SPF NUS-ISAS Joint Webinar Part 1
Post-election U.S. Policy toward the Indo-Pacific: Expectations and Concerns

As the resident hegemon of the region, American involvement in the Indo-Pacific is not only critical to the security of its allies and partners, but also signals Washington’s resolve and power to maintain the balance of power in the Indo-Pacific. However, even when there is a bipartisan consensus in the United States (U.S.) for the need to counter China’s revisionist aims and assertive behavior in the region, the intensity of its engagement and commitment has not escaped the vagaries of domestic politics and leadership styles. Irrespective of President Donald Trump’s partisan domestic politics, the U.S. has adopted a more assertive attitude towards Beijing’s intransigence in the region. In both words and deeds, the Trump administration realigned American foreign policy towards an Indo-Pacific strategy. Yet, Trump’s foreign policy transactionalism and his emphasis on strict reciprocity have made America’s strategic partners question the sincerity of its commitments. China’s rise, the uncertainty of U.S. policies, and the ensuing anxieties of Asia’s regional powers over the future of Indo-Pacific have rendered the 2020 U.S. presidential election importance of historic proportions.

How will the result of the U.S. election influence Washington’s policy in the Indo-Pacific? Would the next administration continue to confront China’s assertive behavior or will it try to achieve accommodation with Beijing? How are the American allies and the strategic partners looking at the domestic transition and what do they expect from the new administration?

The panel of experts will review the consequences of the recent presidential election on the geopolitics of the Indo-Pacific. It will reflect on the shifts in domestic politics and the future of U.S. foreign policy in the Indo-Pacific. It will also discuss the expectations and anxieties among U.S. partners over American foreign and security policy commitments in the region.
Date & Time
Friday, November 27, 2020, 11:00-12:30 (JST)
Sasakawa Peace Foundation and National University of Singapore, Institute of South Asian Studies (NUS-ISAS)
-Dr. Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan (Distinguished Fellow, Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi)
-Mr. Tsuneo Watanabe (Senior Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Japan)
-Mr. Drew Thompson (Visiting Senior Research Fellow, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore)

Professor C Raja Mohan (Director, Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore)
About the Panelists

Dr. Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan
Dr. Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan is a Distinguished Fellow & Head of the Nuclear and Space Policy Initiative (NSCI), at Observer Research Foundation (ORF). She is also the senior Asia defence writer for The Diplomat. Dr Rajagopalan joined ORF after a five-year stint at the National Security Council Secretariat (2003-2007), where she was an Assistant Director. Prior to joining the NSCS, she was Research Officer at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. She was also a Visiting Professor at the Graduate Institute of International Politics, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan in 2012.
She is the author of four books: Nuclear Security in India (2015), Clashing Titans: Military Strategy and Insecurity among Asian Great Powers (2012), The Dragon’s Fire: Chinese Military Strategy and Its Implications for Asia (2009), and Uncertain Eagle: US Military Strategy in Asia (2009). She has also co-authored and edited five other books, including Space Policy 2.0: Commerce, Policy, Security and Governance Perspectives (2017); Nuclear Security in India (Second Edition) (2016); Iran Nuclear Deal: Implications of the Framework Agreement (2015).
Her research articles have appeared in edited volumes, and in peer reviewed journals such as India Review, Strategic Studies Quarterly, Air and Space Power Journal, International Journal of Nuclear Law, Strategic Analysis and CLAWS Journal. Other writings have appeared in the Journal of Strategic Studies, Journal of Peace Research and Contemporary South Asia and she has also contributed essays to newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal, Times of India, Hindustan Times, Economic Times and The Pioneer.
Dr. Rajagopalan has lectured at Indian military and policy institutions such as the Defence Service and Staff College (Wellington), National Defence College (New Delhi), Army War College (Mhow), and the Foreign Service Institute (New Delhi). She has also been invited to speak at international institutions including the UN COPUOS (Vienna), Conference on Disarmament (Geneva), UNIDIR (Geneva), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and the European Union.
Mr. Tsuneo Watanabe
Tsuneo “Nabe” Watanabe is a senior fellow of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, an independent policy research organization in Tokyo. In October 2016, Watanabe joined the Sasakawa Peace Foundation after serving a senior fellow and a director of foreign & security policy research at the Tokyo Foundation in 2009 to 2016. He served a senior fellow at the Mitsui Global Strategic Studies Institute in Tokyo in 2005 to 2009. In 1995, Watanabe joined Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C. He served a visiting research scholar, research associate, fellow and senior fellow until 2005. He is currently adjunct fellow of the CSIS.
His publications include “Powers out of Control: Why the US, China & Russia are Threats to the World?” [co-authored with Daisuke Kondo et.al. in Japanese] (Kodansha, 2017), “Asia Pacific Countries and the US Rebalancing Strategy” [co-authored with David W.F. Huang et.al.] (Palgrave Macmillan US, 2016), “NATO and Asia Pacific”[co-authored with Alexander Moens and Brooke A. Smith-Windsor et.al.](NATO Defense College, 2016),  “Are the US and China Trading Places in 2025: History Tells the Truth of the US-China Relations” [in Japanese] (PHP Research Institute, 2011). Watanabe received his D.D.S. from Tohoku University in Japan and his M.A. in political science from the New School for Social Research in New York.

