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  • Author: Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Julia Muir
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Legislation to reform Japan Post is again gathering steam in Tokyo. The real question is whether the latest act in this long- running drama will represent true reform or in fact will camouflage an entrenchment of Japan Post's formidable monopoly powers. Antireform proposals being lined up for consideration in the Diet would indefinitely extend effective government control of Japan Post's financial arms (thereby reversing the Koizumi era reforms). On the other hand, reform forces in the Japanese government want new legislation to guarantee a level playing field in banking and insurance between Japan Post and private firms, whether domestic or foreign.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance, Natural Disasters
  • Political Geography: Japan, Israel
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: With the outlook for exports subdued and investment weak, we expect industrial output growth to slow further in 2012H1. But consumption is taking up the slack and fiscal policy is set to be supportive. As a result, we only expect a relatively modest slowing in growth in 2012 to 8.4% from 9.2% in 2011. But with house prices still falling in December, we remain concerned about the risk of a sharp slowing in the property market leading to strains on local government finances and a hard landing for growth, particularly with the external environment weak. However, central government finances are strong and fiscal transfers could provide a significant cushion in the event of a property bust.
  • Topic: Communism, Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance, Global Recession
  • Political Geography: China, Israel
  • Author: Kiyoaki Aburaki
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: “Decide when it is time to decide, draw a conclusion, don't postpone; this is the type of politics I want to create.” Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda made this declaration in a press conference on June 26 immediately after the passage of the consumption tax-hike bill in the Lower House of the Diet. Noda's conviction to pass a tax increase had a political cost: 57 lawmakers of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) voted against the bill, while 15 DPJ members abstained. Former DPJ president Ichiro Ozawa, who leads the anti-tax-hike movement, and his followers created a deep rift within the ruling party over the tax legislation and subsequently damaged Noda's political power base by defecting from the party on July 2.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Japan, Israel
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 08-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The State Department's recently released Country Reports on Terrorism 2009 (CRT 2009) reveals several important trends in the evolution of global terrorism. The good news is that al-Qaeda is facing significant pressure, even as the organization and its affiliates and followers retain the intent and capability to carry out attacks. What remains to be seen is if the dispersion of the global jihadist threat from the heart of the Middle East to South Asia and Africa foreshadows organizational decline or revival for al-Qaeda itself and the radical jihadist ideology it espouses. How governments and civil society alike organize to contend with the changing threat will be central to this determination. The bad news is that governments and civil society remain woefully ineffective at reducing the spread and appeal of radical Islamist extremism.
  • Topic: Government, Islam, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Alexandru Luta
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The recent elections for the lower house of Japan's Diet herald the end of the Liberal Democratic Party's (LDP) domination of Japanese politics. The winner, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), aims to thoroughly reform the way the country is governed. The strategic goals of the DPJ's reform agenda are to shift the locus of policy-drafting away from civil servants to the legislature, and to bring the latter firmly under the control of the Prime Minister's Cabinet. In order to be able to work towards its strategic goal, the DPJ needs tactical victories to maintain its popularity with the electorate. The climate negotiations' high profile makes domestic climate policy a natural area for the DPJ to differentiate its political brand from that of the LDP. Just as with governance reform, the DPJ has time and again asserted its commitment to pro-active climate goals both in pre-and post-electoral speeches, at home and abroad. Therefore it is very likely to continue pouring political capital into this policy area. The division between major ministries about how to formulate Japanese climate policy presents a willing Cabinet with structural advantages to assert its leadership successfully. The wider reforms currently being implemented further strengthen the new government's position. There are some factors that might limit the ability of Japan's new leadership to fight climate change. These include how their relationship with domestic media outlets shapes their approval ratings, how the positions of other stakeholders develop, how other electoral promises conflict with the new climate platform, and how the climate negotiations progress on the international level.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Politics, Governance
  • Political Geography: Japan, Israel, Asia
  • Author: Mohammad Yaghi
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On June 4, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas marked the anniversary of the 1967 War by making a surprise call for dialogue with Hamas. In response to multiple challenges to his authority -- impasse on the peace process, ongoing dissent within Fatah, and regional pressure to resolve the internal Palestinian conflict -- Abbas has abandoned his demands for Hamas to return Gaza to its pre-June 2007 condition and apologize for its violent coup. However, a gulf remains between Hamas and Fatah, and it is unlikely that renewed dialogue can bridge the gap. Abbas's move may be an effort to pressure the United States to become more involved, and to maintain a fallback position if peace is not achieved. Accordingly, his call to Hamas should be seen as tactical, rather than a strategic, turning point toward Palestinian reconciliation.
  • Topic: Government, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel
  • Author: David Schenker
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: This week, the democratically elected, pro-Western Lebanese government took the bold and unprecedented decision to confront Hizballah. Since its election in 2005, the government had avoided direct conflict with the well-armed Shiite militant political party, but several of the organization's activities -- including apparent preparations for yet another war with Israel -- led the government to provoke a showdown. In response to a May 8 cabinet statement that focused on Hizballah's "attack on the sovereignty of the state," the Shiite organization took to the streets. In the ensuing violence -- the most intense since Lebanon's civil war -- Hizballah began occupying parts of Beirut, leaving the future of Lebanon in doubt.
  • Topic: Government, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Lebanon, Beirut
  • Author: Mohammad Yaghi
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: A month after visiting Washington, Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayad continues to face significant political, economic, and security challenges to his reform plan. Fatah, the ruling political party in the West Bank, has resisted many aspects of his agenda and is critical of his cabinet's composition and performance. And although Fayad has spearheaded several important initiatives, his plan is in jeopardy, and the Palestinian Authority (PA) is still far from representing a compelling alternative to Hamas. To make matters worse, the PA has received just $260 million out of the $7.7 billion pledged during the December international donors conference in Paris, leaving the prime minister with month-to-month uncertainty about fulfilling the PA's salary commitments.
  • Topic: Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: In April 2006, key donors including the US A, EU, and Canada suspended international aid to the Palestinian Authority government (PA), following the overwhelming victory of Hamas in parliamentary elections. The Government of Israel had previously suspended the transfer of the tax and customs revenues it collects on behalf of the PA.
