Douglas H. Paal

Vice President for Studies
Paal previously served as vice chairman of JPMorgan Chase International and as unofficial U.S. representative to Taiwan as director of the American Institute in Taiwan.


PhD, History and East Asian Languages, Harvard University
AM, AB, Chinese Studies and Asian History, Brown University 


Chinese; Japanese


Douglas H. Paal is vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He previously served as vice chairman of JPMorgan Chase International (2006–2008) and was an unofficial U.S. representative to Taiwan as director of the American Institute in Taiwan (2002–2006). He was on the National Security Council staffs of Presidents Reagan and George H. W. Bush between 1986 and 1993 as director of Asian Affairs and then as senior director and special assistant to the president.

Paal held positions in the policy planning staff at the State Department, as a senior analyst for the CIA, and at U.S. embassies in Singapore and Beijing. He has spoken and published frequently on Asian affairs and national security issues.

  • Op-Ed China U.S. Focus November 14, 2014
    Xi-Obama Meeting: U.S.-China Relations Off to a More Promising Start

    After more than a year of increasingly scratchy relations between the United States and China, Presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping managed to strike a markedly improved tone and announce some accomplishments at the Asia Pacific Economic Forum meeting in Beijing.

  • Q&A November 6, 2014
    Obama Is Back in Asia

    With fears mounting that Washington has lost focus on Asia, Obama’s summit-filled trip to the region is an opportunity to reconnect with leaders and chart a clear course.

  • Q&A August 14, 2014 Русский 中文
    Is the World Falling Apart?

    The world can be an awfully dangerous and unpredictable place.

  • Q&A March 27, 2014 Русский 中文
    What Are the Global Implications of the Ukraine Crisis?

    Russia’s annexation of Crimea and possible future incursions into eastern Ukraine could reshape the geopolitical map of Europe and derail cooperation between Moscow and the West for years to come.

  • How Does the Ukraine Crisis Impact China?
    Article March 24, 2014 中文
    How Does the Ukraine Crisis Impact China?

    Beijing has struck an ambivalent posture regarding the Ukrainian crisis and the severing of Crimea, but it is not hurting China’s interests.

  • Article February 5, 2014 中文
    Action Needed in Northeast Asia

    The Korean Peninsula is an increasingly dangerous, unstable place, and more provocations from Pyongyang are likely. It is time for responsible officials to show initiative.

  • Article December 13, 2013 中文
    Contradictions in China’s Foreign Policy

    China wants the benefits of a charm offensive with its neighbors, but it also wants to guard its far-flung territorial claims. It cannot do both.

  • Op-Ed Global Times December 9, 2013
    Chinese Diplomacy Should Move Past Focus on Regional Disputes

    Both China and its neighbors need to proceed with restraint by focusing on solving pragmatic problems rather than diverting attention to intense territorial disputes

  • Op-Ed China-US Focus November 1, 2013 中文
    China’s Third Plenum: Limited Reform

    Reforms to China’s financial sector could be introduced at the upcoming third plenum. But if Xi has a serious political and social reform agenda, it probably will not be implemented before 2017.

  • Op-Ed China Daily June 6, 2013
    Time to Make History

    If Obama and Xi can rise to the conceptual challenge and articulate a path forward, they have a chance to contribute a richer chapter to history than the previous leaders have made in decades.

  • Russia Today November 15, 2014
    CrossTalk: World Without West

    As the world pivots to Asia, China has its own plans for this vast region.

  • RT’s Worlds Apart July 10, 2014
    Pivot Off-Balance?

    The U.S. rebalance toward East Asia is an effective strategy to unite diplomacy, economics and trade, and security in a critical and fast-growing region of the world.

  • CCTV America May 16, 2014
    Impact of the U.S. Pivot on the Asia Pacific Region

    The Obama administration’s pivot to Asia has not emboldened America’s regional partners, nor has U.S. reluctance to directly intervene in territorial disputes signaled waning support for U.S. allies.

  • CCTV America March 10, 2014
    Upcoming Highlights for the NPC

    The driving motivation behind the decision by the National People’s Congress to set the growth target at 7.5 percent is their desire to guarantee full employment.

