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Security Commentaries #010
March 31st, 2021


Asia Pacific

US-China High Level Talks in Alaska Paint Contrasting Worldviews, with a Caveat Despite multiple dramatic moments for the cameras from the bilateral talks in Anchorage, Alaska, media outlets followed up on the meeting with rather different narratives on the outcome of the talks.

Around the World

The Quad Under the Shadow of China’s Power: The Quad undeniably has a vision with its regional projects and intentions. However, focusing too much on counterbalancing China's rise could jeopardize its true purpose.

US-China High Level Talks in Alaska Paint Contrasting Worldviews, with a Caveat

- Richard Chen & Jaime Ocon, Taiwan Center for Security Studies
After days of heavy lifting during Sec. Blinken and Sec. Austin’s first international tour through the Asia-Pacific, top diplomats from the US and China met for a two-day high level talks in Anchorage, Alaska on March 18th. The significance of the meet in Alaska was interpreted through bifurcated lenses from Beijing and Washington; as well as the international community covering the talks. Such a rift can be felt during the opening session of the talks, as fiery back and forth between the two sides kicked off the two-day conference.

Since the meeting, narratives from both sides have been spun in all directions. What remains unchanged for both China and the US is that both sides were, as NSA Jake Sullivan would put it, “clear-eyed coming in and clear-eyed coming out”. Coming out of the meeting, it would be fair to say that the relationship of the two nations have decisively and permanently shifted from the decades-old model of engaging and assimilating China, to strategic engagement on an issue-by-issue relationship... Read More
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The Quad Under the Shadow of China’s Power

- Elpeni Fitrah , Taiwan Center for Security Studies

After successfully convening the first-ever head of government’s summit meeting two weeks ago, the leaders of the Quad, as represented by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, believe the Quad can lead a multi-layered recovery in the Indo-Pacific. Nevertheless, when those agenda are infused with “cold war mentalities” in its rhetoric, then it loses focus on the main goal of restoring regional stability. That’s probably the reason why many experts do not share the same optimism, knowing that the rise of China is unfolding. Trying to halt China’s aggressiveness in expanding its influence toward global competition is truly a big challenge for this new bloc. On the other hand, the internal cohesiveness of the Quad still needs much solidification. 

The bilateral meeting of the US and China’s top diplomats in Anchorage, Alaska, last Thursday was marked by bickering between the two delegates in front of the media, further proving that the relationship between the two global powers is indeed very problematic and prone to conflicting interests. Therefore, the diplomatic initiative of building as many political alliances as possible with like-minded partners around the world is believed to be a brilliant step to strengthen the Biden administration's regional strategy and reset its dominance in the region... Read More

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Editor’s Picks - Hot Off the Press

After last weekend, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced the suspension of trade pact with Myanmar... Read More

Taiwan Defence Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said developing a long-range attack capability was a priority... Read More
Biden's proposed infrastructure plan to the UK Prime Minister, in hopes to rival China's Belt and Road Initiative... Read More
Last week, Moscow criticizes Washington's refusal to hold quick Putin-Biden call... Read More

Chinese and North Korean leaders reaffirm alliance and traditional ties... Read More
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This Past Week — What is Happening at TCSS

Last Saturday, Director Fu-Kuo Liu led a group of foreign dignitaries, including ambassadors from St. Lucia and Haiti, on a weekend hike along with members of the TCSS family. The trail led them up the Stairway of 1,000 Steps where they experienced the centuries-old tradition and culture of Zhinan Temple in Taipei.

Thank you for subscribing to the TCSS Security Commentaries email newsletter, a weekly publication aimed at providing independent and transparent analysis on key events around the world regarding international security and developments in the Asia-Pacific region. 

We hope that you enjoyed this week’s edition, and will continue to update you on a timely basis with our events and regularly scheduled publications

Copyright 2021 - Taiwan Center for Security Studies 

All views and articles in this periodical do not necessarily represent the views of either TCSS or the editors.

Editors : Richard Chen & Jaime Ocon
Image Sources: Getty Images
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