A region with vast cultural diversity and rich history, Asia is both the world’s largest and most populous continent. In recent years, Asia has moved into the international spotlight with robust developing economies and complex diplomatic relations. In this regional issue of the Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations, we marry the works of scholars, academics, policymakers, and experts featuring a variety of topics spanning the Asian continent.
Our issue begins with one of the major actors in the region, China, as Professor Kerry Brown−an Associate Fellow for the Asia Programme at Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs−addresses China’s changing role in Asia and the global order under the leadership of Xi Jinping. The focus then shifts from China to Central Asia as Dr. Katherine Himes−a muddy boots science diplomat with a focus on Central Asia, international development, and science policy−addresses how the challenges of water security can be answered through international research partnerships. Austin Schiano, Juan E. Chebly, and Federico Ruiz bring diversity to this issue with their piece which focuses on sustainable development as a means to combat violent extremism and its overarching implications for the Asia region and the world as a whole.
The Journal is pleased to present an interview with Ambassador Elizabeth P. Buensuceso, Permanent Representative of the Philippines to ASEAN and Chair of the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN. Ambassador Buensuceso discussed the role of the Philippines as the 2017 Chair of ASEAN and the future of the organization as it celebrates its 50th anniversary. Moving from East to West, Sayed Nasrat, explains the challenge humanitarian aid faces in light of the embargo on Rojava. Moving back East, Dr. Jean-Pierre Cabestan, Professor and Head of the Department of Government and International Studies at Hong Kong Baptist University, considers the future of cross-strait relations and Beijing’s policy towards Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.
Next, Dr. Takashi Inoguchi, Professor Emeritus at the University of Tokyo, presents the findings of his original survey gauging the quality of life of ordinary people across the entire Asia region. Dr. Dmitry V. Shlapentokh, Associate Professor for the Department of History at Indiana University then examines the gap between rhetoric and reality between the United States and Russia from past to present. Our issue concludes with Dr. Bertrand G. Ramcharan, a career UN official and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights explores the Chinese Communist Party’s use of preventative diplomacy in parts of Asia. We hope that this issue will foster a greater understanding and interest in this complex region. It is our pleasure to present to you, “Asia Inquiry: A Continental Analysis.”