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.

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    Content

    The RAND Center for Asia Pacific Policy

    Mar 14, 2018

    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.

  • South Korean soldiers coordinate fires during a joint artillery exercise with U.S. soldiers near the Demilitarized Zone that separates North and South Korea, May 10, 2016, photo by Staff Sgt. Keith Anderson/U.S. Army

    Report

    The State of Deterrence in Korea and the Taiwan Strait

    Apr 19, 2021

    The United States and South Korea have a robust military presence on the Korean Peninsula that, at a minimum, would make any effort by North Korea to reunify the nations by force extremely costly. In contrast, the state of U.S. deterrence with regard to Chinese aggression against Taiwan is mixed.

Explore East Asia

  • Blog

    Keeping Russians Informed, No-Fly Zone Policy, Telehealth: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on how to ensure Russians have access to accurate news about the war in Ukraine, strategic considerations for keeping a no-fly zone option on the table, treating pain conditions among U.S. service members, and more.

    Mar 18, 2022

  • Taiwanese soldiers walk down a street in this undated photo posted to Twitter on March 11, 2022 by Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, photo courtesy of the Office of the President of Taiwan

    Commentary

    What the Invasion of Ukraine Might Teach Us About a Potential Taiwan Crisis

    Chinese leaders are learning from the conflict in Ukraine, not just by observing Russia's actions, but also the West's response. By also learning from the conflict, the United States, Taiwan, and other like-minded partners can help ensure that Beijing comes away from the current crisis with a greater appreciation of the risks that attacking Taiwan would entail.

    Mar 17, 2022

  • File photo of Yoon Suk-yeol, who was elected president of South Korea on March 9, 2022, photo by EyePress News/Reuters

    Commentary

    Will South Korea's New President Reshape Regional Dynamics?

    Yoon Suk-yeol has been elected president of South Korea. With a tall order to fill at home and abroad, the Yoon administration has the potential to reshape South Korea's future and relationships in the region. The path that he carves for Seoul in the coming weeks and months will be watched with keen interest marked by hopes and apprehension by his neighbors.

    Mar 15, 2022

  • Private security company owner Wang Haichun takes part in a training session with his employees in Hangzhou, China, March 6, 2018, photo by Tu meifei/Reuters

    Commentary

    China's Security Contractors Have Avoided the Fate of Russia's Military Contractors, So Far

    China's approach to private security contractors is much more limited in scope and effects than Russia's use of private military contractors. But indicators suggest that Chinese planners see benefits in expanding and maturing China's use of private contractors, which creates the potential for dangerous results for China and the rest of the world.

    Mar 11, 2022

  • South Korean President-elect Yoon Seok-yeol is congratulated by party members and lawmakers at the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, March 10, 2022, photo by Lee Jin-man/Pool via Reuters

    Commentary

    What the Media Might Have Missed About South Korea's Elections

    The toxicity of the anti-feminist discourse in South Korea does not accurately reflect the gender-related tensions and problems that most Koreans currently face. The obstacles to improving gender equity are more mundane and more ubiquitous than the hyperbole of anti-feminism suggests.

    Mar 10, 2022

  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, India, December 6, 2021, photo by Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times/Sipa USA via Reuters

    Commentary

    Russia Looks Less and Less Like India's Friend

    India has strong ties with Russia dating back to the Cold War. But the geostrategic winds have shifted significantly in recent years, suggesting that India might want to reconsider the benefits of close Russia ties.

    Mar 4, 2022

  • Red world map with areas circled, illustration by traffic_analyzer/Getty Images

    Report

    Competition and Restraint in Cyberspace

    Recent years have seen a mounting concern in the United States over foreign efforts to harm election security or legitimacy through cyber means, an increase in cyber espionage, and attacks of growing sophistication. How could international norms help constrain such destabilizing behavior in cyberspace?

    Mar 4, 2022

  • The Ronald Reagan Strike Group ships conduct an exercise with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ships in the South China Sea, August 31, 2018

    Report

    Japan’s Possible Acquisition of Long-Range Land-Attack Missiles and the Implications for the U.S.-Japan Alliance

    The security environment in Northeast Asia is rapidly worsening. How is this situation affecting the debate in Japan over how to deter Chinese coercion? And what role might the U.S.-Japan alliance might play? To better understand these, RAND organized a virtual conference to discuss.

    Mar 1, 2022

  • Blog

    Responding to Russia, Sex Trafficking, Anti-Bias Education: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the false choice between responding to Russia or deterring China, how substance use and sex trafficking are connected, providing anti-bias education in U.S. schools, and more.

