China & Taiwan

Running Out of Gas: Philippine Energy Security and the South China Sea

About 80 km off the northwest coast of Palawan Island in the South China Sea is the Malampaya natural gas field, the Philippines’ main domestic source of energy. Once piped ashore, its natural gas fuels five power plants, which...

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Hong Kong’s Summer of Discontent

In the summer of 2019, Hong Kong once again plunged into political crisis over a legal issue. Veteran observers across a wide political spectrum characterized it as the worst such episode in Hong Kong in many decades. ...

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Endangered Golden Goose: Hong Kong’s Economic Value to China

With anti-government demonstrations in Hong Kong showing few signs of abating, speculation is growing as to what China might do next. Already, China’s Hong Kong Affairs Office head warned, “If the situation worsens further, and there is turmoil that...

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Putin’s Ill-Advised Embrace of China

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the leaders of post-Soviet Russia faced herculean challenges and fundamental questions of national strategy and direction. Would Russia continue on the Soviet path of hostility toward the West—or would it take a...

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Unequal Sequel: China’s Belt and Road Initiative

During the spring of 2019, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) notched up some notable successes. In March, Italy became the first major Western country to sign up as a participant. Then in April, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad...

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China’s Hong Kong Quandary

Over recent weeks, Hong Kong has been repeatedly rocked by mass demonstrations protesting the actions of its governing authorities. What makes these demonstrations noteworthy and very important are their scale and their location. Protest organizers estimated the crowds at...

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Understanding the Hong Kong Extradition Law Protests

On January 29, the Hong Kong governent announced potential amendments to its extradition laws that would allow suspects to be extradited to countries with which the city has no formal extradition agreements. According to Chief Executive Carrie Lam, the...

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Persistent Problems with the Gray Zone and an Old Way Forward

When the debate was in full swing several years ago, enthusiasts and skeptics of the gray zone concept generally agreed that the term was ill-defined and “stretched to the breaking point.” Most analysts have since acknowledged the gray zone’s...

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Digging Deeper: Rare Earth Metals and the U.S.-China Trade War

In May 2019, Chinese President Xi Jinping made a well-publicized visit to a rare-earth-metals company in Jiangxi province. On the same day, he gave a speech in which he called on his country to prepare for a “new Long...

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Xi Jinping in North Korea: Significant, but No Game Changer  

Chinese President Xi Jinping is heading to Pyongyang for the first state visit by a Chinese leader to North Korea in well over ten years. It’s a high-profile event, and given how stalled the diplomatic process is between the...

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