Showing posts with label South East Asia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label South East Asia. Show all posts

20 April 2018

Asia Pacific pivots beyond a Trump-led America

Pradumna B Rana and Xianbai Ji, RSIS 

US President Donald Trump has taken a radically protectionist approach to trade. Trump has launched a series of unilateral moves including increasing tariffs on steel and aluminium imports on national security grounds and announcing plans to impose tariffs on US$60 billion of Chinese imports. Uncertainties regarding continued access to the US market have forced Asia Pacific countries, for whom trade is an economic lifeline, to pivot beyond Trump-led America by adopting a three-pronged policy response: the acceleration of mega free trade agreements (FTAs), the enhancement of regional connectivity and the deepening of interregional economic cooperation. 

14 April 2018

The New Great Game: China And The Intense Maritime Contest In Indo-Pacific Region

by Abhijnan Rej

China’s growing naval force projection has sparked anintense maritime contest in the Indo-Pacific, where traditional notions of spheres of influence are being challenged. Over the past five years or so, China has adopted an increasingly assertive foreign policy that stands to upend, if unchecked, the political and security order in maritime Asia. This has included blatant disregard for international law, construction of artificial islands and other features to reclaim contested waters, weaponising capital and trade, and adoption of a military posture that seeks to keep other powers out from parts of the western Pacific. Coupled to growing authoritarianism at home — President Xi Jinping is now effectively president for life — as well as efforts to influence and shape domestic politics of other states, a super-powered China could very well spell the end of the liberal international order that the world has known since the end of the Second World War. China is well into becoming Middle Kingdom 2.0: the apex of a deeply hierarchical Asia, where all powers pay obeisance to the all-powerful Chinese state.

13 April 2018

The Indo-Pacific? The Quad? Please explain …

Graeme Dobell

Australia’s embrace of the Indo-Pacific concept over the past five years drew mild interest from the region and curious discussion. The US adoption of the Indo-Pacific in both its national security strategy and national defence strategy means the construct/label/geographic vision suddenly matters big time. What does the Indo-Pacific frame portend or predict for the way business will get done around here? Understandings aren’t agreed. The meaning of the Indo-Pacific matters if it’s ‘an organising principle for US foreign policy’.

Why the South China Sea is critical to security

BY BRAHMA CHELLANEY

When the U.S. aircraft carrier, Carl Vinson, recently made a port call at Da Nang, Vietnam, it attracted international attention because this was the first time that a large contingent of U.S. military personnel landed on Vietnamese soil since the last of the American troops withdrew from that country in 1975. The symbolism of this port call, however, cannot obscure the fact that the United States, under two successive presidents, has had no coherent strategy for the South China Sea.

12 April 2018

The New Great Game: China And The Intense Maritime Contest In Indo-Pacific Region

by Abhijnan Rej

China’s growing naval force projection has sparked anintense maritime contest in the Indo-Pacific, where traditional notions of spheres of influence are being challenged. Over the past five years or so, China has adopted an increasingly assertive foreign policy that stands to upend, if unchecked, the political and security order in maritime Asia. This has included blatant disregard for international law, construction of artificial islands and other features to reclaim contested waters, weaponising capital and trade, and adoption of a military posture that seeks to keep other powers out from parts of the western Pacific. Coupled to growing authoritarianism at home — President Xi Jinping is now effectively president for life — as well as efforts to influence and shape domestic politics of other states, a super-powered China could very well spell the end of the liberal international order that the world has known since the end of the Second World War. China is well into becoming Middle Kingdom 2.0: the apex of a deeply hierarchical Asia, where all powers pay obeisance to the all-powerful Chinese state.

10 April 2018

India’s approaches to the South China Sea Balancing priorities and prioritising balance


India must play a careful game as it balances its security, economic development and relationship with China, writes Ulises Granados.During the last four years, India has advanced its Act East Policy, an upgraded version of the 1990s Look East Policy. The new approach now encompasses a more robust political and security engagement with Asia, an area spanning from the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) to Southeast Asia and the Pacific Ocean. As its economic and geopolitical importance has grown, India’s pursuit of economic security has moved beyond the country’s immediate geographic realm (the subcontinent and the IOR). New Delhi is now increasingly fostering economic, political and diplomatic bonds with selected East Asian states and the US.

