Professor, School of Sociological and Anthropological Studies.
One important element of Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS) is accelerated alignment with Japan. Japan is a frontline democracy, pinched in with threats from Russia, China, and North Korea.
In the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) military exercises around Taiwan last August, …READ MORE
Taiwan is central to Canada’s new Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS). Only five years ago, Canada’s Strong, Secure, Engaged Defence Policy heralded: “We will seek to develop stronger relationships with other countries in the region, particularly China.” The naïve hope that Canada …READ MORE
With its November 2022 Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS), Canada joined a growing number of states to embrace the geo-political concept that originated in Japan’s Prime Minister Abe Shinzō’s visionary speech to India’s Parliament in 2007.
Canada made a new contribution to …READ MORE
On the weekend that Canada announced its new Indo-Pacific Strategy and angry protests emerged across China, Taiwan (Republic of China, ROC) held its “nine-in-one” local elections on November 26.
In what the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT, Kuomintang) celebrated as a …READ MORE
Chinese military exercises in the Taiwan Strait in August 2022 temporarily disrupted international shipping. Like the Russian invasion of Ukraine, this is a reminder of the intrinsic dialectic between war and commerce in human sociality. In anthropology, Claude …READ MORE
Former Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzō (age 67) was murdered on the morning of July 8, 2022, while campaigning for Satō Kei, a colleague in the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Although his legacy is not without controversy, especially in Japan, …READ MORE
On February 25, 2021, CIPS hosted the webinar “Facing the Pandemic Together: Canada-Japan Science and Technology Cooperation.” After an introduction by Ambassador Yasuhisa Kawamura, there was a lively discussion with Howard Alper (uOttawa), Melanie Cullins (National Research Council), Yuko Harayama …READ MORE
China’s oppression of the Uyghurs and other Muslims in Xinjiang, including mass incarceration in detention camps since at least March 2017, may be a historical tipping point in how the international community deals with China. On January 19, 2021, the …READ MORE
October 27 marks the 90th anniversary of the “Musha Incident” – a Taiwanese historical trauma unknown to most Canadians. Yet, Musha says much to Canada-Taiwan relations. A defining characteristic of Taiwan is that, despite Chinese settlement since the 17…READ MORE
The ejection of Taiwan’s Chinese Wild Bird Federation (CWBF) from BirdLife International and the subsequent gag order asking BirdLife employees to refrain from speaking to the press may appear at first glance to be the smallest of China’s many micro-aggressions, …READ MORE
May 2020 was a turning point in East Asia. President Tsai Ing-wen (Democratic Progressive Party, DPP) was inaugurated to her second term as President of the Republic of China (Taiwan). Two days later, China’s National People’s Congress proposed legislation authorizing …READ MORE
In his novel The Plague, Albert Camus wrote, “There have been as many plagues as wars in history; yet plagues and wars always take people equally by surprise.” This should remain a warning for the world; and not just …READ MORE
After a fierce electoral campaign, 19 million voters in Taiwan woke up on January 11, 2020, with important choices to make in their country’s presidential and legislative election.
The voting itself is very local. Polling stations, one for every 1500 …READ MORE
In early May, US State Department Director of Policy Planning Kiron Skinner was rebuked in China’s English-language media for characterizing US–China relations as a “clash of civilizations.” Skinner’s rhetoric reflects a Cold War mentality that overlooks centuries of mutual contact …READ MORE
After new legislation permitting same-sex marriage came into effect in Taiwan on 24 May 2019, LGBT couples and their families began celebrating their new freedom. Journalists and foreign diplomats (including Canadian representative Jordan Reeves) crowded into Taipei City Hall to …READ MORE
The World Health Assembly (WHA), the decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO), meets 20–28 May in Geneva. Although the WHO promises “better health for everyone, everywhere,” the organization systematically excludes one country from the annual discussions. Taiwan, officially …READ MORE
A new era is dawning in Japan. With the abdication of Emperor Akihito on 30 April and the ascension of his Crown Prince Naruhito to the Chrysanthemum Throne on 1 May, calendars will change from the 31st year of …READ MORE
Republic of China (Taiwan) President Tsai Ing-wen, who takes pride in her Austronesian heritage through her paternal grandmother, made an 8-day voyage called “Oceans of Democracy” at the end of March to three Micronesian allies and Hawaii. This …READ MORE
On March 7, 2019, Japanese Ambassador Kimihiro Ishikane gave a lecture at CIPS entitled “Japan and Canada: Strategic Partners in the Indo-Pacific?” The question mark is perhaps the most important part of the title. At this 90th…READ MORE
Taiwan’s mid-term elections on 24 November brought a renewed “blue wave” to the island democracy. In this case, the blues are the Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang, KMT) and allies who favour rapprochement with China. The greens are the …READ MORE
