Resolving the Senkaku/Diaoyu Island Dispute: The Limitations of International Law

Pacific Prospective features the research of graduate students.

Memo #272

By  Keshav Kelkar – keshav.kelkar [at] alumni.ubc.ca

Among the many issues causing friction in Sino-Japanese relations, none has as great a potential for generating armed conflict as the dispute over the Senkaku, or Diaoyu Islands. And in attempts to resolve the impasse, international law has if… Continue reading

Fragmentation vs. Integration in Asia in 2014: A Year for the History Books

Memo #259

By Yves Tiberghien – yves.tiberghien [at] ubc.ca

Dr. Tiberghien at the G-20 in St. Petersburg, Russia (September 2013).

In the wake of major leadership change around East Asia, what will be the major trends in the Asia/Pacific region in 2014? Did the battle over the Chinese Air Defense Identification Zone… Continue reading

Visas, Medicine, Education: Feeling Chinese Soft Power in Mongolia

Pacific Prospective features the research of graduate students.

Memo #256

By Jargalsaikhan Mendee – mendee [at] alumni.ubc.ca

China has been gradually increasing its soft power in neighbouring Mongolia, from offers of visa-free travel to access to its medical facilities, and most recently, growing educational opportunities in China for Mongolians. These policies have gone far in diminishing… Continue reading

Japan-China Relations: Issues and Prospects (Video Interview with Akio Takahara) – Part 2 of 2

Memo #254

Featuring Akio Takahara

In part two of his interview with the Asia Pacific Memo (see part one here), Dr. Akio Takahara , a professor in the Graduate School of Law and Politics at the University of Tokyo and a recognized authority on contemporary Chinese politics and Japan-China relations, talks about bridging the divides in Japan-China relations. Dr. Takahara contrasts the “resilient” versus the “fragile” aspects of… Continue reading

Japan-China Relations: Issues and Prospects (Video Interview with Akio Takahara) – Part 1 of 2

Memo #253

Featuring Akio Takahara

Recently the Asia Pacific Memo sat down with Dr. Akio Takahara, Professor in the Graduate School of Law and Politics at the University of Tokyo and a recognized authority on contemporary Chinese politics, international relations in East Asia, and Japan-China relations in particular.

In this first part of a two-part video memo, Dr… Continue reading

Keeping Neighbours Closer: Beijing’s Geopolitical Pitch

Pacific Prospective features the research of graduate students.

Memo #249

By Jargalsaikhan Mendee – mendee [at] alumni.ubc.ca

Lately, Chinese leaders have been busy bolstering relations with their immediate neighbours.  As evidence, the Prime Ministers of India, Mongolia, and Russia arrived in Beijing for bilateral meetings with China’s President Xin Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang on the… Continue reading

Is the Pacific Big Enough for All of Us?: China’s Shifting Role vis-à-vis North Korea and U.S.-China Strategic Cooperation

Memo #242

By Key-young Sonskyquick [at] hotmail.com

A fundamental shift is taking place in China’s idea of its leadership role in Northeast Asia that may have profound implications for the region and its strategic relations with the United States. As a treaty ally of North Korea, China has long been known as a virtual protector… Continue reading

China and the Global Order (Video Interview with Professor Rosemary Foot)

Chinese conceptions of global order are neither well defined nor agreed upon. Many Chinese intellectuals debate what Chinese preferences should be regarding a global order, and the future role of China within it. These scholars are putting forward new ideas often based on Confucianism or Chinese historical experience. However, this academic debate is not reflected in government statements or policy. We see no clear promotion of a coherent concept of a global order, differing from what we currently see, articulated by the Chinese government. What is clear is that China seeks more voice and more representation. Issues such as G20 membership are increasingly important to China. There may be revisions around the edges of Chinese global preferences, but China overall is not demonstrating that it is a dissatisfied power. Continue reading

Political Parties and Islam in Indonesia: A Religious Façade

Memo # 178 – Portrayals of Indonesian political parties have classified them as either secular or Islamic. This implies that they hold strong core commitments. But Indonesian parties do not espouse a coherent political program during elections. Islamic and secular-nationalist parties alike appeal to the public with populist slogans. Controversial religious issues, such as the role of Sharia law or the status of the Ahmadiyah Islamic sect – which could differentiate parties along clear secular-religious lines – are ignored on the campaign trail. Contrary to mainstream analysis, religion plays a minimal role in Indonesia’s party competition. Continue reading

Mongolia Remains Key To US Strategy in Asia

Memo #173 – Mongolia continues its rapid ascent in the strategic playbook of the United States and the West. The US views Mongolia through an integrated lens balancing its economic interests with strategic concerns. As the world’s fastest growing economy (GDP growth at 17.3 per cent in 2011), Mongolia is an appealing target for foreign investors in sectors such as mining, nuclear power, and technology. For Washington though, security still trumps in Mongolia. The US continues to view Mongolia as a credible partner in an uncertain area filled with truculent neighbours. Continue reading