Showing posts tagged as "China"

Showing posts tagged China

21 Aug
Second Thoughts in Beijing: ‘We Are Still Facing a Powerful Japan’ | Yanmei Xie
BEIJING — After two years of tension, China and Japan are at last inching toward some sort of detente, gingerly sounding out the possibility of a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at November’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing. The opportunity is as fragile as it is fleeting and requires both sides to proceed with extreme caution.
The meeting of the two countries’ foreign ministers in Myanmar’s capital of Naypyidaw last week was a significant step. Just days before, Xi received former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, who was reportedly on a “stealth mission” to Beijing to broker a rapprochement.
Prior to these encounters, high-level engagement had been frozen since September 2012, when a dormant dispute over a group of islands — called Diaoyu by China and Senkaku by Japan —was reignited. Although Xi and Abe had a brief encounter during last year’s APEC summit in Bali, the unplanned meeting was so awkward that Beijing did its best to downplay it.
The renewal of contacts marks a significant change from December 2012, when Abe visited the controversial Yasukuni shrine to Japan’s war dead, including 14 Class A war criminals. For China, the shrine symbolizes Japan’s refusal to atone for its aggression in World War II. After the visit, the Chinese foreign ministry declared: “Abe himself closed the door of dialogue with the Chinese leaders. The Chinese people do not welcome him.”
FULL ARTICLE (The Huffington Post)
Photo: Jacob Ehnmark/flickr

Second Thoughts in Beijing: ‘We Are Still Facing a Powerful Japan’ | Yanmei Xie

BEIJING — After two years of tension, China and Japan are at last inching toward some sort of detente, gingerly sounding out the possibility of a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at November’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing. The opportunity is as fragile as it is fleeting and requires both sides to proceed with extreme caution.

The meeting of the two countries’ foreign ministers in Myanmar’s capital of Naypyidaw last week was a significant step. Just days before, Xi received former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, who was reportedly on a “stealth mission” to Beijing to broker a rapprochement.

Prior to these encounters, high-level engagement had been frozen since September 2012, when a dormant dispute over a group of islands — called Diaoyu by China and Senkaku by Japan —was reignited. Although Xi and Abe had a brief encounter during last year’s APEC summit in Bali, the unplanned meeting was so awkward that Beijing did its best to downplay it.

The renewal of contacts marks a significant change from December 2012, when Abe visited the controversial Yasukuni shrine to Japan’s war dead, including 14 Class A war criminals. For China, the shrine symbolizes Japan’s refusal to atone for its aggression in World War II. After the visit, the Chinese foreign ministry declared: “Abe himself closed the door of dialogue with the Chinese leaders. The Chinese people do not welcome him.”

FULL ARTICLE (The Huffington Post)

Photo: Jacob Ehnmark/flickr

24 Jul
Old Scores and New Grudges: Evolving Sino-Japanese Tensions
Beijing/Tokyo/Brussels  |   24 Jul 2014
The deterioration in relations between China and Japan has spiraled beyond an island sovereignty dispute and risks an armed conflict neither wants. A November regional summit is a fence-mending opportunity – if the two countries’ leaders rise above nationalism and manage multiple flashpoints.
Politically viable options to bridge the wide gap on the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands dispute remain elusive. New frictions have arisen: China’s declaration of an Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) above the East China Sea deepened Tokyo’s anxiety that it desires both territory and a new regional order; Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to the Yasukuni Shrine and statements that suggest a retreat from past apologies for the Second World War atrocities reopened old wounds. Asia’s two most powerful countries increasingly prioritise defence build-up over diplomacy. Their law-enforcement vessels, navies and military planes engage in frequent and risky encounters at sea and in the air. Old Scores and New Grudges: Evolving Sino-Japanese Tensions, Crisis Group’s second report on the deteriorating relationship, analyses events, actors and dynamics that complicate ties and impede diplomacy.
The report’s major findings and recommendations are:
China should instruct the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) navy and air force to refrain from risk-seeking and avoid collisions during patrol, exercise and surveillance. Japan, in turn, should instruct its Maritime and Air Self-Defence Forces (SDF) to take extra caution to avoid collisions or conflict with the PLA.
Japan should continue to urge resumption of the multi-agency, high-level bilateral maritime affairs consultation process and operationalisation of a defence agency communications mechanism. China should drop political conditions for such actions. Both countries should prioritise implementing the non-binding Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) they have agreed on.
China and Japan should establish hotlines between their coast guards, and between the National Security Council (Japan) and the National Security Commission (China), and ensure that those in charge have authority to speedily reach decision-makers and frontline personnel in an emergency.
“China should calm anti-Japan rhetoric, delink wartime history from the islands dispute and open senior political channels to Japan” says China Analyst Yanmei Xie. “Japan should avoid actions and comments suggesting revisionist history views”.
“November’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit is a chance for the two leaders to meet and smooth troubled waters”, says Daniel Pinkston, North East Asia Deputy Project Director. “Both countries should seize it”.
FULL REPORT

