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

  • Mixed ethnicity female science research students discuss procedure in a laboratory, photo by SolStock/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Educating Academics Will Ease UK Universities' Foreign Influence Crisis

    Tackling China's quest for foreign technologies is tough. China exploits the very principles—openness, freedom, collaboration—that have fostered scientific breakthroughs to acquire foreign technologies. This makes it difficult to intervene without damaging these values in the process.

    Oct 19, 2023

  • Highlighted map showing China's influence beyond its borders, image by filo/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Dismantling the Disinformation Business of China's Influence Operations

    Some commercial actors benefit from involvement in China's influence operations. What steps could the U.S. government take to address this?

    Oct 17, 2023

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Israel-Hamas War, Overdose Deaths, Striking Health Care Workers: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on historical context for the Israel-Hamas war, the link between education and fatal overdoses, why U.S. health care workers are striking, and more.

    Oct 13, 2023

  • Kim Jong-un attends the ninth session of the 14th Supreme People's Assembly and calls for exponentially increasing the production of nuclear weapons at the Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang, North Korea, September 28, 2023, photo by KCNA/Pool/Latin America News Agency via Reuters Connect

    Commentary

    Nuclear Weapons in the North Korean World View

    As Kim Jong-un's actions become more threatening, the risks of a catastrophic accidental nuclear war become more likely. The United States needs to make North Korean denuclearization a long-term objective but focus in the immediate future on limiting the size and danger of the North Korean nuclear weapon force.

    Oct 11, 2023

  • The latest self-declared map released by China showing almost the entire South China Sea as its territorial waters, September 1, 2023, photo by Ichiro Ohara/The Yomiuri Shimbun via Reuters

    Commentary

    China Doesn't Get It

    Beijing likely believes it is in its interest to signal strength and show no intention of conceding on its claims or positions. But that does not mean that will work to further China's interests. In fact, the opposite is true, given that China's behavior is backfiring in spectacular fashion.

    Oct 10, 2023

  • General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong chairs an official welcome ceremony for U.S. President Joe Biden in Hanoi, Vietnam, September 10, 2023, photo by Nguy?n Quang H?i/VNA/Pool/Latin America News Agency/Reuters

    Commentary

    Can Vietnam Help America Counter China?

    The United States should not count on Vietnam to help counter China. But the fact that Hanoi chose to elevate the U.S.-Vietnam partnership is a strong indication of its growing concerns about Beijing's rising assertiveness. If China becomes more aggressive, it could create new opportunities for Hanoi to strengthen the U.S. relationship.

    Oct 6, 2023

  • Closeup of a hand holding a cell phone showing a news website, with a laptop open in the background in soft focus, photo by oatawa/Getty Images

    Commentary

    The United States Isn't Ready for the New Age of AI-Fueled Disinformation

    Generative AI offers China and other bad actors the potential to fulfill longstanding desires to shape the global conversation. It is vital that the U.S. government and social media platforms recognize this threat and work together to address it immediately.

    Oct 5, 2023

  • Jennifer Bouey smiles at the camera during a recording of the webinar: Can South Korea Help the World Beat the Next Pandemic? on October 13, 2022.

    Multimedia

    Can South Korea Help the World Beat the Next Pandemic?

    How can South Korea turn its COVID-19 control success into a successful soft-power asset for health diplomacy? The RAND Center for Asia Pacific Policy hosted a webinar discussion to promote the sharing of innovative ideas and best practices.

    Sep 29, 2023

  • An aerial view of the storage tanks for treated water at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma town, Fukushima prefecture, Japan, August 22, 2023, photo by Kyodo/Reuters

    Commentary

    Japan Risks Reputation in Oceania with Fukushima Discharge

    Japan's decision in August to begin discharging treated radioactive wastewater into the Pacific Ocean from its destroyed Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant is fairly unpopular in Oceania, potentially damaging Tokyo's reputation in this increasingly strategic region.

    Sep 28, 2023

  • The U.N. Security Council convenes an emergency meeting in New York on March 31, 2023, to discuss Russia's plan to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, photo by Kyodo via Reuters

    Commentary

    How Much Is Enough for U.S. Nuclear Forces?

