East Asia


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

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Beijing, China, March 21, 2017, photo by Etienne Oliveau/POOL New/Reuters


    China Is Burning All Its Bridges with Israel

    Over the last three decades, China and Israel developed close economic, technological, security, and diplomatic ties. Beijing's surprising response to Hamas' attacks and to Israel's reprisal campaign have completely changed the picture.

    May 15, 2024

  • An image taken from the International Space Station shows orange swaths of airglow hovering in Earth’s atmosphere, photo by NASA


    Promoting Stability in Outer Space

    As the United States and its chief rivals, China and Russia, build capabilities in outer space, what can be done to mitigate the risk of unintended military escalation in this increasingly important domain?

    May 8, 2024

  • Origami tank made from Euros, photo by hk_art/Getty Images


    Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution in Comparative Organizations: Volume 5, Additional Case Studies of Selected Allied and Partner Nations

    In this report — Volume 5 in a seven-volume set of case studies of planning, programming, budgeting, and execution functions — RAND researchers analyze the defense budgeting processes of France, Germany, Japan, Singapore, and Sweden.

    May 8, 2024

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong-un attends a military demonstration in North Korea, in this picture released by the Korean Central News Agency on March 16, 2024, photo by KCNA via Reuters


    Short-Term Gain for Long-Term Pain: Why a North Korea Deal Could Come at a High Price

    Kim Jong-un may be prepared to reduce his provocations and provide a more peaceful atmosphere on the Korean peninsula in exchange for what would be longer-term gains for Pyongyang. But is short-term peace worth making it possible for North Korea to establish a dominant position on the Korean peninsula in the coming years?

    May 2, 2024

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    China's People's Armed Forces Departments: Developments Under Xi Jinping

    Under Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping, the People's Armed Police Forces Departments (PAFD), or People's militias, have experienced a resurgence in activity.

    May 1, 2024

  • Map of East Asia with a magnifying glass highlighting North Korea and South Korea, photo by stuartbur/Getty Images


    Miyeon Oh Named RAND's New Korea Policy Chair

    Miyeon Oh, a defense researcher with deep expertise in Indo-Pacific geopolitical, economic, and security issues, has joined nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND as its Korea Policy Chair.

    Apr 29, 2024

  • U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (r.) meets with New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters at the Department of State in Washington, D.C., April 11, 2024, photo by Chuck Kennedy/U.S. State Department


    New Zealand Becomes the Latest Country to Pivot to the U.S.

    Wellington's strategic pivot is good news for Washington and its allies. But the United States should temper its expectations: New Zealand is likely to continue to preserve productive relations with China while it emphasizes the importance of stronger security ties with the United States.

    Apr 26, 2024

  • A CEC (China Electronics Corporation) sign is seen at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai, China, July 6, 2023, photo by Aly Song/Reuters


    Measuring China's Science and Technology Progress

    Timely insights are needed about science and technology developments that China could use to create new military capabilities. A framework to measure scientific progress can help determine what should warrant the attention of the U.S. Department of Defense.

    Apr 24, 2024

  • Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida addresses a joint meeting of Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., April 11, 2024, photo by Michael A. McCoy/Reuters


    Japan's Remarkable Call for American Leadership

    In early April, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida appeared before the U.S. Congress and told the United States to act like a global power. But Kishida's speech contained no censure or accusations. Just a plea from one of America's closest allies to come back and be the champion of the international order that it knows America can be.

    Apr 22, 2024

  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers inspect a package at the International Mail Facility at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, November 29, 2017, photo by Joshua Lott/Reuters


    China’s Role in Synthetic Opioid Trafficking

    There are several aspects of the fentanyl global supply chain that the United States can target to influence and disrupt China’s role: money laundering and cryptocurrency, internet and social media, and border security and non–border security law enforcement.

    Apr 16, 2024

  • U.S. Coast Guard boats patrol open seas in the Fifth Fleet area of operations, February 1, 2018, photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kevin J. Steinberg/U.S. Navy


    Persistent Gray Zone Aggression in the South China Sea Calls for Increased Coordination in Rule of Law

    By not providing consistent leadership on priority issues, and by allowing China to assert hegemony, the United States is losing its strategic influence in the Indo-Pacific. Establishing a Combined Maritime Forces focused on law enforcement as a soft power approach would provide a cohesive structure, improved partnerships, and a clear way to push back against Chinese gray-zone tactics and overt aggression.