Old Scores and New Grudges: Evolving Sino-Japanese Tensions

Beijing/Tokyo/Brussels  |   24 Jul 2014

The deterioration in relations between China and Japan has spiraled beyond an island sovereignty dispute and risks an armed conflict neither wants. A November regional summit is a fence-mending opportunity – if the two countries’ leaders rise above nationalism and manage multiple flashpoints.

Politically viable options to bridge the wide gap on the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands dispute remain elusive. New frictions have arisen: China’s declaration of an Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) above the East China Sea deepened Tokyo’s anxiety that it desires both territory and a new regional order; Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to the Yasukuni Shrine and statements that suggest a retreat from past apologies for the Second World War atrocities reopened old wounds. Asia’s two most powerful countries increasingly prioritise defence build-up over diplomacy. Their law-enforcement vessels, navies and military planes engage in frequent and risky encounters at sea and in the air. Old Scores and New Grudges: Evolving Sino-Japanese Tensions, Crisis Group’s second report on the deteriorating relationship, analyses events, actors and dynamics that complicate ties and impede diplomacy.

The report’s major findings and recommendations are:

  • China should instruct the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) navy and air force to refrain from risk-seeking and avoid collisions during patrol, exercise and surveillance. Japan, in turn, should instruct its Maritime and Air Self-Defence Forces (SDF) to take extra caution to avoid collisions or conflict with the PLA.
  • Japan should continue to urge resumption of the multi-agency, high-level bilateral maritime affairs consultation process and operationalisation of a defence agency communications mechanism. China should drop political conditions for such actions. Both countries should prioritise implementing the non-binding Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) they have agreed on.
  • China and Japan should establish hotlines between their coast guards, and between the National Security Council (Japan) and the National Security Commission (China), and ensure that those in charge have authority to speedily reach decision-makers and frontline personnel in an emergency.

“China should calm anti-Japan rhetoric, delink wartime history from the islands dispute and open senior political channels to Japan” says China Analyst Yanmei Xie. “Japan should avoid actions and comments suggesting revisionist history views”.

“November’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit is a chance for the two leaders to meet and smooth troubled waters”, says Daniel Pinkston, North East Asia Deputy Project Director. “Both countries should seize it”.

FULL REPORT

1 Jul
A turbulent triangle: Beijing, Seoul, and Pyongyang | Matthias von Hein
Beijing’s relations to North and South Korea are a clear example that theory does not necessarily go hand in hand with practice. In theory, North Korea is supposed to be China’s closest ally. Over 50 years ago, both countries signed the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, thus committing themselves to defending one another in the case of conflict.
But in practice, China has had a troublesome relationship with its wayward “little brother,” especially after Pyongyang conducted a third nuclear test in February, despite Beijing urging it not to.
Since Kim Jong Un assumed power at the end of 2011, no foreign leader has so far visited North Korea
This prompted China to vote in favor of a UN Security Council resolution condemning North Korea’s actions and imposing sanctions against its regime. Pyongyang’s execution of Kim Jong-Un’s uncle, Jang Song Thaek - who was China’s most important contact among the North’s ruling elite - has further strained the relationship.
This development stands in stark contrast to Beijing’s relations to South Korea, which normalized in 1992. In a little more than two decades, South Korea has become China’s third-largest trading partner. One fourth of Seoul’s exports go to China, making it the country’s biggest trading partner. While bilateral trade stands at around 230 billion USD, South Korea currently enjoys a hefty trade surplus of some 60 billion USD.
FULL ARTICLE (Deutsche Welle)
Photo: Korea.net/flickr

A turbulent triangle: Beijing, Seoul, and Pyongyang | Matthias von Hein

Beijing’s relations to North and South Korea are a clear example that theory does not necessarily go hand in hand with practice. In theory, North Korea is supposed to be China’s closest ally. Over 50 years ago, both countries signed the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, thus committing themselves to defending one another in the case of conflict.

