Wartime History and Beijing’s Response to the New Defence Minister in Tokyo

In the wake of the Upper House elections in Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has completed a reshuffling of his cabinet. As described by Japan hand Michael Cucek, it was not a particularly inspiring set of choices made by the newly-consolidated Prime Minister: Taro Aso (the right-wing former PM perhaps best recalled for his off-the-cuff endorsement of Hitler’s constitutional revision style) remains at the helm … Continue reading Wartime History and Beijing’s Response to the New Defence Minister in Tokyo

On the ‘Cairo Declaration’ Fiasco

While the tendency of the CCP to insert itself at the main junctures of Chinese history in the 20th century is anything but new, there has been an increasing alignment with the earlier Republic of China that has been quite pronounced, I would argue, since at least 2005. For the past ten years, scholars have interpreted this (and the inclusion of ROC troops in various … Continue reading On the ‘Cairo Declaration’ Fiasco

Changes in China’s North Korea Policy? Professor Zhu Feng Walks it Back

Zhu Feng is is one of the key Chinese voices when it comes to Beijing’s North Korea policy.  His body of work on this question is extensive, including media quotes as well as articles in both popular and scholarly outlets. Recently, Zhu’s writings and his quotations have cleaved toward a transformationalist vision of China’s policy toward North Korea, suggesting that Xi Jinping was ready to … Continue reading Changes in China’s North Korea Policy? Professor Zhu Feng Walks it Back

New Winter: Sino-North Korean Relations Today

Of China’s many bilateral relationships, few are as pregnant with doom as the relationship with the DPRK. That is to say, the relationship is significant to China not primarily for the good it can bring, but for the potential harm it represents. Thus the quest for China in dealing with the DPRK is how to play a bad hand: minimize the harm it can do, … Continue reading New Winter: Sino-North Korean Relations Today

PLA in Pyongyang? Returning Tropes in Sino-North Korean Relations

The North Korean issue has been fairly quiet in the Chinese press in the aftermath of last month’s big Party Congress in Pyongyang, but some new controversy has crossed the wires in the form of a South Korean press allegation (courtesy Dong-A Ilbo) that China is sending a rather large contingent of People’s Liberation Army troops to Pyongyang.  As the Global Times English version puts … Continue reading PLA in Pyongyang? Returning Tropes in Sino-North Korean Relations

New Korean-American Messiah Crosses the Tumen (Updated)

One Free Korea carries a vital and extensive report on the latest international incident on the North Korea-China border: Reuters is reporting that Robert Park, a 28 year-old American, has walked across the Tumen River from China to the North Korean town of Hoeryong, which is infamous for being both the birthplace of Kim Jong Il’s mother and the the town nearest to Camp 22. … Continue reading New Korean-American Messiah Crosses the Tumen (Updated)

Sino-NK Developments / 中朝消息

Several rather interesting Sino-North Korean stories have come across the transom recently.  And isn’t that what life is all about: stories?  Narratives have power, particularly when they change.  Some arguments and stories which we may have believed to be immutable – such as Chinese support for North Korea on the refugee issue – may in fact be changing before our very eyes. Indications of a … Continue reading Sino-NK Developments / 中朝消息

Chinese Heir Apparent in Japan

Xi Jinping, the current consensus candidate to succeed Hu Jintao in about three years’ time, is on a tour of Japan.  He has met, not without excitement or a bit of controversy in Tokyo, Akihito, the Japanese emperor. Oddly enough, December 13 was the anniversary of the Rape of Nanking; Xinhua quietly issued a few new photographs of the battle for Nanking, seeming far more … Continue reading Chinese Heir Apparent in Japan

China’s Cultural Diplomacy Offensive

The growth of Chinese “soft power” in the modern era is one of the great stories of our day.  Why?  Because it inspires fear! This short clip from the popular American television show “South Park” describes young Eric Cartman’s nightmare of a Chinese-dominated world, a dream which stems from his having watched the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. So what if the Chinese are … Continue reading China’s Cultural Diplomacy Offensive