    Apr 16, 2024

  • Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (R) and U.S. President Joe Biden shake hands at an arrival ceremony ahead of their summit meeting at the White House in Washington, D.C., April 10, 2024, photo by Kyodo via Reuters Connect


    Japan's Alliance with the U.S. Has Just Gone Global

    The most profound aspect of the recent U.S.-Japan summit was the underlying message: the U.S.-Japan alliance is now global. This is an alliance now focused on the public goods of global peace, stability, and prosperity, committed to jointly building a free and open international order.

    Apr 16, 2024

  • Undated file image of Russia Black Sea flagship Moskva , which sank on April 15, 2022 , photo by Russia Ministry of Defense/EyePress News via Reuters


    Can Studying Combat in the Black Sea Improve the Chinese Navy?

    Chinese military strategists have been watching the war in Ukraine closely, especially events in the Black Sea. Why would China be interested in uncovering the secrets of Ukraine's success against a much larger fleet?

    Apr 15, 2024

  • Taiwan map on a green digital background with yellow swirls and 1s and 0s, photo by Kreativorks/Getty Image


    How Would China Weaponize Disinformation Against Taiwan in a Cross-Strait Conflict?

    What might China's future disinformation operations against Taiwan focus on? And how can Taipei and its partners combat them? China would likely have at least five discrete audiences for disinformation operations with specific lines of effort and goals for each.

    Apr 15, 2024

  • China's Qinling Base in Antarctica, February 7, 2024 , <a href=


    What Are China's Long-Term Antarctic Ambitions?

    The recent opening of China's Qinling base, its third permanent Antarctic station, has worried some Australian and American observers. What are China's long-term ambitions? And how should Australia and its allies and partners respond?

    Apr 11, 2024

  • Map or Russia and Eurasia, photo by pop_jop/Getty Images


    Samuel Charap Named Inaugural Distinguished Chair in Russia and Eurasia Policy at RAND

    Samuel Charap, a senior political scientist at RAND, will serve as the inaugural Distinguished Chair in Russia and Eurasia Policy at the nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization. The Distinguished Chair in Russia and Eurasia Policy will further enhance RAND's analysis of the region and of the impact of Moscow's actions on the larger geopolitical landscape.

    Apr 11, 2024

  • Flags of the United States and China flutter outside the building of an American company in Beijing, China, January 21, 2021, photo by Tingshu Wang/Reuters


    Success and Failure of Great Powers in Long-Term Rivalries

    What does success or failure in a rivalry look like, and what varieties of success can great powers aspire to? Historical examples of strategic success and failure in great-power rivalries offer lessons for the United States and its rivalry with China.

    Apr 10, 2024

  • U.S. President Joe Biden welcomes Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and his wife Kishida Yuko at the White House in Washington, D.C., April 10, 2024. photo by Annabelle Gordon/Sipa USA/Reuters


    America's Best Friend in Asia

    Many describe NATO as the United States' indispensable alliance—and it remains a top priority. But with a growing slate of traditional and nontraditional security issues, many of which center on China, the United States' new go-to ally is Japan.

    Apr 10, 2024

  • North Korea launches what it says is a new mid- to long-range solid-fuel hypersonic missile, at an unknown location in North Korea, April 2, 2024, photo by KCNA via Reuters


    Did North Korea Really Test a Hypersonic Missile?

    North Korea is working toward the deployment of hypersonic missiles that it claims could render South Korean and U.S. missile defenses useless. Still, its claims of a successful test this month appear greatly exaggerated.

    Apr 9, 2024

  • NATO military personnel test an unmanned surface vehicle during exercise Baltic Operations 2023 in the Baltic Sea, June 23, 2023, photo by Jan Eenling/U.S. Navy


    What Chinese Navy Planners Are Learning from Ukraine's Use of Unmanned Surface Vessels

    The continued success of Ukrainian unmanned surface vessel (USV) attacks on Russian naval facilities and warships has kept USVs in the defense analytical spotlight and naval analysts around the world, particularly those in China, are taking note.

    Apr 4, 2024