9 April 2018

China’s Maritime Silk Road: Strategic and Economic Implications for the Indo-Pacific Region


China unveiled the concept for the Twenty-First Century Maritime Silk Road (MSR) in 2013 as a development strategy to boost infrastructure connectivity throughout Southeast Asia, Oceania, the Indian Ocean, and East Africa. The MSR is the maritime complement to the Belt and Road Initiative, which focuses on infrastructure development across Central Asia. Together these initiatives form the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative designed to enhance China’s influence across Asia.

Power Transitions: Thucydides Didn’t Live in East Asia

by David C. Kang and Xinru Ma

The empirical examples that international relations scholars use to derive their theories about power transitions are almost all European. Two pre-modern East Asian cases lead to three new insights about power transitions.

8 April 2018

What U.S.-China ‘Proxy Wars’ Mean for Asia’s Balancing Act


With tensions running high between China and the U.S., many fear an all-out trade war is in the making. But the likelihood of things boiling over is low, writes Wharton Dean Geoffrey Garrett in this opinion piece. Both countries have a lot to gain from their economic interdependence – and a lot to lose if they step up confrontation significantly. Instead, these tensions are more likely to continue playing out through “proxy wars” in Asia, as the two countries wrestle for influence. 

SATELLITE IMAGES REVEAL SHOW OF FORCE BY CHINESE NAVY IN SOUTH CHINA SEA


Dozens of Chinese naval vessels are exercising this week with an aircraft carrier in a large show of force off Hainan island in the South China Sea, satellite images obtained by Reuters show. Satellite photo dated March 26, 2018 shows Chinese ships south of Hainan, China. Planet Labs/Handout via REUTERS The images, provided by Planet Labs Inc, confirm a Chinese carrier group has entered the vital trade waterway as part of what the Chinese navy earlier described as combat drills that were part of routine annual exercises. The Liaoning carrier group last week traversed the Taiwan Strait, according to the Taiwanese defense ministry.

30 March 2018

Saffron Curtain: How Buddhism Was Weaponized During the Cold War

By AMAR DIWAKAR

Of the world’s major faiths, Buddhism is often characterized as being a religion of peace, tolerance, and compassion. The Western encounter with Buddhism has largely been distilled through yoga, the beatniks, Hollywood, and Dalai Lama quotes shared on Facebook. But even a cursory glance at the news that emanates from the Buddhist world reveals a more sanguinary state of affairs. In Myanmar, ultra-nationalist monks have fueled a genocidal crusade against the country’s Rohingya Muslim population. In Thailand, the government has responded to a long-running Malay Muslim insurgency in its southern provinces by fostering a Buddhist militarism, encouraging monks in local temples to ally with the armed forces. And in Sri Lanka, the Buddhist-majority Sinhalese were engaged in a bitter civil war against the Hindu-minority Tamils for decades. More recently, Buddhist nationalists there have stoked anti-Muslim riots.

29 March 2018

Why the South China Sea is critical to security

BY BRAHMA CHELLANEY

CANBERRA – When the U.S. aircraft carrier, Carl Vincent, recently made a port call at Da Nang, Vietnam, it attracted international attention because this was the first time that a large contingent of U.S. military personnel landed on Vietnamese soil since the last of the American troops withdrew from that country in 1975. The symbolism of this port call, however, cannot obscure the fact that the United States, under two successive presidents, has had no coherent strategy for the South China Sea. It was on President Barack Obama’s watch that China created and militarized seven artificial islands in the South China Sea, while his successor, Donald Trump, still does not seem to have that critical subregion on his radar.

25 March 2018

Quad: The way ahead and the key challenges

Source Link

The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD) consisting of India, Australia, Japan, and the US has been pitching in favor of a ‘Free and Fair Indo-Pacific’ ever since the first meeting between representatives of member states in November 2017. Shinzo Abe, the current Prime Minister of Japan, actually proposed this arrangement about a decade ago. Diplomatic engagement began, and joint military exercises were even held, but a change in guard in Australia, as well as Chinese complaints to member states, resulted in the end of the arrangement. Given the increasing focus on the ‘Indo-Pacific’ region and the strengthening of strategic ties between all four countries, reticence was finally shed and representatives of the four countries met in November 2017, on the eve of the East Asia Summit in Manila. The main aim of the alliance, thus in other ways, has been to check China’s assertiveness, especially in the South China Sea, and democracy has been one of the key binding factors between the Quad. The U.S. State Department, after the meeting in November 2017, issued a statement that the United States is “committed to deepening cooperation, which rests on a foundation of shared democratic values and principles.”

