China recently announced plans to invest $635 billion in water infrastructure over the next 10 years, prompting criticism about the effect of China’s water policy on its downstream neighbors. Scott Moore, a doctoral research fellow at Harvard Kennedy School of Government researching sustainable energy development in China, explained the context and possible consequences of the plan in an email interview. WPR: What is the context of China’s recent announcement of plans to dramatically expand its hydropower capacity over the next few years? Scott Moore: Three factors frame China’s recent plans to expand its hydropower capacity. The first and most important […]

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For the past 60 years, there has been convergence between the strategic logic of America’s strategy of forward deployment in key regions of the world and the economic imperative of securing the nation’s prosperity. Despite the constant protests on college campuses about “banana republics” and “no blood for oil,” there was, in fact, generally a strong correlation between the places where the American military was engaged and those areas that were seen as vital to the economic health of the country. Opposition from naturally isolationist tendencies of the American body politic was overcome, in part, by the argument that prosperity […]

With only days to go before Armenia’s Feb. 18 presidential election, all signs point to a victory for incumbent President Serzh Sargsyan. Should he be re-elected as expected, Armenia will most likely maintain its status quo, which saw Yerevan open modestly to the West and Euro-Atlantic initiatives but ultimately remain bound to its longstanding alliance with Moscow. Sargsyan is likely not only to win the election handily but also to easily clear the 50 percent threshold required to prevent a second-round runoff. With Armenia’s opposition badly fractured and handicapped by the noncandidacies of two of the most credible opposition figures […]

Editor’s note: This is the second of a two-part series on East Asian energy cooperation. Part I examined cooperation in energy conservation and natural gas markets. Part II examines cooperation in nuclear energy. Despite heightened political tensions among Japan, China and South Korea over territorial disputes in the East China Sea, Asian economic cooperation remains critical to the global economy as it struggles to return to widespread growth. Energy cooperation among these three Asian powers offers an opportunity for much-needed constructive engagement, and nowhere is this more urgent than in the area of nuclear energy. Before the Fukushima nuclear accident […]

Editor’s note: This is the first of a two-part series on East Asian energy cooperation. Part I examines cooperation in energy conservation and natural gas markets. Part II will examine cooperation in nuclear energy. Over the past few months, Japan’s relations with China and South Korea have deteriorated rapidly over territorial disputes. This is particularly true for relations between Japan and China, which are often described as having “cold politics and a hot economy,” with the implication that political tensions will not damage economic ties. But now, reactions to the territorial disputes are beginning to spill into the economic realm, […]

On India’s Navy Day in December, Indian Chief of Naval Staff D.K. Joshi declared that the Indian navy was prepared to operate in the South China Sea if called upon to do so. The government subsequently downplayed Joshi’s remarks, but the fact remains that the South China Sea has emerged as a vital sea corridor for India, with more than half the country’s trade currently passing through it. The security of the South China Sea will grow even more important to New Delhi in the years to come as India looks to link itself to East Asian supply chains and […]

It is no accident that European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton proposed, and Iran has accepted, holding the next round of nuclear talks in Kazakhstan on Feb. 25. Iran had recently rejected proposed talks in Istanbul on Jan. 28-29, presumably due to irritation with Turkey’s efforts to overthrow Syria’s pro-Iranian government. Citing a desire to reduce regional tensions and avert an escalation of the Iranian nuclear crisis, Kazakhstani Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov reaffirmed his country’s readiness to host the next round of talks during a late-January visit to Moscow. The relationship between Iran and Kazakhstan is driven by pragmatism […]

In mid-January, militants raided Algeria’s In Amenas gas field, sparking a crisis that ended with the deaths of at least 37 hostages. Anne Korin, co-director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, an energy security research organization, explained in an email interview why the oil and gas industry is an attractive target for terrorists. WPR: What makes the oil and gas industry an attractive target for terrorists? Anne Korin: In many parts of the world where oil and gas export income is a critical contributor to regime budgets, attacking oil and gas infrastructure serves to strike a direct […]

French President Francois Hollande’s Jan. 15 visit to the United Arab Emirates garnered relatively little attention, coming just four days after the start of the French military intervention in Mali. Though Hollande traveled to the UAE ostensibly to give the keynote address at the World Future Energy Summit, the trip was actually the latest move in Paris’ efforts to strengthen the two countries’ economic and strategic relationship. Over the past five years, France has made a concerted push to boost ties with the United Arab Emirates. Former President Nicolas Sarkozy visited twice, in 2008 and 2009, and established France’s first […]