East Asia: Publications

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  • Mass Media in Xi’s China: Markets Versus Control

    Xi Jinping became the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China in November 2012 and the President of the People’s Republic of China in March 2013. Ever since, under his leadership as the Chinese President, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been progressively tightening its control over the media. In a Communist structure, the media is perceived to be the ‘mouthpiece’ of the Party and is supposed to be used for propaganda. Media is a very essential tool in spreading the government agenda and controlling the public discourse.

    September 2016

    The ASEAN Way of Conflict Management in the South China Sea

    This article examines how the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) conflict management process in the South China Sea (SCS) has been conducted and whether the ASEAN way can effectively manage the dispute, in which China is a prime and important actor. It argues that rising tensions in the South China Sea are a direct result of the changed balance of power in the region given the asymmetry between China and ASEAN members. China has taken advantage of ASEAN efforts to develop a code of conduct that is premised on the ASEAN way.

    January 2015

    Anatomy of Political Atrophy in Thailand

    With the take-over of power by the military on May 22, 2014, under General Prayuth Chan-O-Cha, the chief of army, Thailand has gone full circle in coup d’états, from democratic deficit to fractious political struggle between different social groups leading to acute and irreconcilable political instability that gives leverage to the army to finally intervene and seize power by suspending the constitutional processes. Democracy in Thailand is not only a recent phenomenon, but is also periodic and short-lived.

    March 2015

    Can Taiwan Talk ‘Political’ with the Mainland?

    An investigation into the prospects for including political talks in the cross-strait dialogue enables a better assessment of cross-strait relations. China’s push for political talks and Taiwan’s resistance to them imply that their political positions on the fundamental issues of sovereignty and ‘living space’ for Taiwan remain unchanged. Considering Taiwan’s complex domestic political scenario, which is largely against unification with Mainland China, the likelihood of Taiwan agreeing to political talks for unification is remote.

    May 2015

    An Assessment of the Chinese Dream: 2015

    In November 2012, soon after the conclusion of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), President Xi Jinping put forward for the first time the idea of the ‘Chinese Dream’. In March 2013, Xi further elaborated on this concept at the closing ceremony of the First Session of the 12th National People’s Congress.

    May 2015

    Future of India–China Boundary: Leadership Holds the Key?

    Will India and China resolve their boundary dispute during the tenure of Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping? The strategic communities in both countries are optimistic, particularly after the high tension prevailing along the border during President Xi Jinping’s tour of India in September 2014. Both Prime Minister Modi and President Xi are seen as decisive leaders.1 Both are expected to hold power in their respective countries for a few years to come. Personalities and personas matter greatly for scoring political brownie points. The boundary dispute, quintessentially, is political in nature.

    May 2015

    China’s ‘Maritime Bases’ in the IOR: A Chronicle of Dominance Foretold

    After a successful visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Colombo in March, Indian policy elite are hopeful that the new Sri Lankan government will roll-back some of the geopolitical concessions made by the Rajapaksa regime to Beijing, thereby restoring India’s primacy in its near neighbourhood. India’s policy elite are hopeful that Maithripala Sirisena, the new president, will roll back some of the geopolitical concessions made by his predecessor to Beijing, thereby restoring Indian primacy in its near neighbourhood.

    May 2015

    China’s Asia Strategy under President Xi Jinping

    China has reoriented its foreign policy strategy since Xi Jinping became president. This could significantly recast China’s relations with Asian countries. The process that began with Xi Jinping’s coming to power in 2012–2013 reached, in a sense, a definitive moment, with the Central Conference on Work Relating to Foreign Affairs held in Beijing in November 2014.

    May 2015

    Reconsidering the Paracel Islands Dispute: An International Law Perspective

    The Paracel Islands dispute has recently resurfaced as a source of conflict between Vietnam and China, who both claim sovereignty over the islands from ‘time immemorial’. This article re-examines their respective claims from an international law perspective. It also focuses on delineating the respective claims with emphasis on sovereignty, territory and self-determination. Based on available sources, this article suggests that Vietnam appears to have a more credible sovereignty claim over the Paracel Islands vis-à-vis China.

    November 2015

    Recasting Sino-Indian Relations: Towards a Closer Development Partnership

    Sino-Indian relations were governed by concerns about an unsound bilateral bonhomie, internal as well as external strategic and political considerations, and in addition, national interests and priorities not necessarily oriented towards pacifying the bilateral relations.

    November 2015

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