  • Topic: Government, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Nathan J. Brown
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: By electing a parliament dominated by Hamas, Palestinians have sharply challenged U.S. policy. The initial American reaction—undermining the new government—will leave the population in chaos, with various Palestinian groups vying for influence. Political constraints preclude anything but a Hamas government in the short term. But the Hamas victory should not be viewed as a defeat for the American vision of reform—which, indeed, may offer a path out of the current deadlock. The United States should develop a policy for the longer term to continue calming the Israeli- Palestinian conflict; maintain the Palestinian Authority; and work for political reform by focusing on the judiciary, media, and other institutions that are independent of the current regime.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Michael Rubin
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: After Hamas kidnapped nineteen-year-old Corporal Gilad Shalit on June 25, Israeli forces launched an assault on Gaza to win his release. Arab condemnation was swift. Saudi Arabia's pro- government al-Jazira daily called Israel “a society of terrorists.” Egypt's state-controlled al-Gumhuriyah condemned Israel's “heinous crimes” in Gaza. Following a July 8 meeting in Tehran, foreign ministers from countries neighboring Iraq denounced the “brutal Israeli attacks.”
  • Topic: International Relations, Government
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Israel, Tehran, Gaza, Arab Countries, Saudi Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Ehud Yaari
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The governments on both of our “hot” fronts, Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority, are on the verge of change, with practical, immediate implications for Israel—and unfortunately, not positive ones. Rather, the storm clouds continue to gather on the strategic horizon.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Government, War
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Gaza
  • Author: David Makovsky, Dennis Ross, Jeffrey White
  • Publication Date: 09-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On August 25, 2006, Jeffrey White, David Makovsky, and Dennis Ross addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. Jeffrey White is the Berrie Defense Fellow at The Washington Institute and the coauthor, with Michael Eisenstadt, of the Institute Policy Focus Assessing Iraq's Sunni Arab Insurgency. David Makovsky, senior fellow and director of The Washington Institute's Project on the Middle East Peace Process, is author of the Institute monograph Engagement through Disengagement: Gaza and the Potential for Israeli-Palestinian Peacemaking. He, like Jeffrey White, recently returned from a trip to Israel. Dennis Ross, the Institute's counselor and Ziegler distinguished fellow, is a former U.S. Middle East peace envoy and author of The Missing Peace: The Inside Story of the Fight for Middle East Peace. The following is a rapporteur's summary of their remarks.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Government, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Washington, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia, Gaza
  • Author: David Makovsky, Dennis Ross, Moshe Yaalon
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On July 10, 2006, Lt. Gen. (ret.) Moshe Yaalon, David Makovsky and Dennis Ross addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. General Yaalon, a distinguished military fellow at the Institute, is the former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) chief of staff. Mr. Makovsky, senior fellow and director of The Washington Institute's Project on the Middle East Peace Process, is author of the Institute monograph Engagement through Disengagement: Gaza and the Potential for Israeli-Palestinian Peacemaking. Ambassador Ross, the Institute's counselor and Ziegler distinguished fellow, is a former U.S. Middle East peace envoy and author of The Missing Peace: The Inside Story of the Fight for Middle East Peace. The following is a rapporteur's summary of their remarks.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Rana Shaab, Nicholas Ravella, Nathan Hodson, Daniel Fink
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The outbreak of hostilities after Hizballah's July 12 raid into Israel, in which it captured two Israeli soldiers and killed eight others, has elicited a variety of responses from government officials and other prominent figures throughout the Middle East. Though it is not surprising to see harsh statements about Israel, it is unusual to see Arab leaders criticizing Hizballah for its role in precipitating the conflict. The usually cautious Saudi authorities implicitly criticized Hizballah for adventurism; is seems that Riyadh may be wary of Iranian influence. The following is a sampling of Middle Eastern reactions, compiled from various regional and international media sources.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arab Countries, Lebanon
  • Author: Samer Abu Libdeh
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Even while Israelis and Palestinians are locked in deepening conflict over the kidnapping of a young Israeli soldier and the future of the Hamas government, political life on the East Bank of the Jordan River is increasingly focused on internal Jordanian concerns.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Jordan
  • Author: Mohammad Yaghi
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas's pursuit of a referendum on the Palestinian National Accord has been widely interpreted by commentators and reporters as a power play designed to circumvent the Hamas-led government and force it to implicitly accept Israel's existence. But while the process of conducting a referendum -- the legality of which remains questionable -- would shift power away from the government and the legislature, the actual text of the document, which a group of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails negotiated, more closely resembles the political program of Hamas than that of Abbas. Moreover, Hamas has recovered from its initial surprise at the referendum initiative and has mounted an effective response, first by challenging the legality of a referendum, then by dragging Abbas into negotiations over the substance of the Accord. Despite a possible compromise that may emerge in coming days and shift the composition of the government or modify the language of the Accord, Hamas has used the internal Palestinian debate over a referendum to secure its internal legitimacy and advance many of its governing priorities.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Government
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Elizabeth Young
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As the international donor community struggles to determine its stance on aid to the Palestinians under the Hamas government, it is important to remember the extent to which the Palestinian economy is dependent upon Israeli decisions. Last year the international community gave the Palestinians $1.4 billion in aid; Israel has the potential to affect at least that sum through its policies on trade, Palestinian workers in Israel, and the tax revenue it collects.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In a surprise move prior to Israel's March 28 election, Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert unveiled a proposal that Israeli settlers be consolidated into West Bank settlement blocs largely adjacent to the Green Line. A week after the announcement, Israeli public reaction suggests his gamble seems to have paid off. According to a Yediot Ahronot poll released on March 17, Israelis favor Olmert's unilateralist proposal by a margin of 52 percent to 45 percent. Moreover, Olmert's poll standing was not negatively impacted by the proposal, despite the fact that it could mean the removal of an estimated 60,000 settlers from dozens of settlements scattered across the larger part of the West Bank outside Israel's security barrier. (Inside the Israeli security barrier, there are approximately 193,000 settlers, mostly in blocs, in the 8 percent of the West Bank largely adjacent to the pre-1967 boundaries. By comparison, President Clinton's final proposal in 2000 involved Israel keeping 5 percent of the land.) An Olmert security advisor and former Shin Bet head, Avi Dichter, says the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) will not be withdrawn from the West Bank. Olmert was able to use his commanding lead to answer critics who say that the new party leader lacks Ariel Sharon's track record and therefore the authority to ask the public to trust his decisions. In the March 17 poll, Olmert's Kadima stood to win 39 seats in the 120-seat Knesset; Labor was polling at 19 seats and Likud, 15 seats. Olmert's standing was undoubtedly assisted by Israel's March 15 operation to seize from a Jericho prison the assassins of Israeli cabinet minister Rehavam Zeevi. Olmert hopes the operation will burnish his security credentials and undercut Netanyahu's argument that he is uniquely tough enough to challenge Hamas. (Olmert needs to be concerned about the 22 percent of Israelis who are undecided—the equivalent of twenty-five Knesset seats.)
