Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Henry J. Hyde, Chairman

CONTACT: Sam Stratman, (202) 226-7875, May 25, 2005

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United States Interests in Northeast Asia
Leach Schedules Thursday Oversight Hearing

BACKGROUND:   Northeast Asia remains a central component of United States foreign and strategic policy even as other concerns such as global terrorism and conflict in the Middle East capture the predominant interest of American policymakers.  North Korea, of course, has vied for Washington’s attention with its strategy of nuclear brinkmanship.  So too have relations between China and Taiwan, which, if mismanaged, could precipitate a conflict that would involve the United States.  Indeed, China is far too big and powerful to be ignored and is casting an increasingly large geopolitical shadow over the region and beyond.  While U.S.-Japan relations are closer than at any time in recent memory, Tokyo has found itself embroiled in historical legacy and territorial disputes that threaten to hobble its global leadership aspirations.  Meanwhile, relations with our South Korean allies (ROK) have been complicated by differing perspectives on the North Korean challenge, the realignment of U.S. bases in the South, and efforts by the leadership in Seoul to project an increasingly independent foreign policy.  More broadly, the Bush Administration has also embarked on a major redefinition of United States military strategies in Asia intended to reduce potential vulnerabilities of U.S. forces, while enhancing the capacity to project American military power for new threats and unanticipated contingencies.  

The purpose of the hearing is to address several principal questions about the future policy of the U.S. toward Northeast Asia, including: (1) prospects for avoiding a strategic breakdown or an acute regional crisis in relation to the Korean peninsula and Taiwan Strait; (2) whether Washington will be able to redefine a sustainable alliance relationship with South Korea and Japan; (3) growing strategic rivalry between China and Japan and implications for the U.S. and the wider region; and (4) whether Washington needs to expand beyond a focus on security policy and articulate an overarching strategy that more comprehensively links the United States to this dynamic region’s future. 

WHAT:                              Subcommittee Oversight Hearing: The United States and Northeast Asia
Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific
                                           U.S. Rep. James A. Leach (R-IA), Chairman

WHEN:                              9:30 a.m., Thursday, May 26, 2005

WHERE:                           Room 2172, Rayburn House Office Building

WITNESSES                   Christopher Hill, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, U.S. Department of State; and
                                          Richard P. Lawless
, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Asian and Pacific Affairs, Bureau of International Security Affairs,
                                          U.S. Department of Defense.

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