Archive for August, 2014

Policy Alert: Ebola Outbreak Spurs Reactions from Rising Powers

2048px-ebola_virus_virionAs the death toll by the Ebola virus continues to rise in West Africa, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently declared an “international emergency,” calling for global efforts to combat the deadly disease. In this Policy Alert, we examine commentary from China, Russia, India, Japan, South Korea, and Brazil on the Ebola outbreak.

CHINA

While an Ebola outbreak is unlikely in China, public health officials have implemented a prevention and treatment plan for Ebola. (more…)

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Policy Alert: Rising Powers Respond to Israel-Palestine Conflict

israelFighting between Israel and the Palestinians ensued over the past month in response to the kidnappings and murders of three Israeli teens in the West Bank. Israel and Hamas have both drawn international condemnation for the ongoing violence, which has worsened the grave humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip. In this Policy Alert, we examine commentary from India, China, Russia, Japan, South Korea, and Brazil on the recent events of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

INDIA

Despite closer ties with Israel in recent years, Indian commentary was by and large critical of Israel’s  treatment of Palestinians.   (more…)

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Reading Guide: U.S.-Vietnam Nuclear Cooperation Agreement

Earlier this year, the Rising Powers Initiative launched the RPI Research Database, a specialized bibliography of books and articles on targeted subjects that reflect the RPI’s ongoing researchWe will periodically issue a Reading Guide that focuses on a salient research topic or current event.

Here we examine the emerging nuclear cooperation between the United States and Vietnam, following last week’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee approval of a bilateral nuclear cooperation agreement. 

Critics have raised concerns that Vietnam is not required to formally renounce plans to enrich or reprocess nuclear material, possibly setting a risky precedent for future U.S. nuclear deals. Advocates have pointed to Vietnam’s growing nuclear energy sector as a source of economic potential for U.S. firms and the value of influencing Vietnam’s nuclear plans. As the deal moves ahead for debate in Congress, the Reading Guide will keep you up to date.

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Nuclear Issues Center of Debate at Event on Korean Peninsula

A North Korean nuclear missile test in 2009. Source: KCNA/AFP/Getty)

A North Korean nuclear missile test in 2009. Source: KCNA/AFP/Getty)

A torrent of security, diplomatic, and economic challenges intersect on the Korea Peninsula to complicate debates on nuclear issues. While the threat posed by the North Korean nuclear arsenal looms over the region, experts at a recent conference co-hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Korea Economic Institute in Washington, D.C. suggested that an evolving security environment could open up new possibilities to alter the nuclear landscape.

The United States and South Korea are currently engaged in talks on the future of nuclear energy cooperation between the two allies. Park Jin, former Chairman of the Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Unification Committee in the South Korean National Assembly, urged Washington to allow Seoul to expand its civilian nuclear program despite concerns about how those activities may impact proliferation risks. According to Jin, decision-makers focus too often on North Korea and not on the needs of South Korea’s civilian nuclear program when discussing nuclear issues on the Korean peninsula. “Under these circumstances,” Jin said “the South Korean government’s desire to revise the nuclear cooperation agreement to allow civilian recycling of the spent nuclear fuel and to move toward uranium enrichment for civilian purposes in a very transparent manner is certainly a challenge.” Nevertheless, South Korea and the United States signed the last so-called “123 nuclear cooperation agreement” over four decades ago when South Korea was still an under-developed economy. Jin insisted today South Korea has become the fifth largest nuclear energy power in the world, and it is crucial that his country supplies nuclear fuel to its domestic reactors in a more stable manner. (more…)

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