Congratulations to Professor Xiaobo Lü for Receiving the 2021-22 VPR Research Grant

December 10, 2021
APP Affiliate Dr. Xiaobo Lü, Associate Professor at the Department of Government at the University of Texas at Austin, received the 2021-22 VPR Research Grant, which he will use to investigate the origins of strong parties through the lens of elite conflict and party-building strategies. Lü focuses on the early stage of party formation of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Kuomintang (KMT) and investigates their legacies on the party's mobilization capacity before and after 1949. The empirical contribution of this project is a new dataset that will trace – in fine-grained and unprecedented detail – the development of grassroots party organizations and fiscal capacity in China from 1921 to 2000. By developing this dataset, Lü will buttress the theory and enable others to investigate important aspects of governance in China. Hence, this project contributes to the field of...

Jada Fraser's Research Featured in recent CSIS Article

November 12, 2021 Jada Fraser, former undergraduate fellow at the Clements Center, co-authored "The Case for U.S.-Japan-ROK Cooperation on Democracy Support in the Indo-Pacific Region" with Nicholas Szechenyi and Hannah Fodale at the Center for Security and Intelligence Studies (CSIS). The latest commentary argues for opportunities where the U.S., Japan, and South Korea (ROK) could cooperate to strengthen democracy in the region despite the two U.S. allies’ historical tensions. These areas of cooperation include legal and judicial development, women empowerment and gender equality, and partnerships with ASEAN countries, such as Indonesia, each of which maximizes the respective ally’s resources and strengths. The states’ shared interests and common democratic values should reinvigorate trilateral cooperation not only in the region but in the international arena as the Biden administration prepares for a global summit on democracy.   Image: Kyodo News   ...

Professor Greitens Discusses Rising Tension between China and Taiwan

November 3, 2021 Sheena Chestnut Greitens, founding director of the Asia Policy Program and Associate Professor of Public Affairs at the LBJ School, discussed the rising tensions between China and Taiwan, and the United States’ role in the cross-strait relations. Professor Greitens explained that Taiwan is the unfinished business of the Chinese Civil War that brought the Chinese Communist Party to power. Greitens indicated that the official policy of the United States toward Taiwan is that its status is undetermined but that the US has always stressed its commitment to a peaceful resolution and is obligated under the Taiwan Relations Act to provide arms for Taiwan's defense.  She addressed increasing concerns that China will use its growing military and economic power to coercively alter Taiwan’s status and discussed the risk that Taiwan could become a flashpoint for a superpower conflict between China and the United States, two nuclear-armed...

Sheena Greitens Quoted in AP article on Upcoming Beijing Olympics

October 27, 2021 Sheena Chestnut Greitens, Strauss Center Distinguished Scholar and Associate Professor of Public Affairs at the LBJ School, was quoted in a recent AP article on the absence of human rights discussions ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. The article notes that when Xi Jinping led the International Olympic Committee in 2008, the Committee promised that the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing could improve China’s human rights and civil liberties. However, with the 2022 Winter Olympics four months away, there are no such promises this year. According to the article, the Chinese government is using the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to limit the number of reporters and visitors who can attend the Games. Professor Greitens indicates that these measures will have the added benefit of “avoiding a repeat of the last time the Olympics were held in Beijing, in 2008, when the torch relay was disrupted repeatedly...

Professor Greitens Discusses China's View on the U.S. Border

October 5, 2021 On September 24, Sheena Chestnut Greitens, director of the Asia Policy Program and Associate Professor of Public Affairs at the LBJ School, appeared on theOn Balance with Leland Vittertshow to discuss Chinese state media commentary on the U.S. border situation. She argued that Chinese diplomats and outlets like the Global Times have become more vocal about their efforts to delegitimize Western democracy, which is part of an approach that seeks to normalize acceptance of China's authoritarian model of governance. Professor Greitens noted these outlets criticize policies that are openly debated in democracies, such as U.S. border policy, to distract and deflect international criticism of the repression and human rights abuses happening inside China -- and do so via mediums like Twitter, which itself is blocked in China. Watch the full conversationhere. ...

