Archive for October, 2015

Policy Alert: TPP Sparks Reactions from Rising Powers

tpp

Earlier this month, twelve Pacific Rim countries, including the United States and Japan, reached a final agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the largest regional trade pact in history with its member states accounting for nearly 40 percent of global GDP. The pact also constitutes a cornerstone of President Obama’s “rebalance” toward Asia. In this Policy Alert, we examine commentary from China, Russia, Japan, South Korea, and India on the trade deal.

CHINA

Chinese commentary urged the government to push forward with the China-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) while downplaying the potential impact of the TPP for China. (more…)

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The History War between China and South Korea

china-koreaHistory means a lot in East Asian international politics. Past histories that are related to ongoing issues are reinterpreted, revised and debated among countries. The most prominent topic in the region involves the controversies between Japan and countries that were colonized or occupied by the Japanese Empire. Regarding this issue, China and South Korea are on the same boat. In 2014, for example, China built a memorial for An Jung Gun, a Korean independence activist who assassinated Ito Hirobumi, then Prime Minister of the Empire of Japan, in Harbin at Korean President Park Geun-hye’s request.

As two neighboring countries, however, China and Korea also have their own history issues. In the 2000s, the Sino-Korean relationship was soured by the history debates over an ancient kingdom in Northeast Asia, Goguryeo. In the Northeast Project, a Chinese government-sponsored research project that was launched in 2002, a group of Chinese historians revised the ancient history of the northeast regions of contemporary China. One notable revision was the inclusion of Goguryeo in Chinese history. Goguryeo was an ancient kingdom which occupied the Northern regions of the Korean Peninsula and Manchuria between B.C. 37 and A.D. 668. Before this revision, the kingdom was generally regarded as a part of ancient Korean history. However, the project rejected this conventional wisdom and defined the kingdom as a local Chinese ethnic regime. Moreover, the Chinese government registered the remains of Goguryeo as a UNESCO world heritage site in 2004, and the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ official website deleted the Goguryeo entry from its pages on Korean history in the same year.  (more…)

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Policy Alert: Russian Airstrikes in Syria Provoke Reactions from Rising Powers

SYRIA-CONFLICTRussian airstrikes in Syria since September 30, portrayed by the Kremlin as an attack against the Islamic State (IS), have been met with widespread criticism. The United States has accused Russiaof targeting U.S.-backed rebel groups against the Assad regime and refused to cooperate with Moscow. European foreign ministers have called on Russia to end its attacks. In this Policy Alert, we examine commentary from Russia, China, India, and Japan on Russian intervention in the Syrian conflict.

CHINA

Chinese commentary generally supported Russia’s role in Syria. (more…)

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