East Asia: Publications

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  • Japan's Self-Defense Forces: Towards a Normal Military

    The Self-Defense Forces (SDF) are one of the variables of the distinctly pacifist security policy Japan has followed ever since the end of the war. Japan's ongoing 'normalisation' involves an enhancement of the role and functions of these forces. Although the SDF's role has considerably increased in the past decade, it cannot be characterised as Japan's remilitarisation because of strong domestic and external checks.

    September 2007

    Indian Foreign Policy and China

    The global political architecture is undergoing a transformation with power increasingly shifting from the West to the East, according to most political observers.1 The two most populous nations, China and India, are on their way to becoming economic powerhouses and are shedding their reticence in asserting their global profiles.

    October 2006

    Japan's Security Concerns and Policy Responses

    Japanese foreign policy and security perceptions have undergone a perceptible and steady change over the past decade, especially under the leadership of former Prime Minister Koizumi (2001-2006). Its support for the US war on terror was a significant step in its growing international politico-security profile.

    July 2006

    The Politics of Reform in China: Deng, Jiang and Hu

    This paper seeks to understand the political dynamics that operates behind reforms in China. To interpret the political influences that have, and are, determining the course and trajectory of the reform process, two themes have been chosen. First, an examination of ideological trends (determinants) and their relationship with economic reforms, and the second, as an important corollary, the behaviour of factions (variables) within the Communist Party of China (CPC) that have differing

    April 2006

    Dragon in the Savanna: China's Rising Influence over Angola

    China’s relations with Angola have traditionally been friendly due to the fact that both countries were and still are ruled by Marxist Leninist regimes, but until recently the PRC’s presence in the country was rather insignificant. However, in the last five years or so China’s influence in the country has grown rapidly. From a marginal position in Beijing’s foreign policy priorities, Angola has move to the very forefront of China’s foreign relations. Today without question Angola is China’s most important partner on the African continent.

    April 2006

    China's Foreign Policy Challenges and Evolving Strategy

    The end of the Cold War, the September 11 terrorists’ attacks, preponderance of US power and globalisation have shaped the present world order and posed new opportunities and challenges for China. China’s need to fulfill its grand strategy of acquiring comprehensive national power within this external environment and overcome the existing challenges has given rise to its post-Cold War foreign policy strategy. Given the challenges it faces, its primary need is to ensure continuance of a peaceful environment to sustain its reform and modernisation programme.

    January 2006

    Domestic Politics in Taiwan and Its Impact on Cross-Strait Relations

    Electoral politics in Taiwan reflects the popular ambivalence in articulation of its political and national identity. This ambivalence is testing the strength of nascent domestic democratic institutions. Taiwanese democratisation has also introduced a new variable in crossstrait relations that China and the US both have to contend with. Greater democratisation of Taiwanese politics and the struggle over the country’s national and cultural identity is making the management of crossstrait relations more complex for all three parties, i.e., Taipei, Beijing and Washington.

    January 2006

    Elections in Japan: Koizumi's Gamble Pays Off

    Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) – which has dominated Japanese politics for the past fifty years, swept the recent snap polls called by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in August this year. The outcome of the elections has significant implications for Japan’s domestic as well as foreign policy. The extraordinary mandate that Koizumi received established him as the undisputed leader, giving him the green signal to move ahead with his proposed reforms. The LDP garnered as many as 296 out of the 480 seats in the Japanese Diet’s Lower House.

    July 2005

    Securing the Sea Frontier: China's Pursuit of Sovereignty Claims in the South China Sea

    China’s maritime territorial claims, and its diplomatic and military measures to attain them, have caused much regional concern in recent years. The expansive maritime sovereignty claims of China in the South China Sea flow from three key goals: the completion of its incomplete nationalist project of territorial consolidation and unifying the state; the desire to control the contested maritime periphery; and the garnering of sea-based resources such as oil and gas that have assumed critical importance for fuelling the economy of a rapidly modernising China.

    April 2005

    Cooperation Among Maritime Security Forces: Imperatives for India and Southeast Asia

    The end of the Cold War witnessed a realignment of equations amongst states to adapt to the changed world order. Within its ‘Look East’ policy, India initiated an economic engagement with its extended eastern neighbourhood to generate political trust and eventually forge multifaceted bonds. Due to the salience of Southeast Asia in geo-strategic terms, cooperation among maritime security forces has lately become imperative to respond to transnational security threats and realise common politico-strategic objectives.

    April 2005