But in practice, China has had a troublesome relationship with its wayward “little brother,” especially after Pyongyang conducted a third nuclear test in February, despite Beijing urging it not to.

Since Kim Jong Un assumed power at the end of 2011, no foreign leader has so far visited North Korea

This prompted China to vote in favor of a UN Security Council resolution condemning North Korea’s actions and imposing sanctions against its regime. Pyongyang’s execution of Kim Jong-Un’s uncle, Jang Song Thaek - who was China’s most important contact among the North’s ruling elite - has further strained the relationship.

This development stands in stark contrast to Beijing’s relations to South Korea, which normalized in 1992. In a little more than two decades, South Korea has become China’s third-largest trading partner. One fourth of Seoul’s exports go to China, making it the country’s biggest trading partner. While bilateral trade stands at around 230 billion USD, South Korea currently enjoys a hefty trade surplus of some 60 billion USD.

FULL ARTICLE (Deutsche Welle)

Photo: Korea.net/flickr

28 Feb
Cross Purposes: Beijing, Washington and the Korean Peninsula | Daniel Pinkston and Yanmei Xie
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent East Asia tour raised the prospect that the Six-Party Talks – in the deep freeze for over five years – could soon reconvene. After conversing with Chinese officials, Kerry spoke positively of their promise to rid North Korea of nuclear weapons. Kerry announced in Beijing that “China could not have more forcefully reiterated its commitment” to the goal of denuclearising North Korea. In the background was hope that an inter-Korean thaw might be underway, with the two Koreas agreeing to hold the first reunion of separated family members in over three years.
But Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s own statement, while forceful, was far less specific. “China will never allow chaos or war on the Korean Peninsula”. Kerry had said the two sides agreed that the North “must take meaningful, concrete, and irreversible steps towards verifiable denuclearisation, and it needs to begin now”. Wang stressed that the “top priority at the moment is to grasp the opportunity and resume talks”.
Clearly the U.S. and China have a mismatch in priorities. Even though both posit denuclearisation as a goal, Beijing and Washington have contradicting prescriptions. The U.S. employs diplomatic isolation, economic sanctions, containment, and deterrence to pressure Pyongyang to denuclearise. Many in Washington believe Beijing holds the real key given the North’s economic dependence on China.  But China is reluctant to take any coercive action that might destabilise the Kim regime and possibly change a delicate geopolitical balance. So China utilises diplomatic engagement and economic cooperation as instruments with which to encourage the North Korean leadership to denuclearise, but it is willing to live with a de facto nuclear North Korea in exchange for stability in the present. Kerry himself acknowledged this when he said the Chinese “will not allow a nuclear program” in the North and added: “over the long run”.
Certainly a public consensus is emerging in China that believes Beijing’s unconditional support has led to some excessive North Korean behaviour contrary to China’s interests. Xi Jinping’s administration is trying to re-set boundaries. China almost certainly would deliver a harsh reprimand if North Korea were to conduct another nuclear or missile test, or start a military skirmish with the South, for example. But the red lines that would trigger serious punishment – and what the punishment would be – remain unclear.
Both the U.S. and China wish to avoid a war on the peninsula and therefore share an interest in managing Pyongyang’s behaviour. However – and here’s the fundamental difference in viewpoints – the risks and costs associated with managing Pyongyang are qualitatively different from those associated with the actions that might be required for denuclearisation. Pyongyang’s “normal” intransigence can be countered with short-term, easily reversible steps such as temporarily slowing down economic cooperation or tightening border inspections. Making Pyongyang abandon its nuclear weapons almost certainly would require more drastic actions, some of which could threaten Beijing’s bottom lines of no instability, no sudden regime change, no unified U.S. ally on China’s border. Managing Pyongyang’s behaviour helps maintain the status quo; denuclearising North Korea risks changing the status quo.
Setting the table to resume the Six-Party Talks appears to be good enough for China. The framework allows Beijing to play its preferred role of mediator, garnering good-will for its efforts while ensuring minimum costs to its relations with the parties involved (the U.S., both Koreas, Japan and Russia). The Chinese consensus is that the North Korean nuclear issue is ultimately a “U.S.-DPRK” problem that can be solved if the two parties would only sit down and hammer out an agreement, so Beijing may well feel it has done its part if it can get the parties to reconvene talks. Having the parties at the table also gives Beijing a structure for monitoring and managing tensions.
The barriers to talks therefore remain significant. Washington wants Pyongyang to take verifiable and irreversible steps towards dismantling its nuclear program, including implementing its previous denuclearisation commitment. China, however, wants the U.S. to lower its threshold for talks, or in Wang Yi’s words, “show flexibility”.
U.S. policymakers very likely see the limits of cooperating with Beijing, but at this stage choose to paper over differences in public. Lauding China’s commitment to denuclearise the North, Kerry also could be aiming to bind Beijing to a position it might find difficult to abandon. But Beijing has its own ideas. China’s stated goal actually is “the denuclearisation of the peninsula”, a nod to Pyongyang’s assertion that Washington’s nuclear umbrella must be retracted from Seoul.
In short, there is little sign of Beijing moving towards Washington’s pressure-driven approach in the absence of Pyongyang crossing China’s red lines. Evidence suggests quite the opposite. On the heels of Kerry’s visit to Beijing, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin travelled to Pyongyang where he reiterated China’s desire to foster the “healthy and stable development of bilateral relations”, including by “respecting each other’s interests and expanding pragmatic cooperation”.  China may be willing to apply pressure on North Korea to return to the Six-Party Talks. But when the table is set, Beijing will likely congratulate itself for fulfilling its responsibilities, and the ball will then be in Washington’s court as to whether talks alone are sufficient.
crisisgroupblogs.org
PHOTO: REUTERS/Diego Azubel/Pool

