China Policy Institute Blog

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 …

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 …