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Emily Hunt
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As Israelis assess the implications of Hamas's victory in January elections to the Palestinian Legislative Council, a new threat may be developing in Lebanon. Al-Qaeda–linked terrorists have been present in Lebanon for a decade, but recent statements by Ayman al-Zawahiri and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi suggest that the dual objectives of destabilizing Arab regimes and targeting Israel proper are becoming top al-Qaeda priorities. Al-Zarqawi–linked terrorists in Lebanon have already engaged in low-level targeting of Israeli and Lebanese interests, yet several obstacles may hinder their ability to launch significant attacks in or from Lebanon. The Lebanese government, although weak, has a clear interest in preventing both internally and externally directed al-Qaeda activity. The dynamic among Hizballah, the Palestinians, and al-Qaeda remains more ambiguous, but early signs suggest potential antagonism among the groups. Together, Israel and the United States may be able to help Lebanon contain this emerging threat.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Lebanon
  • Author: David Makovsky, Khalil Shikaki
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On the eve of the Palestinian legislative elections, Fatah maintains only the slightest of leads over Hamas, a scenario which would have been unimaginable one year ago. Since Yasser Arafat's death in November 2004, Hamas has increased its strength by 40 percent, while in the same period Fatah has only increased its support by 10 percent.
  • Topic: Government, Peace Studies, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Former Israeli prime minister and recently resigned finance minister Benjamin Netanyahu won the Likud leadership primary on December 19, beating the foreign minister, Silvan Shalom, by a margin of 45 percent to 33 percent. Netanyahu returns to the leadership of Likud, which he vacated after his loss in the 1999 election. Netanyahu's victory comes a day after Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon suffered what his doctors called a mild stroke; he was released from the hospital within forty-eight hours. At seventy-seven, Sharon already shares the record for the oldest Israeli prime minister; David Ben-Gurion was seventy-seven when he resigned in 1963. Sharon turns seventy-eight in February.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On Monday, November 21, Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon announced that he is bolting the Likud Party and forming a new National Responsibility Party. The Knesset took a preliminary vote to dissolve itself. While wrangling may continue, a final date will soon be set for elections in March 2006. Sharon remains prime minister during the interregnum.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Moshe Yaalon
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Ten years ago today, the Israeli prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, was assassinated. This was one of the darkest days in the history of the State of Israel, the Israeli democracy, and the Jewish people. Prime Minister Rabin, who had also previously served as the IDF's chief of the General Staff, was born in Jerusalem in1922—perhaps symbolically, during the days of the first significant Arab murderous attacks against there established Israeli settlements in the land of Israel. In January 1964, Yitzhak Rabin was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general, becoming the seventh IDF chief of the General Staff. After war broke out in 1967, General Rabin led the IDF to the decisive victory in the Six Day War and, on December 31, 1967, stepped down from his command with Israel enjoying, for the first time since its establishment, defensible borders.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas returned to Ramallah from Washington last week having missed a key opportunity to spur President George W. Bush to reengage in the Roadmap. Instead, the October 20 joint press conference at the White House concluded with Bush acknowledging that his presidency may not witness the creation of a Palestinian state by 2008. His administration, Bush said, might merely “lay that foundation so that the process becomes irreversible.” The same administration that two years ago endorsed the Quartet's Roadmap to Israeli-Palestinian peace based upon a detailed schedule of commitments now expresses hesitancy on committing to any “timetable” for the creation of a Palestinian state. Bush administration policy has always had a performance-based rather than a time-based approach, but now it is not putting down any time markers.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Publication Date: 01-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The strengthening of the economy has raised hopes that Japan is emerging from a decade of stagnation. Output has been increasing at a more than 2 per cent annual rate since 2002, reflecting strong external demand and the progress made in corporate restructuring and economic reform. However, Japan still faces a number of serious headwinds to sustained growth, notably entrenched deflation and continued declines in bank lending and land prices. Meanwhile, the government's financial position continues to deteriorate, raising concerns about fiscal sustainability at the same time that population ageing is increasing demands for public spending. Addressing these challenges requires a combination of well-designed macroeconomic policies and structural measures to boost the growth potential and ensure rising living standards in the face of rapid population ageing.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Japan, Israel
  • Author: Wenran Jiang, Willy Lam, David G. Wiencek, Drew Thompson
  • Publication Date: 05-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: April marked a small leap forward in China's energy relations with Canada. China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) put down $150 million for a one-sixth stake in MEG Energy Corp., an upstart oil sands company. This is China's first major investment in Canada's vast oil sands industry. Two days later, Petro China International Co. Ltd. signed a memorandum of understanding with Canada's giant pipeline company Enbridge Inc., promising cooperation in the $2.5 billion Gateway pipeline from Alberta to the West Coast that may supply China with 200,000 barrels of crude a day once completed. China's large energy corporations are predicting more such deals but at a “much bigger” scale.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Canada, Israel
  • Author: Morris Rossabi, Sergei Blagov, Migeddorj Batchimeg, Alicia Campi, Wang Wei-Fang
  • Publication Date: 05-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Just before the 2005 Tsagaan Sar (or New Year's) celebrations, a Mongolian government official urged his fellow citizens not to buy Chinese gifts for relatives and friends because if they did he estimated that $30 million would enter China's coffer.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Eurasia, Israel
  • Author: You Ji, Willy Lam, Tarique Niazi, John C.k. Daly
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: It is not surprising that President Hu Jintao and his colleagues decided in mid-April to cool down anti-Japanese protests: a body blow has been dealt to China's reputation as a responsible member of the global community. The fact that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) administration was close to losing control over xenophobic crowds has again alerted Beijing to the reality that nationalism is a double-edged sword. There are also signs that CCP factions not allied with Hu and his sidekick, Premier Wen Jiabao, have used the worsening crisis with Japan to fault the way that the Hu-Wen team has conducted its foreign policy.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel
  • Author: Mohan Malik, Frank Ching, Willy Lam, William R. Hawkins
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: One of Beijing's worst nightmares seems to be coming true. Having apparently steadied the course in the Middle East, the Bush administration is turning to Asia to tame its long-standing “strategic competitor.” While this particular term has been shelved since 9/11 – and Sino-U.S. relations have improved thanks to China's cooperation with Washington's global anti-terrorist campaign – there are signs at least from Beijing's perspective that Washington is spearheading multi-pronged tactics to contain the fast-rising Asian giant.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, Asia
  • Author: Frank Ching, Eugene Kogan, Willy Lam, Richard A. Bitzinger
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The saga of Hong Kong Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa's fall from grace has highlighted Beijing's tightening grip over the Special Administrative Region (SAR), as well as the dicey future of the “one country, two systems” model. While Tung indicated last Thursday that he had submitted his resignation to Beijing earlier that day because of failing health, news about his impending departure had already been splashed across the Hong Kong papers on March 2
