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  • Taiwan Elections Vindicate the Status Quo

    The KMT’s victory in the March 2008 presidential elections can be essentially attributed to the promises it made to improve economic ties with Mainland China and assure good governance. Ironically, these were partly the same promises that had brought the DPP (Democratic Progressive Party) to power in the historic 2000 presidential election. There was no element of surprise to the election results in which Ma Ying-Jeou defeated his DPP counterpart Frank Hsieh. The KMT’s victory does not mean that Taiwan will begin supporting unification with the Mainland.

    April 26, 2008

    Musharraf in China: Economic benefits of an “all weather friendship”

    Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s recent visit to China from April 10-16 revealed the depth and confidence that highlight Pakistan-China relations. The much repeated refrain of an “all-weather friendship” between the two countries is now transforming itself from the erstwhile “purely defensive and strategic” in nature to one of deep economic engagement.

    April 22, 2008

    Ma, KMT and the new Cross-strait Policy

    In a development that is expected to ease tensions across the Taiwan Strait, Taiwanese voted in favour of the Kuomintang (KMT, Nationalist Party) candidate Ma Ying-jeou in the March 22 presidential election. Ma’s victory was unprecedented, as he captured 58 per cent of the total votes cast – a full 16 percentage points more than Frank Hsieh of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

    April 16, 2008

    India Should Revisit its Tibet Policy

    The Indian government’s response to the ongoing protests in Tibet has been to merely state its “distress” about the situation and reaffirm its position that Tibet is an “internal” affair of China. New Delhi has assured Beijing that its position on the Tibet issue is “clear and consistent” and that this “would not change in the future.” The Indian position is based on its traditional opposition to separatist movements and to foreign intervention in support of such movements.

    April 04, 2008

    Continuity and Change at the 11th National People’s Congress in China

    The recently concluded 11th National People’s Congress (NPC) held in Beijing from March 5-18 was noteworthy for two significant features – administrative restructuring of the government and introduction of personnel changes at the very highest echelons of the one-party state.

    March 24, 2008

    The Sealed Fate of the Tibetan Unrest

    Ongoing protests in Tibet, coinciding with the commemoration of the 49th anniversary of the 1959 March Uprising, was not unexpected given that China is only a few months away from the Beijing Olympics. The hosting of the Olympics is looked upon as China’s formal arrival as a great power and as an event that heralds its potential emergence as a superpower in the years to come. Consequently, the Chinese government has been well prepared to confront any untoward developments that could tarnish its image as a responsible global power.

    March 19, 2008

    Protests in Tibet

    Tibet has been an important and controversial issue for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) since it came to power in 1949. The CCP “liberated” Tibet in 1950 and began its official rule in 1951. There have been two previous uprisings in Tibet, in 1959 and 1989. The latest protests have brought to the forefront the fact that all is not well in Tibet as claimed by the CCP. The policy followed by the CCP has been to increase the number of Han Chinese in Tibet, and thus more fully amalgamate the region into the mainland. All top and important official positions in Tibet are held by Han Chinese.

    March 18, 2008

    China’s Designs on Arunachal Pradesh

    The recent Chinese Foreign Ministry statement expressing ‘unhappiness’ about Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh has generated a debate in India as to whether China is serious about resolving the disputed border. The statement has set back any possibility for an early and realistic settlement of the border dispute. A week after the verbal protest to the Indian mission in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao stated in an official briefing on February 14: “regarding Mr. Singh’s visit to that area, we have expressed our concern.

    March 12, 2008

    Kosovo Declares Independence, East Asia Feels the Heat

    The impact of Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia on February 17 is being felt on both sides of the Taiwan Straits. Apart from plunging the European Union (EU) into a crisis, Kosovo’s independence has escalated the ‘war of words’ between China and Taiwan even as the latter gears up for the March 22 presidential elections, which will also feature a referendum on the island considering membership of the United Nations under the name of 'Taiwan.'

    March 04, 2008

    The Economic Consequences of Military Rule in Myanmar

    The recent public protests against the general price rise in Myanmar and the government crack down once again drew the world’s attention to the plight of the Myanmarese. But the focus has generally been on the political aspects, particularly the possibility of peaceful reconciliation and subsequent installation of a democratic government. In contrast, this paper attempts to peep into the economic aspects of military rule and its impact on the general public and concludes with certain possible implications for neighbouring countries like India.

    January 28, 2008

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