China Policy Institute Blog

Taiwan: Between the pivot and a hard place

Written by J. Michael Cole. More than three years have elapsed since then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton posited the idea of a U.S. “pivot,” or “rebalancing,” to Asia in her article for Foreign Policy magazine. To this day, nobody seems to have a clear idea how to define the nature and shape of the endeavor in …

Making Sense of China’s Reaction to U.S. Rebalance Strategy: What is China’s ambition?

Written by Dingding Chen. The critical assumption behind the U.S. pivot/rebalance strategy in Asia is that the U.S. needs to maintain its hegemonic position in Asia and China is increasingly challenging the U.S. hegemony. Worried that the U.S. might be marginalized in Asia by China’s seemingly unstoppable rise, the U.S. has made great efforts since 2011 …

U.S. Rebalancing Towards the Asia-Pacific: The Defence-Security Dimension

Written by Carlyle A. Thayer. The United States’ policy of rebalancing towards the Asia-Pacific is a multidimensional strategy. This article focuses on the defence-security dimension. It provides the background and rationale for this strategy before turning to major highlights. The article concludes with an assessment of U.S. rebalancing and the strategic uncertainties it has generated. …

US in the Asia-Pacific: Rebalance Revisited

Ever since then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s announcement of a “Pivot to Asia” in an October 2011 op-ed in Foreign Policy magazine, expectations and questions have risen around what shape the Pivot will take. The announcement was made amid rising tensions along China’s maritime borders, the East and South China Seas, both significant trade waterways. …

Hong Kong Political Protests: Action and Reaction

Written by Jennifer Eagleton. According to Isaac Newton’s Third Law, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. For example, when you sit in a chair, your body exerts a downward force on the chair and the chair exerts an upward force on your body. Two forces result from this interaction – a …

South China Sea Arbitration: Vietnam Makes Submission to Court

Written by Alex Calvo. The South China Sea is once again in the news, following Hanoi’s decision to join forces with Manila and make a submission to the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PAC), asking that it assert its jurisdiction, give “due regard” to Vietnam’s rights and interests in the Spratlys and Paracels, and in her …

The troubled transition to an all-volunteer force in Taiwan

Written by Michal Thim. Plans are underway to transform Taiwan’s military from a force relying on a regular intake of conscripts aged 18-35 and serving 11-12 months, into a fully professional all-volunteer force (AVF). Thus far, the road has been rocky. One aspect of the reform is to downsize the current force in 2015 from …

Why Is History Still an Issue in China – Japan relations?

Written by Huang Wei. December 13 was China’s National Memorial Day. A state memorial ceremony was held for the Nanjing Massacre in 1937. There was massive coverage of Xi’s speech, especially with respect to the number of victims and China’s official attitude towards Japan. Not surprisingly, there were comments about China trying to play history in order to …

Towards an Understanding of a Global China: A Latin American Perspective

Written by Ariel C. Armony. When we talk about China and its relationship with Latin America, we do so almost exclusively in economic terms. However, we also need to understand the political dimension of this relationship. One must be careful – this is not about ideologies of the left or right. Rather, it is about understanding …

China’s Approach to the Syrian Crisis: Beyond the United Nations

Written by Yun Sun. The war in Syria warrants a unique mention in the history of contemporary Chinese foreign policy. In the context of this crisis, never before has China exercised its UN Security Council veto power as many times as it has over Syria. Out of the ten vetoes the People’s Republic of China …