East Asia, comprising China, Taiwan, Japan, Mongolia, and North and South Korea, is a region that has historically been of critical interest to the United States. In particular, China's growing economic, military, and diplomatic power in the region and North Korea's nuclear ambitions have long been a focus of U.S. foreign policy and of RAND research.

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    The RAND Center for Asia Pacific Policy

    Feb 8, 2010

    The RAND Center for Asia Pacific Policy improves policy by providing decisionmakers and the public with rigorous, objective, cutting-edge research on critical policy challenges facing Asia and U.S.-Asia relations.

Explore East Asia

  • A U.S. Air Force B-52 carries the X-51 Hypersonic Vehicle for a launch test from Edwards AFB, California, May 1, 2013


    The Future of Hypersonic Weapons

    Russia and China appear to be developing hypersonic weapons. But the United States should make decisions about whether to develop its own hypersonic weapons in a vacuum.

    Oct 20, 2016

  • Report

    Assessing the Training and Operational Proficiency of China's Aerospace Forces: Selections from the Inaugural Conference of the China Aerospace Studies Institute (CASI)

    This volume contains revised versions of three presentations on Chinese aerospace training and operational competence issues from a June 2015 China Aerospace Studies Institute (CASI) conference.

    Oct 20, 2016

  • Journal Article

    China's Medical Savings Accounts: An Analysis of the Price Elasticity of Demand for Health Care

    This study, based on data from a medical savings account pilot program in China, suggests that growth of MSAs in the US might contribute to cost control by reducing demand for medical care.

    Oct 18, 2016

  • Pilots of China's J-10 fighter jet from a PLAAF Aerobatics Team prepare before a media demonstration at the Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, November 24, 2015


    China's Air Force Is Fixing Its Shortcomings

    The prevailing view among Western observers is that Chinese fighter pilots lack the tactical mindset to engage and prevail in a dynamic, unscripted combat environment. But the PLAAF appears to have undertaken major reform in how it trains its pilots.

    Oct 14, 2016

  • News Release

    U.S. Military Facing Challenges as Other Nations Improve Abilities to Deny Access to Territory

    A United States military strategy based primarily on an ability to deploy troops anywhere it feels necessary will face heightened costs and risks in critical regions by 2025, owing to other nations' improved abilities to deny the U.S. access.

    Oct 12, 2016

  • Supply sergeants for the 2nd Cavalry Regiment's field artillery troop defend a hilltop as a 16th Sustainment Brigade logistics supply column passes by during exercise Saber Junction 15


    As Anti-Access and Area Denial Capabilities Grow, U.S. Needs New Strategy

    A U.S. military strategy based primarily on an ability to deploy troops anywhere deemed necessary will face greater costs and risks in critical regions by 2025. Why? Other nations will get better at denying access. The United States should embrace a multipronged strategy to prevent aggression.

    Oct 12, 2016

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    Election 2016: The International Issues

    America's next president will face challenges that test the fundamentals of world order. RAND experts have outlined key decisions, the dangers involved, and the least-bad options that now often pass for good ones.

    Oct 7, 2016

  • The White House Situation Room in the basement of the West Wing of the White House is seen during a tour in Washington, DC, May 18, 2007


    National Security Primers for the Next Administration

    The next U.S. administration will face security threats from China, Russia, ISIL, North Korea, and cyberspace. How can officials turn these challenges into opportunities?

    Oct 6, 2016

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    Conversations at RAND: Howard J. Shatz on the International Economy

    One of the contentious issues in this year's presidential election campaign is the U.S. role in the global economy. A RAND panel offers strategies for the next president, who will face a troubled landscape.

    Oct 5, 2016

  • Young Chinese faithful shelter from the sun as Pope Francis leads the Angelus prayer in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican, May 22, 2016


    Taiwan Should Not Worry About the Vatican

    Concerns are growing in Taipei over whether the Holy See intends to switch its diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China. Beijing could be entertaining Vatican requests not out of genuine interest in reestablishing relations, but to put Taiwan on edge.

