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

  • Then–Prime Minister of Japan Yoshihide Suga attends a the Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM) at the Prime Minister's Office in Tokyo, Japan, July 2, 2021, photo by Masanori Genko/The Yomiuri Shimbun via Reuters Connect

    Commentary

    PALM10: Japan's Chance to Engage with Pacific Island Countries

    Next year, Japan will host the 10th triennial Pacific Island Leaders Meeting (PALM10), the “cornerstone” of Japan's diplomacy toward the Pacific Island countries. As China attempts to increase its influence in the region, Japan must marshal a strategic response that connects these states to its broader objectives in the Indo-Pacific.

    Dec 19, 2023

  • Photos by Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters, Carlos Barria/Reuters, Florence Lo/Reuters, skynesher/Getty Images, Ronen Zvulun/Reuters, Lucy Nicholson/Reuters, Geber86/Getty Images, image by Haley Okuley/RAND

    Commentary

    Looking Back on the Big Policy Stories of 2023

    As 2023 draws to a close, RAND president and CEO Jason Matheny highlights areas where RAND is tackling the most urgent and complex problems we face. Each is a small reminder that where there are thoughtful people working tirelessly to find solutions, there is hope.

    Dec 14, 2023

  • A soldier connects cables during a competition of signal corps in Jinan City, capital of eastern China's Shandong Province, September 21, 2011, photo by Imago/Alamy

    Report

    The People's Liberation Army's Approach to Maintenance Management

    Understanding the PLA's approach to maintenance management is essential for assessing its ability to sustain a modernized force. At the moment, the PLA is a maintenance force in transition.

    Dec 14, 2023

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    The Evolution of the Post-Quantum Cyber Environment

    This article examines the impacts quantum computing and international competition on technical standards will have on the security and safety of the future international cyber environment.

    Dec 11, 2023

  • An employee of the Chinese AI firm Megvii speaks during an organized media tour to the Zhongguancun National Innovation Demonstration Zone Exhibition Center in Beijing, China, February 10, 2022., photo by Florence Lo/Reuters

    Report

    China's AI Exports: Developing a Tool to Track Chinese Development Finance in the Global South — Technical Documentation

    This report is the technical documentation for a tool that tracks Chinese government–supported development finance projects that used or enabled artificial intelligence technology in the Global South between 2000 and 2017.

    Dec 11, 2023

  • A man looks at surveillance cameras displayed at Huawei's booth at the security exhibition in Shanghai, China, May 24, 2019, photo by Aly Song/Reuters

    Report

    China's AI Exports: Technology Distribution and Data Safety

    The authors analyze a new project finance dataset on China's development-funded artificial intelligence (AI) export projects — adding interview-based country case studies — to better understand China's AI exports and their impact on developing countries.

    Dec 11, 2023

  • Surveillance cameras are seen in front of a Huawei logo in Belgrade, Serbia, August 11, 2020, photo by Marko Djurica/Reuters

    Tool

    China's AI Exports Database (CAIED)

    The China AI Exports Database (CAIED) tracks Chinese government-supported development finance projects that utilized or enabled Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology in the Global South between 2000 and 2017.

    Dec 11, 2023

  • Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese, U.S. president Joe Biden, Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida, and Indian prime minister Narendra Modi at the Quad Leaders' Meeting in Tokyo, Japan, May 24, 2022, photo courtesy of the Official Website of the Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet

    Commentary

    America's Indo-Pacific Alliances Are Astonishingly Strong

    As 2023 draws to a close, U.S. alliances and partnerships in the Indo-Pacific are just about the deepest and most robust they have been in all their history. The United States will likely continue to bolster and expand its network to complicate and deter future actions that China and North Korea might take to threaten, undermine, or otherwise undo the Indo-Pacific order.

    Dec 8, 2023

  • U.S. President Joe Biden shakes hand with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Woodside, California, November 15, 2023, photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Nuclear Shadows of the Ukraine War as Seen Through a Chinese Lens

    China-U.S. relations are once again on an upward trajectory after the meeting between presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the APEC summit. But the good news should not obscure lingering bilateral tensions with respect to nuclear weapons.

    Dec 6, 2023

  • Technicians working at the construction site of the Chongqing section of the Baihetan-Jiangsu ultra-high-voltage UHV power transmission project over the Yangtze River in Chongqing, China, December 5, 2021, photo by IMAGO via Alamy

    Report

    China's Global Energy Interconnection Initiative

    China aims to build a worldwide power grid that addresses the growing demand for electricity while supporting the transition to net zero. Could the potential global security implications of a super grid governed by China outweigh its benefits?

