Return to Common Sense
December 2, 2012
Section: Foreign – Asia
“Asia is a huge economic opportunity area heavily influenced by several large repressive communist countries.”
“The dramatic modernization of the Asian economies ranks alongside the Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution as one of the most important developments in economic history.” Larry Summers.
Philosophy (Background, Issues, Objectives):
Asia is the largest and most populous continent or region, depending on the definition.
- It covers 29.8% of total land area.
- It contains 3.8 billion people in 54 territories which are more than 60% of world’s population.
- Asia is home to several language families and many language isolates.
- 30% of Muslims live in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Phillipines, China, Iran, and Russia.
- In terms of GDP, the largest national economy within Asia is that of the Japan.
- In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the economies of China and India have been growing rapidly.
- Asia is rich in natural resources, such as petroleum and iron.
- Asia has three main financial centers: in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Tokyo.
India is the 7th largest country by geographical area and the 2nd most populous country
- India is the most populous liberal democracy in the world.
o UN Population Fund says that India will eclipse China as the most populous county by 2050.
- India is the 4th largest economy and the second fastest growing (9.2%) large economy.
o Goldman Sachs predicts India could have a larger economy than the U.S. by 2050.
o India has the world's 3rd largest GDP of $4.04 trillion.
- India is the world’s 11th largest energy producer and 6th largest energy consumer.
- In 2008 U.S. approved a civilian nuclear cooperation agreement.
- In 2005 U.S. signed a new defense framework which enhanced bilateral military ties and stated that “The United states and India agree on vital importance of political and economic freedom, democratic institutions, and the rule of law, security, and opportunity around the world.”
- The attack on Mumbai confirmed the presence of Islamo-fascists within the country.
China remains a communist authoritarian dictatorship.
- China is the most populous country with 1.3 billion people.
- China is the world’s seventh largest economy with a GDP of $1.2 trillion.
- China has grown at an annual rate of 10% for 30 years.
- China has experienced double digit growth in military spending (4.3% GDP).
- China is the fourth largest U.S. trading partner with imports of $42 billion and exports of $243 billion.
- U.S. posted a record high $230 billion trade deficit with China in 2005.
- China’s 2.3 million strong military is the world’s largest.
o China has developed cyber warfare capabilities to attack computers and satellites.
- In the last 16 years since Tiananmen Square, communist repression has grown worse, not better.
- There are over 1,000 “re-education-through-labor” camps scattered across the country.
- China has badly reneged on its promises to cease proliferation of weapons technology.
- China’s support for Iran, Burma, North Korea, Uzbekistan, and Zimbabwe enhance international legitimacy and protect from UN sanctions.
China continues to threaten the annexation of Taiwan as another Chinese province.
- US, Japan, Canada, Australia, and the European Union never explicitly recognized China’s claim of sovereignty over Taiwan.
- Taiwan is the world’s twentieth largest economy with a GDP of $219 billion.
- Taiwan is the eighth largest trading partner with exports of $32.2 billion and imports of $18.4 billion.
Japan is a beacon of freedom in Asia.
- Japan remains the world’s second largest economy with a GDP of $5.5 trillion.
- Japan is a pillar of security in Asia, and has contributed to the reconstruction of Iraq.
- Japan is the third largest U.S. trading partner with imports of $51 billion and exports of $121 billion.
- Japan has the third largest defense budget in the world of $39.5 billion.
South Korea is a democracy that lives in the shadow of North Korea.
- South Korea maintains the eleventh largest economy with a GDP of $678 billion.
- South Korea is the seventh largest U.S. trading partner with imports of $250 billion and trade exceeding of $70 billion.
- The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) is the most heavily armed border in the world.
o Active duty military: 560,000 in Army, 64,000 in Air Force, 68,000 in Navy.
- South Koreans favor political engagement with Pyongyang.
North Korea remains one of the most secretive communist regimes in the world.
- North Korea allocates about 25% of its GDP for defense, highest in the world.
o 4.88% of population in active military.
o Active duty military: 950,000 in Army, 110,000 in Air Force, 46,000 in Navy.
- In 1994 President Clinton gave nuclear power technology in exchange for promise of no weapons.
- Bush identifying Korea in Axis of Evil has been proven accurate by nuclear tests.
o In 2002 North Korea admitted conducting a nuclear weapons weapon development program.
o In 2006 UN Security Council resolution #1718 bans North Korea from launching ballistic missiles.
Philippines remains one of the most secretive communist regimes in the world.
- 80% of Filipinos are Roman Catholics out of entire 90 million population.
- Only 6% of Filipinos are Muslim, primarily on Mindanao (30% or 18 million population).
- U.S set up a Joint Special Operations Task Force to direct Operation Enduring Freedom – Philippines.
o Active duty military: 80,000 in Army, 16,000 in Air Force, 24,000 in Navy.
Southeast Asia is an emerging market, recovering from repressive governments.
- In 2006 Vietnam began the process to join the World Trade Organization (WTO).
- In 2010, The U.S. is the largest investor in Vietnam and over $10 billion in annual trade.
Intra-Asian trade is beginning to flourish, without the United States participation.
· 15 Asian nations, comprising half the world's population, would form a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, excluding the United States.
· The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, plus China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, will form a club, and leave out the United States.
Support our allies economically and militarily.
- Pressure communist regimes to improve human rights as condition for trade.
Strengthen trilateral cooperation among India, Japan, and US on issues fostering democracy in Asia.
- Highlight defense trade as a cornerstone of strategic partnership.
- Pursue missile defense cooperation with India and Japan.
- Institute an Asia counterterrorism forum to counter extremist movements in the region.
Expand U.S. Cooperation with Indian Ocean Nations.
· Promote U.S. Navy port visits to Asian countries that border the Indian Ocean.