  • Australia Network News February 17, 2014
    China-Taiwan Relations Warming Up

    The meeting between officials representing China and Taiwan is an important symbolic milestone and reflects broad progress in in improving cross-strait relations.

  • CCTV America January 3, 2014
    Weaknesses and Strengths of U.S.-China Ties

    It will take time and hard work to dispel the mistrust which currently characterizes U.S.-China relations.

  • CCTV November 10, 2013
    International Media Focuses on China’s Reform

    The Third Plenum offers an opportunity to articulate a vision for shifting China’s economy to a more consumption-led growth model and to lay out the first steps toward accomplishing that vision.

  • PBS NewsHour October 10, 2013
    Will Obama's Absence from APEC Impact U.S. Global Interests?

    Obama’s absence from the APEC meeting is a disappointment for U.S. partners in Asia, but Washington can recover its credibility in the region by rescheduling meetings and pushing forward on the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

  • PBS NewsHour June 10, 2013
    In an Era of ‘Interconnected Issues,’ U.S. Works on Relationship With China

    A weekend summit between Presidents Obama and Xi worked to manage friction between the two countries as China’s power grows and extends into America’s traditional spheres of influence.

  • CCTV June 6, 2013
    Xi-Obama Meeting Raise Hopes for Renewed Relations

    Presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping have a unique opportunity to reach a broad framework for U.S.-China relations that could strengthen cooperation and manage competition.

  • September 8, 2014 Washington, DC 中文
    Admiral Greenert on the Asia-Pacific Rebalance

    China’s Navy is embarking on “new historic missions” that reflect China’s interest in expanding its operational reach and global influence. From cooperative piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden, to China’s first participation in the Rim of the Pacific naval exercise, the U.S. and Chinese Navies are expanding the boundaries of their burgeoning relationship.

  • July 28, 2014 Washington, DC 中文
    Nuclear Politics on the Korean Peninsula

    The evolving security environment around the Korean Peninsula presents new challenges and opportunities for addressing the North Korean nuclear threat.

  • July 15, 2014 Washington, DC 中文
    The UK in the Asian Century

    The UK’s future in Asia extends far beyond China. Going beyond mutually beneficial bilateral relations, the UK is focused on reinforcing a multi-faceted approach encompassing business, security, and values.

  • April 16, 2014 Washington, DC 中文
    The Taiwan Relations Act After 35 Years

    The Taiwan Relations Act, signed in 1979, is the cornerstone on which Taiwan-U.S. relations have been built.

  • Japan-Myanmar
    February 25, 2014 Washington, DC 中文
    U.S.-Japan Strategies for Supporting Myanmar

    The political and economic transformation underway in Myanmar is an important strategic opportunity for the United States and Japan, given the country’s potential impact on the establishment of a stable and prosperous order in Asia based on democratic values and market-based economic policies.

  • December 4, 2013 Beijing 中文
    Carnegie-Tsinghua Global Dialogue

    This day-long conference explored China's evolving foreign policy and global role with a view to identifying effective solutions to shared global challenges.

  • Taiwan and China
    October 4, 2013 Washington, DC 中文
    Cross-Strait Developments in 2013: New Trends and Prospects

    Following the 2012 elections in Taiwan and the United States and a leadership change in China, relations across the Taiwan Strait have generally remained stable.

  • September 24, 2013 Washington, DC 中文
    China’s Eurasia Strategy: Central Asia, AfPak, and Middle East

    China’s President Xi Jinping recently toured the Central Asian republics, offering energy and transportation infrastructure contracts. This continues China’s strong push into a region formerly dominated by Moscow and courted off and on by Washington.

  • April 24, 2013 Washington, DC 中文
    China’s First Steps Since the National People’s Congress

    China’s new leadership has taken shape since November and March but programmatic policy statements are not expected until around the time of the Third Plenum of the Central Committee in the autumn.

  • April 16, 2013 Washington, DC
    Assessing Taiwanese President Ma’s Message to America

    As Taiwan peacefully manages its differences with mainland China, it seeks dignity within the international system and believes it can play a positive role supporting its close unofficial relationship with the United States.

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