Regular Issue

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Volume #27, Number #1

Published in June, 2023

National New Areas are state-level, centrally planned metropolises designed to fulfill the Chinese government’s strategic goals of economicdevelopment, environmental sustainability, institutional reform, and the opening of China’s economy to foreign and overseas Chinese investment. President Xi Jinping’s transformative model of balanced city-regional development, Xiong’an, was designated the 19th NNA in 2017 and positioned as a world-class sustainable smart city. Unique among NNAs, the central government granted the Xiong’an New Area administrative committee provincial-level administrative authority in the management of local economic and social issues. This study examines the Xiong’an New Area administrative committee’s role as an entrepreneurial actor and the implications of Xiong’an for China’s centrallocal relations. We qualitatively analyze top government leaders’ official statements, utilizing news articles obtained from the Xiong’an website. Our analysis demonstrates that the Xiong’an New Area administrative committee employs strategies that are innovative, real and reflexive, and entrepreneurial discourse to attract market sector investment—and thus it is an entrepreneurial actor. Our analysis also confirms the recentralization of China’s city-regional development. The direct guidance of the central government on the Xiong’an New Area administrative committee and the central government’s hierarchical upgrading of Xiong’an undergird this finding. Future scholars of urban entrepreneurialism should consider the expanded role of the central government in China’s city-regional development.

Minji Kim, Yousun Chung

This study focuses on the phenomenon that the U.S.-Korea-Japan security triangle wasn’t reinforced but rather relaxed in the intensified competition between the U.S. and China from 2017 to 2022. This article argues that conflicting strategic interests between Korea and Japan are the primary driver of their conflict within the triangular system. Since the Cold War, Japan has maintained dominance in Korea-Japan relations, characterized by an asymmetrical dynamic between the prosperous democratic Japan and the impoverished authoritarian Korea. Furthermore, the article contends that the rise of Korea’s national power and the consolidation of its democratic values have prompted the Moon Jaein Government to seek a recalibration of the Korea-Japan relationship. Korea aims to establish a new type of relationship that is in line with its own strategic interests and democratic values, leading to a contradiction with Japan’s strategic objectives. For instance, the difference in economies between Korea and Japan was 30:1 at the early stage of the U.S.-Korea- Japan security triangle in the 1960s, but in the 2010s, the difference was just 3:1. Even though the economic dimension of Japan still seems superior to that of Korea, Korea has almost caught up with or exceeded Japan in such areas as national defense, foreign trade, global supply networks and democracy. Therefore, the asymmetric relation is in its final stage. However, when faced with the situation in which the security threats of North Korea’s nuclear development and China’s rise in terms of military power increased in the 2010s, both Korea and Japan failed to adjust their mutual obligations and security interests in the symmetric relation, and the U.S. reinforced the U.S.-Korea-Japan security triangle by focusing on the strategic interests of the U.S.-Japan alliance. Thus, Korea faced the
dilemma of entrapment. For these reasons, after the inauguration of the Moon Jae-in Government, Korea had to adopt a passive attitude in the security triangle. As a result, South Korea volunteered to be an arbitrator between the U.S. and North Korea to pursue a solution to the North Korean nuclear problem through diplomatic negotiations, and Korea cooperated with the U.S. in checking China within the framework of the Korea–U.S. alliance.

Byung-Bae Park

An increasing number of legislative studies have applied natural language processing skills to replace human labor in identifying topics, positions and sentiments underlying legislative texts. Taiwan’s parliament is the only democratic parliament in the world that uses Chinese as the official language. Studies of Taiwan’s legislative record are critical to the development of comparative legislative studies and Chinese text analysis. However, the distribution of terms that appear in legislative records is different from the distribution of those seen in daily conversations. Existing Chinese word segmentation tools are limited in recognizing these terms, leading to biases in estimating the probability of terms and compromising the reliability, as well as the validity, of research findings. This study builds a lexicon for Taiwan legislative studies (LTLS). The LTLS collects more than 137,000 terms that may be seen in legislative records and political texts. Moreover, this research unprecedentedly evaluates the performance of three frequently used Chinese word segmentation systems, Jieba, CKIP and Articut, in terms of how much each of them may help identify topics in legislators’ oral interpellations as human coders do. The results show that word segmentation matters in altering the results of text analyses. To be specific, the three existing word segmentation tools are far from perfect in helping identify the topics of texts. Among them, Articut is the best without adding the LTLS, followed by CKIP and Jieba, respectively. More importantly, each of them performs better with the LTLS, and CKIP outperforms the others when the LTLS is an add-on. This research provides empirical evaluations that help researchers in choosing word segmentation tools. In addition, it demonstrates that the LTLS can be a cost-efficient and accessible tool to improve Chinese word segmentation for Taiwan’s legislative studies. Its release and expansion may enhance the development of Chinese text analyses in legislative studies in Taiwan and serve as a building block of a more comprehensive Chinese lexicon for political studies in other fields.


Note: For information regarding the lexicon and text files, please refer to the website provided by the author (

Isaac Shih-Hao Huang

The goal of this research is to test an empirical model of distributional outcomes that explores the impact of aggregate level of political dynamics. This paper addresses on the central questions: Do national election outcomes influence distributional outcomes? The arguments suggest that when the political landscape changes – a different party takes over the presidency, the ideological direction of public policy shifts, or the mood of the public changes – income inequality responds in consistent and predictable ways. Shifts to the left produce more egalitarian outcomes and shifts to the right exacerbate existing inequality. Economic conditions matter for distributional outcomes, but political dynamics matter as much. The influence of politics, de facto, manifests itself in some surprising ways. This paper demonstrates that government to influence distributional outcomes via explicit redistribution, but government also shapes income inequality by conditioning market outcomes. In fact, this mechanism of distributional impact is as strong as redistribution.

Yi-Bin Chang

The international community has many doubts about China’s opaque financial aid, and their critiques mainly lie in the differences in aid between China and traditional aid donors. However, there is little empirical research on whether China is contributing to the accumulation of sovereign debt. The most controversial issue is that China’s foreign aid cannot be categorized in accordance with the traditional definition of ODA. The purpose and conditions underlying China’s foreign aid have many commercial overtones. China’s foreign aid is neither developmental nor concessional, similar to the other official flows (OOFs) that comprise most of its financial flows. This paper argues that OOFs are ineffective in relation to debt reduction when the developmental or concessional element is lacking. However, due to the lower political costs, China’s OOFs and Western countries’ conditional aid are more welcomed by the recipient countries. In the case of China’s pursuit of overseas resources in particular, both China and resource-rich recipient countries have an abundance of resources that can be used as collateral and are more risk-acceptable in the event of default. This paper aims to discuss China’s OOFs using AidData’s Global Chinese Development Finance Dataset to test the hypothesis that when China offers more OOFs, the accumulated debt of recipient countries will increase. The regression analysis confirms the results, and ODA does not have the same effect.

Szu-Ning Ping, Greg Chih-Hsin Sheen