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  • Author: David Curtis Wright
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Sometime around 7:00 pm on the evening of Tuesday 18 March 2014, a group of several hundred Taiwanese students, civic group members, activists, and other protestors stormed through the outer gates and walls of the Legislative Yuan (Taiwan's legislature) in Taipei, forced their way through police cordons into the buildings of the legislature's compound, and finally broke into the Legislative Chamber itself. They quickly barricaded themselves in the chamber where Taiwan's laws are made by piling up the legislators' swiveled chairs in front of all entrances to the chamber and binding them together with ropes into large clumpy bulwarks. Police forces unsuccessfully attempted on several occasions to push their way through these barriers. Several hundred protestors (mostly young students) occupied the chamber overnight, and the police tried several other tactics to oust them, including shutting off the building's water, switching off its electricity, turning off its air conditioning, and locking its washrooms (restrooms). Aware of public opinion strongly against harshly treating the students, the police soon backed off and restored the utilities. Within 24 hours the occupation grew into massive street rallies in support of the students, and these in turn grew into the Sunflower Movement, so named after a supportive florist who handed out a thousand or more sunflowers to protesters outside the Legislative Yuan. The sunflower quickly came to symbolize the hopes of the protestors for openness, as to sunlight, in contrast to the perceived dark backroom legerdemain of the ruling KMT (Kuomintang; Chinese Nationalist) government, which had a majority in the legislature and struck many people in Taiwan as preferring to operate out of public view and beyond opposition party scrutiny.
  • Political Geography: Taiwan
  • Author: Matsahiro Matsumura
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The world has seen the international distribution of power gradually shifting, driven in great part by China's rise and America's relative decline. Almost continuously for two decades, China has kept double-digit growth rates in defense spending and, consequently, made military build-ups that are unprecedented in modern international history. China has also demonstrated a series of increasingly assertive diplomatic and military actions as related to its irredentist claims to Taiwan, the Senkaku Islands, the Spratly Islands, and the Paracel Islands, among others. Although the regional security order of the East Asia and the Western Pacific appears sufficiently stable, the US and its major regional allies together have to deter and, if necessary, defeat possible China's armed aggression against the territorial status quo. Doing so is a challenge even for the hegemonic US, on the grounds that the aftermath of the 2008 Lehman Shock has seriously impaired the health of the US political economy, and that its defense spending is anticipated to undergo one major cut after another, at least, for a decade to come.
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, America, Taiwan, East Asia