BY MONTE R. BULLARD | IN-DEPTH PIECE
American Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOP) policy in the South China Sea, sometimes focused on the Spratly Islands (Nansha) and Paracel Islands (Xisha) within the South China Sea, is clearly based on incomplete information. A review of official reports, like the America First National Security Strategy (AFNSS) and the Defense Department’s Annual Report to Congress 2018 on China’s Military Power, indicates that the government writers and reviewers of these documents when describing whether China is a strategic threat or a strong economic competitor almost always come to the conclusion or just assumed that China is a threat. We note that even the Harvard Belfer Center paints China as a threat as do two excellent articles in the Winter 2018 edition of the Naval War College Review. We have already written one blog that offers a critique of the AFNSS. This blog is to point out weaknesses in some official and academic reports.
BY RUSSELL HSIAO | OUTSIDE PUBLICATION
China has significantly ramped up pressure on Taiwan since Tsai Ing-wen was democratically-elected as the country’s president in January 2016. As Beijing’s external pressure on Taiwan grows, pressure for action is building on the Tsai administration, both from the opposition as well as from within her own party. The confluence of these factors will make it harder for the Tsai administration to sustain her administration’s pragmatic efforts to maintain the “status quo” in cross-Strait relations without greater international support.
BY JUDITH NORTON | IN-DEPTH PIECE
The Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific of the U.S. House of Representatives on Foreign Affairs held a hearing titled “Reinforcing the U.S.-Taiwan Relationship”. U.S. Representatives and several expert witnesses discussed the current geopolitical situation facing Taiwan. The expert witnesses included Mark Stokes, the Executive Director of the Project 2049 Institute, Julian Ku, a Professor of Constitutional Law at the Maurice A. Dean School of Law, and Tiffany Ma, Senior Director of Bower Group Asia. The expert witnesses’ statements were incisive but contained a few misrepresentations of important concepts that, without clarification, could negatively affect U.S. policy going forward. This article points out and clarifies a few of the errors made in the statements. Part I addresses a few puzzling statements in the testimony of Mark Stokes.
BY EDWARD J. BARSS AND MONTE R. BULLARD | BOOK REVIEW
In War by Other Means, Robert Blackwill and Jennifer Harris argue that geoeconomic warfare requires a new vision of U.S. statecraft.
BY JUDITH NORTON | OUTSIDE PUBLICATION
President Donald Trump’s administration and the US Congress have released major documents and passed key pieces of legislation over the course of time that signal the potential for a shift in the U.S.’s “One China Policy” which has framed US-China-Taiwan relations for decades.