Asia-Pacific Strategic Risks
Weekly Newsletters

Asia-Pacific Strategic Risks



24 March 2023

This week, we feature two reports published under our Asia-Pacific Strategic Risks project and a special report published as part of our Voices from Pacific Islands Countries project.

Together with the European Leadership Network, the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network ran a series of workshops and conferences on the perception of strategic risks among three Asia-Pacific states. Lee Sang Hyun provided a South Korean perspective, Nobumasa Akiyama shared Japan’s point of view, while Michael Cohen wrote on the view from Australia.

In addition, Milla Vaha wrote on the consequences of atomic testing in the Pacific region and its relationship to climate change threats, making a strong argument in favor of compensation by the international community. And Lim Eunjung argues that it’s time for Japan and South Korea to put their differences aside and strengthen their ties in her latest column for The Korea Times.

We also published several translations of reports from our China-US-Asia Dialogue project. And we highlight members’ activities below.

Several reports in the China-US-Asia Dialogue project are now available in Chinese translation as well as other selected languages.

The Constructive Role of Scholarship in the China-US relationship – Jian Junbo

Enduring Misperceptions: A Critical View of China-US ‘Decoupling’ – Rukmani Gupta

US-Soviet Top-Down Trust-Building: Lessons for the US-China Relationship – Yu Tiejun

Track-2 and Track-1.5 US-China Strategic Nuclear Dialogues: Lessons Learned – David Santoro

Together with the European Leadership Network, APLN ran a series of workshops and conferences on the perception of strategic risks among three Asia-Pacific states, analysing the impacts of risk perceptions on the nuclear non-proliferation regime. We recently published three reports from this project.

South Korea and Emerging Strategic Risks in the Asia-Pacific

Dr Lee Sang Hyun, President and Senior Research Fellow at the Sejong Institute, explains how South Korea’s perceptions of strategic risks inform its attitude towards nuclear weapons and the nuclear non-proliferation regime. In this report, Dr Lee provides the South Korean perspective on Asia-Pacific security risks and strategic concerns.

Read the Special Report

Japan and Emerging Strategic Risks in the Asia-Pacific

Prof Nobumasa Akiyama, Senior Associate Fellow at APLN and Professor at the School of International and Public Policy at Hitotsubashi University, explains how Japan’s security concerns, priorities, and perceptions of strategic risk affect its attitudes to nuclear weapons and the non-proliferation regime.

Read the Special Report

Australia and Emerging Strategic Risks in the Asia-Pacific

Dr Michael Cohen, Senior Lecturer at the National Security College, Australian National University, explains why Australia perceives China as driving many of the strategic threats and risks that Canberra faces and how this perception influences Australian attitudes towards nuclear weapons.

Read the Special Report

These three reports are a part of the APLN Asia-Pacific Strategic Risks project in partnership with the European Leadership Network (ELN). The project convenes government officials, experts, and practitioners from South Korea, Japan, Australia, and the UK to discuss how changing threat perceptions impact new and ongoing proliferation challenges and what policy solutions can address them.

The APLN project “Nuclear Disarmament and the Anthropocene” amplifies voices from Pacific Island Countries that highlight the inequities and injustices of nuclear weapons policies and practices that exacerbate existential risks, including climate change. Together with other individuals, international organizations, and civil society groups across the Pacific Islands, we hope to raise global awareness of the shared responsibility to address human and environmental security challenges in the region.

The Pacific’s Nuclear Legacy in the Context of the Climate Crisis

Dr Milla Vaha, Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Affairs at the University of the South Pacific, maps out some consequences of atomic testing in the Pacific region and their relationship to climate change threats. She argues that by seeking global recognition for both nuclear and climatic existential threats, the Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) make a strong case for the compensation owed to them by the international community – especially by the powers that intentionally chose these territories as their nuclear playground.

Read the Special Report

It’s Not Time to Fight, but to Cooperate

APLN member Dr Eunjung Lim, Associate Professor of the Division of International Studies at Kongju National University, says it’s time for Japan and South Korea to bury the hatchet and significantly improve their relations to meet the expectations of younger generations. She points to polling data that shows the youth of both countries hold strongly favorable views of the other and that they want to see Tokyo and Seoul build closer ties.

Read The Korea Times column

APLN is now accepting applications for Senior Research Adviser, Senior Policy Fellow, and Communications Officer. Applications can be forwarded to

Read the Job Alert

Carnegie Experts on the Ukraine War’s Long Shadow

Tong Zhao, APLN Board member and Senior Fellow at the Nuclear Policy Program of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, argues that the Ukraine War likely contributed to Chinese leaders’ gradual, if reluctant, acceptance of the Biden administration’s framework for “managing” competition by building guardrails around the US-China relationship.

A New Era Under Marcos? U.S.-Philippines Ties

Mely Caballero-Anthony, APLN board member and Professor of International Relations and Head of Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies at RSIS (NTU), appeared on the podcast “Engaging the Eagle – Exploring U.S. Foreign Policy in Southeast Asia” to discuss U.S.-Philippines ties and the Philippines’ foreign policy under President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.  

Russian Nuclear Roulette

Kim Won-soo, Chair of the international advisory board of the Taejae Academy, writes for The Korea Times on Russia’s decision to suspend its participation in New START and argues that collective pressure is the only way to make reason prevail within the Russian leadership. 

Efforts to Mend Ties Between Seoul and Tokyo; What Hurdles Need To Be Overcome?

Lim Eun-jung, Associate Professor of the Division of International Studies at Kongju National University (KNU), shares her views on Seoul and Tokyo’s bilateral ties in an interview with Arirang News. She discusses what hurdles the two countries are facing and how they should be properly solved. 

Beyond Curry and Cricket

C. Raja Mohan, Senior Fellow at the Asia Society Policy Institute, writes on Australian Prime Minister Albanese’s⁩ visit to India and points out that it signals strengthened bilateral relations between New Delhi and Canberra. Both commerce and geopolitics are transforming their bilateral relations, he says.

Hard Security Back in Focus at the Quad Foreign Ministers Meet

Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan, Director of the Centre for Security, Strategy, and Technology, writes on the recent Quad Foreign Ministers meeting in Delhi. She argues that it is relatively easy to establish coalitions to work on non-traditional security issues, but nurturing a group to focus on security issues as the core is not easy, especially for countries like India. 



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