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China-Korea-U.S. Relations
A Robert Scalapino Memorial Dialogue  

The Korea Society, NY     Speakers:  Ralph Cossa, President, Pacific Forum CSIS   Shen Dingli, Dean, Fudan University Han Sukhee, Professor, Yonsei University John Delury, Professor, Yonsei University Scott Snyder, Senior Fellow, Korea Studies and Director, Program on U.S-Korea Policy, Council on Foreign Relations   Korea’s President Park Geun-hye and senior advisors have called for enhanced trilateral relations among Korea, the United States, and China. This year’s historic summits between Obama and Park, Obama and Xi, and Park and Xi revealed a growing complementarity of positions on North Korea and denuclearization. How does Korea navigate the space between its great ally and great neighbor? How do domestic factors influence foreign policy making in all three nations? How do China and U.S. strategists truly regard cooperation on near- term challenges, such as North Korean nuclear and missile development, as well as longer-term realities of integration and unification?     Organized by The Korea Society  

The Korean Peninsula and Strategic Risk  

Thursday, 14 November 2013  The Korea Society, NY   Speaker:  Bruce Klinger, Senior Fellow, Heritage Foundation   Heritage Senior Fellow and influential blogger Bruce Klingner opined on recent challenges on the Korean Peninsula and the implications for those who assess strategic risk in Northeast Asia. Klingner is a former career intelligence official, Intellibridge executive, Eurasia Group analyst, and frequent voice on Capitol Hill and in the media. He offered a Studio Korea recording audience insight into how to analyze North Korea, identify tripwires, and weigh changing Chinese attitudes toward the Peninsula.   Organized by The Korea Society  

The Seoul-Beijing-Pyongyang Triangle

CKR/KEI Policy Forum

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Changing relationship dynamics between Seoul, Pyongyang and Beijing were highlighted in this CKR/KEI Policy Forum. Charles Armstrong, Korea Foundation Professor of Korean Studies in the Social Sciences in Columbia University’s Department of History, noted that there is a new relationship dynamic between South Korea, led by Mandarin-speaking president Park Geun-hye, and China. Stephanie Kleine-Ahlbrandt, director of the Asia-Pacific Program at the United States Institute of Peace then followed up by noting that, although China projected a sterner demeanor towards North Korea after nuclear testing, any change in their relationship was not substantive. Stability rather than denuclearization remains China’s overriding goal with regard to North Korea, and Ms. Kleine-Ahlbrandt does not foresee a fundamental adjustment of Chinese policy on North Korea in the near future, although this may be possible in the long term. Troy Stangarone, senior director of Congressional Affairs and Trade at the Korea Economic Institute of America, noted that China and South Korea have to work together to ensure stability in North Korea, and that stronger economic ties are bringing China and South Korea closer. Professor Armstrong concluded by commenting on the very low probability of the North Korean regime’s collapse, likening it to the play “Waiting for Godot.” He also noted that ties between North Korea and China are based not on deep friendship, but national interest. North Korea has no choice in the matter since China is its economic supporter.   Co-sponsored by the Center for Korean Research and the Korea Economic Institute Policy Forum at Columbia University  

Corporate Legacies: In Conversation with Nicholas Bratt

Thursday, 7 November 2013   This event took place at the Korea Society and featured Nicholas Bratt, Managing Director and Member of the Board, Lazard Asset Management Pacific.  Mr. Bratt was Scudder’s breakout force in Korean investment, opening Korea’s markets to international investors. His work in the 1970s helped define investment norms and new areas for growth and opportunity. A trailblazer, Bratt reflected on the challenges of the early days, and shared insights into today’s investment climate in conversation with The Korea Society’s Ambassador, Mark Minton.   Organized by The Korea Society

Korea, the United States and Cross-Investment Opportunities

Monday, October 21, 2013 

The Korea Society, New York, NY  

Speaker:  Park Jong Soo, Chairman, Korea Financial Investment Association and the International Council of Securities Associations

Chairman Park addressed Korean investments in America and opportunities for Americans in Korea. The U.S. is Korea's number-one investment destination at over $17 billion a year, a number growing through new partnerships across diverse areas, including financial markets. Chairman Park focused on the financial sector and regulatory challenges.

Organized by The Korea Society

The Asian Century and the Global Response

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

H.E. Dr. Marty Natalegawa, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Indonesia, delivered his lecture on “Indonesia and East Asia” at a Special Event sponsored by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute (WEAI),  the School of International and Public Affairs, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Study Center, and the Southeast Asian Student Initiative. After remarks and an introduction by Myron L. Cohen, Director of WEAI, Dr. Natalegawa opened his lecture by introducing “two kinds of pathways” open to East Asia in the near and distant future. He described one path of peaceful prosperity, stability, and continued economic growth and another path marked by increased tension, threats, and territorial disputes: “How do we manage or address change?” He warned against the “return of a Cold War type approach or mindset” that would create fault lines in the region. He remarked on Indonesia’s purposeful and deliberate pursuit of the first vision and, subsequently, put forward the challenges associated with embarking upon that path, along with potential solutions.  To read a full report, click here.

