China Policy Institute Blog

Just how local are local elections in Taiwan?

Written by Michal Thim. Looking to local elections for clues as to how this or that party will fare in national elections is a precarious thing. Professor Shelley Rigger has argued earlier on this blog that Saturday’s elections should not be seen as a referendum on the KMT government and she makes many good points in support …

Taiwan’s national security debate between elections

Written by Michal Thim. National security and defence is not usually a major concern in local elections but that should change during the presidential and legislative elections which come next in the election cycle, in 2016. During the next few months, both major political parties will nominate their presidential candidates, and both major contenders will have to address …

Three reasons to follow Taiwan’s 9-in-1 elections

Written by Michal Thim. On November 29, Taiwan will experience its own ‘mid-term’ elections. This time unprecedented for at least three reasons. Firstly, it is for the first time that altogether 9 different elections will be combined on single voting day. Over 11,000 seats are up for election, including: 1) 6 mayors of the Special Municipalities …

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 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 …

Finding Equilibrium: Czech-China-Taiwan Relations

Written by Martin Lavicka. Since the establishment of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949, relations between Czech Republic and the PRC have undergone a long and somewhat interesting journey, one full of turbulence. Until 1989, the relationship between the two countries, former Czechoslovakia and China, followed a similar path to the relations between …

Cross-Strait relations after the Sunflower movement

Written by Vincent Wei-cheng Wang. It has been six months since the Sunflower Movement (SFM). The student protest movement initially caught the KMT, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and the United States by surprise because it appeared a sudden and unexpected reaction against the Cross-Strait Services and Trade Agreement (CSSTA), abruptly halting further progress in …

Sunflower Movement and the future of democracy in Taiwan… and Hong Kong

Written by Jean-Pierre Cabestan. Having left Taiwan in 1998 after a five year stay there, I am more distant from every day’s political developments there. I am therefore somewhat hesitant to contribute to this blog. Of course, I have regularly returned to the island, and more often so since I moved back to Hong Kong …