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Recent Commentary and Q&A

February 2015

China’s New Silk Road

Commentary

Launched by President Xi Jinping in 2013, China’s initiative to build a Silk Road economic belt signals a new era of integration between China and its Central Asian neighbors in support of Beijing’s growing regional influence. In this NBR Commentary, Nadège Rolland, Senior Project Director for Political and Security Affairs at NBR, examines the economic and strategic prospects for the initiative.

February 2015

Sri Lanka’s Election: A New Path Forward

Policy Q&A

President Maithripala Sirisena’s surprise electoral victory has led to a re-evaluation of Sri Lanka’s political environment. Nilanthi Samaranayake (CNA Corporation) provides insight into the significance of Sri Lanka’s change in leadership and assesses the potential impact on the country’s relationships with major regional powers.

February 2015

Myanmar’s Peace Process: Mediating Historic Distrust

Policy Q&A

Gum San Nsang, president of Kachin Alliance, discusses the current status of negotiations and explains what ethnics groups hope to achieve through the process. He argues that both the Myanmar government and military must commit to substantial institutional and political reforms in order to generate credibility for the difficult peace negotiations. He also makes the case for why a diverse group of international observers should be allowed to witness the ceasefire talks.

January 2015

President Obama’s Visit to India: Beyond Symbolism

Policy Q&A

Alyssa Ayres (Council on Foreign Relations) offers insights on the major issues under discussion during President Obama's visit to India, explains what the introduction of new key personnel in the Obama administration means for the relationship, and considers how the two partners may proceed as the security environment rapidly evolves in South Asia.

January 2015

Xi Jinping’s New Foreign Policy

Commentary

In light of the backlash against its recent actions in the East and South China Seas, China has indicated that it is rethinking its regional strategy. The logic driving this new foreign policy, however, remains largely unchanged.

January 2015

Afghanistan-Pakistan: Building Peace, Ensuring Stability

Commentary

The challenge for the Af-Pak region in 2015 will be to build peace and maintain fragile stability as the drawdown of international forces begins. A weak economy, ethnic divisions, and terrorist organizations waiting for international forces to leave will pose challenges for future U.S. engagement in the region.

January 2015

Cyber Insecurity

Commentary

Cyber insecurity is a major problem for the U.S. economy, national security, and foreign relations. The end of 2014 brought marginal progress on cybersecurity policy, but much more remains to be done in the 114th Congress.

January 2015

What the Ukraine Crisis Means for Asia

Commentary

The Russian invasion of Crimea will have a lingering effect on Asia in 2015: from enduring questions about future U.S. engagement in the region to potentially closer ties between Beijing and Moscow, enhanced Russian energy partnerships with the region, and perhaps even an interconnected Korean Peninsula.

January 2015

The Road Back to Democracy in Thailand

Commentary

The Thai military government’s consolidation of power and crackdown on political expression are preempting a crucial national dialogue on the country’s approach to democracy. The military government is gambling on the Thai people’s willingness to surrender their basic rights for an undefined political future.

January 2015

High-Profile Negotiations across the Pacific

Commentary

The coming year is pivotal for U.S. trade policy and Asia’s future path to regional economic integration. Progress on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), U.S.-China economic relations, and regional economic partnerships will all impact U.S. competitiveness in Asia.

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