Europe’s China policy challenge
As it tries to manage the effects of the trade war with the United States, China is seeking more allies and partners in the West. Europe could benefit greatly – if it could speak with one voice. China is exploiting divisions in the EU, intensifying its relations with cash-strapped member states. But Europe as a whole stands to benefit from constructive engagement with Beijing, especially if it can steer the latter toward continued reform.
2019 Global Outlook: China’s regional impact
China will cast a long shadow in East Asia again this year. 2019, however, is shaping up to be less volatile than 2018. In security matters, expect China to use more “carrot” than “stick” as its neighbors try to balance Beijing against Washington. In economic terms, a stimulus program and a trade understanding with the United States could ameliorate China’s slowdown.
Japan’s new outreach in Asia
China’s rise as an economic and military colossus has transformed the geopolitics of East Asia. Its most powerful neighbor, Japan, has embarked on a more self-reliant course, even as it continues to lean heavily on its alliance with the United States. Tokyo is expanding its contacts, both economic and strategic, with Southeast Asia, India and Australia.
GIS Dossier: Japan’s search for an energy strategy after Fukushima
Since the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi accident, Japan has sharply decreased its reliance on nuclear energy. Following years of deliberations weighing nuclear’s inherent risks against the expense of energy imports and climate protection obligations, the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has decided that by 2050, about one-fifth of the country’s power will be coming from strictly regulated nuclear facilities.
Japan’s growing concern about energy security
Save for renewables, Japan is devoid of domestic energy sources. Since its nuclear power sector has been reduced to only a minor contributor in the energy mix, the country has had no choice but to increase its imports of hydrocarbons and fall back on its societal and technological strengths to tackle the energy-security challenge in the long term.
Japan needs woman power
Gender equality is not one of Japan’s greatest strengths, but the rapid shrinking and aging of the population have started to exert pressure on a society whose culture is drawn from the samurai era. These values practically exclude young mothers from the workforce and set a very low glass ceiling for professional women.
The burgeoning India-Japan partnership
Japan and India are fast becoming close partners. Small wonder: the two countries both want to counteract China's rise, especially in the Indian Ocean. The countries have strengthened economic and military ties, and together could challenge China at sea. As Beijing attempts to project its power ever further, the Indo-Japanese partnership will only grow.
Asia-Pacific countries look for signs of hope in Trump trade policy
Over the past two years, protectionism has dominated U.S. trade policy decisions, unsettling American trade partners in the Asia-Pacific region. These countries are unlikely to simply buckle to U.S. demands, instead expanding trade relationships with other states. However, there are signs that the administration could soften its stance and return to more pro-free trade policies. If it does, that could lay the groundwork for a return to bigger economic engagement in the region.
Regional shifts are marginalizing ASEAN
In the huge geopolitical shifts happening in East Asia and the Indo-Pacific, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been conspicuously absent. Split over Chinese activity in the South China Sea, the organization is unready to face these new challenges. If ASEAN becomes irrelevant, it will impact the big players, such as the U.S. and China, too – they will have lost a major facilitator of peace and stability in the region.