    Feb 25, 2022

  • A Chinese H-6 bomber flies over East China Sea, photo by Japan Air Self-Defence Force released by the Joint Staff Office of the Defense Ministry of Japan, July 23, 2019/handout via Reuters

    Commentary

    Why China Is Intensifying Its Military Flights Against Taiwan

    On January 23, China repeated its familiar pattern of sending warplanes into Taiwan's airspace. This activity, which has continued in February, rarely has a clear single driver. Instead, there are several factors that should always be considered.

    Feb 21, 2022

  • Russian President Putin appears on a screen at the White House briefing room, signing documents recognizing separatist areas of Ukraine as independent, in Washington, D.C., February 21, 2022, photo by Joshua Roberts/Reuters

    Commentary

    The False Choice Between China and Russia

    Some China hawks have argued that any U.S. response to Russia would detract from America's ability to deter China. But it's a mistake to think of China and Russia as independent problems.

    Feb 21, 2022

  • Blog

    Refugees, Women's Health Research, Supporting Incarcerated Parents: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the humanitarian fallout from a Russian invasion of Ukraine, investing in women’s health research, supporting incarcerated parents, and more.

    Feb 18, 2022

  • The Argentine Antarctic Robotic Observatory, from where the polar night will be used to study exoplanets and other celestial bodies, February 16, 2022, photo by ULAN/Pool/Latin America News Agency via Reuters

    Commentary

    Not So Quiet on the Southern Front

    Australia faces stiff geopolitical competition in Antarctica, and it's not just China and Russia with eyes on the prize. If the Antarctic becomes a hub of geopolitical tension, Australia may need to revise its strategy.

    Feb 17, 2022

  • Blog

    Problems in U.S. Schools, Conflict with Russia, Opioid Trafficking: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on what America's school district leaders are worried about, how to break the cycle of conflict with Russia, a new report on synthetic opioid trafficking, and more.

    Feb 11, 2022

  • Report

    Report

    Assessing Systemic Strengths and Vulnerabilities of China's Defense Industrial Base: With a Repeatable Methodology for Other Countries

    The authors assess the strengths and vulnerabilities of China's defense industrial base (DIB) by designing and applying a comparative analytic structure that could be used to assess any country's DIB.

    Feb 11, 2022

  • W01DN9 Chinese technicians monitor the precision, robotic welding of aviation and industrial materials at the Atlantic Welding Industry Park in Zigong, Sichuan Province, China, on November 20, 2017, photo by UPI/Alamy Stock Photo

    Research Brief

    Assessing China's Defense Industrial Base

    What are the systemic strengths and vulnerabilities of China's defense industrial base? A comparative systems analysis looks at six key categories: economics; governance and regulations; raw materials; manufacturing; workforce, labor, and skills; and research, development, and innovation.

    Feb 11, 2022

  • Radio antennas on the mountains of Angeles National Forest overlooking Los Angeles County, California, photo by Sundry Photography/Getty Images

    Commentary

    How China Plays by Different Rules—at Everyone Else's Expense

    A single Chinese state-run firm has secured a controlling interest in at least 33 radio stations in 14 countries. But there is virtually no opportunity for foreign ownership, input, or influence in the Chinese media marketplace. This inequity presents U.S. leaders with an opportunity: Unless China opens its media marketplace to foreign investment and ownership, its firms should be forced to divest their American holdings.

    Feb 7, 2022

  • India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the 76th Session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York City, U.S., September 25, 2021, photo by Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

    Commentary

    Modi's Foreign-Policy Juggling Act

    India lives in a difficult neighborhood, and there are no easy, straightforward solutions. But thus far—and especially under Modi—India has managed its foreign-policy challenges with remarkable effectiveness. With new partners and by making some tough decisions, there is a very good chance that it will continue to do so.

    Feb 7, 2022

  • Pattern featuring the flags of the United States, Russia, and China, image by Getty Images/RAND Corporation

    Report

    Crossroads of Competition: China, Russia, and the United States in the Middle East

    This report details the political, economic, and military interests and activities of China and Russia in the Middle East and identifies where those efforts contest, intersect, or complement U.S. interests and activities.

    Feb 2, 2022

  • Report

    Report

    An Assessment of the U.S. and Chinese Industrial Bases in Quantum Technology

    This report presents a flexible and repeatable set of metrics for assessing a nation's industrial base in quantum technology, and applies those metrics to the U.S. and Chinese quantum industrial bases.

    Feb 2, 2022

  • Topic Synonyms:
  • Asia