The Asian Century and the Global Response

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Acknowledging the reality that Asia’s economy will represent over half the world’s GDP by 2050, the East Asian Bureau of Economic Research (EABER) of the Australian National University (ANU) organized this day-long conference at Columbia University to evaluate the consequences of this shift in economic power.  Peter Drysdale, emeritus professor of economics at ANU’s Crawford School of Public Policy and head of EABER, convened the conference and chaired the first session, “The Rise of Asia’s Economy and Its Impact.”  Lead discussants included Ken Henry from ANU, David Gruen from the Australian Treasury, Yiping Huang from Peking University and ANU, and Homi Kharas from the Brookings Institution.  Professor Patrick chaired the second session, “Asia and the American Response.”  Lead discussants included Michael Armacost from Stanford University, Dwight Perkins from Harvard University, and Sheila Smith from the Council on Foreign Relations.  Dr. Henry chaired the third session, “Global Regime and Architecture,” which included lead discussants Elizabeth Economy from the Council on Foreign Relations, Colin Bradford from the Brookings Institution, Richard Cooper from Harvard University, and Axel von Trotsenburg from the World Bank.   

Co-sponsored with the Australian National University and the Australian Consulate-General of New York. 

A Limited Peace: The Korean War Armistice after Sixty Years

Friday, 3 May 2013

This day-long conference addressed the state of the Korean War armistice on its 60-year anniversary.  Charles Armstrong, The Korea Foundation Professor of Korean Studies in the Social Sciences in the Department of History and director of the Center for Korean Research at Columbia University, introduced and moderated the conference.  Session One concerned the geopolitics of Korean division, and commenced with a keynote address by Bruce Cumings, Gustavus F. and Ann M. Swift Distinguished Service Professor in History and the College and Chair, Department of History at the University of Chicago, who weighed in on whether the armistice has been effective in holding the peace in Korea.  Other speakers included Professor Avram Agov from Harvard University and Professor Armstrong, who discussed the political and historical aspects of the armistice, followed by Andrew Nathan from Columbia University who served as a discussant. 

Following lunch, there was a screening of Pak Sang-ho’s heartrending 1965 film “The DMZ (Pimujang chidae).”  Session Two focused on the cultural and literary dimensions of national division, and commenced with a talk by Professor Suk-Young Kim from the University of California-Santa Barbara the unlikely collusion of trauma and tourism around the DMZ.  Professor Susie Kim from the University of Virginia then discussed themes of suspended temporality, unknowability and impermanence in Park Wan-seo's fiction and the film Taegukgi: The Brotherhood of War (2004). Professor Theodore Hughes from Columbia University served as a discussant.  Finally, Marilyn Young from New York University offered a critique of U.S. policies, asserting that "peace on the [Korean] peninsula has been held hostage to America's needs."

Organized by the Center for Korean Research and also co-sponsored by the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies.

The Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement:  One Year On

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Speaker: Wendy Cutler, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Japan, Korea and APEC Affairs, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.  Moderator: Nikita Desai, Director of Policy & Corporate Programs, The Korea Society

Ms. Cutler recounted the experience of implementing the U.S.-South Korea free trade agreement (FTA) over its first year, and declared it a success overall.  There had been many tariffs cut, resulting in an increase in exports from both sides; her office has received many phone calls from companies who are seeking to take advantage of the new rules.  She said that integrating the auto industry into a scheme of reduced tariffs was the biggest hurdle, but that it had been overcome, resulting in reduced auto tariffs will be in place for five years, and trucks for eight years.  And since Hyundai and Kia have auto plants in the United States, these reduced tariffs are actually expanding jobs here too. 

After her presentation, Ms. Cutler faced a slew of questions from the audience.  One questioner asked about the increase in agricultural products exported from Korea to the United States; she acknowledged that there had been an increase, but mostly to ethnic Korean communities, showing the competitive advantage that countries have.  Another asked about President Obama’s promise to combat climate change by reducing carbon dioxide emissions, noting that the FTA had relaxed auto emissions standards.  Ms. Cutler replied that these rules were only for low-volume exports, since it had been determined that it would be uneconomical for this category of industry to have too many standards imposed on them.

 As a result of the success of the U.S.-Korea FTA, Ms. Cutler believes that Korea would be a natural fit for integration into the newly-proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).  Her office has been consulting with Korea about this proposal regularly, so if they want to participate they’ll be ready to join the negotiations.

Organized by The Korea Society.