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel
  • Author: Willy Lam, Arnold Zeitlin, Mikyoung Kim, Ahmad Lutfi
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The likelihood of Beijing putting more pressure on Pyongyang regarding the nuclear issue has decreased given Hu Jintao's perception that a plethora of “anti-China” actions have been emanating from the Bush administration. This has increased the possibility of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) flaunting the North Korean card against America's so-called containment policy against China – as well as Washington's harder line on Iran
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel
  • Author: You Ji, Bernard D. Cole, Tarique Niazi, Tai Ming Cheung
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: As a maritime power, China's naval developments remain an issue of intense interest for Western policymakers as its meteoric economic development paves the way for China's transformation as a major global power. In light of Beijing's quest to secure energy resources, its extensive maritime seaboard, and unresolved territorial disputes, Chinese naval interests deserve continued attention. Undoubtedly, the People's Liberation Army Navy's (PLAN) ability to adequately defend China's sea lines of communication (SLOCs) will be critical to protecting its overseas interests. Jamestown is proud to present this special issue of China Brief on Chinese naval developments and maritime strategy.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel
  • Author: Wenran Jiang, Willy Lam, William R. Hawkins, Anthony Smith
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: If one theme characterizes Thailand's foreign policy, it is the ability to take advantage of the rivalries of larger powers. Skillfully avoiding occupation during various colonial enterprises, Thai foreign policy has cleverly sensed the prevailing winds and adapted accordingly. Thailand's close relationship with China – arguably one of the closest in Southeast Asia – sits alongside an alliance relationship with the United States. But the re-emergence of substantial independence sentiment in Thailand's southern provinces has now put Thai diplomacy to the test. Although there is no direct link, in a sense Thailand's separatist problem parallels China's own difficulties in Xinjiang. Thailand's latest challenge, this time domestic, finds that country sharing something of a similar strategic outlook to China.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel
  • Author: Eric Hagt, Willy Lam, Drew Thompson, Gill Bates, Daniel C. Lynch, Chen Yali
  • Publication Date: 01-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The good news about the Taiwan Legislative Yuan elections last month, from the perspective of Beijing, Washington, and at least half of the Taiwan electorate, is that nothing will happen. Chen Shui-bian and his pan-green coalition remained a legislative minority, meaning a radical push ahead for more sovereignty – and the instabilities that might bring for cross-Strait relations – does not appear in the cards for now.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Japan's Fair Trade Commission, created in 1947, is one of the oldest and largest competition law enforcement agencies in the world. Before the 1990s, though, competition had usually played a subordinate role in Japan's regulatory policies, while aspects of Japan's traditional approach to regulation had contradicted principles of modern competition policy. Over the past decade of reform in Japan, this attitude toward competition policy has been changing.
  • Topic: Development, Government, International Law
  • Political Geography: Japan, Israel
  • Author: Matthew Oresman, Drew Thompson, John C.k. Daly, Harvey Stockwin
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: While much of the world is fixated on China's booming economic growth and its ravenous appetite for energy, untidy diplomatic loose ends in the form of territorial disputes with neighbors have many of the countries bordering the Asian giant nervous. Though Beijing's claims over Taiwan remain the focus of world attention, China is embroiled in unresolved territorial maritime and land issues with no less than thirteen of its neighbors. Given that China's military capability is growing apace with its economy, the potential for military conflict over the disputed regions is similarly on the rise. While China up to now has attempted to address these issues diplomatically, the fact that many of the unresolved border disputes involve potential energy reserves might prompt China to use military force to resolve issues of strategic economic interest.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, Taiwan, Beijing, Asia
  • Author: Willy Lam, Lionel Martin, John Tkacik, Toby Lincoln
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Beijing is flashing the North Korean (DPRK) card at a time when the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership feels increasingly threatened by an anti-China “containment policy” that Washington is supposedly spearheading with the help of Japan, Taiwan and other Asian countries and regions.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Washington, Israel, Taiwan, Beijing, Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Wenran Jiang, Willy Lam, Dennis J. Blasko, Eric Teo
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The year is 2008. The setting is the vast West Pacific region. To break the US-Japan- Taiwan military containment of China, the combined air, navy and armed forces of the Chinese Liberation Army (PLA), equipped with newly established carrier battle groups, have destroyed all U.S. military bases in the region, taken control of all strategic sea routes from the Strait of Malacca to the Persian Gulf, and imposed an oil embargo to choke the U.S., Japan, Taiwan and their allies.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Israel, Taiwan
  • Author: Eugene Kogan, Willy Lam, Drew Thompson, Dennis J. Blasko, Zhu Feng
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: President and Central Military Commission (CMC) Chairman Hu Jintao has moved swiftly to tighten his grip over the People's Liberation Army (PLA). The emphasis that the new commander-in-chief has put on flexing the nation's fast-growing military muscle has fed speculation that he will be taking a more hard-line stance on relations with the U.S. and with Taiwan. However, it is unlikely that the predominant Hu-Wen Faction – a reference to the leadership team under Hu and Premier Wen Jiabao – will unveil too many major initiatives until it has consolidated its control over the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the government and the army.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel, Taiwan
  • Author: Christine Loh, Willy Lam, Eric Teo, Zhenzhen Chen
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The 1.784 million voters that participated in Hong Kong's 2004 Legislative Council Election gave a clear signal that they want democracy sooner rather than later. Whereas until now Hong Kongers have only been able to select the opposition, the recent elections indicated the people's desire to elect their city government. However, herein lies the uniqueness of Hong Kong's political system. Despite the city's many achievements in education standards, economic vibrancy, and social stability, its seven million people have yet to be allowed to freely choose their municipal political leaders.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel
  • Author: Christine Loh, Eugene Kogan, Willy Lam, Drew Thompson, Zhu Feng
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The soon-to-be-announced appointment of former Vice-Foreign Minister Wang Yi as Chinese Ambassador to Japan is emblematic of efforts by the Hu Jintao-Wen Jiabao leadership to improve Sino-Japanese relationship. In the past year, bilateral ties have deteriorated due to a host of issues ranging from “the question of history” – and compensation for World War II-related damages – to altercations over rights to oil and gas under the East China Sea. Protests by nationalistic Chinese groupings outside the Japanese Embassy in Beijing, banned until about two years ago, have become almost routine. Ugly scenes at a recent soccer match between the two national teams in the Chinese capital demonstrated the hostility with which many Chinese regard their nextdoor neighbor. And in Japan, the “China threat” theory is fast gaining ground owing to the perception that an economically and militarily strong China is throwing its weight around and threatening Japanese interests everywhere.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Israel
  • Author: Stephen Green, Willy Lam, Eric Teo, Alexandr Nemets