· Expand the International Military Education and Training Program for officers drawn from South Asian militaries.
· Support aid programs to the area, not only at the nation-to-nation level (e.g., the International Monetary Fund), but also at the more personal level.
Establish Free Trade Agreements across Asia Pacific (FTAAP).
· Establish normal trade relations with Vietnam, ending 15 years of diplomacy and negotiations.
· American leaders should not refer to China as a diplomatic “partner” until improvements in human rights.
- Increase trade with China as a deterrent to military conflict.
American leaders must stand up for Taiwan freedom and independence.
- Reexamine assumptions about Taiwan’s ability to deter China with solely defensive weapons.
Engage with North Korea to dis-mantle nuclear weapons development program via public diplomacy.
- Engage in multilateral efforts under Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) to halt illegal activities.
- Explore alternative methods of defense for U.S. allies and troops in the region.
- Provide information directly to the North Korean people via television, radio, and internet.
Define Asia as a major theater in the Global War on Terror.
- Cooperate and coordinate transatlantic information sharing
- Encourage moderate Muslims to condemn terror as a tactic and Islamo-fascism as the cause.
- Publicize theater success in the War on Terror.
“The Idiot’s Guide to Chinagate” by Richard Poe dated May 26, 2003 published by News.Max.Com at http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2003/5/26/214938.shtml .
“The Case for Permanent Normal Trading Relations with Vietnam” by Dana Dillon and Daniella Markheim dated July 12, 2006 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/AsiaandthePacific/wm1152.cfm .
“Bush should focus on Korea” by Dick Morris dated October 25, 2006 published by The Hill at http://thehill.com/thehill/export/TheHill/Comment/DickMorris/102506.html .
“Confronting the North Korean Threat” by Yuri Yarim-Agaev dated October 31, 2006 published by Front Page Magazine at http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=25174 .
“An Agreement Among Allies: Advancing the Korea-U.S. FTA” by Anthony B. Kim dated November 14, 2006 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://author.heritage.org/Research/TradeandForeignAid/wm1253.cfm .
“U.S. Interests and Central Asia Energy Security” by Ariel Cohen dated November 15, 2006 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/RussiaandEurasia/bg1984.cfm .
“The Single Most Important Thing About China” by Don Feder dated January 15, 2007 published by Front Page Magazine at http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Printable.asp?ID=26419 .
“India’s Expanding Role in Asia: Adapting to Rising Power Status” by Lisa Curtis dated February 20, 2007 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/AsiaandthePacific/bg2008.cfm .
“Confronting the North Korean Nuclear Threat” by Bruce Klingner dated April 4, 2007 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/AsiaandthePacific/bg2023.cfm .
“The Last King of Java” by Bret Stephens dated April 7, 2007 published by The Wall Street Journal Opinion Journal at http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110009910 .
“The Empire of Lies” by Guy Sorman dated May 2, 2007 published by Front Page Magazine at http://www.frontpagemagazine.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=28104 .
“Playing Geoeconomics in Asia” by Doug Bandow dated May 3, 2007 published by Institute for Policy Innovation at http://www.ipi.org/ .
“China’s Quest for a Superpower Military” by John J. Tkacik Jr. dated May 17, 2007 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/AsiaandthePacific/bg2036.cfm .
“Strategic Nightmare” by Geoff Metcalf dated June 18, 2007 published by American Daily at http://www.americandaily.com/article/19269 .
“U.S. Nuclear Agreement with India: An Acceptable Deal for Major Strategic Gain” by Lisa Curtis and Baker Spring dated August 14, 2007 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/AsiaandthePacific/wm1587.cfm .
“Free Trade with Taiwan is Long Overdue” by John J. Tkacik Jr. and Daniella Markheim dated August 15, 2007 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/TradeandForeignAid/bg2061.cfm .
“South Korea’s Mercurial Political Landscape” by Bruce Klingner dated September 12, 2007 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/AsiaandthePacific/bg2068.cfm .
“President Reagan’s Six Assurances to Taiwan and Their Meaning Today” by Harvey Feldman dated October 2, 2007 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/AsiaandthePacific/wm1653.cfm .
“Esteem for US rises in Asia” by Greg Sheridan dated April 26, 2008 published by The Australian at http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23599516-7583,00.html .
“Treading Softly in the Philippines” by Max Boot and Richard Bennet dated January 5, 2009 published by The Weekly Standard at http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/015/956zznwj.asp .
“The Importance of India” by Duncan Currie dated January 15, 2009 published by The weekly Standard at http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/016/008yukki.asp .
“Getting China Right” by Stephen Yates and Walter Lohman dated February 19, 2009 published by Front Page Magazine at http://www.frontpagemagazine.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID=D10BBEDB-66D4-467B-8BB9-6635850EC8BF .
“What to Do about Pyongyang” by Henry Sokolski dated April 2, 2009 published by National Review Online at http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZWIwMzM3YTNhZGNlY2ZlMmNmMmRkZjFiZmJlMzY0YmI=.
“APEC: The Keystone to U.S. Asian Policy” by Claude Barfield dated November 13, 2009 published by The American Magazine at http://www.american.com/archive/2009/november/apec-the-keystone-to-u-s-asian-policy .
“China’s View of South Asia and the Indian Ocean” by Dean Cheng dated March 18, 2010 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Lecture/China-s-View-of-South-Asia-and-the-Indian-Ocean .
“Key Asian Indicators: A Book of Charts” by Walter Lohman, Nicholas Hamisevicz, and John W. Fleming dated January 2011 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2011/01/Key-Asian-Indicators-A-2011-Book-of-Charts .
“Cliff Dwellers” by Clarice Feldman dated December 2, 2012 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/12/cliff_dwellers.html .