Washington’s proposed “pivot to Asia” faces important tests in a region vital to global economic growth, but riven by territorial disputes and escalating defense budgets.
Tensions between China and Japan over the Japanese-controlled Senkaku/Diaoyu islands have risen. Chinese naval forces have been involved in a standoff with the Philippines at Scarborough Shoal and continue to be active throughout the disputed waters surrounding the Paracel and Spratly islands. Taiwan remains a potential flashpoint for conflict and reports that China is about to acquire advanced Russian surface-to-air missiles raise further questions about the region’s near- and long-term stability. North Korea continues to pursue its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs in open defiance of world opinion.
Moreover, a dispute over territorial fishing rights has even fueled tension between democracies, most notably when a Philippine Coast Guard vessel opened fire on a Taiwanese boat, killing one fisherman.
To explore these challenges—and potential opportunities to promote enduring regional peace and security—Hudson Senior Fellow Seth Cropsey moderated a distinguished panel of experts.