FOCUS on Frozen Conflicts: Taiwan-China

Taiwan’s defense minister, former Taiwanese general Chiu Kuo-cheng, made headlines recently when he stood before the Legislature Yuan and predicted that China would launch a full-scale invasion of Taiwan by 2025. According to ABC News, the Chinese government in the past few weeks has sent more than 150 military aircraft to fly through Taiwan’s air defense zone in an attempt at intimidation.

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China’s Authoritarianism Facilitated Its Economic Victory Over COVID-19

Despite being the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, China’s swift and strict response to the pandemic allegedly led to a 2.3 percent increase in GDP in the year 2020, reports NPR. The pandemic posed a unique challenge for the communist government, but not an unmanageable one. Leaning into authoritarian tactics, the Chinese government  was able to fight the virus while simultaneously building back its economy.

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What Are China’s True Intentions in Afghanistan?

The amicable, yet cautious, relationship between the Taliban and the Chinese Communist Party has been unmistakable in the weeks leading up to and following the contentious U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. According to Reuters, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with the political chief of the Taliban, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, at the end of July. In this meeting, the two discussed Afghanistan’s sovereignty and independence, in addition to security and stability concerns within the nation.

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China Regulates Gaming Among Youth

Xinhua News Agency, the media arm of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), announced further restrictions on youth gaming last week, according to tech magazine Wired. The New York Times reports that the punitive new regulations limit gaming for people under 18 to between 8 and 9 p.m., with access only allowed on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays.

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Vaccine Diplomacy: Who is Leading the Race?

As countries across the globe are racing vaccinate their populations, vaccine diplomacy has now become a key component of geopolitics. Several countries such as China, Russia, and India are engaging in vaccine diplomacy. This new diplomacy tool will have a substantial impact, given the unequal global distribution of vaccines.

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The Taiwan Question: Strategic Ambiguity Is Not Enough 

Ever since Taiwan separated itself from mainland China in 1949, relations between Beijing and Tapiei have been tenuous at best. At worst, the Taiwan Strait is a hotbed for diplomatic and military gridlock as Beijing and Taiwan vie for control of the region. On April 20, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army flew a squadron of 25 aircraft into Taiwan airspace, the South China Morning Post reports. While these exercises are not uncommon in the Taiwan Strait, the incursion comes at a time of great tension between China and the United States’ growing relationship with Taiwan.

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Lieutenant Colonel from U.S. Army Intelligence Speaks About ‘Terrorism and the Great Game’

Retired Lieutenant Colonel of the U.S. Army Andy Swedlow gave a presentation on the use of terrorism in the Great Game at the School of Diplomacy on April 8. Swedlow gave a description on the history of the Great Game, different ways nation states utilized terrorism, and the effects of terrorism on the great power competition.

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Beijing Tightens its Grip on the South China Sea

Beijing has increased its naval presence in the South China Sea, fueling regional tensions. The islands of the South China Sea have been disputed between China and other Southeast Asian states since Vietnam’s 2009 reclamation of occupied islands due to overlapping claims of sovereignty.

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