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Archive for the ‘Asia’ Category

United States Hosts 46,000 Students from ASEAN, Bringing $1.3 Billion to Economy

In Asia on May 22, 2012 at 2:18 pm

This post appeared on AseanMattersforAmerica and was co-authored with Damien Tomkins.

Twenty-eight students from Vietnam receive MBAs from Griggs University in Silver Spring, Maryland. Photo by Rajmund Dabrowski/ANN via Flickr (Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 2.0).

More than 46,000 students from Southeast Asia came to the United States for the academic year 2010-2011, comprising 6 percent of all foreign students in the United States, according to the Institute of International Education (IIE). However, growth has been slow, with only a 10 percent increase over the last decade in the number of ASEAN students in the United States. Many countries, in fact, have experienced significant decreases in the number of students they send to the US, but the exponential growth from Vietnam has buoyed the overall total. Foreign students from ASEAN and their dependents contributed about $1.3 billion to the US economy last year, an average of about $28,000 per student, based on Asia Matters for America estimates of data from the National Association of International Educators.

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Interactive Graphics: US Exports to Asia, 2011

In Asia, Infographics on March 15, 2012 at 2:08 pm

This appeared on Asia Matters for America.

US states exported $413 billion worth of merchandise to Asia in 2011, according to preliminary data released by the Commerce Department. We broke down the exports to four major Asian destinations – Japan, Korea, Australia and the ten countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) – to show which states are gaining the most from trade with Asia. Explore more in this interactive data graphic:

Click for full interactive graphic

California is the top exporting state to Japan, Korea and Australia, with combined exports of $25.2 billion in 2011. Computer and electronic products are the state’s leading exports to the three destinations, yet over the last five years the value of these exports has declined, by as much as a third to Korea. However, the state has increased its exports of manufactured food items – by more than double in the last five years to Korea and Australia – and more modest growth in the lucrative chemicals trade.

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For first time, Asia matches US high-tech investment expenditure

In Asia on February 9, 2012 at 3:56 pm

This originally appeared on Asia Matters for America.

US has lost over one quarter of high-tech manufacturing jobs in past decade.

Ten countries in Asia together invested $399 billion in S&T research and development, as much as the United States, in 2009. Image Source: National Science Board

For the first time in history, the Asian region in 2009 spent as much on research and development in science and technology (S&T) fields as the United States, the traditional leader in high technology investment. The spending has cost American jobs because multinational companies, many of them US-based, locate more of their knowledge-intensive, research and development jobs in Asia, according to a new report by the US National Science Board. During the last decade, the United States has lost nearly three in ten high-tech manufacturing jobs.

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America is second largest home for Koreans living abroad

In Asia on November 29, 2011 at 7:52 pm

This post originally appeared on

The town of Palisades Park, New Jersey, sits close to the George Washington Bridge, one of the main commuter thoroughfares into New York. Until the 1980s, the town was mostly Italian-American, with inexpensive houses and its share of vacant storefronts and buildings. But now, Korean language signs and bustling shops are tangible evidence that this town is home to the densest concentration of Korean Americans in the United States. More than 44 percent of the town’s population is now Korean American, reports the New York Times, up from 31 percent in 2000.

Caption: Mean Wealth of Households, 2009. Chart Source: Shinagawa and Lee

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US Congress Passes US-Korea Free Trade Agreement

In Asia on October 17, 2011 at 6:45 pm

This was written for the Korea Matters for America project.

Both houses of the Congress approved the US-South Korea Free Trade Agreement yesterday, marking the largest expansion of trade relations since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) took effect seventeen years ago. The Korea agreement was passed along with trade deals with Columbia and Panama.

The deal passed as South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak began an official state visit in the United States with President Barack Obama. President Obama said the trade deals are “a major win for American workers and businesses,” and that “the alliance between the United States and the Republic of Korea is stronger than it has ever been.” President Lee called the agreement a “historic achievement” that “will open up a new chapter in our relationship.”

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Hong Kong

In Asia, Photography on December 23, 2009 at 9:52 am

From the Hong Kong fish market and harbor at Sai Kung:

Two Talibans

In Asia on December 9, 2009 at 12:32 pm

The New York Times published this article by Scott Shane about a month ago, but I think it continues to be relevant now, as Obama just announced his new/revised Afghanistan policy of the “surge” (which another commentator mentioned is the war strategy formerly known as “escalation”.)

The article essentially lays out how there are two different groups called “Taliban” that the U.S. is fighting in Afghanistan, with quite different motivations and constituencies:

At the core of the tangle are the two Taliban movements, Afghan and Pakistani. They share an ideology and a dominant Pashtun ethnicity, but they have such different histories, structures and goals that the common name may be more misleading than illuminating, some regional specialists say.

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Just finished: Chinese Lessons

In Asia on July 7, 2009 at 11:36 am

Just finished reading John Pomfret’s Chinese Lessons. Suggested by my dad, it’s a wonderful book for those interested in how China is changing and has changed over the past three decades. Pomfret recounts the stories of his Chinese classmates when he was an exchange student at one of China’s top universities in the early 1980s. Stories of the Cultural Revolution can shatter the heart but also provide insight into the character of the Chinese people today. Pomfret, who was one of the first Americans to enter China after it normalized relations in 1979 and was among the first to be kicked out in 1989 for witnessing the Tiananmen incident firsthand, then travels back to China for a class reunion to catch up with his classmates and observes how the last 20 years have changed China and them.

Maybe now I’ll have time for some National Geographic magazine reading. The last issue I’ve finished is probably April.

"How Somali Pirates Could Take Obama Hostage"

In Asia on May 18, 2009 at 10:23 am

As far as titles go, this one is pretty good. The notion of the president of the United States taken hostage by thugs on the open seas is too good to resist — how could you not want to read the article from the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI)? It reminds me of the many events we hold here at the Center: we try to come up with provocative or unusual titles for what are often quite dry topics. Not necessarily boring, mind you…and sometimes very interesting. But they are often quite humorless. So I appreciate a good title when I see one.

Of course, the article is referring to how pirates can hostage Obama’s presidential agenda, not the person himself:

The notion that an American president cannot permit hostages or POWs to remain in captivity without suffering a significant political penalty is exceptionally dangerous—gravely injuring two presidencies in succession. … Otherwise, when a Somali pirate detains an American sailor and holds him captive in Mogadishu, Obama may find that his administration is also being held hostage.

Still, that title is pretty arresting.

U.S.-Asia facts

In Asia on May 5, 2009 at 4:03 pm

Did you know:
•    93% of Arkansas’s international students come from Asia
•    Mississippi’s “Asian alone” population grew 87% during 2004-07, fastest in the nation
•    Louisiana has exports to Asia of $2,547 per capita, fourth in the country

These are from the new brochure for Asia Matters for America. The brochure is coming soon, but the website is available now.