    Deterrence is difficult because it's about perceptions and resolve rather than just pure numbers. Potential adversaries need to perceive that the United States has enough nuclear weapons to deter them, and also that U.S. officials believe the United States has enough that Washington's resolve will not falter in the face of provocation or coercion.

    Sep 27, 2023

  • People walk in front of a monitor showing news of North Korea's fresh threat in Tokyo, Japan, August 10, 2017

    Commentary

    North Korea and China Aren't the Allies You Think They Are

    China and North Korea have a history of friction, despite being seen as allies. As Russia, China, and North Korea move toward a closer trilateral partnership, the United States and its allies need to recognize that there are seams in the relationships that can be used to undermine it.

    Sep 27, 2023

  • A soldier from the mine disposal unit prepares to search for landmines along a coast in Kinmen, Taiwan, May 18, 2009, photo by Pichi Chuang/Reuters

    Commentary

    Landmines in Ukraine: Lessons for China and Taiwan

    In shaping patterns of future warfare, militaries across the world will be seeking to absorb the key lessons of the Russia-Ukraine War. Chinese strategists are particularly attuned to the major role that landmines have played in the conflict.

    Sep 26, 2023

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Escalation in Ukraine, a Trilateral Imperialist Threat, Disaster Recovery: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the risk of escalation in Ukraine, the growing threat of a North-Korea-Russia-China partnership, the economics of disaster recovery, and more.

    Sep 22, 2023

  • U.S. President Joe Biden meets with Vietnam's President Vo Van Thuong at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, Vietnam, September 11, 2023, photo by Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters

    Commentary

    With ASEAN Paralyzed, Southeast Asia Seeks New Security Ties

    The Association of Southeast Asian Nations tirelessly proclaims its centrality to the region, but its inability to develop a coherent response to Chinese aggression or the crisis in Myanmar has effectively killed that claim. ASEAN members will inevitably continue to seek out alternative paths.

    Sep 18, 2023

  • Soldiers stand in formation as Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen visits a military base in Chiayi, Taiwan, March 25, 2023, photo by Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Strawman Defense Is Torching Taiwan's Military

    There are many reasons why the political future of Taiwan Strait relations is uncertain, but the military considerations for Taiwan are much more straightforward. Taiwan should invest in capabilities that are highly survivable and potent against a potential attack from mainland China.

    Sep 15, 2023

  • U.S. President Joe Biden holds a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (right) and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol (left) during the trilateral summit at Camp David near Thurmont, Maryland, August 18, 2023, photo by Jim Bourg/Reuters

    Commentary

    Separate U.S. Alliances in East Asia Are Obsolete

    Washington manages its alliances with Tokyo and Seoul separately. But growing South Korean and Japanese military capabilities make a conversation about more integration unavoidable.

    Sep 14, 2023

  • diplomacyU.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Central Asian states' foreign ministers in Astana, Kazakhstan, February 28, 2023, photo by Olivier Douliery/Pool/Reuters

    Commentary

    A Case for Greater U.S. Engagement in Central Asia

    Central Asia's souring relations with Russia and growing skepticism of Chinese influence have created a rare and valuable window of opportunity for the United States to bolster its image through greater long-term investment in the region.

    Sep 11, 2023

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    The Four-Day School Week, AI and Social Media Manipulation, School Safety: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the costs and benefits of a four-day school week, how artificial intelligence is bringing a new era of social media manipulation, the effects of placing police officers in schools, and more.

    Sep 8, 2023

  • Illustration of a puppet master controlling social media symbols, image by rudall30/Getty Images

    Commentary

    U.S. Adversaries Can Use Generative AI for Social Media Manipulation

    Using generative artificial intelligence technology, U.S. adversaries can manufacture fake social media accounts that seem real. These accounts can be used to advance narratives that serve the interests of those governments and pose a direct challenge to democracies. U.S. government, technology, and policy communities should act fast to counter this threat.

    Sep 7, 2023