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Although the Chinese leadership faces no electoral contenders, Beijing will soon have to deal with two uncertain but crucial elections in the next four months, the consequences of which could have serious implications for China's internal political cohesiveness as well as regional stability. In September, Hong Kongers will elect their Legislative Council (Legco), of which 30 seats are set aside for election through universal suffrage and the other 30 through “functional representation.” And in December, Taiwanese go to the polls to choose their next Legislative Yuan (Taiwan's legislature), nine months after they had renewed the mandate of President Chen Shui-Bian for a second term in March.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, Taiwan
  • Author: Willy Lam, Zhu Feng, Kevin Scott, Marat Yermukanov, Andrew Thompson
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Beijing has acted quickly to dash the hopes that the half-a-million-people rally in Hong Kong last week will change the leadership's hard-line stance toward universal-suffrage elections in the special administrative region (SAR). While the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has continued with its public-relations, united-front offensive to win hearts and minds in the territory, it is expected to step up its divide-and-run tactics in order to isolate and marginalize pro-democracy politicians and intellectuals who dare challenge Beijing's suzerainty.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, Beijing, Hong Kong
  • Author: Willy Lam, Richard A. Bitzinger, Alexandr Nemets, Enzio Von Pfeil
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In April, the European Union (EU) dodged a bullet by refusing to take up the issue of overturning its 15-year-old ban on selling arms to China. Supporters of lifting the embargo, led by France and Germany, are unlikely to abandon their quest, however, and the issue will likely come up again for review, perhaps as early as this summer. If it lifts the ban, the EU risks further damaging a transatlantic alliance already strained over Iraq and other issues, with very little likelihood that its defense industry would see much, if any, benefit.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Israel
  • Author: Willy Lam, Drew Thompson, Cynthia Watson, James P. Jr. Muldoon
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The recent spate of articles on China's growing energy and natural resource consumption is a key explanation for Beijing's growing interest in South America. While the continent remains at least fourth on China's list of priorities, the vast array of resources available, coupled with a growing population eager to increase its consumption of goods, makes this part of the world ever more enticing. The People's Republic of China (PRC) seeks to put a modest investment in diplomatic, military, cultural, and trade relations for a possible long-term gain of significant proportion.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, Beijing, South America
  • Author: Ronald N. Montaperto, Willy Lam, Cynthia Watson, Jean-Pierre Cabestan
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In the view of many observers, the normalization of Sino-American relations signaled the end of a strategic relationship with the Republic of China (Taiwan) that had endured with but one brief interruption for forty years. The rapid growth of economic ties between the U.S. and mainland China in the 1980s seemed to confirm this assessment. Although political connections through the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) remain strong, the major benefit to the United States of its unofficial relationship to the island lies in the economic realm.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel, Taiwan
  • Author: Ahmad Lutfi, John C. K. Daly, Stephen Bank, Sergei Troush
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: China's insatiable energy thirst is causing it to undertake a global search for energy supplies to sustain its booming economy. Beijing has injected itself into the complex Caspian chess match to ensure itself as large a share as possible of resources being developed there. This complex political and economic maneuvering forces China to deal with the Caspian's five riparian states - Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Iran, Israel, Kazakhstan, Beijing, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan
  • Author: Mohan Malik, Matthew Oresman, Willy Lam, Paul H.B Godwin
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The unusually effusive reception that the Chinese leadership accorded Dear Leader Kim Jong-Il last week has buttressed speculation that Beijing and Pyongyang probably reached some form of a deal even prior to the long awaited visit. According to diplomatic sources in Beijing, Kim agreed during discussions with his Chinese hosts to take a “more serious and proactive stance” toward the ongoing six-nation talks on dismantling his country's weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Moreover, the sources said the reclusive leader pledged that unless there was further “provocation” from the United States, Pyongyang would not engage in tension raising gimmicks such as testing bombs or missiles. And, at least for the time being, a freeze would be put on the development of new WMD.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel, Beijing, Pyongyang
  • Author: You Ji, Igor Rotar, Willy Lam, Eric Teo
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership has been at pains not to appear to be gloating over the American quagmire in Iraq. Yet in terms of geopolitical calculus, there is little doubt Beijing sees America's worsening problems in Iraq as beneficial to China's global standing, diplomatically and militarily. Capitalizing on fissures in the international community over Iraq and America's war on terror, China has strengthened ties with key members of the European Union and the United Nations in an effort to counterbalance U.S. hegemony. Meanwhile, Chinese experts' scrutiny of the exploits as well as challenges of American and Allied Forces in Iraq will have a big impact on the People's Liberation Army's (PLA) ambitious modernization drive.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Iraq, America, Europe, Israel, Beijing
  • Author: Bernard D. Cole, Willy Lam, Arnold Zeitlin, Harvey Stockwin
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Beijing's unusually cautious response to Taiwan's disputed presidential polls shows that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership has yet to come to a consensus on how to deal with four more years of administration under 'splittis' President Chen Shui-bian. This, despite the fact that with the country's fastgrowing economic, military and diplomatic clout, Beijing would seem to enjoy unquestioned superiority over the increasingly divided island of Taiwan.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, Taiwan, Beijing
  • Author: Willy Lam, Jonathan Mirsky, Enzio von Pfeil, Ashok Kapur
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: No military action for the Taiwan Strait--not even psychological warfare oriented missile drills such as those undertaken in late 1995 and early 1996--is being planned by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) for the coming year or so. And this will be true whether President Chen Shui-bian or his challenger, Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan, wins in the hotly contested polls on March 20. However, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership is readying hardball solutions to the reunification problem for the medium-term.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, Taiwan
  • Author: Frank Ching, You Ji, Willy Lam, Eric Teo
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The two rounds of six-party talks in Beijing on the Korean nuclear standoff have demonstrated China.s unusual support for a multilateral solution to the conflict. This is symbolic of the country.s new diplomacy under Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabo. As is typical, Beijing is seeking to maximize its diplomatic gains for reasons related to national prestige and regional stability. What is new, however, is that the two leaders are trying to achieve these goals by having China act as a status quo power rather than through revisionist behavior. This change is vividly reflected in the fact that China has proven more willing to cooperate with the United States and is more determined to pressure North Korea. This brief article attempts to evaluate some of the domestic and international factors that are driving China to sponsor the six-party talks. conflicts on the Peninsula.with severe security implications for China. In the last few years two schools of thought have emerged in Beijing with respect to Chinese policy toward the DPRK. The first of these is the .buffer zone. school. It argues that, Pyongyang.s ill intentions and unpredictable adventurism notwithstanding, North Korea.s very existence remains of great strategic value to a China whose worst security nightmare is that of another Korean war. Moreover, any regime change that might occur in the DPRK as a result of war could bring the deployment of U.S. troops to positions close to the Sino-Korean borders. And taking into consideration a possible showdown between China and the United States in the Taiwan Strait, this could result in a hostile military presence right on China.s doorstep. Indeed, it was precisely this worst case scenario that China fought a war fifty-four years ago to prevent.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel, Taiwan, Beijing, North Korea, Korea, Pyongyang
