East Asia

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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.

  • Commentary

    North Korea, Russia and China: The Developing Trilateral Imperialist Partnership

    There are no easy ways for the United States and its allies to counter the developing Russia-China–North Korea partnership. But there are options to consider and steps to take. There are also fissures in their relationships to exploit.

    Sep 13, 2023

  • Content

    The RAND Center for Asia Pacific Policy

    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.

    Mar 14, 2018

Explore East Asia

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    U.S.-China Collaboration on HIV/AIDS: Perspectives on Global Health Collaborations Amid Geopolitical Changes

    Social behavioral epidemiologist Dr. Jennifer Bouey explores collaborative public health efforts between the U.S. and China in combating HIV/AIDS, an effort that produced notable benefits both globally and synergistically for the partner states.

    Feb 28, 2024

  • A Russian Ka-52 “Alligator” attack helicopter flies near a church in Donetsk, Ukraine, February 27, 2023, photo by Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters

    Commentary

    China Looks to Ukraine War for Guidance on Attack Helicopters

    Chinese strategists continue to be quite fixated on Russian attack helicopter operations in Ukraine. Helicopters appear to be at the very heart of any Chinese strategy to conquer Taiwan, since they can provide both extensive air cover and firepower for amphibious forces coming ashore and provide transport capabilities to deliver forces further inland in a hypothetical Taiwan scenario.

    Feb 26, 2024

  • U.S President Joe Biden says goodbye to Chinese President Xi Jinping at the end of the APEC meeting in San Francisco, California, November 18, 2023, photo by EyePress News/Reuters

    Commentary

    Interdependence and Its Discontents: Why Would Nations with Incentives to Avoid It Go to War?

    It's tempting to think that interdependence between the United States and China has reached a level in which armed conflict between them is unthinkable. Unfortunately, history gives us little reason to be confident that peace is inevitable simply because the degree of interdependence is strong.

    Feb 23, 2024

  • A collage showing a Soviet nuclear ballistic missile in Red Square, Moscow; a Soviet ship using a water cannon against a Chinese fisherman on the Ussuri River, May 6, 1969; and a U.S. Navy F-14 Tomcat aircraft launching from the flight deck of the USS Independence, March 10, 1996, photos by CIA, China Photo Service/Dutch National Archives, and U.S. Navy

    Report

    Managing Escalation Between Nuclear-Armed Powers

    The return of great-power competition and the war in Ukraine have highlighted the stark risks of conflict with nuclear-armed rivals. What lessons can be learned from historical cases that could help identify adversary thresholds and manage escalation during a potential crisis?

    Feb 22, 2024

  • U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Palau's President Surangel Whipps Jr., Micronesia's President David Panuelo and Marshall Islands' President David Kabua at the State Department in Washington, D.C., photo by Sarah Silbiger/Pool/Reuters

    Commentary

    Gridlock Has Put U.S. Strategic Advantages in the Pacific at Risk

    The United States is on the verge of an enormous geostrategic blunder in the Indo-Pacific region. Congress has yet to pass funding promised last year under pacts with the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau. Given the island nations' economic needs, further dithering by Washington could leave them little choice but to deepen engagement with China.

    Feb 22, 2024

  • A retired military tank on the beach with China in the background in Kinmen, Taiwan, December 20, 2023, photo by Ann Wang/Reuters

    Commentary

    Scared Strait

    The foundations of the longstanding U.S. approach to Taiwan-China relations are crumbling in the face of growing Chinese military power and aggression. Washington can no longer rely on its existing policies in the hopes that what worked in the past will succeed in the future.

    Feb 22, 2024

  • Chinese Navy personnel wait to attend a welcoming ceremony for South Korea's guided missile frigate ROKS Gyeonggi at Qingdao Port for the 70th anniversary celebrations of the founding of the Chinese PLA Navy, in Qingdao, China, April 21, 2019, photo by Jason Lee/Reuters

    Commentary

    U.S. Military Theories of Victory for a Potential War with China

    In the case of a hypothetical U.S.-China conflict over Taiwan, how might the United States prevail while also avoiding catastrophic escalation of the war?

    Feb 21, 2024

  • Commentary

    Commentary

    The Era of Coast Guards: Combating Gray Zone Tactics Through an Indo-Pacific Combined Maritime Force of Law Enforcement Partners

    This paper describes how a combined maritime force of international coast guards and maritime law enforcement agencies under U.S. Coast Guard leadership might institute a shared vision focused on enforcing maritime law and international norms.