    Oct 5, 2016

  • An image of the China Scorecard, a ranking of U.S. and Chinese military capabilities


    America and China: Rivalry and Partnership

    Under President Xi Jinping, China is modernizing its military and growing more assertive both regionally and globally. But while Chinese leaders will not shy away from confrontation with the United States or its regional neighbors, they also believe that to maintain stability and prosperity, they have no choice but to get along with the United States. Thus, the United States faces an acute strategic dilemma: a U.S.-China relationship characterized by a complex mix of competition and cooperation & and plagued by mutual suspicion and distrust. For example, how should the nation react to Chinese maritime territorial claims? Over-reaction risks escalation while under-reaction risks emboldening China, which could mistake U.S. moderation for weakness or declining commitment to the Asia-Pacific.

    Sep 30, 2016

  • U.S. Amb. Samantha Power, South Korean Amb. Hahn Choong-hee, and Japanese Amb. Koro Bessho after the UN Security Council meeting to discuss the latest missile launches by North Korea, New York, September 6, 2016


    On Northeast Asia

    China has been a major proponent of regional security for Northeast Asia but appears disinterested in Republic of Korea (ROK) security against North Korean missile and nuclear weapon threats.

    Sep 23, 2016

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    PLA Reforms and Their Ramifications

    The newest round of reforms to the People's Liberation Army (PLA) is expected to improve the military's efficiency, warfighting capability, and political loyalty, but entrenched interests within the PLA could lead to reluctance within the military to adjust to new realities.

    Sep 23, 2016

  • Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen waves during her inauguration ceremony in Taipei, Taiwan, May 20, 2016


    A Bumpy Road Ahead for China-Taiwan Relations

    Taiwanese President Tsai has issued numerous political overtures to Beijing, yet Chinese President Xi has demonstrated a clear reluctance to accept her as a credible partner. Instead, he has turned up the heat on Tsai in an attempt to undermine her administration.

    Sep 22, 2016

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    From Theory to Practice: People's Liberation Army Air Force Aviation Training at the Operational Unit

    This report seeks to assess People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) pilot proficiency by examining training held at operational aviation units in the context of the larger PLAAF training system.

    Sep 20, 2016

  • A Chinese Coast Guard vessel is pictured on the disputed Second Thomas Shoal, part of the Spratly Islands, in the South China Sea, March 29, 2014


    The Crucial South China Sea Ruling No One Is Talking About

    The PCA found in July that China's coast guard had breached several UNCLOS articles governing safety and navigation at sea. Hopefully, this will help build a legal case that abiding by basic maritime safety principles is in the interest of all countries, including China.

    Sep 16, 2016

  • Estimating North Korea's Nuclear Range


    A Nuclear North Korea

    North Korea (or the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, DPRK) appears to be rapidly building a significant nuclear arsenal and the means to deliver those weapons. The DPRK can already deliver nuclear weapons by aircraft or ship and perhaps by theater ballistic missiles; it is now testing nuclear-capable missiles that could threaten targets across the Pacific Ocean, including the continental United States.

    Sep 15, 2016

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un waves during a parade at Kim Il-Sung Square in Pyongyang, July 27, 2013


    What to Look for in North Korea's Fifth Nuclear Test

    North Korea's fifth and biggest nuclear test could have implications for U.S. policy toward the North, China's role in the region, and the stability of the Kim regime.

    Sep 9, 2016

  • Chinese HQ-9 launcher during China's 60th anniversary parade in 2009


    How Do Chinese Surface-to-Air Missile Forces Train?

    Surface-to-air missile (SAM) forces play a crucial role in Chinese military planning. Recent training activity indicates that PLAAF SAM units' operational readiness and capabilities may vary depending on their location and the time of year.

    Sep 6, 2016

  • People's Liberation Army soldiers take part in a search and rescue exercise near Qilian Yu subgroup in the Paracel Islands, known in China as Xisha Islands, South China Sea, July 14, 2016


    China's Military Reorganization Aims to Tighten Party Control and Strengthen Warfighting Capabilities

    Xi Jinping's sweeping reforms could result in a leaner, more combat-effective PLA that presents a more potent challenge to China's neighbors and to U.S. interests in the region. But even successful reforms will not guarantee victory on the battlefield, and any hypothetical conflict involving the U.S. would carry tremendous risks.

    Sep 6, 2016

  • Topic Synonyms:
  • Asia