News + Media

Cartoon of President Trump using red China flag to bullfight a donkey

Analysis + Opinion

May 10, 2020

Can the democrats avoid Trump’s China trap?

Democrats, and Republicans who truly put American security first, face a choice. Joe Biden in particular will decide whether to lead his party into Mr Trump’s trap or play a different game.

Drawing of cat on balcony overlooking apartment balconies

Analysis + Opinion

May 9, 2020

An ode to the humble balcony

It is private, yet public; exposed, yet secluded. It offers company without the demands of intimacy, and we should never take it for granted again, writes Bernardo Zacka in a New York Times opinion piece available here.  

President Trump pointing his finger in a salute boarding air force one plane

In the News

May 8, 2020

Trump wages a war on watchdogs as coronavirus elevates their importance

Liz GoodwinThe Boston Globe

Joel Brenner quoted: “It absolutely sends a chill through the whole community,” said Joel Brenner, former inspector general of the National Security Agency. “It’s a very clear message. The president doesn’t want any inspector general issuing any report critical of the administration and any inspector general who does it has to understand that he or she is likely to be out of a job.”

Photo of Kim Jong Un at funeral procession

Analysis + Opinion

May 8, 2020

4 things that will happen if Kim Jong-un died

Should Chairman Kim exit early, there may be an opportunity to return to the negotiating table, especially given the North's precarious situation--one that is likely to deteriorate even further over the near to medium term, writes Jim Walsh in The National Interest's series asking what happens if Kim Jong-un died.

Yukio Okamoto


May 7, 2020

Distinguished fellow and friend, Yukio Okamoto, felled by Covid-19

Yukio Okamoto, a Japanese diplomat and fellow at MIT, died from Covid-19 on April 24 at the age of 74. The former special advisor to two prime ministers of Japan joined the Center for International Studies (CIS) in 2012 as a Robert E Wilhelm fellow and served as a distinguished research fellow at CIS until his death.  

Ship on the South China Sea

Analysis + Opinion

May 7, 2020

Does the global pandemic open new South China Sea opportunities for Beijing? Not really.

A number of recent analyses have emphasized that China is seizing pandemic-created opportunities to improve its position in the South China Sea as other countries are distracted or otherwise unable to respond. A key implication of such claims is that absent the pandemic, China would have acted differently and perhaps with more restraint.

MIT Covid 19 Hackathon

In the News

May 4, 2020

MIT Africa's Ari Jacobovits helps produce Covid-19 hackathon

Ari Jacobovits, managing director of the MIT Africa program, helped organize a hackathon on Covid-19 with collectives from around the world—drawing from universities, industry, government, and NGOs, among others.  CIS research affiliate Claude Grunitsky covered the story in his publication True Africa

National Committee on US China Relations logo

In the News

May 1, 2020

China's modern military strategy in historical perspective

NCUSCR Podcast

In an interview with NCUSCR President Steve Orlins, Taylor Fravel discusses his motivations for and key discoveries from writing, "Active Defense: China's Military Strategy Since 1949." 

In this Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018 file photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves after a parade for the 70th anniversary of North Korea's founding day in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Korea’s collapse has been predicted — wrongly — for decades. So it is no surprise that unconfirmed rumors that current leader Kim Jong Un is seriously ill have raised worries about what Washington and North Korea’s neighbors would do if things fall apart in any post-Kim North Korea. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)

In the News

April 30, 2020

Outsiders consider possibility of chaos in North Korea

Foster KlugAP News

Vipin Narang quoted: “The million-dollar question is: When do you invoke the OPLAN and what indicators do you rely on to do so? Because one country’s ‘securing the country’ operation can look to the other nation like an ‘invasion plan.’ And then all hell can break loose,” said Vipin Narang, a North Korea nuclear specialist at MIT.

Gold MIT seal logo


April 29, 2020

SHASS Infinite Mile Award recipients in CIS

CIS is pleased to announce Alicia Raun and Fatih Basaga are two recipients of the 2020 SHASS Infinite Mile Awards. Award recipients are recognized for making exceptional contributions to their academic units, the School, and the Institute.