China Policy Institute Blog

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. …

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 …

Film History and Public Memory in Taiwan

Written by Ming-Yeh T. Rawnsley. Japanese actress Yoshiko Yamaguchi (aka Li Xianglan or Ri Koran李香蘭) passed away on 7 September 2014 at the age of 94. The media coverage in Taiwan was subdued. Prior to the news about her death, the last time the

The Kuril Islands dispute in 2014: (Yet) another setback

Written by Miha Hribernik. Russo-Japanese relations have grown closer over the past two years, before the Ukrainian crisis began to strain Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s carefully-crafted Russia policy. By summer 2014, Abe’s delicate balancing act – manoeuvring Japan between the interests of its Western partners and those of energy-rich Russia – came close to collapse …

How to fix Japan-Korea relations

Written by David A. Welch. In an earlier piece, I suggested that the first thing Japan and Korea should do to set the stage for progress on dealing with the very real issues that divide them is to signal their joint desire for improved relations and for each to acknowledge that the other is an important …

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 …

‘Takeshima’ and ‘Northern Territories’ in Japan’s Nationalism

Written by Alexander Bukh. In 2005, Japan’s Shimane Prefecture adopted the ‘Takeshima Day’ ordinance that designated the 22nd of February, the day Liancourt Rocks (Dokdo in Korean, Takeshima in Japanese) were incorporated into Japan in 1905, as a prefectural memorial day. The passage of the ordinance, the Korean reaction and the wide domestic coverage propelled …

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 …

Amphibious Posturing and the Senkaku Dispute

Written by Ian Bowers. The creation of a Japanese amphibious unit tasked with recapturing the nation’s outermost islands following an invasion is part of a package of measures designed to counteract potential Chinese aggression over the Senkaku islands. However, the use of military force to decide the dispute is unlikely given the inherent difficulty of …