Cross Purposes: Beijing, Washington and the Korean Peninsula | Daniel Pinkston and Yanmei Xie

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent East Asia tour raised the prospect that the Six-Party Talks – in the deep freeze for over five years – could soon reconvene. After conversing with Chinese officials, Kerry spoke positively of their promise to rid North Korea of nuclear weapons. Kerry announced in Beijing that “China could not have more forcefully reiterated its commitment” to the goal of denuclearising North Korea. In the background was hope that an inter-Korean thaw might be underway, with the two Koreas agreeing to hold the first reunion of separated family members in over three years.

But Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s own statement, while forceful, was far less specific. “China will never allow chaos or war on the Korean Peninsula”. Kerry had said the two sides agreed that the North “must take meaningful, concrete, and irreversible steps towards verifiable denuclearisation, and it needs to begin now”. Wang stressed that the “top priority at the moment is to grasp the opportunity and resume talks”.

Clearly the U.S. and China have a mismatch in priorities. Even though both posit denuclearisation as a goal, Beijing and Washington have contradicting prescriptions. The U.S. employs diplomatic isolation, economic sanctions, containment, and deterrence to pressure Pyongyang to denuclearise. Many in Washington believe Beijing holds the real key given the North’s economic dependence on China.  But China is reluctant to take any coercive action that might destabilise the Kim regime and possibly change a delicate geopolitical balance. So China utilises diplomatic engagement and economic cooperation as instruments with which to encourage the North Korean leadership to denuclearise, but it is willing to live with a de facto nuclear North Korea in exchange for stability in the present. Kerry himself acknowledged this when he said the Chinese “will not allow a nuclear program” in the North and added: “over the long run”.

Certainly a public consensus is emerging in China that believes Beijing’s unconditional support has led to some excessive North Korean behaviour contrary to China’s interests. Xi Jinping’s administration is trying to re-set boundaries. China almost certainly would deliver a harsh reprimand if North Korea were to conduct another nuclear or missile test, or start a military skirmish with the South, for example. But the red lines that would trigger serious punishment – and what the punishment would be – remain unclear.

Both the U.S. and China wish to avoid a war on the peninsula and therefore share an interest in managing Pyongyang’s behaviour. However – and here’s the fundamental difference in viewpoints – the risks and costs associated with managing Pyongyang are qualitatively different from those associated with the actions that might be required for denuclearisation. Pyongyang’s “normal” intransigence can be countered with short-term, easily reversible steps such as temporarily slowing down economic cooperation or tightening border inspections. Making Pyongyang abandon its nuclear weapons almost certainly would require more drastic actions, some of which could threaten Beijing’s bottom lines of no instability, no sudden regime change, no unified U.S. ally on China’s border. Managing Pyongyang’s behaviour helps maintain the status quo; denuclearising North Korea risks changing the status quo.