    Dec 5, 2023

  • Chinese special forces commandos take part in a joint escort exercise during a military drill coded Peace and Friendship 2015, in the Malacca Strait, September 19, 2015, photo by Xinhua/Alamy

    Report

    Disrupting China's Military in Competition and Low-Intensity Conflict

    There are certain tasks required for China's military to execute key competition and low-intensity conflict missions. Those tasks have potential vulnerabilities that the United States could leverage to disrupt China's strategic goals and constrain its ability to harm U.S. interests.

    Dec 5, 2023

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong-un looks on as a rocket carrying what North Korea claims is spy satellite Malligyong-1 is launched in a location given as North Gyeongsang Province, North Korea, November 21, 2023, photo by KCNA/Reuters

    Commentary

    North Korea's Satellite Launch: Part of a Bigger Problem for Kim Jong-un?

    On November 21, North Korea made its third attempt of 2023 to launch a reconnaissance satellite despite this launch violating multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions and despite the urging of many other countries. It may well have been a desperate move by North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un.

    Dec 4, 2023

  • Report

    Report

    U.S.-Japan Alliance Conference: The U.S.-Japan Alliance in an Era of Strategic Competition

    These proceedings present insights that experts of Europe, Japan, Taiwan, and U.S. security policies presented at RAND Corporation–hosted virtual conferences that explored relevant issues on the U.S.-Japan alliance regarding strategic competition.

    Nov 29, 2023

  • The 23rd Space Operations Squadron, Det. 1 is located more than 700 miles north of the Arctic Circle, Photo by Airman Jonathan Whitely

    Testimony

    Enhancing Security in a Changing Arctic

    Security in the Arctic requires continuous effort to maintain, particularly in periods of transition—from climate change to demographic shifts to economic opportunities and risks to geopolitical dynamics. As an Arctic nation, it is the United States’ responsibility to take steps toward enhancing regional security.

    Nov 29, 2023

  • The coast of Alexandria, Egypt, photo by Natalia Pavlova/Adobe Stock

    Research Brief

    What Climate-Related Conflict Could Mean for U.S. Central Command

    Climate change will hit the Middle East and Central Asia especially hard, with effects on both personal well-being and regional stability. It will likely create increased demand for stabilization operations, non-combatant evacuation operations, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

    Nov 29, 2023

  • Travelers are rescued from a flash flood in the Judean desert

    Report

    Mischief, Malevolence, or Indifference? How Competitors and Adversaries Could Exploit Climate-Related Conflict in the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility

    This report presents an analysis of how U.S. competitors and adversaries — China, Russia, and Iran — could attempt to exploit climate-related conflict in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility in future decades.

    Nov 29, 2023

  • A pilot walks toward a lineup of F-16 Fighting Falcons before a flight at Clark Air Base, Philippines. Photo by Airman 1st Class Sebastian Romawac/Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs

    Research Brief

    How Could the United States Gain Greater Access to Asia During a Conflict?

    Ensuring access to the territories of Indo-Pacific allies and partners in the event of a future conflict with China is a critical concern. How are Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, and India likely to make access decisions? And can the United States influence their decisions?

    Nov 28, 2023

  • Report

    Report

    Improving Conflict-Phase Access: Identifying U.S. Policy Levers

    This report explores how U.S. allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific are likely to respond to military access requests in the event of a conflict with China and what policy levers the United States might use in peacetime to affect those responses.

    Nov 28, 2023

  • South Korea's President Yoon Suk-yeol (center) shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida as U.S. President Joe Biden looks on during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco, California, November 16, 2023, photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

    Commentary

    South Korea's Surprisingly Successful China Policy

    When South Korea's president, Yoon Suk-yeol, entered office last year, the odds rose that a frostier bilateral relationship with China might take hold. But for now, at least, Yoon and his government have successfully managed China, and perhaps offered a road map for how others can too.

    Nov 27, 2023

  • A simulated tactical nuclear attack drill at an undisclosed location in North Korea. Photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) and obtained by Reuters on September 3, 2023, photo by KCNA/Reuters

    Commentary

    Deterrence of North Korean Limited Nuclear Attacks

    No single action is likely to deter North Korean nuclear weapon use. But a combination of efforts may convince Kim Jong-un that any use of nuclear weapons for coercion would be very dangerous to his future, and could be a powerful approach to deterring North Korea.

    Nov 27, 2023