We have received by snail mail the Newsletter for Research in Chinese Studies, 146 (May 2018 - vol. 37, no. 2), a hard copy quarterly published by the Center for Chinese Studies (CCS) of Taiwan (The Republic of China). The journal is published in Chinese and subtitled in English.
In this issue: Summary of Research, Introduction of Materials, Book Review, Conference Reports, News from Academia.
To answer the question "what is happening in Eurasia?" the simply put conclusion is that China is restructuring the international order by utilizing "One Belt One Road" (OBOR), aiming to achieve Pax Sinica. Many mass media in Japan love to introduce this OBOR as an economic initiative. The economic aspect, however, is just a part of the OBOR.
Mr. Xi Jinping of China has iterated that OBOR goes from "the country-to-country community of common destiny" to "the regional community of common destiny," and even further to "the community of common destiny for mankind," uniting the development of China and the countries on the route. OBOR is an initiative to form a China-led international order, in another words "the community of common destiny for mankind," therefore it pursuits the world order of Pax Sinica.
What China is promoting through OBOR are, first of all, to build "Five Cooperation Priorities" which are (1) policy coordination, (2) facilities connectivity, (3) unimpeded trade, (4) financial integrity, and (5) people-to-people bond. OBOR is an initiative of building China-led global governance through forming of the connectivity that comes with the joint construction of the economic corridor.
We have just received by snail mail the Newsletter for Research in Chinese Studies, 144 (November 2017), vol. 36, no. 4, a hard copy quarterly published by the Center for Chinese Studies (CCS) of Taiwan (The Republic of China). The journal is published in Chinese and subtitled in English.
In this issue: Summary of Research, Researchers of Chinese Studies Scholars, Research Institutes, Conference Reports, News from Academia.
Summary of Research: Lee Li-yung, "Cultivating Taiwan: Reflections on Agricultural Research in Taiwan, 2013-2015"; Chiang Chu Shan, "Cultural Turn and a Global Vision: Reconsidering Recent Decades of Research on the History of Medicine Treatment in Taiwan"; Kelvin Yu-hin Ho, "Slowly Revealed Splendor: Continued Research on Men's Studies from Chinese Historical Perspectives.
Unveiling Desire: Fallen Women in Literature, Culture, and Films of the East, edited by Devaleena Das and Colette Morrowis (Rutgers University Press, 2018), is a collection of 15 essays by various authors on the so-called "fallen women", namely promiscuous women.
The Wall Street Journal, which ran an editorial on August 29 entitled "Nuclear Missile over Tokyo; Accepting a nuclear North Korea probably means a nuclear Japan," published again an article related to Japanese nuclear possession on September 4, which was contributed by a renowned scholar.
According to the article, White House staffs are split on Japanese nuclear possession, and President Trump himself might see a nuclear Japan "not as a defeat, but as a victory of U.S. foreign policy." Furthermore, the author analyzes that North Korean nuclear and missile tests will lead to the internal division in the American administration, and "The allegedly crazy Kim regime has managed to put the U.S. in a tight corner."
According to Global Trends 2016, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports, one person is forcibly displaced every three seconds, meaning 20 people every minute of the day, nearly 66 million people year, and the number increases every year. The UN High Commissioner Filippo Grandi urges "solidarity and a common purpose in preventing and resolving crisis" to properly protect and care for the world's refugees, internally displaced and asylum-seekers; who currently number 22.5 million, 40.3 million, and 2.8 million, respectively.
“The world’s biggest producer of refugees” remains Syria, with 12 million displaced people. There are 7.7 million displaced Colombians, 4.7 million Afghans and 4.2 million Iraqis. In 2016 "the biggest new factor" was South Sudan, which is in a civil war since 2013, with some 737,400 people fleeing by the end of the year. In 2016 of all the people fleeing war, disasters, and persecution, about 84 per cent relocated in low- or middle-income countries. It means that developing countries are hosting the majority of the world’s refugees. Of that figure, 1 out of 3 people, roughly 4.9 million people, were hosted by the least developed countries.
This figures should make us think. The UNHCR agency said that “This huge imbalance reflects several things including the continuing lack of consensus internationally when it comes to refugee hosting and the proximity of many poor countries to regions of conflict”. Solidarity should be the key-word, and a serious and global politics to solve crisis and to prevent new ones. All the richest countries should take responsibility to globally develop a labor policy so that refugees can work in the hosting country, safeguarding their dignity and their right to live, and at the same time without creating strong economic and social imbalances in the society that hosts them.
We have received by snail mail the Songkyun Journal of East Asian Studies, vol. 17, no. 1 (Apr. 2017), a refereed multi-disciplinary publication on East Asian Studies in English published by the Academy of East Asian Studies of Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Korea.
This issue includes: Articles: "Tanaka Kotaro, Korea, and the Natural Law", by Kevin M. Doak; "An Analysis of Korean Intellectual Responses to the Exhibitions of Koreans at Japanese Expositions..", by Hyeokhui Kwon; "Negotiating for Modern Education: The Politics behind the Curriculum..", by Fei Chen; "A Scholar-Soldier in Mourning Robes...", by Christina Han. Review Essay: "The Dynamics of Elite Domination in Early Modern Korea", by Javier Cha. Book Reviews
The Association of Japanese Institutes of Strategic Studies (AJISS) has just published the AJISS-Commentary No. 243, "The Rise of Protectionism and Japan' s Trade Policy", by Shujiro Urata, Professor of International Economics at Graduate School Asia-Pacific Studies, Waseda University.
Protectionism is on the rise worldwide. [Trump's protectionist policy is one such example.] Unless rising protectionism is stopped and reversed, the world economy will shrink, resulting in military conflict or other disastrous consequences.
- The TPP will not now be realized because of Trump's decision to withdraw the US from the TPP. Japan needs to contribute to the conclusion of other mega-FTAs such as the TPP-US, the RCEP and the Japan-EU FTA by cooperating with like-minded countries. - If the US approaches Japan for a bilateral FTA, Japan should accept this on several conditions, one being that a bilateral FTA would be a steppingstone to a mega-FTA such as the TPP.