China Policy Institute Blog

From Hide and Bide to a New Model of Big Power Relations

Written by Suisheng Zhao. President Xi Jinping has called for building a new model of big power relations with the US, in which China’s rise would not be accompanied by the conflict and war that has marred many moments in history when rising powers rubbed up against the incumbent power. But China has increasingly behaved as a …

China’s neighbours embrace asymmetric warfare

Written by Michal Thim. Asymmetry is the new black, at least among defense analysts dealing with the Asia-Pacific. Asymmetrical warfare is an age-old concept. Recently, however, it has been mostly associated with insurgent groups or guerrillas capitalizing on their familiarity with irregular terrain in hit-and-run operations against regular government forces. As employed by terrorist groups …

The Yin and the Yang: China’s Delicate Balancing of North-South Korea Relations

Written by Brian Benedictus. When it comes to the level of trust and friendship between China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea or DPRK), it is clear that the relationship has hit rocky times in recent years. By contrast, China-Republic of Korea (South Korea or ROK) ties have warmed gradually over the …

Running Dry: Water, Agriculture and Climate Change in China

Written by Christine E. Boyle. Conflicting reports on the state of China’s agricultural water use situation range from statements that China’s water shortages threaten the future food security of the nation, to optimistic reports that China’s potential gains for water use efficiency spell out great opportunity for reaching more sustainable water-use rates, and stabilizing grain …

China and the spectre of water wars in Southeast Asia

Written by Pichamon Yeophantong. In late 2013, controversy over China’s dams on the upper stretches of the Mekong River—otherwise known as the Lancang Jiang—flared up once again. Disbelief quickly spread among the communities of the Lower Mekong Basin when an acute peak in water levels during December resulted in massive flooding in parts of northern …

Beyond the Water Transfer: Five Key Challenges

Written by Sam Geall. At the end of this month, the “middle route” of China’s massive South-to-North Water Transfer project will become operational, supplying Yangtze River water from the Dangjiakou Reservoir in central Hubei province to arid Beijing for the first time. Famously proposed by Mao Zedong in 1952 to address chronic water scarcity in …

Transnational Water Security in Asia: A Leadership Role for Rising Powers?

Written by Katherine Morton. Water security is one of the most intractable challenges confronting Asia’s future. It is widely recognised that climate change combined with other stress factors relating to population growth, urbanisation, and unsustainable development are leading to negative impacts on the availability and quality of the region’s water resources. Equally worrying are the lack …

The Islands In-between

Written by Misato Matsuoka. The “Senkaku”, “Diaoyu” or “Diaoyutai” islands have been at the centre of a long-standing territorial dispute between Japan, China and Taiwan. There is no consensus about the historical trajectory of the ownership of the islands. The tensions, especially between China and Japan, have intensified, triggered by the collision between a Chinese …

Taiwan’s Pivotal Place in Asia’s Territorial Dispute Chessboard

Written by Alex Calvo. A look at the Indian-Pacific Ocean Region reveals a landscape full of territorial disputes, with more than a few featuring regular incidents and a clear risk of escalation. Right in the middle of these disputes stands Taiwan, in more than one way. First of all, geographically, the Island is right between …

The Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands: The Spark for Great Power War?

Written by Harry Kazianis. While China has multiple overlapping territorial claims with many of its neighbors in various parts of the East and South China Seas, none has more potential for great power conflict as claims concerning the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands. In fact, considering this hotly disputed area of the Asia-Pacific is contested by two of …