East Asia: Publications

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  • 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

    Two to Tango: The US and China in the Asia-Pacific

    In the last decade, the dynamics of inter-state relations in the Asia Pacific have changed rapidly, largely due to the rise of China. Competition rather than cooperation has become the order of the day. In the East and South China Seas, freedom of navigation, competitive claims over maritime boundaries and air space security are experiencing an evolution of new brinkmanship between the US, an established super power, and the People’s Republic of China (PRC), an emerging super power, unfolding new challenges for the other potential regional players including India.

    July 2014

    Contemporary India–China Dynamics: From an Orthodox to an Autonomous Course?

    This review essay examines the significance of India–China relations against the background of the current phenomenon of a multipolar world in the light of four recent publications on the subject. Tien-sze Fang’s and Jeff M. Smith’s works discuss the current facets of India–China relations, while William Antholis’s and Carl J. Dahlman’s works deal with the character and standing that India and China bring to their regional and global discourse.

    July 2014

    China’s Tryst with the IORA: Factoring India and the Indian Ocean

    Engaging with a multilateral body requires constructive foreign policy forethought, especially for a country that is not a fully fledged member of that body. China’s overtures to the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) exemplify this approach. The Indian Ocean and India are the two most immediate elements in China’s policy approach to the IORA. With 20 member states, extra-territorial major powers as important dialogue partners, and the increasing importance of energy politics in the region, the IORA today is a significant multilateral body in China’s calculus.

    September 2014

    Nehru, Patel and China

    On November 7, 1950, Vallabhbhai Patel wrote his celebrated letter to Jawaharlal Nehru on India’s China policy. ‘The Chinese Government has tried to delude us by professions of peaceful intention’, he stated, referring to Beijing’s decision to move troops into Tibet. A new challenge confronted India as a result of the ‘disappearance of Tibet, as we knew it, and the expansion of China almost up to our gates’. ‘Chinese ambitions … not only cover the Himalayan slopes on our side but also include the important part of Assam.

    September 2014

    The Maritime Tiger: Exploring South Korea’s Interests and Role in the Arctic

    South Korea is not a traditional Arctic state, but it has several key interests in the region. This article explores the sources of those interests and the country’s commercial activities in the Arctic in the areas of shipping, shipbuilding and hydrocarbons. Since the country’s polar interests transcend commerce, however, attention is also paid to the importance of science and research and development in Korean culture.

    November 2014

    China’s Role in Arctic Affairs in the Context of Global Governance

    For nearly a quarter of the past century a series of notable changes have taken place in the Arctic. All of them, whether political, economical, environmental or climate-related, inevitably had an impact on regional and global governance. This commentary mainly focuses on the role of China in Arctic affairs in the context of global change and global governance.

    November 2014

    Overview of Korea’s Arctic Policy Development

    In his Murmansk speech in 1987, Gorbachev proposed the Arctic as the shortest sea route linking Europe to the Far East and the Pacific Ocean, triggering a new perspective on the region.1 Since then, the 1991 Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy (AEPS), referred to as the Finnish Initiative, has been created as a multilateral, non-binding agreement among Arctic states to protect the environment by monitoring, assessment, emergency preparedness/response, and conservation of the Arctic zone.

    November 2014

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