21 March 2018

A New Order for the Indo-Pacific

BRAHMA CHELLANEY

China has transformed the Indo-Pacific region’s strategic landscape in just five years. If other powers do not step in to counter further challenges to the territorial and maritime status quo, the next five years could entrench China’s strategic advantages. Security dynamics are changing rapidly in the Indo-Pacific. The region is home not only to the world’s fastest-growing economies, but also to the fastest-increasing military expenditures and naval capabilities, the fiercest competition over natural resources, and the most dangerous strategic hot spots. One might even say that it holds the key to global security.  The increasing use of the term “Indo-Pacific” – which refers to all countries bordering the Indian and Pacific oceans – rather than “Asia-Pacific,” underscores the maritime dimension of today’s tensions. Asia’s oceans have increasingly become an arena of competition for resources and influence. It now seems likely that future regional crises will be triggered and/or settled at sea.

14 March 2018

A New Order for the Indo-Pacific

BRAHMA CHELLANEY,

China has transformed the Indo-Pacific region’s strategic landscape in just five years. If other powers do not step in to counter further challenges to the territorial and maritime status quo, the next five years could entrench China’s strategic advantages. SYDNEY – Security dynamics are changing rapidly in the Indo-Pacific. The region is home not only to the world’s fastest-growing economies, but also to the fastest-increasing military expenditures and naval capabilities, the fiercest competition over natural resources, and the most dangerous strategic hot spots. One might even say that it holds the key to global security.

8 March 2018

Russia, US could be headed for collision in Syria

Maxim A. Suchkov

Putin’s call came after humanitarian monitors said they suspected forces supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had launched a chlorine attack on the battered city near Damascus. Russia, however, claimed terrorist groups in Eastern Ghouta such as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham had been plotting to use chemical weapons themselves and blaming Assad supporters, according to Russia's state-run Tass news agency.

15 February 2018

Emerging Asia risks never growing rich

James Crabtree

This should be a moment of grand optimism for Asia. The world economy is enjoying its fastest expansion in a decade. Forecasts show growth in developing nations accelerating especially quickly. Yet even putting this week's global stock market wobble to one side, such bullish projections do not tell the whole story.

They hide the fact that emerging countries as a whole are still growing more slowly than before the 2008 global financial crisis. More importantly, deeper structural changes, notably the way technology is reshaping global manufacturing, are now threatening important parts of Asia's development model.

12 February 2018

New Photographs Show China's South China Sea Artificial Islands Like You've Never Seen Them

By Ankit Panda

A look at China’s militarization of its artificial islands in high resolution. 

The Philippines-based Inquirer has gotten its hands on high resolution aerial photographs of China’s seven artificial islands in the Spratly group in the South China Sea. The images are among the best we’ve seen of the remarkable facilities and equipment China has emplaced on these islands, which didn’t exist just five years ago.

5 February 2018

Bangladesh's New Generation of Militants

By Siddharthya Roy

When compared to his peers in the terrorism community, Akayed Ullah was most certainly a loser. The wannabe jihadist attempted to blow himself up at the New York City port authority bus terminal by strapping a pipe bomb to his body. But the bomb — made with firecracker powder and lit with a Christmas candle — was so low intensity that, far from creating widespread terror, he didn’t even end up killing himself. In the weeks that have followed since, the 27-year-old Bangladeshi migrant has received more ridicule than fear or praise.

2 February 2018

Riding the Wave : An East Asian Miracle for the 21st Century


Developing East Asia has led the way in showing how rapid and broadly shared growth can lift millions out of poverty. And, as this book shows, the region has achieved even more: the wave of prosperity across the region since the 1980s has lifted three out of five of its citizens into economic security, where their risk of falling into poverty is minimal. Alongside this, a solid middle class has emerged in most countries. But these successes do not guarantee that inclusive growth--growth that reduces poverty and delivers upward mobility and economic security for all--is assured. The region has become more diverse, with progress varying across countries and extreme poverty increasingly concentrated among specific groups. Roughly a fifth of the region's population still