The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) has had long-standing engagement in South and Central Asia and the Asia-Pacific. USIP’s Asia Center, established in 2015, currently maintains country offices in Afghanistan, Burma and Pakistan, where staff work with local and international partners to encourage greater inclusivity, promote political and social participation, advance justice, support mechanisms for conflict resolution and reconciliation, counter violent extremism, and pilot, test, and learn from innovative approaches to address violent conflict. The Washington, D.C.-based China program is focused on China’s impact on peace and conflict dynamics globally, with a particular interest in the countries and conflict zones where USIP works. Through research, a range of publications, public and private events, and briefings to national and international policy makers, the Asia Center deepens understanding of peace and conflict dynamics and helps inform policies and strategies on how best to manage violent conflict.

Regional and Non-Priority Country Initiatives

The Asia Center also applies its research, analysis, and convening strengths toward better understanding of regional, bilateral, or cross-border drivers of conflict relevant to its four priority country programs. The Center has previously supported research and dialogue on various aspects of the India-Pakistan and Afghanistan-Pakistan relationships, the Korean peninsula, regional economic initiatives, issues related to natural resources, and common trends in extremism in Southeast Asia, among others.

Where needs, opportunities and resources permit, the Asia Center also seeks to help prevent, mitigate or resolve violent conflict through on-ground initiatives beyond the Center’s priority programs. For example, the Center currently has active projects in Sri Lanka and Kyrgyzstan. 

Current Projects

Tracking China’s Global Security Initiative

Tracking China’s Global Security Initiative

China’s ongoing push to change the international security order entered a new phase with the launch of the Global Security Initiative (GSI) in April 2022. The GSI promotes a set of distinct security concepts and principles — many of which reflect Beijing’s longstanding international normative preferences, such an emphasis on territorial sovereignty and noninterference. USIP is tracking how the GSI is being operationalized by China, with an initial focus on essay series examining China’s GSI activities in ASEAN and Central Asia.

Conflict Analysis & PreventionJustice, Security & Rule of LawGlobal Policy

Southeast Asia in a World of Strategic Competition: An Essay Series

Southeast Asia in a World of Strategic Competition: An Essay Series

Great power rivalry between the United States and China is frequently described in bilateral terms, with regions of the world — including Southeast Asia — merely serving as arenas of competition. But this framing ignores the agency of third countries in managing the risks and opportunities presented by this competition. To explore these countries’ agency and the corresponding policy options, this USIP essays series includes contributions from 10 Southeast Asia-based experts. Each essay provides one country’s perspective on how the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) perceive and respond to strategic competition between the United States and China.

Conflict Analysis & PreventionGlobal Policy

USIP’s Work on Taiwan

USIP’s Work on Taiwan

Intensifying strategic competition has left U.S.-China ties at a historic low, and the resulting geopolitical tensions have turned Taiwan into a potential flashpoint for a military confrontation between the two great powers. Amid this complex diplomatic landscape, USIP is working to improve U.S. and Taiwanese officials’ decision-making during a potential crisis by convening “peace games” and “tabletop exercises”; to build a deeper understanding of China’s coercive strategies and capabilities; and to help policymakers develop strategies to deter Beijing from taking military action in the Taiwan Strait.

Conflict Analysis & PreventionGlobal Policy

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Featured Publications

Myanmar’s Collapsing Military Creates a Crisis on China’s Border

Myanmar’s Collapsing Military Creates a Crisis on China’s Border

Thursday, April 11, 2024

By: Jason Tower

Operation 1027 — an offensive launched in October 2023 by an alliance of three ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) against the military junta in Myanmar — has disrupted hundreds of forced labor scam syndicates operating under the protection of Myanmar’s army, dented the army’s image of invincibility and decimated the lucrative China-Myanmar border trade. A second operation launched on March 7 by another EAO in Kachin State has compounded China’s economic woes by adding to the impact on trade.

Type: Analysis

Global Policy

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