Return to Common Sense
October 9, 2014
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.
- Asia is the home of the fastest growing economies.
- 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.
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) remains a communist authoritarian dictatorship.
- China is the most populous country with 1.35 billion people.
- China is the world's second largest country by land area,] and either the third or fourth largest by total area, depending on the method of measurement.
- China is the world’s second largest economy with a GDP of $9.2 trillion.
- China has grown at an annual rate of 10% for 30 years.
- China holds $1.45 trillion in U.S. debt.
- China has experienced double digit growth in military spending (4.3% GDP).
- China is the fourth largest U.S. trading partner at $562 billion.
- U.S. posted a record high $230 billion trade deficit with China in 2005.
- China is a recognized nuclear weapons state and has the world's largest standing army, with the second largest defense budget.
o China has developed cyber warfare capabilities to attack computers and satellites.
o China has badly reneged on its promises to cease proliferation of weapons technology.
- Since Tiananmen Square, communist repression has grown worse, not better.
o There are over 1,000 “re-education-through-labor” camps scattered across the country.
- China’s support for Iran, Burma, North Korea, Uzbekistan, and Zimbabwe enhance international legitimacy and protect from UN sanctions.
Japan is a beacon of freedom in Asia.
- Japan has the world's tenth largest population, with over 126 million people.
- Japan remains the world’s second largest economy with a GDP of $4.9 trillion.
- Japan is a pillar of security in Asia.
- Japan holds $1.28 trillion in U.S. debt.
- Japan is the third largest U.S. trading partner with imports of $51 billion and exports of $121 billion.
- Japan is the largest investor in the U.S. economy at $342 billion.
- Japan has the third largest defense budget in the world of $39.5 billion.
- Japan is the host to the bulk of American military in Asia.
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 with 1.2 billion.
o UN Population Fund says that India will eclipse China as the most populous county by 2050.
- India is the world’s tenth largest economy by nominal GDP at 1.9 trillion and largest by purchasing power parity (PPP).
o India is the second fastest growing (9.2%) large economy.
o Goldman Sachs predicts India could have a larger economy than the U.S. by 2050.
- India is the world’s 11th largest energy producer and 6th largest energy consumer.
- A nuclear weapons state, it has the third largest standing army in the world and ranks ninth in military expenditure among nations.
o In 2008 U.S. approved a civilian nuclear cooperation agreement.
o 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.
The Commonwealth of Australia is our closest ally in Asia.
- Australia is composed of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands, the sixth largest country by area.
- The population of 23.6 million is highly urbanized and heavily concentrated in the eastern states and on the coast.
- Australia is the world’s 12th largest economy with a GDP of $1.6 trillion.
- Australia is the tenth largest investor in the U.S. economy with $45 billion.
- Australia's military expenditure is the world’s 13th largest.
South Korea is a democracy that lives in the shadow of North Korea.
- South Korea maintains the eleventh largest economy with a GDP of $1.3 trillion.
- South Korea holds $106 billion in U.S. debt.
- South Korea is th third largest investor in U.S economy at $342 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.
The PRC continues to threaten the annexation of the Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan as another Chinese province.
- The PRC also claims the territories governed by Taiwan as its 23rd 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 holds $313 billion in U.S. debt.
- Taiwan is the eighth largest trading partner with exports of $32.2 billion and imports of $18.4 billion.
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.
o North Korea has tested nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles numerous times.
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.
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“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 .
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