Mr. Drew Thompson
Drew Thompson is a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore.
From 2011 to 2018, he was the Director for China, Taiwan and Mongolia in the Office of the Secretary of Defense where he was responsible for supporting the Secretary and managing military-to-military relations. He was previously the Director of China Studies and Starr Senior Fellow at the Center for the National Interest in Washington, D.C.  Prior to joining the Center, he was the National Director of the China-MSD HIV/AIDS Partnership in Beijing, a 5 year, $30 million HIV/AIDS program established by Merck & Co. and the Chinese Ministry of Health.  Mr. Thompson served previously as Assistant Director to the Freeman Chair in China Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).  He also was the president of a Washington, D.C. company that manufactured snack food in Qingdao, China. He lived in Shanghai from 1993 to 1998 where he was the General Manager of a U.S. freight forwarding and logistics firm, overseeing offices in Beijing, Shanghai, and Nanjing.
Mr. Thompson studied Chinese language at Beijing University in 1990, and was a graduate student in 1992 at the Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies in Nanjing, China. He graduated cum laude with a B.A. in Asian Studies from Hobart College in 1992, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. In 2004, Mr. Thompson received an M.A. in Government, with a concentration in Homeland Security, from Johns Hopkins University.
Mr. Thompson has authored monographs and articles on Sino-U.S. relations, international security and public health in Singapore Straits Times,Foreign Policy, The National Interest,China Security, The China Business Review, The International Herald Tribune, The Financial Times, China: An International Journal, and The South China Morning Post. Mr. Thompson has conducted live television interviews for CNN, C-SPAN, Fox News, Bloomberg, the BBC, Voice of America and CNBC Asia. In addition, he has conducted interviews on National Public Radio, including appearances on the Diane Rehm show.
About the Chairperson

Professor C Raja Mohan
Professor C Raja Mohan is Director, Institute of South Asian Studies, NUS. Earlier, he was Professor of South Asian Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Professor Mohan has been associated with a number of think tanks in New Delhi, including the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses, the Centre for Policy Research and the Observer Research Foundation. He was also the founding director of Carnegie India, New Delhi – the sixth international centre of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington DC. Professor Mohan was the Henry Alfred Kissinger Chair in International Affairs at the United States Library of Congress, Washington DC, from 2009 to 2010. He served on India’s National Security Advisory Board. He led the Indian Chapter of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs from 1999 to 2006.
Professor Mohan is one of India’s leading commentators on India’s foreign policy. He writes a regular column for The Indian Express and was earlier the Strategic Affairs Editor for The Hindu newspaper, Chennai. He is on the editorial boards of a number of Indian and international journals on world politics. Professor Mohan has a Master’s degree in nuclear physics and a PhD in international relations. Among his recent books are Samudra Manthan: Sino-Indian Rivalry in the Indo-Pacific (2013) and Modi’s World: Expanding India’s Sphere of Influence (2015).

SPF NUS-ISAS Joint Webinar Part 1 
Post-election U.S. Policy toward the Indo-Pacific: Expectations and Concerns

11:00 Opening and Panelist Presentations
11:40 Discussion Session
12:30 End of Session
Registration via the event portal site (below)
*This is a free event and there will no admission fee required.
Once registered, an email with the webinar access URL (Zoom), Meeting ID and password will be sent to your inbox.

For inquiries and technical issues please contact the event manager Mr. Jordan Ang (jordanang@nus.edu.sg) at NUS-ISAS.
International Peace and Security Group
E-mail: anpo-event@spf.or.jp
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