Connecting People & Ideas to Advance Mutual Interests in U.S.-Asia Relations

In November 2013 China imposed an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over the East China Sea. Tensions in the region already were elevated over bitter historical quarrels and disputed territories. In an effort to further constructive dialogue on these issues, in mid-February 2014 the Mansfield Foundation initiated a multi-part program on maritime and territorial disputes in East Asian waters. The program included private and public meetings in Washington and Tokyo. In each city leading experts from the United States and Asia met to discuss issues related to these disputes in private and public forums. The private sessions allowed participants to examine the issues and explore solutions in frank, non-political, and off-the-record settings. The private meetings were followed by public events that provided opportunities to engage on the issues with representatives of the think tank, media, government, business and academic communities in Washington, D.C., and Tokyo. Several of the participants and other experts were asked to author brief essays addressing issues related to the maritime and territorial disputes. The essays were revised to reflect the private and public sessions in Washington, and were compiled in a compendium, “East China Sea Tensions, Perspectives and Implications,” published in March 2014.

The February 12, 2014 symposium in Washington featured James Feinerman (Georgetown University Law School) as moderator and panelists Andrew Erickson (John King Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University), Ely Ratner (Center for a New American Security), Kuen-Chen Fu (Shanghai Jiaotong University and Xiamen University) and Satoru Mori (Hosei University). During lunch, Gordon Chang ( provided a spirited address on “Asia’s 1937 Syndrome.” Donald Clarke (George Washington University Law School) moderated a second panel featuring Wallace “Chip” Gregson (U.S. Marine Corps (ret), and Banyan Analytics, an ANSER Institute), Tsuneo Watanabe (The Tokyo Foundation), Jun Osawa (Institute for International Policy Studies) and Gordon Chang. The program ended with a keynote address by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Strategy and Multilateral Affairs Michael Fuchs (Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Department of State).

In March 2014 several of the panelists travelled to Tokyo along with Mansfield Foundation staff to continue their dialogue with senior members of the Japanese government and U.S. officials and to participate in a second symposium.