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U.S. Secretary of Defense Hagel to Visit China

U.S. Secretary of Defense Hagel to Visit China

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is scheduled to travel to China next week for the first time as Secretary of Defense. Prior to that, Hagel will first travel to Hawai‘i where he will meet with nine of the ten defense ministers from ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian …

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A Cold Wind Blows Across Asia

A Cold Wind Blows Across Asia

Relationship managers across Asia have a potently difficult year ahead as news reports continue to highlight actions and words that are anything but conducive to cooperation and understanding between regional states. When a former British ambassador to North Korea writes an op-ed in the Daily Telegraph titled “Are …

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Nuclear Weapons in Asia Predicted to Increase

Nuclear Weapons in Asia Predicted to Increase

Expect the number of nuclear weapons in Asia to increase over the short to medium term according the latest edition of Strategic Asia 2013-14, aptly titled Asia in the Second Nuclear Age. Nuclear states across the region are all looking to further develop or enhance their …

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Obama’s Missed Trip to Asia: Making Lemonade Out of Lemons

Obama’s Missed Trip to Asia: Making Lemonade Out of Lemons

There can be no denying the fact that U.S. President Barack Obama’s cancellation of his trip to Southeast Asia, October 6-12, where he was scheduled to attend to attend the APEC Economic Leaders meeting in Bali, Indonesia, then the East Asia Summit in Brunei, followed by …

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U.S. Diplomatic, Economic and Security Engagement with the Asia-Pacific Continues

U.S. Diplomatic, Economic and Security Engagement with the Asia-Pacific Continues

 
U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has just returned from his second visit to Asia, only two months after partaking in the Shangri La Dialogue back in June, and his second visit to Asia in six months since becoming secretary of defense. Acknowledging the immense human suffering and tragedy …

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United States and Vietnam Announce New Comprehensive Partnership

United States and Vietnam Announce New Comprehensive Partnership

President Barack Obama hosted Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang at the White House for the first bilateral meeting between the two leaders. Acknowledging the “extraordinarily complex history between the United States and Vietnam” President Obama and President Truong announced the establishment of a new Comprehensive Partnership between the …

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Obama-Xi: Staying Engaged

Obama-Xi: Staying Engaged

It’s been a busy week for the United States regarding engagement with Asia; President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping concluded a two-day meeting — or “summit” with a small “s” — at Sunnylands, the former Annenberg Estate in California. This came after the Shangri-La Dialogue in …

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President Thein Sein of Myanmar Comes to Washington, D.C.

President Thein Sein of Myanmar Comes to Washington, D.C.

President U Thein Sein of Myanmar visited Washington, D.C. last week and met with President Barack Obama in what was billed by many in the media as “an historic event,” taking into account that President Sein is the first president of Myanmar—also known as Burma—to come to the United States …

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Why Asia Matters for America

Why Asia Matters for America

Asia really does matter for America, and the East-West Center initiative Asia Matters for America / America Matters for Asia has the empirical data showing it. However, this initiative goes beyond just data, it is designed to be a credible resource for information, graphics, analysis and news on U.S.-Asia …

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North Korea: The Problem That Just Keeps on Giving

North Korea: The Problem That Just Keeps on Giving

 
At first glance, the temperature on the Korean Peninsula appears to be tense but stable, and at a time when the United States is successfully concluding an annual military exercise with South Korea. Last week the U.S. publicly announced that strategic bombers — B-52s capable of launching …

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Secretary Of State John Kerry: The Underrated Value of U.S. Foreign Assistance

Secretary Of State John Kerry: The Underrated Value of U.S. Foreign Assistance

 
Prior to his departure to Europe and the Middle East, Secretary of State John Kerry went to the University of Virginia to deliver his first public policy speech, which focused predominantly on explaining to his audience that U.S. foreign policy and assistance has a direct impact upon domestic …

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What Role for Europe in Asia?

What Role for Europe in Asia?

 
“In particular, I strongly believe that Europe should join the United States in increasing and deepening our defense engagement with the Asia-Pacific region.” These words are from outgoing U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta in his final overseas address to an audience at King’s College, London, delivered on …

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Remembering a Few Words from MLK on President Obama’s Inauguration Day

Remembering a Few Words from MLK on President Obama’s Inauguration Day

Not as cold, certainty not as crowded as four years ago, and definitely a great day for national celebration. Leading by example, the peaceful transfer—or continuation in this case—of political power on display for the entire world to watch, as U.S. President Barack Obama publicly retook his oath of office …

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Looking Beyond 2013 to 2030

Looking Beyond 2013 to 2030

“The present recalls past transition points —such as 1815, 1919, 1945, and 1989—when the path forward was not clear cut and the world faced the possibility of different global futures.” The recently published “Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds” report from the National Security Council does indeed make for …

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Future U.S.-China Relationship Managers

Future U.S.-China Relationship Managers

“Much of the future of the world in the 21st Century will depend on how well China and the United States sustain growth in our own economies, manage our relationship with one another, and together address challenges facing the global economy.” These words were spoken last week by Under Secretary …

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About the Author

Damien Tomkins
Damien Tomkins

Damien Tomkins works at the East-West Center office in Washington, D.C. on matters pertaining to the Asia-Pacific region. After traveling overland from Cape Town to Cairo in the 1990s he received a BA First Class Honours from the University of Wales in Anthropology and Religious Studies. He then lived and worked in China for two years teaching English with Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO). He subsequently received his MA degree in Asian international affairs from the School of International Service, American University. He enjoys working and learning about Asia and would like to further develop his career within the field of promoting a closer US-China relationship supported by mutual understanding and respect. The views expressed here are solely those of the author and not of any organization with which he is affiliated. Follow on Twitter: @tomkinsd

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