July 1, 2017 marks the twentieth anniversary of the 1997 return of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty. The biggest bump in the journey led to the Umbrella Movement and inspired the emergence of fringe elements fighting for the unrealistic goal of Hong Kong independence.
On May 15, 2017, Japan signaled its intention to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank initiated by Beijing. The condition is for the AIIB to address Japan’s concerns about the environmental impact of AIIB-funded projects and other matters.
On May 9, 2017, South Koreans overwhelmingly selected Moon Jae-in as their next leader. What are the implications for the Korean Peninsula crisis and the region? Of greater concern to voters were their perceptions of the need to regulate the private sector conglomerates.
The Trump administration in its first 100 days has indicated its obligations to its network of allies and friends by focusing on mitigating or resolving the nuclear crisis in North Korea. The US is also working with China in contributing to the resolution of the standoff.
Cao Changqing is a commentator in Taiwan who often sides with the Democratic Progressive Party in criticizing China. Would he be willing to be the first martyr to die for the sake of creating the Republic of Taiwan? It is very, very doubtful.
With 14,900 nuclear weapons in the world, Global Zero reports that “even a minor nuclear conflict — one that uses only a fraction of the nuclear weapons currently in existence — could wreak havoc on the global climate and affect billions of people.”
Taking into consideration brief moments of hopeful peace in the past in the Korean Peninsula, there is a chance for peace in the current crisis and a return to the earlier state of functionalist constructivist cooperation if all stakeholders show the political will to do so.
Bilateral relations between India and Russia had begun drifting with the dissolution of the Soviet Union. More recent developments have caused much skepticism in Indian strategic circles. Both countries seem to be resetting ties, keeping in mind larger strategic interests.
Reform to Taiwan’s military pension threatens to upend its national security and upset the US security calculus in the Asia-Pacific. Anxiety among Taiwan’s military has spilled over into opposition to President Tsai Ing-wen, resulting in a growing shift of support from Taiwan to mainland China.
Japan and South Korea are working with the US to ensure all preparatory defensive measures are up to par and have sharpened their coordination in all defensive matters. Both countries have also pledged support for peace and diplomatic solutions to the Korean Peninsula crisis.