China Policy Institute Blog

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 …

Tokyo expands its options beyond the US-Japan alliance

Written by Alex Calvo. When discussing Japan’s ‘normalization’ as a military power, one of the aspects we need to consider is Tokyo’s growing range of security and defence agreements with countries other than the United States. While not a replacement for the US-Japan Alliance, which remains the cornerstone of the country’s foreign and defence policy, …

Beijing, Taipei, and Hong Kong: One Step Forward, One Step Back

Written by Alex Calvo. After reporting from East Asia dominated by clashes at sea for weeks, the trip to Taiwan by Zhang Zhijun seemed to offer a glimpse of hope for the peaceful resolution of the myriad disputes haunting the region. The minister for the PRC’s State Council-level Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) is not only …

American Resolve, Not Concessions Needed to Maintain Stability in Asia

Written by Brian Benedictus. Soon after his ascension to the presidency of the PRC in 2012, Xi Jinping stated his desire to establish a “new great power relationship” with the United States. Although Xi’s doctrine remains short on specifics, there is an underlying theme of each side clarifying its interests in order to avoid direct …

Active Citizens and Citizen Activism: testing the limits of democratic participation in Taiwan

Written by Ben Goren. “There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part! You can’t even passively take part! And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels…upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve …

The Delicate Balance on U.S. Arms Sales to Taiwan

Written by Piin-Fen Kok. As the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) enters its 35th year, we continue to be reminded about why this law—and U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, in particular—remains a source of contention in U.S.-China relations. The latest reminder came in the form of China’s backlash against a bill passed by the U.S. House of …

Taiwan’s Youth: Blamed if you don’t, blamed if you do

Written by Michal Thim. It seems that Taiwan has grown accustomed to frequent protests targeting a broad range of issues, starting with land grabbing disputes, ending with increasingly unpopular cross-Strait policy of current KMT administration led by deeply unpopular President Ma. Yet, the decision by an alliance of students and civil society groups to take over …

Taiwan-Australia Relations: Humming Along

Written by Bruce Jacobs. Taiwan’s foreign relations with the major nations of the world have essentially normalized. Even though these nations all have official “one China” policies, in fact they have “one China, one Taiwan” policies with substantial “representative offices” (i.e. embassies) in Taipei while Taiwan has substantial offices in their own countries. The overseas …

China’s dangerous gamble

Written by J. Michael Cole. The announcement by China on November 23 that it had established and would enforce an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea is the latest in a series of worrying developments under the leadership of Chinese President Xi Jinping, and one that unnecessarily increases the risks of …