Asia

China’s New Pressure on Taiwan in the South China Sea

In October 2020, Hong Kong’s air traffic control denied a Taiwanese flight access to Pratas Island, a Taiwan-occupied feature in the South China Sea. It was the first time that had ever occurred. The refusal, likely prompted by Beijing,...

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Purple State China: China’s Preferences in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election are…Complicated

In 2016, policy-relevant opinion in China favored Donald Trump’s election. In an overly simplistic and partisan assessment, and echoing claims by Trump himself, United States National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC) Director William Evanina claimed in August that Beijing...

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Treading Water: Malaysia’s Navy Modernization

Considering that the South China Sea divides Malaysia into two halves and that its neighbors—most notably the People’s Republic of China—have not only claimed part or all of those waters but also increased their naval and coast guard presence...

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Domestic Politics in Southeast Asia and Local Backlash against the Belt and Road Initiative

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is Chinese General Secretary Xi Jinping’s signature foreign policy project to expand the People’s Republic of China’s investment and trade ties in order to create “a big family of harmonious coexistence.” Hailed as...

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Options for Taiwan to Better Compete with China

Divergent Options National Security Situation:  Taiwan requires options to better compete with China in international organizations below the threshold of ...

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China’s Monopoly on Rare Earth Elements—and Why We Should Care

According to geologists, rare earths are not rare, but they are precious. The answer to what appears to be a riddle lies in accessibility. Comprising 17 elements that are used extensively in both consumer electronics and national defense equipment,...

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Uncertain Prospects: South China Sea Code of Conduct Negotiations

For nearly two decades, diplomats from Southeast Asian countries and China have met to discuss the implementation of a “code of conduct” for the South China Sea. The goal of that code is to manage the tensions that may...

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Understanding China’s Digital Yuan

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC), China’s central bank, is expected to publicly launch a digital version of the yuan as soon as late 2020. The project is being fast-tracked, partly in response to Facebook’s Libra and the COVID-19...

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Czech-Book Diplomacy: The Global Implications of a Czech Visit to Taiwan

Channeling President John F. Kennedy’s famous 1963 “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech, President of the Czech Senate Miloš Vystrčil said, “I am Taiwanese,” to a standing ovation in Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan on September 1 to show his support for...

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China-Taiwan Competition over Somaliland and Implications for Small Countries

Over the past two months, the very public rivalry between China and Taiwan has moved into the Horn of Africa over representation in unrecognized Somaliland. On July 1, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that it had signed a...

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