Rather than cozying up to non-market economies, Canada should support Taiwan’s inclusion in the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Trade diversification seems increasingly important to Canada, especially after US President Donald Trump’s heavy-handed negotiations on the new US–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA). …READ MORE
When ornithologist Hisashi Sugawa of the Bird Banding Association invited me this May to accompany his team to the ongoing investigation of the Streaked Shearwater (Calonectris leucomelas) on Kanmuri Island, an uninhabited island under the jurisdiction of Maizuru …READ MORE
China’s increased censorship of foreign websites came to light on May 15, when it was reported that Air Canada had changed the drop-down menus of its destinations to show Taiwan’s capital Taipei as part of China. Air Canada’s capitulation to …READ MORE
When I received Air Canada’s promotional email about a worldwide seat sale this week, I immediately checked their website to book my August trip to Taipei. To my surprise, the list of destinations had been changed to read “Taipei, China” …READ MORE
Yonaguni, Japan’s most westernmost inhabited island (pop. 1745), lies 111 km from Hualien (Taiwan), but more than 2000 km from Tokyo. Yonaguni is part of the Sakishima Islands that include the Yaeyama Islands to the west near Taiwan and the …READ MORE
The 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics (February 9–25) and Paralympics (March 9–18) promise a brief respite in tensions on the Korean Peninsula. During inter-governmental talks in January 2018, North and South Korea decided that their teams would march in the Opening …READ MORE
At the dawn of 2018, anxiety and uncertainty seem to loom over the horizon. The most obvious risks come from North Korea, with its missile tests and threats to use nuclear warheads against the United States. President Trump’s threatening rhetoric …READ MORE
China began 2018 with a breach of longstanding arrangements for aviation safety in the Taiwan Straits. On 4 January, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) unilaterally opened up northbound civil flights on flight path M503 and three connecting east–west …READ MORE
China works hard to convince the world that any decision about Taiwan is entirely a Chinese domestic affair. This has not, however, always been the official line of the Chinese Communist Party. In 1936, when the Republic of China (ROC) …READ MORE
China’s Republican flag — the French-inspired tricolore representing nationalism, democracy, and peoples’ livelihood in Sun Yat-sen’s Three Principles of the People — was the national flag of all of China from 1928 until the founding of the People’s Republic of …READ MORE
The election of Donald Trump as president of the United States brought unexpected attention to Taiwan. One of Trump’s first post-election acts was to exchange telephone courtesies with President Tsai Ing-wen, calling her “President of Taiwan” on Twitter. Since Tsai, …READ MORE
If Canadians take notice of one election this year, it should be the Taiwanese elections of January 16. After eight years of rule by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and unprecedented economic rapprochement with China, the Taiwanese elected Tsai Ing-wen …READ MORE
Canada’s election, in the 70th anniversary year of the conclusion of World War II, should be a time to ponder Canada’s role in the Western Pacific. Most pressing is the challenge of how Canada should respond to China’s increasingly …READ MORE
When Canada recognized the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1970, the Joint Communiqué stated, “The Chinese Government reaffirms that Taiwan is an inalienable part of the territory of the People’s Republic of China. The Canadian Government takes note of …READ MORE
Last week, Chief Minister Nabam Tuki of the Northeast Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh led a delegation to Canada. He attended the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce in Toronto and participated in the Brand India Expo in Ottawa. Meeting prospective …READ MORE
The uninhabited Senkaku Islands of Japan, claimed by both China and Taiwan under the name Diaoyutai, may seem of minor significance to observers outside the region. These eight uninhabited islands have a land area of only 6.3 km2 and …READ MORE
A delay in U.S. approval for TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline (in order to avoid Nebraska’s environmentally-sensitive Sandhills and underlying agricultural aquifer) has led to speculation that Canada should shift its balance of trade from the U.S. to Asia. Certain segments …READ MORE
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which entered force in 1994 and has been ratified by almost all countries, is the leading international institution working on climate change. The Conference of the Parties (COP) supervises implementation of …READ MORE
This essay first appeared on the Taiwan 2012 blog.
Indigenous people, accounting for about 2% of Taiwan’s population, are unlikely to influence the 2012 presidential election outcomes. Nonetheless, the relative success of the candidates in indigenous communities may influence …READ MORE
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) was adopted by the General Assembly on September 13, 2007, with 144 states in favour, 11 abstentions, and 4 votes against. Canada, like Australia, New Zealand, and the United …READ MORE
October 10, 2011, marks the centennial anniversary of the Hsinhai Revolution and the subsequent establishment of the Republic of China (ROC). The revolution’s political philosophy, developed by Dr. Sun Yat-sen, was the “Three Principles of the People.” Principles of minzu…READ MORE