East Asia: Publications

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  • Chinese Territorial Claims on Indian Territory in the Context of Its Surveying and Mapping, 1708-1960

    The article aims to trace the surveying and mapping of China during the 252-year period, prior to 1960 in order to connect it with the evolution of the Sino-Indian boundary. What emerges is that the Manchu was dependent on foreigners for the first modern maps of China made to scale with longitude/latitude lines. Through these maps no territorial claim against India had been made.

    March 2021

    Indonesia: A Reluctant Participant in the South China Sea Disputes

    The role of Indonesia in the South China Sea (SCS) disputes has been limited to being part of the ASEAN team since the country is not one of the active claimants. Jakarta has tried to sidestep its maritime row with Beijing by emphasizing the lack of a “territorial dispute’ between the two countries. The article analyzes the role and position of Indonesia in the SCS disputes and argues that despite Indonesia’s reluctance to be an active or direct claimant state, developments in recent years have dragged her into the disputes and she will remain involved until a mutually acceptable solution is achieved in the overarching problem of the SCS.

    March 2021

    The Reception and Implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative in Vietnam

    The article looks back on China’s proposal and promotion of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to Vietnam, as well as Vietnam’s official position and response to this initiative. The implementation of agreements between the two countries is analysed by evaluating two key areas of the BRI in Vietnam, namely facilities connectivity, and trade and investment. China was active in promoting the BRI, whereas Vietnam welcomed the initiative with caution. Cooperation in the two key areas has been promoted.

    March 2021

    The KMT’s Predicament: Cross-Strait Relations and Taiwan’s Domestic Politics

    On October 6, 2020, Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan (parliament) passed two important Resolutions, moved by the main opposition party, the Kuomintang (KMT). These sought to ensure ‘US military aid in combating aggression by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’ and ‘a resumption of diplomatic relations between the US and Taiwan.’1 The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) supported the Resolutions. Such a bipartisan consensus is rare in Taiwan’s deeply divided politics.

    January 2021

    The Elusive Quest for an ‘Asian NATO’

    The turn of the twenty-first century brought with it the miraculous economic rise of China in Asia and beyond; American strategy towards the region, denoted by the ‘pivot to Asia’ and acceptance of a ‘Pacific Century’ for the US,1 became increasingly China-centric. Building partnerships, forging security and commercial pacts with Asian countries and enhancing maritime presence across the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) eventually became the fulcrum of America’s Asia strategy, with mainstream strategic perception in the United States on China becoming increasingly negative.

    January 2021

    China’s Agricultural and Industrial Policies in 1971*

    The performance of the agricultural and industrial sectors during 1971 acquires an added significance as 1971 happens to be the first year of China’s ambitious Fourth Five-Year Plan. This Plan visualized new dimensions for the policies in these two basic sectors. This policy has aimed at optimum utilization of all factors of productions increasing the operational efficiency of both peasants and industrial labour through material incentives like private plots; and reinstalling technocrats in the respective industries.

    January 2021

    Expanding Role of PLAAF in China’s National Security Strategy

    China’s great power ambition and actions have been fuelled by its spectacular economic growth and military modernization. The need to sustain the economy and energy flow makes the East and South China seas vital to it. Its vulnerabilities also lie on its seaboard. To dominate the maritime spaces, it needs to own the contiguous airspace as well. The prescient Chinese leadership has transformed its Air Force into a strategic instrument of power, to protect its economic lifelines, geo-political interests and regional dominance.

    November 2020

    China’s India Policy in the 1950s: From Friendship to Antagonism

    What led to the Sino-Indian militarized confrontations in 1959? I argue that Hindi-Chini Bhai-Bhai became a victim of changed perceptions in China. As long as China’s external and internal environment was relatively secure, India was seen as a potential ally, and Sino-Indian relations thrived. As external and internal pressures on China mounted, India’s behaviour vis-à-vis the Dalai Lama’s flight from China and the territorial dispute was perceived by China as reactionary.

    November 2020

    The Rise of Kim Yo-Jong in the North Korean Regime

    The state narrative of North Korea, the story that keeps the Kims in power and the population uncomplaining, is built as much around international politics as it is domestic. In the mid-1990s, soon after the first transition of power from Kim Il-sung to Kim Jong-il, the country and the regime was in crisis. Always looking at themselves through the lens of South Korea and the need for reunification, official propaganda had been building an idea that their Southern brothers and sisters were impoverished in comparison and desperate to join with the North once again.

    March 2019

    Know Thy Neighbour: Growth of India and China—Socio-Cultural Precepts and Propositions*

    It is very important for large and populous neighbours such as India and China to have a better understanding of one another’s history, culture and value systems. Perhaps no two peoples in the world are as similar as Indians and Chinese in terms of the agrarian foundations of our societies and many of our traditions with roots in Hindu-Buddhist rituals and philosophy, and even the undue importance attached in the past to the male child.

    March 2019

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