Setting the table to resume the Six-Party Talks appears to be good enough for China. The framework allows Beijing to play its preferred role of mediator, garnering good-will for its efforts while ensuring minimum costs to its relations with the parties involved (the U.S., both Koreas, Japan and Russia). The Chinese consensus is that the North Korean nuclear issue is ultimately a “U.S.-DPRK” problem that can be solved if the two parties would only sit down and hammer out an agreement, so Beijing may well feel it has done its part if it can get the parties to reconvene talks. Having the parties at the table also gives Beijing a structure for monitoring and managing tensions.

The barriers to talks therefore remain significant. Washington wants Pyongyang to take verifiable and irreversible steps towards dismantling its nuclear program, including implementing its previous denuclearisation commitment. China, however, wants the U.S. to lower its threshold for talks, or in Wang Yi’s words, “show flexibility”.

U.S. policymakers very likely see the limits of cooperating with Beijing, but at this stage choose to paper over differences in public. Lauding China’s commitment to denuclearise the North, Kerry also could be aiming to bind Beijing to a position it might find difficult to abandon. But Beijing has its own ideas. China’s stated goal actually is “the denuclearisation of the peninsula”, a nod to Pyongyang’s assertion that Washington’s nuclear umbrella must be retracted from Seoul.

In short, there is little sign of Beijing moving towards Washington’s pressure-driven approach in the absence of Pyongyang crossing China’s red lines. Evidence suggests quite the opposite. On the heels of Kerry’s visit to Beijing, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin travelled to Pyongyang where he reiterated China’s desire to foster the “healthy and stable development of bilateral relations”, including by “respecting each other’s interests and expanding pragmatic cooperation”.  China may be willing to apply pressure on North Korea to return to the Six-Party Talks. But when the table is set, Beijing will likely congratulate itself for fulfilling its responsibilities, and the ball will then be in Washington’s court as to whether talks alone are sufficient.

crisisgroupblogs.org

PHOTO: REUTERS/Diego Azubel/Pool

18 Feb
U.N. North Korea Report Puts China in Uncomfortable Position | Brian Spegele
A United Nations report that bleakly details widespread human rights abuses in North Korea is putting China in an uncomfortable position over its close ties to its isolated neighbor.
In its damning portrayal of North Korea, a special commission impaneled by the U.N. Human Rights Council takes Beijing to task for repatriating North Koreans who cross the border into China and are sometimes tortured and executed on return. The commission recommended that the U.N. Security Council refer North Korea to the International Criminal Court and adopt sanctions against North Korean leaders for allegedly committing crimes against humanity.
On a practical level, the report is unlikely to alter China’s policy toward Pyongyang, some scholars familiar with Chinese-North Korean relations said. As a permanent member of the Security Council, Beijing has veto authority. China’s role as North Korea’s largest trading partner and political benefactor is a strategic decision to maintain calm and a buffer on its northeast border, North Korea watchers said.
FULL ARTICLE (Wall Street Journal)
Photo: felibrilu/flickr

U.N. North Korea Report Puts China in Uncomfortable Position | Brian Spegele

A United Nations report that bleakly details widespread human rights abuses in North Korea is putting China in an uncomfortable position over its close ties to its isolated neighbor.

In its damning portrayal of North Korea, a special commission impaneled by the U.N. Human Rights Council takes Beijing to task for repatriating North Koreans who cross the border into China and are sometimes tortured and executed on return. The commission recommended that the U.N. Security Council refer North Korea to the International Criminal Court and adopt sanctions against North Korean leaders for allegedly committing crimes against humanity.

On a practical level, the report is unlikely to alter China’s policy toward Pyongyang, some scholars familiar with Chinese-North Korean relations said. As a permanent member of the Security Council, Beijing has veto authority. China’s role as North Korea’s largest trading partner and political benefactor is a strategic decision to maintain calm and a buffer on its northeast border, North Korea watchers said.

