ReviewSouth Asia & Far East

An Overview Of 2019 and The Predictions Of 2020

First of all, I would like to thank you to my lecturer Arash Sharghi and also Irina Boris Dotu. Thanks to them I can share my thoughts and evaluations here. I am very grateful that they have always supported me and provided me with a broad perspective with new ideas to improve myself.

1- What’s going on in Hong Kong?

We entered the hot months of 2019 with one of the biggest protests of this year. Thousands of citizens took to the streets to protest in June due to the bill to extradite criminals in Hong Kong to China. However, the Hong Kong government has not responded to any of the protesters’ demands. If we talk about China’s position here, it is impossible for China to have any military intervention because it will harm the ‘one country two system’ model and its own peaceful concepts. In this article, I discussed the US attitude towards this situation. At that time, the between US and China relations were already tense due to trade war. China did not want the US to get involved and thus, either China or the Hong Kong government had to respond to the demands of the demonstrators.

2- Causes and Consequences of South Korea and Japan’s Trade War

The tensions between Japan and South Korea, which have already existed from the past, have further intensified this summer. The relations were tensed in between two countries due to the Japan imposed export controls on materials used for memory chips and display screens – vital for South Korean companies like Samsung in July. Also in August, South Korea announced that it would abandon a military intelligence-sharing pact with Japan. Thus, economic, diplomatic and military relations between the two countries were broken at the end of the summer. I have shared how this process will affect the balances between the two countries and how the US as its closest allies are evaluated of this situation.

3- Human Nature in the IR Theories

In this article, I looked at how theories of international relations examine human nature and thus I discussed how Realism, Liberalism, Marxism, and Frued’s psychoanalysis evaluate human nature. After all, at the end of these, I concluded that the impact of the nature and behavior of human  on the IR as a smallest unit in the system, can be seen clearly.

4- Refugee Policy in Japan

Today, many countries are taking measures on refugees and shaping their policies accordingly. On the other hand, Japan has not developed its policies yet in this regard to a large extent. Because of this, the refugees in Japan are suffering still. Furthermore, Japan can develop better policies for refugees and turn them into advantages for themselves. In this article, I shared how Japan can evaluate it.

5- The Miracle of South Korea

I have mentioned how South Korea, which is now a developed country, has reached this position after the Korean War. In this process, South Korea’s steps and policies were a good example for other developing or underdeveloped countries. You can read a short summary of what happened in this process.

6- Suriye’nin “Çin Rüyası”

Based on the article published by Andrea Ghiselli and Mohammed Al-Sudairi, I wrote a brief evaluation. The article tried to answer the question of whether China is really interested in Syria or is it an alliance model that is trying to be formed just to annoy the west. Here, it is evaluated that Syria is trying to act together with Russia, China, Iran and North Korea against the western hegemony, and it is considered that China’s approach in Syria had different aims from Esad regime. This review is available in Turkish but you can find in English on the link.

7- China’s Misleading Nuclear Policy

How is China’s nuclear power now? Does this military force conform to China’s defense policy? I discussed the process by explaining when China started nuclear weapons and how far it has gone so far. But in the military doctrines issued by China, I assessed that their policies and views on nuclear power and armament did not match the position of China at present.

8- From Smart Power to Sharp Power in China

After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, they explained that will always continue their policies with soft power. In this paper, I have assessed that, although China does not express this, its policies are based on smart power. But I have criticized that these policies are not only directed to smart power but also to sharp power. I have evaluated why China is going through sharp power and what drives us to this idea.

9- Güney Çin Denizi’nde Neler Oluyor?

This is an overview of actors in the region that how much border they claims on the South China Sea. First of all, I have evaluated why the South China Sea is important. Then, I stated how China which is claiming the biggest rights in the region and other actors are insisting on the boundaries they claim. In this direction, of course, there is the struggle of the actors in the region against China.

