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FOCUS February-March 2015

Category - Official Text

  1. 美國在台協會處長馬啟思「傳承與蛻變:臺美關係1979-2014展」開幕典禮致詞稿。 Click to read the full-text
    Remarks by AIT Director Christopher J. Marut at Opening of "Tradition and Transformation Tradition and Transformation:  U.S.-Taiwan Relations, 1979-2014."
    Click to read the full-text
    OT-1501, January 13, 2015, 2 pages.
    "The Taiwan Relations Act continues to underpin the relationship between the people of the United States and the people of Taiwan.  As Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Danny Russel said to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in April 2014, 'Taiwan has earned a respected place in the world.  Thanks to the Taiwan Relations Act, over the past 35 years, the United States and Taiwan have enjoyed a firm foundation of friendship that we continue to build today.'" (From AIT)
  2. Remarks by AIT Director Christopher J. Marut, "17th International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases in the Pacific Rim: Emerging Viral Diseases: Recovery and Control." Click to read the full-text
    OT-1502, January 26, 2015, 2 pages.
    "Over the years, as the program has evolved to address changing regional public health priorities, it has generated outstanding science and fostered the exchange of ideas and expertise on complex and urgent medical topics." (From AIT)

Category - International Relations

  1. Brown, David G. and Kevin Scott.
    Cross-Strait Relations on Hold. Click to read the full-text
    Center for Strategic and International Studies, January 14, 2015, 8 pages.
    "Campaigning for local elections in Taiwan delayed any progress toward resolving the deadlock in the Legislative Yuan over cross-strait issues. While emphasizing continuity in its peaceful development policy, Beijing is concerned over the Democratic Progressive Party's increasing prospects and consequently has laid down markers aimed at the party. " (From the CSIS)

  2. Green, Michael J. and others.
    Pivot 2.0. Click to read the full-text
    Center for Strategic and International Studies, January5, 2015, 17 pages.
    "Yet Asia policy remains largely bipartisan—perhaps the most bipartisan foreign policy issue in Washington. It is therefore critical—and practical—to ask that the White House and the Republican leadership in the Congress chart a common course on policy toward Asia for the next two years." (From the CSIS)

  3. O'Hanlon, Michael.
    A Six Point Plan to Solve the Senkaku Island Dispute. Click to read the full-text
    The National Interest, December 29, 2014, 3 pages.
    "Although Japan and China seem to have temporarily calmed their headline-making disputes over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islets, disagreement over sovereignty remains intense, and the pace of Chinese incursions into the immediate waters of the islands reportedly has not slowed." (From the National Interest)

  4. Southerland, Matthew and Kevin Rosier.
    Taiwan's 2014 Local Elections: Implications for Cross-Strait Relations.  Click to read the full-text
    U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, December 30, 2014,
    5 pages.
    "On November 29, 2014, Taiwan held a series of local elections for 11,130 positions, including mayors, county magistrates, city and county councilors, township chiefs, and village and borough chiefs. This staff report provides an overview of the election results and assesses their implications for cross-Strait relations from now until Taiwan's presidential election in 2016." (From the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission)
  5. Telhami, Shibley.
    American Public Attitudes Toward ISIS and Syria.  Click to read the full-text
    The Brookings Institution, January 8, 2015, 9 pages.
    "Although the fight against the Islamic State, or ISIS, found broad support in Congress and amongst a growing international coalition, questions remain about America's commitment to a mission to 'degrade and ultimately destroy' this terrorist organization, and about the efficacy of the current military strategy in stopping ISIS from seizing territory and massacring civilians. Nonresident Senior Fellow Shibley Telhami conducted a survey on American public attitudes toward the rise of the Islamic State and the U.S. campaign against the group in Syria and Iraq." (From the Brookings Institution)

Category - Economics

  1. Goodman, Matthew P.
    2014: A Pivotal Year for the Global Economic Order.   Click to read the full text
    Center for Strategic and International Studies, January 6, 2015, 2 pages.
    "Any review of the major international events of 2014 would certainly include Russia's annexation of Crimea, the rise of the Islamic State, and the Ebola outbreak. But the most epochal development of the year may turn out to be China's claim to a leading role in running the world economy. In founding several new international financial institutions and asserting its leadership on trade and investment in Asia, Beijing mounted the first serious challenge to the US-led global economic order established at Bretton Woods 70 years ago. There are questions about how trailblazing – or even sustainable – China's efforts are in substance, but the strategic ambition behind them is unmistakable, and Washington needs to be smarter in its response." (From the CSIS)