Professor Chen Participates in U.S. - China Tech Panel with the Library of Congress

October 1, 2021 Dr. Wenhong Chen, Asia Policy Program Affiliate, participated in a panel discussion hosted by the John W. Kluge Center on the conflict over technology between the U.S. and China. The Kluge Center at the Library of Congress brings relevant scholarship to the attention of policymakers and the interested public, drawing from the expertise of over 1,000 alumni. Former Kluge Fellow, Aynne Kokas, led the conversation with Dr. Chen, Adam Segal from the Council on Foreign Relations, and Yaqiu Wang from Human Rights Watch.  Dr. Chen began the discussion by indicating that antitrust measures by the Chinese and U.S. governments would have significant implications for big tech and tech start-ups in both countries. Additionally, she described how the U.S. and China could collaborate in the technosphere, addressing technological and data governance issues. Dr. Chen then shared her perspective on the tech cold war metaphor between Watch the full panel here. ...

Professor Rana Siu Inboden’s Research Cited in a WSJ Article

September 21, 2021 A recent Wall Street Journal article discussed China’s use of its seat on the United Nations NGO Committee to insist that civil society organizations applying for UN consultative status refer to Taiwan as a part of China.  The article cited the work of Professor Rana Siu Inboden, a Strauss Center Distinguished Scholar.  As the article illustrates, applicants often receive pushback from the Chinese delegation, which insists that any reference to “Taiwan” be changed to China’s preferred terminology: “Taiwan, Province of China.”  Professor Inboden has researched China’s efforts to restrict a range of NGOs from obtaining UN consultative status, especially civil society groups working on human rights.  Dr. Inboden’s research on China’s role on the UN NGO Committee appeared in the Journal of Democracy: China at the UN: Choking Civil Society | Journal of Democracy  ...

Sankaran Discusses U.S. Policy Options in Addressing Chinese and North Korean Missile Accumulation

August 23, 2021 In a recent policy op-ed titled “Countering China and North Korea’s mad dash for missiles,” Jaganath Sankaran, Assistant Professor of Public Affairs, discusses the U.S.’s policy options in responding to China and North Korea’s accumulation of ballistic missiles. The U.S. may “respond in kind” by deploying missiles in the region; it may expand missile defense systems in the region, or it may pursue arms control mechanisms. In evaluating these policy options, Professor Sankaran notes that understanding China and North Korea’s motivations behind their missile pursuits will help policymakers weigh the pros and cons of each option. On the North Korean side, Professor Sankaran identifies missiles as “instruments of coercion and leverage” which North Korea can use in various geopolitical pursuits. For example, North Korea hopes to use the threat of missile bombardment to “unravel Japanese support for a...

Greitens Interviewed on Show “On Balance With Leland Vittert”

August 20, 2021 Sheena Chestnut Greitens, Associate Professor of Public Affairs at the LBJ School and APP's inaugural director, was recently interviewed on On Balance With Leland Vittert. Greitens discussed the recent news regarding Huawei’s hiring of former Democratic Lobbyist Tony Podesta as a consultant. Greitens noted the long history of people working in the United States Government and thereafter accepting money to lobby on behalf of a foreign government. This type of work, she noted, must be disclosed under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) which helps to make the scale of foreign lobbying in the U.S. “visible.” In response to a question regarding Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman’s recent visit to China, Greitens noted that the Chinese Communist Party is well-known for its use of rhetoric related to “foreign humiliation” and “foreign exploitation” as a justification for its own hold on power. Greitens...

Sung-Sheng Yvonne Chang and Tse-Min Lin Spearhead New Center for Taiwan Studies at UT

August 6, 2021 In March 2021, UT launched a new Center for Taiwan Studies, a multidisciplinary center dedicated to promoting the study of Taiwan’s society, history and culture on the UT campus. The new Center builds on a robust Taiwan Studies program that has been operating at UT since 2009, and is funded through a major grant from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan. Professors Sung-sheng Yvonne Chang and Tse-Min Lin, both affiliates of the Asia Policy Program, spearheaded the establishment of CTS, and Dr. Chang is currently serving as the Center’s inaugural Director.  Going forward, UT’s Center for Taiwan Studies will support student and faculty research, foster exchange and engagement, and offer a range of Taiwan-related courses.   A link to the CTS website will be posted soon. ...