What Taiwan's Elections Mean for the Asia-Pacific
Weekly Newsletters

What Taiwan's Elections Mean for the Asia-Pacific



19 January 2024

This week, Brian HioeRussell Hsiao, and Chong Ja Ian weigh in on the elections in Taiwan and president-elect Lai Ching-te’s approach to the region, and Sayo Saruta discusses how Russia and North Korea’s relationship has evolved following last year’s ROK-Japan-US Camp David Summit.

We also highlight recent activities from our network, including analysis on Pakistan’s test of its long-range precision strike missile, India’s space program, China’s accelerated nuclear expansion, and more.

The Path Forward: What Taiwan’s Elections Mean for the Asia-Pacific

Last week, Taiwan took to the polls to elect a new president and legislature. DPP candidate Lai Ching-te came out on top, and despite his win marking an unprecedented third term by the DPP, Lai’s tenure will not be without difficulty. During his presidency, Lai will face mounting domestic pressures while also navigating significant challenges abroad, including in emerging regional ‘minilaterals’ and deciding the role that Taiwan will take on in the Asia-Pacific.

In this week’s Pulse, we asked experts Brian HioeRussell Hsiao, and Chong Ja Ian what the election means for Taiwan’s future, how it might influence regional dynamics, and what we can expect from China in the aftermath.

Read the Pulse

北朝鮮とロシアの関係強化にみる西側諸国の対応 | What the Russia-DPRK Relationship Reflects About the West’s Security Strategy

In August 2023, the United States, Japan, and South Korea met at Camp David for a landmark summit. In the months since, concern has grown over the increasingly close relationship between Russia and the DPRK. Some suggest that the relationship is a reaction to increased US-Japan-ROK security cooperation in the region.Now, following another meeting between the two countries’ foreign ministers, Sayo Saruta offers her take on how the Russia-DPRK relationship is evolving and what it means for security in the Asia-Pacific. This commentary was originally written in Japanese and was translated into English. Both versions are available on our website. 

Read the commentary

Related article

In this Pulse article, APLN asked Japanese, Korean, and American experts Sayo Saruta, Eunil Cho, and Frank O’Donnell for their thoughts on the Camp David summit and its impact on regional security issues, the legitimacy of China’s concerns about a ‘mini NATO’ in East Asia, and next steps for the trilateral partnership. 

The Second Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons: A Summary Report

On January 15th, the African island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe became the 70th state party to the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).

In this special report, Marianne Hanson underscores the achievements and challenges of the 2MSP, acknowledging that despite their limitations, the Meetings of States Parties to the TPNW are the sole significant forum for addressing nuclear weapons in a productive manner, and that these meetings should not be dismissed lightly.

Read the special report



APLN has over 150 members from 22 countries in the Asia-Pacific.
Each week we feature their latest contributions
to global and regional security debates.

See all member activities



2024: Placing Diplomacy and Dialogue Front and Center

Marty Natalegawa, APLN Chair, wrote for the Jakarta Post and emphasised that diplomacy and dialogue must be placed front and center, in order to manage and resolve present and future common challenges.

The Future of Arms Control Lies in the Nuclear Ban Treaty

Melissa Parke, Executive Director for ICAN, wrote for Arms Control Today and highlighted that the risk of nuclear weapons being used in conflict has reached an alarming level, and the only way to ensure nuclear weapons are never used again is through the Nuclear Ban Treaty (TPNW).

Changing Security Environment in East Asia and Its Implications on Japan’s Nuclear Policy

Michiru Nishida, APLN Senior Research Adviser, published a paper in the Journal for Peace and Nuclear Disarmament. He argued that Japan may lean toward relying more on the role of nuclear weapons in regional contingencies.

Watch Pakistan Test New Long-Range Precision Strike Weapon

Frank O’Donnell, APLN Senior Research Adviser, was quoted in Defense News, where he commented on the implications of the Fatah 2 MLRS system for military planning and postures.

Aditya-L1 Mission: Another Feat for India’s Space Program

Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan, Director of the Centre for Security, Strategy, and Technology, wrote for the Diplomat on India’s AdityaL1 Mission. With the opening up of the Indian space sector, India will increasingly concentrate on interplanetary and other deep space missions. 

China’s Accelerated Expansion of its Nuclear Arsenal Represents a Shift in China’s Nuclear Strategy and Doctrine

Tong Zhao, Senior Fellow at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, discussed the expansion of China’s nuclear arsenal with Fiona Cunningham. They debated the extent to which China’s nuclear strategy reflects a shift in doctrine.

Facing Up to Climate Change-Induced Biosecurity Threats

Mely Caballero-Anthony, Professor of International Relations at Nanyang Technological University, co-wrote a commentary with Jose Ma. Luis Montesclaros on biosecurity threats arising from climate change-induced zoonotic diseases and discussed ways to better address these emerging biosecurity risks.

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