  • Author: Armand Cucciniello, Pramit Mitra
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's short visit to India in early September, the first by an Israeli prime minister, highlighted the dramatic expansion in a relationship that started only 12 years ago. Before Sharon's early departure because of two suicide bombings back home, ministers from both countries signed six agreements covering visa requirements, environmental protection, combating illicit drug trafficking, and an initiative to begin an educational exchange program. The accent, however, was on the rapidly growing military supply relationship. Balancing its relations with Israel and its still important ties with the Muslim Middle East, especially its major oil suppliers, will be a growing challenge for India's policymakers.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Middle East, India, Israel
  • Author: Dore Gold
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The quest for defensible borders has been an axiom of Israeli governments since 1967 on the basis of UN Security Council Resolution 242. Defensible borders for Israel has been explicitly backed by Washington since the Reagan administration. In Rabin's last Knesset address he made clear that Israel "will not return to the 4 June 1967 lines." He insisted on a map including a united Jerusalem, the settlement blocs, and the Jordan Valley. In 2003, Israeli planners will have to operate under the assumption that the dismantling of the Palestinian terrorist infrastructure will be incomplete, and should a Palestinian state nonetheless be established, its complete demilitarization will not be reliable. During the Oslo years, the Palestinian leadership was in material breach of the military clauses of the Interim Agreement, seeking to import illegal weaponry like SA-7 shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles and manufacturing Qassam rockets. Many of the same security figures who breached Oslo now serve the government of Mahmud Abbas. Moreover, fundamentalist groups like Hamas that mentioned the Islamic term hudna, for cease-fire, understood that it means a truce that is maintained until the balance of power changes. This means they will seek rearmament; Israeli military intelligence was, in fact, reporting that Hamas had accelerated production of Qassam rockets in early July. In their pronouncements, Hamas and Islamic Jihad have even used a weaker term: ta'liq - a temporary cessation of hostilities. In the wake of the decline of the threat from Iraq, Israel will require defensible borders to meet the growing lethality of the Palestinian threat, backed by the assistance of Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. The Bush administration should provide Israel with assurances concerning defensible borders as it seeks Israel's acquiescence to the creation of a Palestinian state.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan
  • Author: Dan Diker
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The impending renewal of Arab-Israeli contacts after the Aqaba summit is an appropriate occasion to reassess one of the weak points of Israel's information effort. At the 1991 Madrid Peace Conference, then Deputy Foreign Minister Binyamin Netanyahu "broke the ice" with scores of Arab reporters when he provided articulate explanations of Israel's positions. Eytan Bentsur, Director General of Israel's Foreign Ministry at the time of Madrid, saw Israel's "paternalistic" approach to the Palestinians at Oslo as contributing to the ultimate collapse of the peace process. The launch of Arab satellite television in 1994 provided Israel with direct access to millions of Arab and Muslim viewers throughout the Middle East. Prime Minister Sharon's foreign media advisor, Raanan Gissin, is regularly interviewed on the leading Arab channels. Despite the high standards of news programming on Israel's new Arabic-language Middle East Satellite Channel, it is not widely viewed in the Arab world because it is recognized as an Israeli government operation. ArabYnet, an Arabic translation of the popular Ynet news website of the Israeli Hebrew daily Yediot Ahronot, has become one of the most popular Arabic language websites on the Internet, with nearly a million unique monthly users. It is a commercial site that presents an Israeli point of view but with no particular political agenda.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Willy Lam, William R. Hawkins, Harvey Stockwin, Li Thian-hok
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome—the SARS virus—throughout China is a phenomenon that had previously been denied by authorities and had gone unreported. But the penetration of the disease is now being admitted publicly, and efforts to combat it have begun. While the immediate epidemic in Beijing appears to be in decline, the fear remains that the spread of SARS within China will still be difficult—and maybe impossible—to control, let alone to eliminate. World Health Organization (WHO) officials admit that what happens in China will “make or break” the course of the epidemic. China's neighbors, and particularly Hong Kong, worry that a failure to curtail the virus will inevitably result in a fresh round of crossborder infection, further intensifying the already grave economic impact of SARS on the region. At worst, a sustained epidemic could bring China's opening-up to the outside world to a screeching halt.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, Beijing, Hong Kong
  • Author: Willy Lam, Arnold Zeitlin, John Tkacik, Jonathan Mirsky
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Could Taiwan's voters elect a pro-unification candidate in 2004? Can the challenger, Kuomintang chairman Lien Chan, put together an electoral consensus of ethnic mainlanders, Hakkas and ethnic Taiwanese investors in China that will begin the process of moving Taiwan into the embrace of the People's Republic of China? The polls indicate it could be a fifty-fifty proposition, especially if the campaign's focus is the economy—not national identity. Washington should begin to consider its substantial strategic stake in Taiwan, and rethink the message that its diplomats in Taipei are sending Taiwan's public.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel
  • Author: Willy Lam, Harvey Stockwin, Gordon G. Chang, Richard D. Fisher
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: An epidemic, spread by official deception and indifference, is afflicting the Chinese people. What does this disease mean for the People's Republic of China?
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel
  • Author: Willy Lam, Gordon G. Chang, Richard D. Fisher, Wangchuk Meston
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Chinese strategic and military experts are scrutinizing the U.S. war in Iraq, and for several reasons. First, if American and British forces become bogged down in their effort to liquidate the regime of Saddam Hussein, then it is much less likely that Washington will soon target other rogue regimes with weapons of mass destruction, such as North Korea, a Chinese ally.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Iraq, America, Washington, Israel, North Korea
  • Author: Willy Lam, Harvey Stockwin, Gordon G. Chang, M. D. Nalapat
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Newly elected President Hu Jintao and his allies should take heart from the results of the recently concluded First Session of the Tenth National People's Congress (NPC).
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel
  • Author: Willy Lam, Ahmad Lutfi, Gordon G. Chang, Richard D. Jr. Fisher
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Beijing often downplays the size of its Xinjiang problem for fear of exposing the difficulties it faces containing the “cancer of terrorism.” Since September 11, 2001, Beijing has been forced to reverse this policy due to repeated terrorist attacks. The most recent of these took place on February 25, 2003, when two bombs ripped through two of Beijing's most prestigious universities. The blasts shattered Beijing's long-held claim that it has been winning its war on terror.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, Beijing
  • Author: Willy Lam, Gordon G. Chang, William C. Triplett, Dr. Gulshan Dietl
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Will Kim Jong Il just slam down the phone on China's president, Jiang Zemin? That's what Beijing wants us to think. “If Kim tells Jiang he is going to test a nuclear weapon unless Jiang gives him more aid, what do we do? We give him more aid. We don't have a choice,” says one Chinese analyst who has dealt with Pyongyang. “We have some influence, but we don't have the kind of relationship where we can tell Kim what to do. If we tell him to do something, he doesn't listen. If we threaten him, he listens even less. If Jiang called him, he might hang up.”
