New security challenges are increasingly important in U.S. security planning. Transnational threats that do not arise from national rivalries or involve geopolitical competition—climate change, food insecurity, pandemic disease, terrorism, and cybercrime—can destabilize a country just as severely as an invading army. All affect Asia and are particularly problematic for China due to its size, development, and governance. New Security Challenges in Asia focuses on the sources of these challenges, analyzes their international impact, and suggests actions to wrestle them into manageable condition.

Asian nations have found it difficult to respond effectively to these new security challenges. Resources and technical capacity are scarce, as are cooperation and coordination within governments, and between governments, the private sector, and civil society. New Security Challenges in Asia shows how these threats are less susceptible to traditional diplomacy or military resolution and recommends ways the United States still can help Asian nations address them constructively.

Michael Wills is vice president of research and operations at the National Bureau of Asian Research. Robert M. Hathaway is the director of the Asia Program at the Wilson Center.


1. Introduction: New Security Challenges for a New Century
Robert M. Hathaway and Michael Wills

2. Drought, Climate Change, and the Political Economy of Himalayan Dam Building
Kenneth Pomeranz

3. Domestic, Regional, and Global Implications of Water Scarcity in China
David Pietz

4. The Indus River Basin in the Twenty-First Century
Eric A. Strahorn

5. Marine Fisheries in Crisis: Improving Fisheries Management in Southeast Asia
Robert S. Pomeroy

6. The 2009 H1N1 Flu Pandemic and the Policy Response in East Asia
Yanzhong Huang

7. Effectively Responding to Pandemics: Adapting Responses to Differing Institutional Circumstances in the United States and China
Jonathan Schwartz and Rachel D. Schwartz

8. Safe Harbor in a Risky World? China’s Approach to Managing Food Safety Risk
Elizabeth Wishnick

9. The Ambiguous Political Economy of Terrorism in Southeast Asia’s Borderlands
Justin V. Hastings

10. Managing New Security Challenges in Asia: Between Cybercrime and Cyberconflict
Adam Segal


“Based on insightful arguments in national, regional and international dimensions, this edited volume reveals the challenges and opportunities of nontraditional security governance in Asia, and offers appropriate solutions for the stakeholders. This volume is thus valuable reading for scholars, students, policy makers and activists who are concerned about non-traditional security issues in Asia and China-US cooperation in security governance.”—Kai Chen, China Quarterly

“A superior work in that it does a superb job in addressing the four major challenges of water security, food security, pandemic diseases, and crime/terrorism.”—John J. Brandon, The Asia Foundation