Spring 2013 Distinguished Speaker in International Finance and Economic Policy

Richard W. Fisher, President & CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas:  An Economic & Monetary Policy Outlook

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

  Richard W. Fisher, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, presented his views on the U.S. and global economic and monetary policy outlook as the Spring 2013 distinguished speaker in international finance and economic policy. He began by addressing the current monetary policy of quantitative easing.  Aside from the initial QE program, he has opposed all the large-scale asset purchase programs. He believes they were inefficient and, though theoretically compelling, that borrowers do not use cheap credit to increase payrolls.  He explained how the Federal Reserve Bank’s (“the Fed’s”) contortionary yield curve is not very sustainable and adds to existing uncertainties.  However, despite his strong feelings against quantitative easing, he believes that a sudden stop in the program would do more harm than good. He suggested instead to slowly taper it down so that securities can once again be assessed by fundamentals.   Mr. Fisher then addressed the problem of systemic risk and too-big-to-fail banks, calling them the enablers of a financial tsunami. Both he and the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas believe that the Dodd-Frank Act does not do enough to constrain large banks, and moreover unwillingly exacerbates the problems it sets out to solve. So he had a proposal to level the playing field for all banks. According to his proposal, only commercial banking and short-term deposits would benefit from the Fed’s discount window; also, shadow banks would not benefit from the discount window, and would not have government protection or guarantees. He also suggested restructuring financial institutions and initiating faster bankruptcy proceedings. He concluded by saying that his vision was to make banks too small to save instead of too big to fail.   Mr. Fisher’s speech was followed by an interactive discussion with Charles W. Calomiris, Henry Kaufman Professor of Financial Institutions at Columbia Business School, and Jan Svejnar, James T. Shotwell Professor of Global Political Economy and Director of the Center on Global Economic Governance at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). Robert C. Lieberman, Interim Dean of SIPA, made introductory remarks, and Merit E. Janow, Professor of Practice at Columbia University and Director of the International Finance and Economic Policy Program at SIPA, moderated the event.   This event was co-sponsored with the International Finance and Economic Policy program at SIPA.

China’s Independent Think Tanks: A Comparative Perspective

Monday, 4 February 2013

This Luncheon Lecture features Wang Haiming, founder and secretary-general of China Finance 40 Forum, a leading think tank on finance and economics in China. Shang-Jin Wei, N T Wang Professor of Chinese Business and Economy and Director of the Chazen Institute of International Business will provide comments and moderate the discussion.    Before founding China Finance 40 Forum, Mr. Wang was an accomplished journalist and commentator. From 2001 to 2008, Mr. Wang worked at 21st Century Business Herald, a leading Chinese economic news agency, first as a journalist covering economy and finance, then as a research fellow and the head of Editorial Committee. He is also the founder and executive vice director of Shanghai Finance Institute.   Mr. Wang also serves as the executive editor of China Finance Review and is the author of two books---Second Wave: the Second Revolution in Transitioning China and Transformations in 20 years.  Mr. Wang graduated from Peking University with double degrees in political science and economics in 2000.     This event is co-hosted by the Chazen Institute of International Business, the Weatherhead East Asian Institute and Columbia's APEC Study Center.

Banker to the World—Lessons from the Front Lines of Global Finance

Tuesday, 15 January 2013 Bill Rhodes, President and Chief Executive Officer, William R. Rhodes Global Advisors, LLC; Senior Advisor, Citi; and Professor-at-Large, Brown University, spoke about the current economic and financial challenges faced by European countries as they tackle debt crises. He recently wrote Banker to the World, which focused on his involvement in several major sovereign debt crises around the world. He discussed the repercussions of these crises and the threats they pose to the global economy, the stability of financial market economies, and the current state of the economies of Japan, China, and Korea.  This talk was moderated by Mr. Harold McGraw III, Chairman, President and CEO of the McGraw-Hill Companies.   This talk was hosted by the Asia Society.

APEC 2013: Resilient Asia-Pacific: Engine of Global Growth

Thursday, 10 January 2013 The Asia Society hosted a two person panel including Atul Keshap, the U.S. State Department’s senior official for Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and Wendy Cutler, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Japan, Korea, and APEC Affairs in the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR).  Mr. Keshap began his remarks with a summary of APEC economies’ value to the global economy.  He concluded that APEC is the “beating heart of the economic and trade dynamism of the APEC region.”  Mr. Keshap then described APEC’s strengths as a “trendsetter” for regulation through the use of forward-leaning, nonbinding resolutions, a body with high level commitments that offer the power of moral suasion, and a facilitator of business interests.  Mr. Keshap outlined the U.S. goals for APEC’s 2013 Indonesia year as (1) furthering the Bogor Goals for open trade and investment, (2) promoting sustainable growth with equity, and (3) promoting connectivity.  Ms. Cutler followed Mr. Keshap’s remarks with an emphasis on the trade aspects of the USTR’s engagement with APEC.  She highlighted four key areas that the USTR’s office will bring forward in APEC’s Indonesia year:  eliminating non-tariff barriers on environmental goods, enhancing regulatory practices, limiting local content requirements, and improving supply chain performance.  Ms. Cutler also emphasized that the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a U.S. priority, but it will complement rather than replace APEC.  The panel was moderated by Monica Whaley, the president of the National Center for APEC.  It was hosted by the Asia Society, and co-sponsored by the US-APEC Business Coalition. http://asiasociety.org/new-york/events/apec-2013-resilient-asia-pacific-engine-global-growth