The Touch-and-Go in US-Russia Relations and Implications for the Asia-Pacific
On May 26, GMF President Karen Donfried and GMF Senior Fellow for Asia Daniel Twining participated in an event titled "The Touch-and-Go in US-Russia Relations and Implications for the Asia-Pacific" hosted by the Tokyo Foundation in Tokyo, Japan. Donfried began by noting GMF's fruitful partnership with the Tokyo Foundation and said that Japan is a key piece of the liberal international order. She said that the crisis in Ukraine is important to Europeans, Americans, and Japanese because it has challenged the liberal international order. "We [in the White House] felt that it was critically important that we stand by the principles that were the foundation of that order, the principles of rule of law. That a stronger country cannot annex territory of its weaker neighbor. That it's critically important to respect the sovereignty of another independent country. That it's important to respect the territorial integrity of a country." A policy priority for the U.S., Europe, and Japan, Donfried said, has been supporting Ukraine's political development and economic health. She applauded Japan for an economic package to Ukraine that she called "extremely generous" and said Japan decision to stand with the West on sanctions, through the G7, has been "very powerful."
In his comments, Daniel Twining considered similarities and differences between the geopolitical situations in Eastern Europe and East Asia. Specifically, he drew a parallel between Russian aggression in Eastern Europe and Chinese aggression in East Asia. "We need to work much more closely together," Twining said, "Together, we'll always be much stronger." Donfried and Twining commented alongside Michito Tsuruoka and Taisuke Abiru, who are both Tokyo Foundation Research Fellows. Tokyo Foundation Director of Foreign and Security Policy Research Tsuneo Watanabe moderated the conversation, which was simultaneously translated in English and Japanese.