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EWI in Asia

In the 21st century, the EastWest Institute cannot fulfill its mission of making the world a safer place without a decisive shift in its thinking about Asia. We must expand our networks into the region and set up effective mechanisms that address the strategic fault-lines across and around Asia. To achieve this projection into Asia more rapidly than normal NGO funding patterns permit, we have established an "EWI in Asia" fund.

The Situation

The 20th century was dominated by Western power and culture. That century of pre-eminence is over and is being replaced by something quite different. Western powers are now at the diplomatic table with Asian powers of enormous capacity and high degrees of political mobilization. The East has been ambivalent about or even hostile toward a world order that emerged out of Western domination. Leading Asian powers remain cautious about taking on additional responsibilities to reform that order in ways that reflect what they really think and feel about it. The West, for the most part, has been reluctant to give up its advantages and is not psychologically prepared to treat resurgent Asia - the "new East" - as its equal. This period of transition requires the developed West to sit down with the emerging East and decide new burden-sharing responsibilities and, in many cases, new rules of the game.

A number of leading states in Asia, both large and small, want to change world order. India and Japan want permanent membership in the UN Security Council. Iran and North Korea want a redistribution of military power based on nuclear capacities. China wants "multipolarity" instead of a US-led order based on liberal values. This demand for change presents threats to peace but also opportunities to make it.

Our Response

In 2006, EWI's Board of Directors endorsed a strategy for projecting EWI into Asia. Our principal strategic goal in 2007 is to help reconcile the growing power and goals of the emerging East with the status quo favored by the developed West, so together we can confront effectively key threats to peace and security. We have developed ambitious new projects to address threats emanating from Asia and harness the region's potential to shape a new global order. These include:

  • Combating Violent Extremism and Radicalization
  • Building an East-West Consensus on Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • International Task Force on Preventive Diplomacy
  • Trialogue21

EWI's Unique Contribution

The "EWI in Asia" fund will make EWI's transition possible. The Fund will be used to:

  • Bring an increasing number of high-level Asian decision makers and specialists together with their counterparts in the US and Europe for innovative private discussions linked to EWI's programmatic initiatives.
  • Create new mechanisms for private dialogue among the countries of Asia and the Euro-Atlantic community to defuse specific threats to peace and security.


EWI's Off-the-Record US-China Security Dialogue

Between June 18-21, 2007 a high-level US delegation led by the EastWest Institute (EWI) completed several days of private talks and meetings with scholars and officials in China. EWI's President and CEO John Edwin Mroz led the US delegation for off-the-record discussions hosted by the China Institute of International Studies (CIIS). The EWI delegation included General James L. Jones USMC (ret.), President and CEO, Institute for Energy, US Chamber of Commerce; General Lance Lord (ret.), former Commander, Air Force Space Command; Ambassador Henry A. Crumpton (ret.), EWI Distinguished Fellow and former Coordinator for Counterterrorism for the US State Department; Mr. Francis Finlay, EWI Board member and Chairman and CEO, Clay Finlay, Inc., and Mr. Joel Cowan, EWI Board member and President, Habersham & Cowan.

The delegation met with representatives of leading Chinese think tanks, including CIIS and the Institute for Strategic Studies of the National Defense University of China. The subjects discussed included energy security, militarization of outer space, international stabilization of Afghanistan, and controls on weapons of mass destruction. In Beijing the EWI delegation also met with Chinese Foreign Minister, Yang Jiechi, and Vice Minister of the International Department of the Chinese Communist Party, Zhang Zhijun.

Engaging India

Ambassador Ortwin Hennig's recent visit to Delhi and Mumbai solidified EWI's relationship with an emerging power. He met with political and business leaders and discussed issues of global concern with members of the Strategic Foresight Group.

Engaging Jordan and the Arab World

During his recent visit to Amman, Ambassador Ortwin Hennig met with political and business leaders to further the Institute's search for common ground between the Arab and Western worlds. Key global issues and possibilities for Jordan's active participation in EWI projects were explored.

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Photo: EWI Leading the Push for a U.N. Breakthrough on WMD
EWI Leading the Push for a U.N. Breakthrough on WMD
The EastWest Institute is leading a coalition of NGOs and think-tanks to convene a conference at the United Nations on October 24 to help break the log-jam in global efforts to control and reduce stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will deliver the keynote speech. Other speakers include former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, and representatives from China, India, Iran, Japan, Pakistan, the U.S. and several other countries. More | Media Coverage | Conference Agenda
Photo: Where Do We Go from Here? Charting an Alternative Course for Afghanistan
Where Do We Go from Here? Charting an Alternative Course for Afghanistan
Ortwin Hennig, Vice President of the EastWest Institute and Head of our Preventive Diplomacy Program, reflects on the goals of international intervention in Afghanistan, effectiveness of current strategies, and options for the road ahead. These are his remarks from the first meeting of the EWI Study Group on Alternative Futures for Afghanistan and the Stability of Southwest Asia. More | Download in PDF (52 KB)
Photo: China, Russia, and the U.S.: Moving Beyond the Georgia Crisis
China, Russia, and the U.S.: Moving Beyond the Georgia Crisis
EWI Senior Fellow Steve Noerper writes from China on Chinese perspectives of Russia-US relations in the aftermath of the Russia-Georgia conflict. More
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