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If Abe’s reform plan gets derailed, then there may be no other realistic attempt at economic reform for the foreseeable future.

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Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attends a news conference at his official residence in Tokyo November 18, 2014. Abe said on Tuesday he would delay a planned rise in the nation's sales tax to 10 percent till April 2017 and call a snap election to seek a fresh mandate, just two years after taking office. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

Mr. Abe and his policies stand at a crossroads. Calling for early elections may be a wise gamble, but if Mr. Abe has miscalculated, the world’s second-largest democratic economy will soon find itself again in a whirlwind of political instability and policy drift.

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The US would be better off negotiating with China from a position of strength, recognizing that Beijing needs Washington more than Washington needs Beijing.

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Experts discuss the prospects for US trade policy in Asia after the US midterm elections and after the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Beijing.

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President Obama’s attitude while meeting with Chinese and Russian leaders makes him appear uninterested and weak to the rest of the world. He needs to change this approach in order to gain respect throughout the rest of his term.

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The combination of Xi’s inaction and daunting challenges threatens the end of China’s economic rise. Not a delay, the end.

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The North Koreans will likely expect something in return for the release of these American prisoners. Negotiations may already be in motion between the Obama administration and the North Korean government.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping (2nd R) and U.S. President Barack Obama arrive for a lunch banquet in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing November 12, 2014.

Whatever the outcome, what may be President Obama’s last trip to Asia will provide plenty of lessons for the next president.

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China is forcing a response by the United States to regain its primacy. But the US has not demonstrated the political wherewithal to resource its response.

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shows Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida where to stand for a photo as they meet on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Beijing, November 7, 2014.

Republican control of both the House and Senate could have a significant effect on Asia policy, especially if the president and new Congress strive for a collaborative approach through 2016.

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