The Heritage Foundation’s Asian Studies Center recently released “A New View of Asia: 24 Charts That Show What’s at Stake for America,” an annual publication highlighting the critical importance of U.S.–Asia relations.
The report documents in graphic form important economic, geographic, military, and political trends in the region and emphasizes the need for the U.S.’s continued leadership in Asia.
The 24 charts serve as an educational resource for Congress, policymakers, academics, and businessmen. This year’s chart book includes new data on Asian immigration, average household income, terrorism, and nuclear power in Asia. The report observes new and old trends in Asia and highlights important areas for U.S. policymakers to look to in the future.
Some of the trends remained the same. Japan remains the number one Asian country to invest in the U.S. economy, with $308.3 billion in America. China’s outward investment continues to expand, and the U.S. Navy still ranks higher than any in Asia.
But other trends have changed. For instance, legal immigration from Asia is nearly outpacing that from Latin America.
Asia is home to a variety of countries that are at different levels of economic development and have many different types of government. “A New View of Asia” helps to synthesize the data and paint a clear picture of the current context in which American foreign, defense, and trade policies are being made. The report acknowledges notable improvements, such as political reforms in Burma, while simultaneously highlighting downsides, such as poverty in China despite the country’s consistent economic growth.
Asia is both a major investor in the U.S. and its number-one trading partner. Increasing trade and investment from Asia makes the region critical to the future of U.S. strength and vitality. And there are notable changes in Asia that should encourage the U.S. to keep apace in its relationships with the region.
Walter Lohman, director of the Asian Studies Center, notes in the report’s introduction:
The upside [of Asian growth] will not accrue to the U.S. without deep, positive involvement in the life of the region, and the downside will not be managed without our presence. It is time to take a new view of Asia fully cognizant of all that is at stake in our continuing to carry the responsibility of leadership.
Over the next several months, Heritage will continue to cover these notable trends to keep America informed about developing trends in U.S.–Asia relations.