Obama’s Asian Journey: Prospects for US Policy

President Barack Obama’s trip to Asia was a mixed bag of achievements and disappointments. This was the assessment of a panel of experts at a recent public event on “Obama’s Asian Journey: Prospects for US Policy,” co-hosted by the Sigur Center for Asian Studies and the Asia Society. Speaking on the panel, Deepa M. Ollapally, Alasdair Bowie, Gregg A. Brazinsky and Mike M. Mochizuki assessed the outcomes of Obama’s visit to India, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan, respectively:

INDIA

Obama’s visit to India was a case of “low expectations, high results.”

Concrete gains for India included: clear support for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council; lifting of nearly all embargos on dual-use technologies; and U.S. commitment to work toward India’s inclusion in a number of nuclear regimes, including the Nuclear Suppliers Group and Missile Technology Control Regime.

More importantly, the visit marked a shift in U.S.-India relations from the narrow, sectoral engagement of the past, to a truly broad spectrum relationship. Obama is the first US President to view relations with India as a multi-layered partnership: Read more of this post

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Another Confucius Institute opens, but does it boost China’s soft power?

By Ren Zhe

Another Confucius Institute has opened in Strasbourg, adding to the list of more than 500 CIs the Chinese government has set up in 87 countries around the world. In the United States and other countries where CIs operate, the explosive growth of CIs gives rise to questions regarding their purpose and function. Experts are debating the problems encountered by CIs and ask whether CIs represent the expansion of China’s soft power.

Confusion and uncertainty about the CI’s purpose, ideology, and connection with the Chinese government constitute a hindrance to their expansion in top universities. Read more of this post

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