10- Asian Countries Have Half of the World’s CO2 Emissions

What made me write this article was the remarkable speech of a Swedish young climate activist (Greta Thunberg) at the UN’s Climate Action Summit 2019. The summit, which was organized to draw attention to the bad effects of global warming, occupied the agenda by Thunberg’s complaint about 5 countries in particular. As my own research area, I have examined how much danger this region poses for global warming, as there are many developed countries in the Asian region and having the most populous countries.

11- Güney Çin Denizi’ndeki Diğer Aktörler

In this article, I mentioned the countries that do not exist in the South China Sea region but which are of great importance for the actors in the region. In this context, it is very important how the USA and its allies such as Australia, Japan and South Korea threaten China in particular. India also protects its interests by supporting other vulnerable countries in the region against China. But this is not very convincing even if other actors outside the region say that they are there to protect the countries in the region against China’s colonialist stance. So I tried to explain why this is not convincing.

12- South Korea, Japan, and the U.S: An increasingly complicated trilateral relationship?

It was very important for the region to announce that South Korea would continue the General Security of Military Intelligence Agreement (GSOMIA).  For the supporters of this agreement, Japan and the US, as well as in the interests of South Korea, this agreement must continue. But not only the tensions with Japan, but also the changing foreign policy of South Korea are being discussed by the US. Does South Korea’s attitude towards the US change? Or is it just a new foreign policy taking shape? I have evaluated all this in this article.

What awaits us in 2020?

China and US ‘’Especially Trade War”

The trade war between China and the US, who are the two major economies of the world, has quite occupied the agenda of 2019 and reduced global economic growth rates together with their own growth rates. The World Trade Organization (WTO) reduced the growth rate projected for 2020 from 3% to 2.7%. According to columnist Cary Huang in the South China Morning Post, “China will face further pressure on growth by 2020”, as the Chinese government has failed to reach its targeted growth rate in 2019 for the first time since 2010. Trump announced that they will meet on the 15th of January for the first phase of the agreement. However, the text of the agreement has not been made public, and “it would reduce only a small portion of the tariffs that Mr. Trump imposed on $360 billion worth of Chinese goods, leaving many levies in place.”  According to Cary Huang, since there are no signs of short-term recovery, all major indicators suggest that the economy may fall further before it hits the bottom. Furthermore, the fact that the parties are sensitive and not trusting each other makes us feel that we should not enter into an economic expectation for 2020.


In the last month of 2019; Russia, Iran and China began to organize Joint Naval Drills in the Gulf of Oman and the North Arabian Sea and they demonstrated how determined they are about this alliance. With the US entering the 21st century as the only hegemonic power, there have been many tensions and wars in the Middle East. Especially the trust of the Esaj regime in Syria to this alliance is an example that the US power in the region has started to be broken. Although the US has described China’s position as colonialist in recent years, many countries have begun to take advantage of the power of this tripartite alliance in terms of global power balances. This alliance will occupy the agenda more in 2020 and will help the countries in the some region dominated by US to take a breath.


Because of the against China’s expansionist policies, the neighboring countries in the region are pleased that the US has turned its direction to the Asia-Pacific region in the 21st century. China’s persistent and protective attitude towards the East and South China Seas has led to many conflicts with neighboring countries. However, there has been a great tension between South Korea and Japan which are the strongest alliances of the US in the region on the East Asian front, and the failure of the US to resolve this situation for a long time brought to mind the question of whether the US presence in this region is weakened. In this context, China’s contact with Japan and South Korea again made it clear that China does not want to include the US in the Asia-Pacific region. In this context, it is obvious that China will try to improve its relations with South Korea and Japan in 2020 and both countries do not want to experience tension with the China which is espeacially rising power.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong protests began the first day of the year with an anti-government protest march. Many countries in the world witnessed rising protests in 2019. Aware of the disruptive impact of the protests, Hong Kongers will continue to protest in 2020 unless Chief Executive Carrie Lam refuses to accept her demands.

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