FULL ARTICLE (Wall Street Journal)

Photo: felibrilu/flickr

14 Feb
Kerry pushes China on North Korea’s nukes | Simon Denyer
Secretary of State John F. Kerry said Friday that China’s leaders told him that they were willing to put additional pressure on North Korea if it did not return to talks about abandoning its nuclear weapons program, but he acknowledged that Washington and Beijing took different approaches to the issue.
On a tour though Asia, Kerry said he held a constructive meeting Friday with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People. He said he urged China to “use every tool at its disposal” to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program.
But Washington-based China experts said Beijing was unlikely to push its longtime ally too far over the issue and remained unwilling to join a U.S.-led attempt to isolate the Pyongyang regime.
FULL ARTICLE (Washington Post)
Photo: Center for American Progress Action Fund/flickr

Kerry pushes China on North Korea’s nukes | Simon Denyer

Secretary of State John F. Kerry said Friday that China’s leaders told him that they were willing to put additional pressure on North Korea if it did not return to talks about abandoning its nuclear weapons program, but he acknowledged that Washington and Beijing took different approaches to the issue.

On a tour though Asia, Kerry said he held a constructive meeting Friday with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People. He said he urged China to “use every tool at its disposal” to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program.

But Washington-based China experts said Beijing was unlikely to push its longtime ally too far over the issue and remained unwilling to join a U.S.-led attempt to isolate the Pyongyang regime.

FULL ARTICLE (Washington Post)

Photo: Center for American Progress Action Fund/flickr

23 Jan
Obama’s Asia rebalance turns into headache as China, Japan relations spiral down | Simon Denyer
China and Japan are not talking any more, and the United States is hardly being listened to.
A dispute over a remote chain of islands in the East China Sea has spiraled into an increasingly dangerous standoff between Beijing and Tokyo in the last few weeks, deeply complicating President Obama’s attempts to forge closer partnerships in the region.
Beijing recently announced that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was simply not welcome there. At the same time, the media in both countries have stoked the fire with speculation about a possible military confrontation that could even suck in the United States, which is bound by treaty to defend Japan in case of attack.
U.S. officials and experts say conflict between the Asian powers remains unlikely, with both sides keen to preserve economic ties, and neither likely to emerge as a clear winner.
FULL ARTICLE (Washington Post)
Photo: Asitimes/flickr

Obama’s Asia rebalance turns into headache as China, Japan relations spiral down | Simon Denyer

China and Japan are not talking any more, and the United States is hardly being listened to.

A dispute over a remote chain of islands in the East China Sea has spiraled into an increasingly dangerous standoff between Beijing and Tokyo in the last few weeks, deeply complicating President Obama’s attempts to forge closer partnerships in the region.

Beijing recently announced that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was simply not welcome there. At the same time, the media in both countries have stoked the fire with speculation about a possible military confrontation that could even suck in the United States, which is bound by treaty to defend Japan in case of attack.

U.S. officials and experts say conflict between the Asian powers remains unlikely, with both sides keen to preserve economic ties, and neither likely to emerge as a clear winner.

FULL ARTICLE (Washington Post)

Photo: Asitimes/flickr

10 Jan
Coastal Province’s Fishing Rules Alarm U.S. | Bree Feng
New fishing regulations issued by a Chinese province along the South China Sea have once again focused international attention on a complex territorial dispute and raised the question of what kind of power China will become.

In a move that a spokeswoman for the State Department, Jen Psaki, on Thursday called a “provocative and potentially dangerous act,” the southern Chinese province of Hainan issued the new regulations, effective Jan. 1, that require foreign fishing vessels to obtain permission from the Chinese government before plying sea waters that China claims.
FULL ARTICLE (New York Times)
Photo: llee_wu/flickr

Coastal Province’s Fishing Rules Alarm U.S. | Bree Feng

New fishing regulations issued by a Chinese province along the South China Sea have once again focused international attention on a complex territorial dispute and raised the question of what kind of power China will become.

In a move that a spokeswoman for the State Department, Jen Psaki, on Thursday called a “provocative and potentially dangerous act,” the southern Chinese province of Hainan issued the new regulations, effective Jan. 1, that require foreign fishing vessels to obtain permission from the Chinese government before plying sea waters that China claims.

FULL ARTICLE (New York Times)

Photo: llee_wu/flickr

17 Dec
"The cost of sustaining the Kim regime may have increased and the benefits may have declined. But the calculation remains that the potential consequences of cutting Pyongyang loose are unacceptable."

—Daniel Pinkston, Crisis Group’s Deputy Project Director for North East Asia, TIME 

Last week, Crisis Group’s Report Fire on the City Gate: Why China Keeps North Korea Close was featured in the Council of Foreign Relations Must Read List! You can check out the full report here!

Last week, Crisis Group’s Report Fire on the City Gate: Why China Keeps North Korea Close was featured in the Council of Foreign Relations Must Read List! You can check out the full report here!