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Today, The Wall Street Journal reports that Chinese nuclear experts have upped their assessment of North Korea’s nuclear weapons capabilities—they estimate that Pyongyang now has an arsenal of 20 warheads, which could double by the end of next year. The assessment was shared with American (non-governmental) experts at a meeting hosted by the Chinese Institute of International Studies, a research organization affiliated with the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
As with the World Bank and other project lenders, the AIIB will evaluate roads, dams, and so on, then evaluate global engineering firms for building them. The leaders in Asian infrastructure are Chinese state-owned engineering giants such as Power Construction Corp. and Sinomach.
The Yemen operation demonstrates the latent capability of China’s anti-piracy task force to conduct rapid non-combatant evacuation operations (NEOs). As the PRC’s military capabilities have matured, its citizens increasingly expect government assistance in evacuating them from war zones. This NEO sets further precedent that the Chinese government will assist its citizens in need.
In order for the United States to successfully maintain its presence and influence, as well as to mitigate growing risk, working with its allies is more important than ever. At the top of that list is Japan, Asia’s most powerful democracy. Yet Japan continues to struggle with economic reform and in attempting to forge closer relations with its Asian neighbors. Given Japan’s importance to Asia’s future path, the following are some of the top questions every presidential candidate should be asked.
Inefficiencies in America’s trade sector are political issues as well as economic, leading to higher prices, longer wait times on supply chains, and foregone opportunity. Meanwhile, Asian countries continue to invest in port improvements and expansion, drawing to themselves ever larger volumes of trade. Increasing trade with Japan through a free trade area will do little good if exports and imports are clogged up dockside in the United States.