ON-Lion Letter
In the January/February 2009 issue of The American Interest magazine, Aaron L. Friedberg's "Asia Rising" (subscription required) assesses Asia, and U.S. Asia policy, in depth.  Friedberg finds U.S. policy there in good shape, but warns that keeping it that way won't be easy.

"It is in Asia ... that the Bush Administration came closest to achieving its goals," writes Friedberg, a professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs.  From 2003 to 2005, he was a deputy assistant for national security affairs to Vice President Dick Cheney.

Relations with China are better than they were at the turn of the century, Friedberg notes.  Moreover, two longtime flashpoints, the China-Taiwan relationship and North Korea, look less prone to explode then they did just a few years ago.

"The Obama Administration will have to work hard to prevent its predecessor's achievements from unraveling," Friedberg continues.  "It will also have to address some difficult long-term issues that President Bush and his advisers were able to sidestep or defer."

In dealing with China, he recommends, U.S. policymakers should be guided by three principles:  continue engagement, avoid over-sensitivity, and keep talking about human rights, democracy, and transparency.

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee supports Friedberg's work at Princeton.
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