To Avert Disaster the US Must Deal With North Korea

North Korea is rapidly developing its nuclear program, conducting multiple missile tests as well as two nuclear tests in 2016. The regime is also accused of using a chemical weapon to assassinate the North Korean dictator’s half-brother who had been living under China’s protection. The brazen attack while the man was in Kuala Lumpur and the series of tests prompted a response from China. “Following Jong-nam’s killing, China has for the first time blocked coal imports from North Korea,” explains Rakesh Sood, former ambassador and disarmament specialist, with more than 35 years of experience with India’s foreign service. “China is North Korea’s biggest trading partner accounting for more than 80 percent of its foreign trade.” Sanctions have not worked, and analysts suggest that the country could have a long-range missile capable of reaching the continental United States before 2019. A dangerous threat confronts countries with a combined population of 2 billion. Sood urges sustained coordination and dialogue, possibly along with assurances that North Korea won’t be attacked first as long as it completely freezes its nuclear program with verification. – YaleGlobal

The Politics, Law, and Economics of U.S. Immigration Policy

Immigration policy has made headlines in recent months, with one side arguing that globalization and immigration threaten the domestic economy and national security and the other arguing just the opposite. What light can economics, law, and political science shed on this debate? How does this political moment and policy debate relate to the themes and topics covered in the State & Society course? Speakers include Michael Clemens, Center for Global Development and Harold Koh, Yale Law School. Moderated by Mushfiq Mobarak, Professor of Economics, Yale School of Management.

April 11, 2017, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. EDT

Disrupting US-China Relations Will Incur High Costs

The United States and China, the world’s largest markets, are major trade partners. The relationship provides numerous benefits including affordable goods for households and millions of jobs for both nations: China has an estimated 16 million, albeit many with low wages, engaged in exports to the US, and the United States has more than 1 million engaged in exports to China, explains Farok Contractor, a professor in the Management and Global Business Department of Rutgers University. Donald Trump has revived an outdated charge that China engages in currency manipulation – though formal designation requires the US Treasury Department finding a significant trade surplus, a material current account surplus and persistent one-sided intervention by a trade partner in the foreign exchange market with repeated net purchases of foreign currency. That is not the case with China, which has struggled to prop up its currency in recent months, and Contractor also offers a brief argument to counter allegatons that China manipulates the yuan to increase exports. “Proposals to return jobs to the US are economically non-viable,” Contractor concludes. “Disruption of global value chains would add hundreds of billions per year to US businesses, increasing prices for US buyers – with extra costs falling disproportionately on lower-income Americans.” Political leaders must understand the high stakes of disrupting the trade relationship, and Contractor concludes that cooperation is a better strategy for contending with the challenges of the 21st century economy. – YaleGlobal

China Has Chance to Undercut US by Wooing Taiwan

In the interest of peace, virtually all countries maintain official relations with China and unofficial relations with Taiwan. In December, the US president-elect disrupted this broad international understanding by questioning need for the One China policy and treating it as a bargaining chip. Two months later, President Donald Trump backed down and reconfirmed the policy during a telephone call with China’s President Xi Jinping. The US lurching back and forth on policy won’t be quickly forgotten by either China or Taiwan, explains journalist and author Humphrey Hawksley. For two decades, Taiwan has been a vibrant democracy, and the Taiwanese people are divided over independence and forging stronger ties with China. Hawksley offers the example of interconnected economies of Taiwan’s Kinmen and China’s Xiamen, separated by a stretch of water only a few kilometers wide. Economies and attitudes have advanced since 1949 when China split, Hawksley notes, yet the political stance has barely shifted. China and Taiwan could ensure stability and pre-empt further US disruptions by reaching an agreement that allows recognition for Taiwan and more connections. – YaleGlobal

Students find commonalities and make connections on Russian and American soil

At a time of mounting tensions between the United States and Russia over Ukraine and reports of election hacking, two Yale undergraduates are among a group of American students busily collaborating on research projects with Russian counterparts, and finding much common ground.

The two — seniors Irina Gavrilova and David Kurkovskiy — are among the 31 delegates in the 2016-2017 Stanford-Russia Forum (SURF), which annually brings together students from Russian and American universities to promote dialogue and cooperation on issues and challenges of mutual concern, creating lasting ties in the process. The program runs through the academic year.

Gavrilova and Kurkovskiy were selected for SURF from over 600 applicants from 168 universities in the United States and Russia. Since most of the delegates are graduate students, the Yale undergraduates felt particularly excited to be chosen. They are among a handful of Yale students to take part in SURF since its inception about eight years ago.

Exhibit highlights Yale Medicine’s role in WWI

On June 18, 1917, Benjamin Edward Shove submitted an application to be an orderly with the Yale Mobile Hospital Unit 39, which would accompany American forces to the battlefront in France.

Shove, a 25-year-old Yale graduate, noted on the enrollment form that he was “slightly nearsighted.”

“I must serve in some way and that as quickly as possible,” he wrote. “Because of eyes, I fear that I can’t be a soldier.”

US Walks Away From TPP, Leaving China Free to Dominate Asia

The Obama administration has suspended efforts to win approval from the US Congress for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, reports suggest, and it’s up to the Trump administration to kill or shape the 12-nation deal. With TPP on life support, China promotes two other trade agreements for the region, either of which could exclude the United States and reduce its competitiveness in the Asia Pacific region. “In threatening to sabotage the Trans-Pacific Partnership by opposing US ratification of the 12-nation pact, Trump is, in effect, stepping aside to allow China to control trade and investment in the Asia Pacific region,” explains journalist and author Anthony Rowley. Japan, the world’s third largest economy and a close US ally, is not so ready to give up on TPP and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with the US president-elect. Rowley cautions that the US president-elect’s promises to upend foreign policy commitments already influence decisions being made throughout East Asia and other countries will step into the void.