Tag: <span>Taiwan</span>

Confidence-building Measures in Asia-Pacific Appeals

Confidence-building Measures in Asia-Pacific: Reversing the Slide to Violence.

Featured Image: Photo by wu yi, Unsplash

With U.S. and Chinese military engaged near Taiwan, a miscalculation could lead to armed violence. The armed conflict in Ukraine has heightened the debate on the possibility of armed conflict between China and Taiwan.

Tensions between the two Korean states remain high. The border clash between Indian and Chinese forces in June 2020 has highlighted residual tensions between the two countries. One could add other tensions in the Asia-Pacific area to the list.

Less obvious are the possibilities of confidence-building measures that would reduce these tensions and might open doors to cooperation in the security, economic and social spheres.confidence-building.

Ukraine Conflict

 Image: Foto de Matti Karstedt: https://www.pexels.com/es-es/foto/una-nina-protestando-contra-la-guerra-en-ucrania-11284549/.

Preliminaries to Russia-Ukraine Negotiations: The Key Role of China.


There are confidence-building measures that can be undertaken by governments. Where as we, outside of governmental positions, can make suggestions as to steps that governments could take, we nevertheless have little possibility to oblige action by them. Thus we have to consider what confidence-building measures we as academics and non-governmental organization activists can undertake.

Fortunately, we have long experience of working to reduce the tensions between the U.S.A. and the Soviet Union (NATO and the Warsaw Pact) which led to the Helsinki Agreements and finally the end of the Cold War. Much of the analysis is still of value such as Mary Kaldor (Ed) Europe from Below (London: Verso: 1991). Many of the peace organizations that were involved are still in existence and could focus on Asia-Pacific issues.

There have also been efforts on confidence-building in the Israel-Palestine conflict and in the wider Middle East. Repeated efforts concerning tensions between India and Pakistan often focused on the tensions in Kashmir.

Mary Kaldor

Mary Kaldor, The World Transformed 2018 in Liverpool. By Kevin Walsh from Preston Brook, England, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.

Processes of Dialogue have a Value.

Today, there is a need to draw upon these experiences to impart conflict resolution skills to new individuals and groups, thereby building and expanding the constituencies working for conflict reduction measures. New participants can have backgrounds in psychology, religion, law and communications with experience in social movements and community action programs.

There is also a need to draw upon categories of people who were not directly involved in earlier efforts. Often women were marginalized not only in government negotiations but even in non-governmental efforts. These processes of dialogue have a value in deepening understanding of a situation.

However, the emphasis should be on developing proposals for confidence-building measures.

Need for concerted action to reduce the slide to violence.

Tensions in the Asia-Pacific area are growing, and there is a need for concerted action to reduce the slide to violence. As Don Carlson and Craig Comstock point out in their book, Citizen Summitry: Keeping the Peace when it matters too much to be left to politicians (Los Angeles: Jeremy P. Tacker, Inc. 1986):

“Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.”


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tensions among China Japan and U.S.A Appeals

When will we meet again?

Featured Image: Picture By Boris Ulzibat: https://www.pexels.com/es-es/foto/arquitectura-china-la-gran-muralla-china-lugares-de-interes-3262994/

In an article “Tensions in the Asian Trinity: China, Japan, U.S.A.” I noted that U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was to visit Beijine for talks on 5-6 February 2023 and then set out some of the issues that might be discussed:

After five years of growing tensions among China Japan and the U.S.A., U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will make an official visit to Beijing on 5-6 February 2023.

There is a long list of possible issues to discuss although the list of common actions may be much shorter.  Probably at the head of the list is the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its geopolitical and economic impact.  There follows the status of Taiwan.  Some have made a parallel between the Russian intervention in Ukraine  and a possible attack on Taiwan. Russian difficulties in Ukraine have no doubt been discussed in Beijing, and the parallel discarded. 

The role of North Korea and its military potential is a concern to China, to the U.S.A. and also Japan.  The economic ties of North Korea to China as well as relations between North and South Korea is as aspect of the same Korean issue.  The dramatic growth of Japanese government investment in the military and security sector, no doubt related to its view of Chinese power, will be an aspect of the China-U.S.A. talks. A full two days is ahead of the delegations.

Until there are better conditions.  The reason given for the “postponment”.

Now, as an illustration of the tensions, the mission of Antony Blinken has been put off “until there are better conditions.  The reason given for the “postponment” by the U.S. officials was that there was a Chinese observation balloon floating over U.S. air space in the Western states – a violation of U.S. sovereignty.  The U.S. government officials put the focus on the fact that the balloon could observe military installations.  The Chinese officials replied that the balloon was a weather observation instrument (and implied but did not say that the Chinese had other methods to observe U.S. military installations).

Antony Blinken

This is the official State Department photo for Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, taken at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on February 9, 2021. [State Department Photo by Ronny Przysucha/ Public Domain]. By U.S. Department of State, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Weather Balloon.

One does not know what is behind the sending of the “weather balloon” at this time, the weather observations could wait.  From the U.S. side, the postponment may come as a relief since there was likely to be little progress on the key political issues.

The need to advance U.S. – China dialogue remains.  As mentioned earlier, it may be up to non-governmental representatives to take the lead.


René Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.


Here are other publications that may be of interest to you.

World Refugee Day.

June 20 is the United Nations (UN)-designated World Refugee Day;  marking the signing in 1951 of the Convention on Refugees. The condition of refugees and migrants has become a “hot”…

1 2 11