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Asia’s Multilateral Cooperation and Bilateral Tensions: Finding a Way Forward


East Asian multilateral cooperation has been slowed in recent years due to numerous disputes between the countries. The China-Japan-Korea trilateral relationship too has been negatively affected by historical and territorial disputes. This paper analyzes the impact of such disputes on the trilateral relationship, and suggests a broad policy course the countries could take to disengage these thorny disputes from the positive benefits of enhanced cooperation.

Kyle Johnson is a first-year M.A. student at SAIS, concentrating in Korea studies with a specialization in economic policy. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and Communications from the University of North Dakota. Kyle’s experience includes working as a newspaper reporter and a researcher and writer for a U.S. senator. He also spent two years in Gwangju, South Korea, where he taught English and cultivated an interest in Asian issues, including American foreign policy in Asia.