China Policy Institute Blog

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 …

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, …

Interpreting Japan’s right to collective self-defense

Written by Kei Koga. The Abe administration’s reinterpretation of the right of collective self-defense on July 1, 2014 has become the center of political attention both domestically and internationally. Although there are many focal points revolving around the re-interpretation, the core of the debate stems from two basic questions: why did the reinterpretation need to …

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 …

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 …

Vietnam’s Relations with China – A Multifaceted Partnership

Written by Ramses Amer. Vietnam’s relationship with China is of paramount importance for its development and security. Although much outside attention is focused on the disputes between the two countries in the South China Sea, the relationship is much broader and multifaceted than these disputes alone. The long historical interaction between the two countries is …

U.S.-Vietnam Defence Relations: Convergence Not Congruence

Written by Carlyle A. Thayer. Military-to-military relations between Vietnam and the U.S. developed slowly after the normalization of diplomatic relations in July 1995 mainly due to Vietnamese sensitivities and concern that defense relations might outstrip economic ties. In 2000, William Cohen became the first U.S. Secretary of Defense to visit Hanoi. The year 2003 proved pivotal. …

Vietnam at a Crossroads

Vietnam finds itself at a crossroads facing multiple challenges. It is challenged internally as voices calling for economic and political liberalizations are becoming more vocal and it is challenged externally too as Vietnam’s stakes in the region are on a conflicting trajectory with its important economic partner and powerful neighbour: China. In this sense Vietnam …

Welcome to Chinese A2/AD: Version 2.0

Written by Harry Kazianis. Much has been made over the last several years concerning China’s growing capabilities to deny a technological advanced adversary the capability to intervene in various possible conflicts near its borders. Over the next five years, such capabilities are likely to become even stronger, posing an interesting challenge to U.S. and allied …