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel
  • Author: James E. Auer, Willy Lam, Gordon G. Chang, Richard D. Fisher, Holmes Liao
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: “If we didn't have China I would be suicidal,” chief Morgan Stanley economist Stephen Roach said this month. “It's the only bright spot in the world economy.” And bright spot it is: Beijing announced that its gross domestic product grew 8 percent last year. The rate is so good that some are wondering whether the People's Republic can become the new engine for world growth.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel
  • Author: Robyn Lim, Willy Lam, Jonathan Mirsky, Thomas Woodrow
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: On Christmas Eve the Chinese government released Xu Wenli, the founder of the country's tiny Democratic Party, into American exile. Xu has spent sixteen of the last twenty-one years behind bars. The most interesting comments on this event came from John Kamm, who for years has had no equal for occasionally persuading the Chinese government to free its political “enemies”.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, America, Israel
  • Author: Adam S. Posen
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: After more than a decade of economic stagnation and minimal structural change, Japan stands on the brink of outright financial crisis—the only debate is whether the Japanese government can dodge its imminent economic threats for another six months at most, or ride the wave of global expansion to throw still more money at these problems with decreasing effectiveness until the public debt becomes unsustainable (which should be no later than 2005). Either way, volatility in Japanese asset markets will be extremely high for the next 36 months, with significant declines on average in asset prices and the yen.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Japan, Israel, East Asia
  • Author: Dan Diker
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The Israel State Comptroller's report released on October 7, 2002, leveled unprecedented criticism on Israel's public relations efforts. The State Comptroller revealed that "since its establishment in 1948, Israel's intelligence organs have not succeeded to respond to the broad-based propaganda and incitement by the Arab world." The report also emphasized that "the lack of a central authority to direct and coordinate all government information bodies to execute a public relations policy is the main factor accounting for Israel's longstanding failures in this field."
  • Topic: Security, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Mohamed Abdel-Dayem
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Arab reactions to Ariel Sharon's overwhelming victory in the recent Israeli national election were mixed. Some condemned him with a confrontational tone, while some suggested that the election made no difference — that is, that all Israeli leaders have basically the same stance. Several Arab leaders opted to take a "wait and see" approach. An optimistic minority of Arab commentators viewed Sharon's leadership in a positive light. The following is a representative sampling of Arab reactions to Sharon's victory.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Michael Phillips Moskowitz
  • Publication Date: 06-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Friday, June 15 marks day one hundred for the Sharon administration and Israel's sixth national unity government. The occasion warrants a look back at the five previous Israeli unity governments.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Government
  • Political Geography: Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Liat Radcliffe
  • Publication Date: 06-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The following report evaluates trends in Israeli-Palestinian violence during the past seven months using fatality statistics. This analysis covers the period from the outbreak of the "Al Aqsa Intifada" on September 28, 2000 through to April 30, 2001. The following statistics are based primarily on information provided by the Israeli human rights group B'tselem. This data has been cross-checked for accuracy with the Israeli government and U.S. and other Western media sources. For information about fatalities in earlier periods and about methodology, see Peacewatch #317: "Israeli-Palestinian Political Fatalities During The Barak Government: A Statistical Overvie" and Research Note #8: "Trends in Israeli-Palestinian Political Fatalities, 1987-1999."
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Liat Radcliffe
  • Publication Date: 04-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The following report analyzes political fatalities in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that occurred during the government of Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak (July 7, 1999-March 7, 2001). This report is an update to The Washington Institute's Research Note #8: Trends in Israeli-Palestinian Political Fatalities, 1987-1999. Like the research note, its primary source for data is the Israeli human rights group Btselem, although other sources (including various media sources) were also used. Consistent with the previous study, no deaths that resulted from inter-Israeli or inter-Palestinian violence are included in this report; for example, the deaths of Israeli Arabs, Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, and accused Palestinian collaborators with Israel are excluded. A main conclusion from the data is that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict increasingly involves official security services, as distinct from civilians.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Government
  • Political Geography: Washington, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The formation of a national unity government in Israel today, by a vote 72 to 21, is a triumph for Ariel Sharon. First, he seized the initiative. After his landslide victory a few weeks ago, Sharon did not engage in classic Israeli bargaining tactics in dealing with his Labor Party rivals, but rather caught the defeated and divided party off balance by immediately offering them top cabinet positions in the desire to cement a unity government. Sharon was not intoxicated by the breadth of his victory, but rather followed through on his campaign commitment. Sharon realizes that it is also good politics. According to Gallup's poll taken last week, the Israeli public favors the establishment of such a government by an overwhelming 79 to 14 margin.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel
  • Author: David Schenker
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As Ariel Sharon prepares to take power following his landslide victory, significant changes are also underway in the Palestinian Authority (PA). In anticipation of Sharon's victory, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and leading PA personalities have been preparing a new political agenda to deal with the apparent end of "final status" negotiations and the new Israeli leadership. The most provocative event in recent days has been the issuance of a document — penned by a senior PLO official and longtime associate of PA Ra'is (Chairman) Yasir Arafat — which raises the specter that mainstream Palestinian politics are publicly reverting to the radicalism of pre-Oslo days.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The Israeli people spoke in the most dramatic and convincing fashion. Viewed in the U.S. context, Ariel Sharon won a larger share of the vote — 62.5 percent — than any presidential candidate in history. Essentially, Israel voted to express one word: "enough!" — enough violence, enough concessions, enough perception of weakness. They were particularly voting against Barak, both personally and against the policies that characterized his government (dating not only to Camp David but as far back as the earliest days of his cabinet). Certainly, much of yesterday's vote was against Barak more than it was a vote for Sharon; just as Barak's 1999 landslide was less a vote for him than it was a vote against Bibi Netanyahu; just as Netanyahu's 1996 squeaker was less a vote for him than it was a vote against Shimon Peres. Now it's Sharon's turn.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Foreign Policy, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The deadline has now passed for Ehud Barak to step aside in favor of rival Shimon Peres in Israel's prime ministerial face-off next Tuesday, February 6, against Likud leader MK Ariel Sharon. Analysts have already written off this election for Barak, as Sharon's lead in the polls has barely budged from a 16 to 20 point margin over the last two months. Given that Barak won a landslide victory by a 12.1 percent margin less than two years ago, the scope of his probable defeat is striking — perhaps the most lopsided electoral debacle since Menachem Begin's Herut lost to the Labor forerunner Mapai in 1959 by a margin of 24.7 percent. Barak's electoral free-fall is especially remarkable given that his opponent is someone long regarded as unelectable, due to his advanced age, right-wing political views, checkered past, and evident discomfort with the new media age. Nevertheless, Barak has pressed on, insisting that the real campaign has only just begun. His decision to stay in the race has heightened speculation that he may plan on joining a Sharon-led "national unity government," despite carefully worded protestations to the contrary.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Joel S. Fishman
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: An examination of the historical record reveals many examples of failures of perception, and of leaders and governments refusing to integrate compelling information of existential importance. Taking account of new information and responding to changing circumstances is vital to man's relationship with his environment. When a dysfunction in the process of absorbing important new knowledge and correcting mistakes occurs, the faculty of rational judgment may be fatefully impaired. While, collectively, the attitude of a society is the sum of those of individuals, occasionally, the perception of a single individual in an influential position may be sufficient to determine a government's policy.
