East Asia

Featured

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

  • Numerous square concrete blocks are stacked on top of each other underwater to create an artificial reef, photo by Placebo365/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Defending Taiwan with Artificial Reefs

    Deterring a Chinese invasion of Taiwan is arguably the most important defense problem of the next few decades. Artificial reefs could help to deter China simply by waiting to impale any potential invasion force.

    May 10, 2023

  • The aftermath of the U.S. Army Air Corps' bombing of Dresden during World War Two

    Report

    Alternative Futures Following a Great Power War: Volume 1, Scenarios, Findings, and Recommendations

    RAND researchers generated four plausible near-term great power war scenarios and assessed how they could shape the postwar strategic environment.

    May 9, 2023

  • Americans gather to read headlines about the German invasion of Poland that triggered World War II, September 1, 1939, photo by Everett Collection/Alamy

    Research Brief

    The Aftermath of a Great Power War

    A review of historical great power wars shows that prewar predictions about who would fight, how long the war would last, and how the world would look afterward were often wrong. It's important to understand what the outcomes of different conflicts could look like and how to better prepare for them.

    May 9, 2023

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Could Beijing Risk a Diversionary War Against Taiwan?

    The combination of a weakening strategic situation and an increasingly despotic regime has left Xi with few constraints on his power, leaving many to fear that he could risk military adventurism as a diversion from China's deteriorating situation.

    May 5, 2023

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Is China Planning to Attack Taiwan? A Careful Consideration of Available Evidence Says No

    Is China preparing to invade Taiwan within the next two decades? In the past year, fears that war could break out in the Taiwan Strait have grown palpable, owing in large part to the shock of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

    May 5, 2023

  • Two players playing wargame, photo by Alinsa/Adobe Stock

    Journal Article

    Wargames Can't Tell Us How to Deter a Chinese Attack on Taiwan — But Different Games Might

    Wargames that simulate combat between the United States and China near Taiwan can provide useful insight about potential military challenges.

    May 5, 2023

  • Report

    Report

    The Backbone of U.S. Joint Operations: Army Roles in the Indo-Pacific

    The authors of this report seek to provide an engaging and structured illustrated narrative to more clearly describe the U.S. Army's role throughout the Indo-Pacific region in the present day and into 2035.

    May 5, 2023

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Violence in Sudan, Alcohol Use, North Korea: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the violence in Sudan, preventing alcohol-related deaths, the North Korean nuclear threat, and more.

    Apr 28, 2023

  • Report

    Report

    Characterizing the Uncrewed Systems Industrial Base

    The Department of Defense has hypothesized that future demand for uncrewed systems (UxS) will strain the capacity of the defense industrial base (DIB). This report contains an analysis of UxS demand and recommendations on strengthening the DIB.

    Apr 26, 2023

  • A vintage political world map, image by dikobraziy/Getty Images

    Report

    Great-Power Competition Outside the Indo-Pacific and Europe

    The United States, China, and Russia are competing for influence in secondary theaters like Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East. Where and why could competition turn into conflict, and what form might that conflict take?

    Apr 25, 2023

  • China yuan banknote on China flags and U.S. dollar banknote on United States flags, photo by Dilok Klaisataporn/Getty Images

    Commentary

    A Civilian U.S. 'Joint Chiefs' for Economic Competition with China?

    China's aggressive activities are presenting a serious, sustained challenge to the international order. To position itself for this new era, the United States could create a civilian equivalent to the Joint Chiefs of Staff with a mandate to manage the expanding role of U.S. civilian departments in geopolitical and economic competition.

    Apr 24, 2023

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Environmental Justice, Mental Health Care, Insomnia: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on environmental justice, access to mental health care, why America should stick with Europe. and more.

    Apr 21, 2023

  • A screen grab from an undated video shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un inspecting what are said to be nuclear warheads at an undisclosed location, photo by KRT via Reuters

    Commentary

    How Kim's Fears Shape North Korea's Nuclear Agenda

    North Korea has ramped up the frequency and intensity of its provocations, continuing its nuclear weapon–buildup while threatening attacks against South Korea and the United States. Why is Kim Jong-un making such excessive investments in North Korea's nuclear and weapons programs and showing off its capabilities?

    Apr 19, 2023

  • Polish and American soldiers stand near their armored vehicles during NATO exercises at the military range in Bemowo Piskie, near Orzysz, Poland, May 24, 2022, photo by Kacper Pempel/Reuters

    Commentary

    Stick with Europe

    The United States' chief competitive advantage in the contest with China is its dominant global network of friends and allies. Now is the time to strengthen those coveted ties—in Europe and elsewhere.

    Apr 17, 2023

  • U.S., Australia and UK flags in front of the USS Asheville , a Los Angeles–class submarine, at HMAS Stirling, Western Australia, March 14, 2023, photo by AAPIMAGE via Reuters Connect

    Commentary

    Why China Should Worry About Asia's Reaction to AUKUS

    If most Indo-Pacific nations support AUKUS—or refuse to condemn it—then Beijing will have more geostrategic and military implications to worry about than AUKUS itself. As long as AUKUS continues to assuage nuclear-proliferation concerns, then the region will view it as a legitimate counter to Chinese military excesses.

    Apr 15, 2023

  • A staff member is congratulated as he steps out of China's home-grown C919 passenger jet after its maiden flight at the Pudong International Airport in Shanghai, China, May 5, 2017, photo by Aly Song/Reuters

    Testimony

    U.S.-China Aviation Competition

    The United States leads in aviation capability and technology. However, as of early 2023, China continues to close the gap. What should Congress take into account when considering how to maintain U.S. competitive advantages in aviation?

    Apr 13, 2023

  • The China's PLA's Rocket Force conducts conventional missile tests off the eastern coast of Taiwan in this handout released on August 4, 2022, photo by EyePress via Reuters

    Testimony

    The Chinese Acquisition Process

    Despite great progress over the past 30 years, the People’s Liberation Army research, development, and acquisition system is plagued by many inefficiencies. Based on publicly available research, what are some policy insights Congress can keep in mind as it considers Chinese and U.S. processes?

    Apr 13, 2023

  • A Chinese warship takes part in a military drill off the Chinese coast near Fuzhou, Fujian Province, across from the Taiwan-controlled Matsu Islands, China, April 11, 2023, photo by Thomas Peter/Reuters

    Commentary

    As China Ascends, Concerns Grow It Might Be Tempted into a 'Splendid Little War'

    When a nation newly ascends or returns to the status of a leading international power, it often feels the need to publicly demonstrate its rise through a brief, victorious war. Today, China's increasing strength may tempt it to pursue such a conflict, and not necessarily with Taiwan, if it anticipates that victory will be swift, decisive, and demonstrative.

    Apr 11, 2023

  • Service members of pro-Russian troops ride an armoured vehicle in the town of Popasna in the Luhansk Region, Ukraine, June 2, 2022, photo by Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters

    Journal Article

    How the Ukraine War Accelerates the Defense Strategy

    This piece explores the implications of the Defense Department's support for Ukraine on the National Defense Strategy, and support for Taiwan in particular.

    Apr 11, 2023

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Dementia and National Security, Finland Joins NATO, the Four-Day School Week: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the risk that dementia could pose to national security, Finland's NATO membership, the downside of a four-day school week, and more.

    Apr 7, 2023