Julian Ku

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Julian Ku is the Maurice A. Deane Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law at Hofstra University School of Law. He is a co-founder of Opinio Juris, the leading blog on international law.

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China

The Detention of Huawei’s CFO is Legally Justified. Why Doesn’t the U.S. Say So?

The detention of a top executive from Chinese technology giant Huawei shocked financial markets around the world last week as investors worried that the arrest would derail U.S.-China trade talks. But the detention of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou in Canada, pending her extradition to the U.S., has grown from a trade irritant to a full-blown diplomatic crisis. Over the weekend, the Chinese government threatened both Canada and the U.S.

China

Why China’s Disappearance of Interpol’s Chief Matters

Even seasoned China-watchers were startled last week when news broke that Meng Hongwei, the vice minister of China’s chief law-enforcement ministry, had disappeared. Meng is not just a high-level government official. As chief of Interpol, he is arguably the highest-profile Chinese leader of an international organization.

South China Sea

It’s Time for South China Sea Economic Sanctions

The most recent U.S. freedom-of-navigation operation (FONOP) in the South China Sea garnered the usual global headlines, but it also shows how ineffective such operations have been in deterring Chinese actions in the region. It was so inconsequential that the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs could not even be bothered to come up with new phrases in what is now a ritualized denunciation.

Asia Pacific

Ignore the Hype: The Taiwan Travel Act is Legally Binding

Last Friday, President Trump signed into law the Taiwan Travel Act, which makes it a U.S. policy to allow high-level meetings between Taiwan and U.S. government officials. News reports about the law have often described it as “non-binding.” This “not legally binding” view is widely shared, including by China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. But this reading is not quite right.

Asia Pacific

Congress Leads on Taiwan Again by Opening the Door to High-Level US Government Contacts

The Taiwan Travel Act, which passed the Senate on Feb. 28 and is heading to the president for his signature, will have limited legal force since it does not require the president to do anything he cannot already do under the U.S. Constitution. But that does not mean the law is purely symbolic. It is likely to have a significant impact on U.S.-Taiwan policy, and consequently, on the increasingly fragile U.S.-China relationship.

South China Sea

The British are Coming to the South China Sea, and It's About Time

British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson recently announced that the Royal Navy would be conducting a South China Sea Freedom of Navigation Operation (FONOP) after its visit to Australia later this year. His statement also contained a rare full-throated specific endorsement of U.S. FONOPs in the region. “We absolutely support the U.S. approach on this, we very much support what the U.S.

China

The South China Sea and China's "Four Sha" Claim: New Legal Theory, Same Bad Argument

The Washington Free Beacon reports that China may be backing away from its most controversial legal justification in the South China Sea: the “Nine-Dash Line.” Officials from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs advanced a new legal theory at a closed-door meeting with U.S.