China Policy Institute Blog

The Abe Statement and the politics of war memory in Japan

Written by Edward Vickers. Since the mid-1990s, successive Japanese premiers have issued expressions of regret for wartime aggression and colonialism. Nevertheless, anti-Japanese nationalism in China and South Korea has reached new heights. Hardly surprising, then, that apology fatigue has set in. Channeling this sentiment in his August 14 statement, Prime Minister Abe Shinzo stated, ‘We must …

China Intensifies Media Campaign against Taiwan’s DPP in the US

Written by J. Michael Cole. Amid signs of a consolidating identity among Taiwan’s youth and the increasingly likely prospect of a victory by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the January 2016 elections, China’s Communist Party propaganda department is ramping up its efforts to cultivate a pro-unification sentiment within the island-nation’s population. And this time, …

Is the CCP’s Aspirational Leadership Narrative Un-American or Anti-American ? Wang Huning as a Test Case

Written by Niv Horesh. In 1991, David Shambaugh famously damned China’s American-studies establishment as advancing a “shallow and seriously distorted” understanding of US culture, history, society and politics.1 Nevertheless, in the intervening two and a half decades, a new generation of experts has come to inform CCP thinking on the US. Shambaugh’s 1991 study focused on …

From Cairo to Chongqing: Global vs. Local Histories of the Second Sino-Japanese War in the PRC

Written by Adam Cathcart and Wankun Li. Urged on by Xi Jinping, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its arts, scholarship, and regional bureaucracies have gone into overdrive to shape a new version of China’s history during World War II. As the 3 September “Victory Day” march in Beijing approaches, the film The Cairo Declaration has …

China’s receding regional ambitions?

Written by Mark Beeson. Few would disagree with the idea that China is a rising power with great international ambitions. For many policymakers, commentators and citizens in China, restoring its greatness and accustomed centrality in East Asian affairs is a crucial and entirely legitimate goal. In this context, China’s immediate neighbourhood provides an important testing ground …

Abe’s statement on the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII and Sino-Japanese relations

Written by Karl Gustafsson. On 14 August, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivered his long anticipated statement on the 70th anniversary of the end of the war. For months, scholars and pundits have speculated about whether Abe would use words such as “apology”, aggression and regret. Would the statement reflect the revisionist views that he has …

70 Years of ‘Cold Peace’ and ‘Cold War’ in East Asia Coming to an End?

Written by Christian Wirth. 70 years passed since Emperor Hirohito declared Imperial Japan’s surrender and ended what is often referred to as The Pacific War.  25 years passed since the Soviet Union’s disintegration ended the global confrontation between the US-led ‘West’ and the Soviet-led ‘East’, commonly referred to as the Cold War. Yet even in this …

Misreading Chinese History

Written by David E. Mungello. An image from the past sometimes becomes embedded in our minds and becomes an emblem, a picture expressing an allegory that shapes our view of an entire age. One such image was a widely reproduced picture of a Catholic priest carrying his suitcase up a gangway into a ship in …

Taiwan and the Diaoyutai Spat: Is All that Noise Really Necessary?

Written by J. Michael Cole. If a few years ago you had asked people outside the region whether they had ever heard about the Diaoyutai islets, or the Senkakus as they are known in Japan, the likely answer would be that they had not. That this is no longer the case is in large part due …

Chinese Characteristics: The Next Big (Export) Thing?

Written by John Hartley. In my research field of Cultural Science, the role of ‘we’ and ‘they’ groups in organising knowledge is seen as crucial. Knowledge is rarely neutral. ‘Ours’ is trusted, thick with meanings that bind ‘us’ together, and applicable to all situations, while ‘theirs’ is untrusted, possibly threatening, and not in the least applicable …