China Policy Institute Blog

Taiwan in Japan’s historical narrative

Written by Alex Calvo. The coming 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War is not abating the debate over Japan’s historical responsibility and contemporary views of the conflict. To the contrary. Neither Beijing nor Seoul seem interested in renouncing this key aspect of their domestic and international narratives, while speculation continues about the …

Taiwan-Japan Relations: Historical Perspective

Written by Bruce Jacobs. After the United States, Japan is second most important country for Taiwan. There are several reasons for this. First, the two countries are geographically close to each other. Second, Japan was Taiwan’s colonial master for fifty years (1895-1945). Third, Japan is an important Asian democracy. Fourth, the two countries have significant …

Volatile Neighborhood, Teflon President, and Taiwan’s Shrinking Diplomatic Space

Written by Jing Sun. In 2007, I published an article entitled Japan-Taiwan Relations: Unofficial in Name Only. In it, I argued that Japan and Taiwan had been engaging one another since the 1990s. A combination of colonial ties, shared democratic identity, and cultural admiration propelled their relations to an “unofficial-in-name-only” status. The article ended with …

U.S. in the Asia Pacific: Towards More Effective Asia Strategy

Written by Michael Mazza. Now in its fourth year, the Obama administration’s pivot to Asia remains beset by a problem of perception. Those countries in the region that the pivot, or rebalance, was intended to reassure remain unconvinced of American commitment to the region’s stability and of American staying power. China, which the pivot should …

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 …

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. …

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 …

You Must Have One Country Before You Have One Country, Two Systems

Written by Don Rodgers. The People’s Republic of China officially views Taiwan as a “sacred and inseparable part of China’s territory.” Yet, Taiwan is currently a de facto independent country with its own territory, economy, democratic government, and military. This obviously causes the leaders in Beijing no small degree of heartburn. To make matters more …

Hong Kong, Taiwan and the End of the “One Country, Two Systems” Dream

Written by Alex Calvo. The ideological foundations of China’s 1911 Revolution and previous attempts to overthrow the Qing rested, among other things, on three pillars: modernization, recovery of full sovereignty, and setting up a modern nation-state. All of these were connected to a great extent, historically and ideologically, to Hong Kong and Taiwan. When the …

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 …