    Feb 20, 2024

  • After the Colonial Pipeline was shut down by hackers, consumers began panic buying gas, leading to empty pumps, Falls Church, Virginia, May 12, 2021, photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

    Commentary

    Threats to America's Critical Infrastructure Are Now a Terrifying Reality

    U.S. critical infrastructure has been under attack for the past two decades, with little in the way of meaningful response. What can policymakers and the public do to better address these threats?

    Feb 12, 2024

  • View of what appears to be a strategic cruise missile drill carried out by North Korea at an undisclosed location in North Korea, January 30, 2024, photo by KCNA via Reuters

    Commentary

    Dealing with North Korean Threats of War

    On January 10, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un abandoned decades of seeking peaceful Korean unification. He seems likely to escalate because of serious internal problems and because his Cold War approach of provocations has failed to achieve his external objectives. Has Kim really decided to go to war?

    Feb 12, 2024

  • A container ship passes an oil platform at the Gulf of Suez towards the Red Sea before entering the Suez Canal, outside of Cairo, Egypt September 1, 2020, photo by Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters

    Commentary

    Middle East–China Trade Prospects Remain Robust Despite Red Sea Crisis

    Disruptions to shipping through the Red Sea and Suez Canal are likely to have only modest effects on Chinese goods trade with most of the Middle East but could lead to significant costs for China's global trade.

    Feb 9, 2024

  • Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. and U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House in Washington, D.C., May 1, 2023, photo by Leah Millis/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Good and the Bad for Biden in Southeast Asia

    Since entering office in 2021, one of the Biden administration's foreign-policy priorities has been a more effective Indo-Pacific strategy to compete with China, especially in Southeast Asia. Three years on, the administration's policy has bright spots, but still lacks a clear strategy for the region.

    Feb 8, 2024

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    The End of China's Period of Strategic Opportunity: Limited Opportunities, More Dangers

    Anxious Chinese leaders have elevated national security as a priority and sought to manage various international and domestic risks.

    Feb 2, 2024

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    PLA Social Media Warfare and the Cognitive Domain

    The article explores how the Chinese military has come to recognize the important role of social media in modern conflict and peacetime operations through its discussions of "social media warfare."

    Feb 2, 2024

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Powering the PLA Abroad: How the Chinese Military Might Fuel Its Overseas Presence

    This article explores Chinese military thinking on the role of renewable energy for powering its overseas bases, focusing on the research of Zheng Chongwei, a Chinese military researcher.

    Feb 2, 2024

  • Glowing quantum beam weapon hit blue target, photo by sakkmesterke/Getty Images

    Testimony

    The Chinese Industrial Base and Military Deployment of Quantum Technology

    The United States and China are the leaders in quantum science and technology development. But since they focus on different applications, it is hard to assess which country is closer to military deployment. If Congress determines that quantum technology is a strategic priority, continued investment in research is paramount.

    Feb 1, 2024

  • Online profile icons with scattered icons in red, photo by DamnwellMedia/Getty Images

    Testimony

    China's Developing Use of Generative AI in Influence Operations

    There are many reasons to be concerned that China's military will use generative AI to enhance its influence operations to undermine the democratic process in the United States and around the world. What can U.S. policymakers do to counter China's social media manipulation and other IO efforts?

    Feb 1, 2024

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    The Autocrat's Predicament: The Political Peril of Economic Upgrade in Single-Party Authoritarian Regimes

    In their quest for national revival, China's leaders under Xi Jinping have sought to improve the economy's performance. The disappointing economic record of authoritarian regimes provides ample grounds for doubt, yet not all have failed. Why have some succeeded where most did not?

    Feb 1, 2024

  • Report

    Report

    Allied by Design: Defining a Path to Thoughtful Allied Space Power

    In this report, the authors evaluate the U.S. Department of Defense space enterprise and the interest, potential, and perspectives of six allies to recommend opportunities for a more effective approach to allied space power.

    Jan 30, 2024

  • Planet Earth with U.S. and allies' flags around it, design by Rick Penn-Kraus/RAND from photos by Getty Images

    Research Brief

    Charting a Path to Thoughtful Allied Space Power

    U.S. policy statements stress that close cooperation with allies is central to U.S. strategy, especially in space. But allies have grown increasingly vocal about a gap between what the United States says and what it does to make tangible progress toward allied space cooperation. How can that be improved?

    Jan 30, 2024