  • Topic: Security, Environment, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Dore Gold
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Since its independence in 1948, and indeed even in prior times, Israel's rights to sovereignty in Jerusalem have been firmly grounded in history and international law. The aftermath of the 1967 Six-Day War only reinforced the strength of Israel's claims. Seven years after the implementation of the 1993 Oslo Agreements, Prime Minister Ehud Barak became the first Israeli prime minister to consider re-dividing Jerusalem in response to an American proposal at the July 2000 Camp David Summit. The December 2000 Clinton Plan attempted to codify Barak's possible concessions on Jerusalem. Yet they proved to be insufficient for PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, leading to a breakdown in the peace process and an outburst of Palestinian violence with regional implications. At least the failed Clinton Plan did not bind future Israeli governments or U.S. administrations, leaving open the possibility of new diplomatic alternatives. Only by avoiding premature negotiation over an unbridgeable issue such as Jerusalem can the U.S., Israel, and the Palestinians stabilize the volatile situation that has emerged and restore hope that a political process can be resumed in the future.
  • Topic: Security, Government, International Law, Religion, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Caspar Fithin
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Likud leader Ariel Sharon's resounding victory in last Tuesday's election for prime minister has produced a chaotic political situation. The Knesset is likely to remain as dysfunctional as it was before the election campaign and Sharon will face immense difficulties in his attempts to form a government and pass the budget. Even should he succeed, it is possible that the government will fall before the next scheduled election, and that he will face a credible challenge from former prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Frank Ching, Ron Arculli, Steve Tsang, Sunny Kai-sun Kwong
  • Publication Date: 09-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Since the Hong Kong Update's first issue was published in September 1997, the purpose of the bulletin has been to gauge accurately the continuing evolution of Hong Kong by presenting a broad spectrum of views on developments in the new Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). The Update has presented views from Washington, Hong Kong, and other areas of the world by inviting authors from both the U.S. Congress and Hong Kong SAR government; Washington and Hong Kong policy community; and U.S., Hong Kong, and international academics.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Economics, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel, Hong Kong
  • Author: Frank Ching, Sunny Kai-sun Kwong, Barry Mortimer, Byron Weng, James C. Hsiung
  • Publication Date: 03-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Last year was a momentous time for Hong Kong's new mini- constitution, the Basic Law. The history is too well known to detail here. In brief, the Court of Final Appeal (CFA) decided the right of abode cases (Ng Ka Ling and Chan Kam Nga). Later, the Hong Kong government sought and obtained a “clarification” of the judgment and the chief executive applied to the Standing Committee of the National Peoples Congress (NPC) for a further interpretation of the sections interpreted by the CFA (particularly Article 24(2)(3) of the Basic Law). The decision of the CFA stood, but for the future the Standing Committee provided the interpretation contended for by the Hong Kong government. (Should it be thought that the new interpretation was entirely arbitrary it accorded with the one earlier found to be the true interpretation by the Court of Appeal.) Many lawyers, commentators, politicians, and academics alleged that, in consequence, rule of law had been damaged and even that the independence of the judiciary had been diminished. Now that the dust has settled, the time has come to assess calmly the main issues that caused the controversy and see where we now stand.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Economics, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Israel, Hong Kong
  • Author: Yaakov Ne'eman
  • Publication Date: 11-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: A number of factors are impeding the implementation of privatization in the Israeli economy. Here I will review those factors based on my own experience, both as someone who has represented investors who purchased government companies through privatization processes, and (from the other side of the fence) in my positions in the Ministry of Finance, when I had an opportunity to observe the governmental process from the inside.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Privatization, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Frank Ching, Lee Kuan Yew, George Hui, Sunny Kai-Sun Kwong
  • Publication Date: 10-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: During my yearly visits to Hong Kong over the last thirty years, I was struck by the upbeat, can-do spirit of its people. However troublesome the situation, such as the noisy demonstrations of the imitators of the Red Guards in 1966 and 1967, or the economic downturn caused by the sudden quadrupling of oil prices in 1973, Hong Kong people were not dismayed or despondent. So when I spent a few days in Hong Kong at the beginning of June this year, I was surprised by its completely different mood. The people I met seemed frustrated at finding themselves in a situation where the solutions were not obvious. Much of the present malaise in Hong Kong arises from the problems of a transition that proved more difficult than expected. In part it was because of the five years of the last governor's policies, aggravated by the Asian financial crisis. Until the territory has come through this transition phase it is not possible to make any long-term forecasts on Hong Kong's future.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Economics, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Israel, Hong Kong
  • Author: Joel Peters, Becky Kook
  • Publication Date: 08-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: On 17 May 1999 Ehud Barak secured a stunning victory in the Israeli elections, defeating incumbent Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with a majority of almost 400,000 and gaining slightly over 56 per cent of all the votes cast. While polls in the days immediately prior to the election had signalled Netanyahu\'s defeat, no one had anticipated such a landslide victory. After three turbulent years of Likud government, Barak\'s election slogan \'Israel wants a change\' clearly captured Israeli public disillusion with Netanyahu, who lost the trust and support of voters throughout the country.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Government, Peace Studies, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Alan Dowty
  • Publication Date: 05-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame
  • Abstract: The 1999 Israeli elections confirm the emergence of a more centrist Israeli politics A “national unity government” emerging from the elections is a distinct possibility Though the peace process was not a major issue, the outcome will be a renewal of peace talks Deals on both the Palestinian and Syrian fronts may be closer to realization than is generally realized.
  • Topic: Government, Peace Studies, Elections
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Syria