  2. Johnson, Simon.
    State of the U.S. Economy and Policies that Can Promote Job Creation and Economic Growth. Click to read the full text
    Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics, January 13, 2015,
    9 pages.
    "The pernicious effects of such crises are persistent, and the process of economic recovery is always difficult, particularly in countries where the financial sector suffers large losses relative to shareholder equity. Compared with almost all industrial countries, the United States has experienced a sustained and robust recovery. And relative even to emerging markets, the short-term prospects for growth in the United States now look strong." (From Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics)

Category - Politics 

  1. Obama, Barack.
    Remarks by the President in State of the Union Address.  Click to read the full text
    The White House, January 20, 2015, 10 pages.
    "We are 15 years into this new century.  Fifteen years that dawned with terror touching our shores; that unfolded with a new generation fighting two long and costly wars; that saw a vicious recession spread across our nation and the world.  It has been, and still is, a hard time for many." (From the White House)

  2. Davis, Christopher M.
    Secret Sessions of the House and Senate: Authority, Confidentiality, and Frequency. Click to read the full text
    Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, December 30, 2014, 6 pages.
    "Secret, or closed, sessions of the House and Senate exclude the press and the public. They may be held for matters deemed to require confidentiality and secrecy—such as national security, sensitive communications received from the President, and Senate deliberations during impeachment trials." (From CRS Report)

  3. Oakford, Patrick.
    The Changing Face of America's Electorate: Political Implications of Shifting Demographics. Click to read the full text
    Center for American Progress, January 6, 2015, 18 pages.
    "Since 2012, these demographic challenges have only grown more acute. As people of color become an ever larger share of states’ electorates, the political implications for both parties comes into even sharper focus: In 2016, to win the presidency—as well as many U.S. Senate races—candidates will need to secure substantial support from voters of color."  (From the Center for American Progress)

  4. Public's Policy Priorities Reflect Changing Conditions at Home and Abroad.  Click to read the full text
    Pew Research Center, January 15, 2015, 24 pages.
    "As views of the economy improve and terrorist threats persist, the public’s policy priorities have changed: For the first time in five years, as many Americans cite defending the U.S. against terrorism (76%) as a top policy priority  as say that about strengthening the nation’s economy (75%)." (From Pew Research Center)

  5. Shogan, Colleen J.
    The President's State of the Union Address: Tradition, Function, and Policy Implications. 
    Congressional Research Service, January 2, 2015, 15 pages.
    "The State of the Union address is a communication between the President and Congress in which the chief executive reports on the current conditions of the United States and provides policy proposals for the upcoming legislative year." (From CRS Report)

Category - Global Issues

  1. Herberg, Mikkal E.  
    "China's Search for Oil and Gas Security: Prospects and Implications." from China's Energy Crossroads: Forging a New Energy and Environmental BalanceClick to read the full text
    National Bureau of Asian Affairs, January 17, 2015, 8 pages.
    "This essay explores China's impact on global markets for oil and gas and highlights implications for policy and industry."  (From the National Bureau of Asian Affairs.)

  2. Kim, Sung.
    The North Korean Threat: Nuclear, Missiles and Cyber.  Click to read the full text
    U.S. State Department, January 13, 2015, 7 pages.
    "In recent weeks, Mr. Chairman, the American people and international community have been deeply troubled by the destructive and coercive cyber attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, and the subsequent threats of violence against American movie theaters and moviegoers. An extensive FBI investigation has concluded that this attack was conducted by the government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea." (From U.S. State Department)

Category - Innovation

  1. Basulto, Dominic.
    The Best Innovations of 2014.  Click to read the full text
    The Washington Post, December 22, 2014, 10 pages.
    "It was the year that we landed on a comet and launched a new era in NASA space exploration, turned to science to find a possible cure for Ebola, made robots and drones topics of everyday conversation and watched as Silicon Valley continued its rapid transition to the wearable computing revolution." (From the Washington Post)

  2. Doss, Henry.
    Why Big Business Fails At Innovation.  Click to read the full text
    Forbes, January 12, 2015, 3 pages.
    "Big businesses don't seem to be very innovative.  An informal glance around the big business landscape won't reveal much in the way of innovation beyond perhaps the routine adoption of a new technology, a bit of chasing the most current business model paradigm or acronym, or maybe rejiggering organizational charts here and there.   But, innovation?  Not so much." (From Forbes)


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