an approach for achieving them, and identifies essential activities and tasks." (From U.S. Department of Defense)

Category - Global Issues

  1. CdeBaca, Luis.
    Modern Day Slavery and What We Buy. Click to read the full text
    U.S. Department of State, July 24, 2014, 7 pages.
    "And it looks at the ongoing challenges of fighting human trafficking in about 190 countries and territories around the world. We've come a long way in our shared fight, and we saw and we're very happy with the fact that about 45,000 victims were identified by governments in the last year. But up again the International Labor Organization (ILO)'s most recent estimate – a conservative one – suggesting that there are over 21 million trafficking victims in the world; people held in servitude even as we speak. Clearly, we have a lot more work to do." (From U.S. Department of State)

  2. Freund, Caroline and Sarah Oliver.
    The Missing Women in the Inequality Discussion. Click to read the full text
    Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics, August 5, 2014, 3 pages.
    "A clear but often overlooked feature of this discussion is that the fantastic gains at the top of the distribution are almost entirely accruing to men. One reason it is overlooked is that income and wealth inequality are measured at the household level. But one person in the household typically earns and controls the money, and that person is almost always a man. The concentration of income and wealth in the hands of men should reinforce the call to undertake greater redistributive policies." (From the Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics)

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