China Policy Institute Blog

Abe Faces China

Written by June Teufel Dreyer. When Shinzō Abe took over as Japan’s prime minister in  September 2012, he became the seventh occupant of that position in the preceding six years. Abe had himself been the first of those, resigning after scarcely a year in office.  Understandably, there were doubts about how long his second try …

The Democratic Deficit of Collective Self-Defence in Japan

Written by Rikki Kersten. When Prime Minister Abe’s cabinet decided on July 1st to revise the interpretation of the pacifist clause of Japan’s constitution, commentators in Japan and around the world took notice. Those who argued the move was long overdue called it ‘historic’.[i] Those who found the move disturbing employed the language of alarm, …

Special Issue: Japan’s turn to collective defence

The July 1st decision by the ruling coalition to change the interpretation of the Article 9 of Japan’s pacifist constitution invited mixed reactions from scholars, experts and governments in the region and beyond, as well as heated debate at home. For some, the revision that certain conditions allow Japan to use force in collective defence, …

GM in China: ‘Paranoia’ and public opinion

Written by Sam Geall. Biosafety certificates permitting Chinese researchers to grow genetically modified rice and corn expired last week, with little indication that the Ministry of Agriculture will renew them. The certificates, issued in 2009, concerned two types of Bt rice, which express a gene of the bacillus thuringiensis bacterium, conferring pest resistance, and phytase …

Speechless: The silencing of Gao Zhisheng is a warning to other lawyers and activists

Written by Jackie Sheehan. Gao Zhisheng left Shaya Prison in Xinjiang on 7 August 2014. He left prison; he is not free. During the additional year of deprivation of political rights which he must serve, he has no freedom of speech, association, assembly, procession or demonstration, as well as being unable to vote, stand for …

Anti-ship missiles in the defence of Taiwan: Limited war or people’s war?

Written by Alex Calvo. More than thirty years on, the shadow of the 1982 Falklands War looms large over East Asia, as made clear by Japanese PM Abe’s increasingly frequent references to the conflict. While democratic politicians may seek inspiration in Lady Thatcher’s refusal to condone aggression, military officers are busy studying the conflict’s many …

Time to Bring the Orphan In From the Cold

Written by J. Michael Cole. “We hope the Americans will continue supporting us, not just selling us … defense articles.” Thus spoke Shen Lyu-shun, Taiwan’s top envoy to the U.S., during a recent interview with the Washington Times. After nearly six years or relative calm in the Taiwan Strait, and with the specter of more …

Learning from Kunshan: Work safety management in China

Written by Bin Wu. On the morning of the 2nd August 2014, a huge explosion in a factory broke the peaceful environment in Kunshan, one of most economically successful cities in China and the winner of the UN-HABITAT Scroll of Honour Award in 2010. Equally important, it has also drawn the public and media’s attention …

Remembering China in the Great War

Written by Alex Calvo. It is sadly still not widely known that thousands of Chinese labourers were recruited to work on the Western Front, undertaking a wide range of tasks, among them unloading military supplies, handling munitions, building barracks and other facilities, digging trenches, constructing fortifications, agriculture, and forest management. Those hired by the UK …

China in Latin America: A Deepening Friendship

Written by Ariel Armony. What did Beijing hope to gain from President Xi Jinping’s visit to Latin America?  As we know, the Chinese leader had an intense agenda planned for the region: the BRICS summit in Brazil (and corresponding talks with leaders from UNASUR – the Union of South American Nations), a meeting with the “Quartet” …