New technologies can bring military applications to new heights. The X-41 Common Aero Vehicle Falcon program is a glimpse of the future. The X-41 operates like a missile that can fly at high altitude and carry nuclear and non-nuclear warheads.
Taiwan’s interests and role in the South China Sea disputes have essentially been officially ignored. With the election of US President Donald Trump and appointment of John Bolton as National Security Advisor, its influence and involvement may increase substantially.
Kim Jong-un’s visit was very strategically calculated. It had two purposes. The first was to bring China-North Korea relations back on track. The second was to seek China’s insurance and confirm China’s patron-state status.
There is a growing protest over Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to downplay the Philippines international arbitration victory over China regarding the South China Sea. Although many of his policy decisions are problematic, in this case his decision has merit.
In the wake of Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s pilgrimage to Washington, Australia is edging ever closer to publicly choosing between China and the US in its Asia security policy. It may well become reality and with the choice comes consequences.
Facilitated by under-the-radar low-tech boats, collusion with local corrupt officials, and integration with legal trade and activities, piracy in Southeast Asia remains a challenging problem. Multinational agencies are cooperating to counteract.
Gordon Chang wrote recently in the National Interest that China is “itching for a confrontation” in response to the January 17, 2018 innocent passage of the USS Hopper near Scarborough Shoal. James Holmes argued that China does not really want confrontation.
The US decision to cut its security aid to Pakistan brings nothing new into US-Pakistan bilateral dynamics. The US had already done that previously when it cut the Coalition Support Funds amounting to USD 900 million for the financial years 2015 and 2016.
Two recent publications by the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative of the Center for International and Security Studies condemn China’s policies and actions in the South China Sea while ignoring the similar transgressions of the others there.