China Policy Institute Blog

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 …

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” …

Keeping China in Check: How North Korea Manages its Relationship with a Superpower

Written by Adam Cathcart. Around the world today, knowing how and when to deflect the will of the Chinese Communist Party seems to be something of a common theme. Beijing’s confidence is manifest at every turn: When one of its top leaders arrives in London, China seems to expect nothing less than audiences with the Queen, …

Abusive Convenience: Recent Chinese-North Korean Relations

Written by Adam Cathcart. In the lengthening aftermath of the Jang Song-taek execution, writers who are fond of metaphors for Chinese-North Korean relations can take heart. The bilateral relationship which had been “like lips and teeth” continues its transition into a new era, one of bleeding lips, or, as the historian Shen Zhihua puts it, …

Mapping A Politics of Insecurity And Hubris

Written by Ben Goren. In his 1941 book General Semantics, Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Prevention, Alfred Korzybski made one of the most abiding observations to have ever been so egregiously ignored at such a large cost: “the map is not the territory”. This important lesson in humility has, depending upon your perspective, either been ignored or …

For China: Make Maps, not War in the South China Sea

Written by Harry J. Kazianis. With the United States once again preoccupied with events in the Middle East China has made another strategic adjustment to its claims in the South China Sea. It seems clear by now that Beijing has found a new way to bolster its position in what Stratfor analyst Robert D. Kaplan …

Marriage of convenience: China and Russia’s gas deal

Written by Karolina Wysoczanska. Last month’s China-Russia gas deal attracted considerable attention not only because of its scale but because of its global significance. Indeed, it is probably a once-in-lifetime opportunity to witness a mega-deal like this, as only China and the United States have the demand and financial muscle to make this kind of purchase …

American Resolve, Not Concessions Needed to Maintain Stability in Asia

Written by Brian Benedictus. Soon after his ascension to the presidency of the PRC in 2012, Xi Jinping stated his desire to establish a “new great power relationship” with the United States. Although Xi’s doctrine remains short on specifics, there is an underlying theme of each side clarifying its interests in order to avoid direct …