East Asia: Publications

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  • Piracy off Somalia: Can Naval Patrolling be the ‘Antidote’?

    Since 2005, the ‘centre of gravity’ of Asian piracy has clearly shifted westwards from Southeast Asia to the western Indian Ocean. The Somalia-based pirates are on the rampage, capturing vessels of all sizes ranging from yachts to super-tankers and their crew for ransom. This is hardly surprising, considering that the writ of Somalia’s Transitional Government (TFG) does not even run on the entire Somali land territory, and much less on its adjoining seas.

    October 22, 2008

    The Significance of Shenzhou-VII

    On October 7, 2008, the PLA Daily reported that the Central Military Commission (CMC) and the four general departments of the Chinese military celebrated in great style the success of the Shenzhou-VII manned space flight mission. Shenzhou-VII, carrying three astronauts (Zhai Zhigang, Liu Boming, and Jing Haipeng) returned successfully on September 28 after conducting a historic spacewalk mission. This success made China the third country after the United States and Russia to conduct a space walk mission.

    October 16, 2008

    Taiwan’s Failure at the UN

    Will Taiwan ever participate in the United Nations? Pessimist views have started flowing after the rejection of Taiwan’s fresh bid for ‘meaningful participation in international agencies’ at the UN on September 18, 2008. This proposal was submitted by sixteen “diplomatic allies” of Taiwan to the UN Secretariat on August 14, 2008. Blocking Taiwan’s new attempt, a UN subcommittee decided that it would not let the 63rd UN General Assembly (UNGA) consider their request for permission to join ‘UN activities’.

    September 24, 2008

    Explaining China’s India Policy

    Let the fact speak for itself. China was not happy about India gaining the waiver in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and it played the role of a spoiler till such time it could. The Indian Government now feels betrayed. Perhaps India expected China’s reciprocity in exchange for its gracious support for the successful tour of the Olympic Torch. Indeed, it was naiveté that led India to believe Chinese rhetoric.

    September 17, 2008

    China and Taiwan: modus vivendi... for now

    Encouraging developments on either side of the Taiwan Straits have taken place recently, considerably reducing the ‘shrill atmospherics’ surrounding ‘independence’ and ‘invasion’ by several notches. The primary determinant driving these developments has undoubtedly been the Kuomintang’s (KMT) coming to power in the legislative elections held in March 2008.

    June 23, 2008

    Can India Say No?

    Where are India-China relations heading, given repeated Chinese claims in recent years to Indian territory and a noticeable hardening of its position beginning with Sun Yuxi’s statements on Arunachal Pradesh in 2006? The latest Chinese claim is on Sikkim’s finger tip region, which came up a few weeks before Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s four-day visit to China between 4 and 7 June 2008.

    June 23, 2008

    Chinese Checkers in the Himalayas

    In a disturbing sign, the Chinese seem to have brought up Sikkim and not Arunachal Pradesh back to the table during the recent visit of Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee to China. The belief was that China had implicitly recognised Indian sovereignty over Sikkim in 2003, and as such there was no dispute on the matter with China. China’s recognition of Sikkim was interpreted as a quid pro quo for India’s recognition of total Chinese sovereignty over Tibet in 2003.

    June 13, 2008

    Hu’s Visit to Japan

    Sino-Japanese relations were in the doldrums for the past decade because of the repeated visits to the Yasukuni Shrine by former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. One consequence was a complete freeze in mutual visits at the highest political levels between 2001 and 2006. Even exchanges at other levels were affected. The ice was broken in 2006 when Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe visited China, and the ice began to thaw when Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited Japan in 2007.

    May 28, 2008

    China and Maoist Nepal: Challenges for India

    “[China] feels that the Himalayas alone in this nuclear age are not enough to guarantee its national security, especially in view of Tibet’s strategic location. [It], therefore, ideally wants a China of small, preferably pro-Chinese, neighbours on the cis-Himalayan region separating the two Asian giants.”

    - Dawa Norbu

    May 23, 2008

    A Test for Democracy in Zimbabwe

    There will never ever be change in Zimbabwe. We shall never reverse the gains of the liberation struggle. Zimbabwe will never be a colony again.” – Robert Mugabe (2008).

    April 28, 2008

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