• Strategic Comments

    The Philippines: Duterte’s wilful start

    19 October 2016. 

    A hundred days into his single six-year term, President Rodrigo Duterte has already asserted his powerful political position by undertaking a brutal campaign on drugs, weakening the Philippines' longstanding alliance with the United States and warming to China. These pronounced shifts in policy, however, have drawn considerable criticism from influential figures and groups inside as well as outside the Philippines. Duterte may find it difficult to maintain such controversial policies throughout his presidency.

  • Expert Commentary

    South China Morning Post: Security at stake

    07 October 2016.  Raising concerns about the South China Sea does not make Singapore, or other Asian nations, anti-China. Tim Huxley and Alexander Neill say the issue is on their agenda because leaders have a huge and legitimate stake in regional security, and China’s militarisation of regional waters is not helping.

  • Expert Commentary

    Straits Times: Sitting on the fence is a good option for Asian countries

    07 October 2016.  William Choong argues that there's no need for Asian countries to choose between America and China for now, as China lacks the wherewithal to challenge US supremacy.

  • Strategic Comments

    North Korea’s fifth nuclear test

    05 October 2016. 

    North Korea conducted its fifth and most powerful nuclear test on 9 September, and is moving towards mounting a nuclear bomb on ballistic missiles of increasing range. The Obama administration's policy of strategic patience may now be insufficient. Pyongyang is unlikely to restrain its nuclear bomb and ballistic missile development in the absence of greater US and Chinese assertiveness and more creative strategies.

  • IISS Voices

    Adam Ward: China’s year of living assertively

    29 September 2016.  Strategic Survey 2016 highlights China's increasingly confident behaviour on the international stage, arguing that its deployment of military force in the South China Sea is raising the prospect of a direct confrontation with the United States. Here, Adam Ward analyses the domestic and international triggers of this new assertiveness.

  • Expert Commentary

    South China Morning Post: Boiling point

    25 August 2016.  By William Choong, Shangri-La Dialogue Senior Fellow for Asia-Pacific Security Faced with a crushing defeat in the South China Sea arising from the historic Permanent Court of Arbitration judgment last month, China has upped the ante in the East China Sea. On Sunday, Tokyo protested to Beijing after Chinese coastguard ships sailed into the 12-nautical-mile territorial sea surrounding the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands. Earlier this month, on August 5, Chinese fishing vessels entered the...

  • Strategic Comments

    Turbulence in the Taiwan Strait

    24 August 2016. 

    The election of Tsai Ing-wen as president of Taiwan by an electorate increasingly inclined towards independence has made Beijing less tolerant of strategic ambiguity and more apt to attempt to impose reunification. Washington may need to undertake more proactive diplomacy to stave off a military confrontation.

  • Expert Commentary

    Strategist: Giving China a ladder to climb down

    01 August 2016.  By William Choong, Shangri-La Dialogue Senior Fellow for Asia-Pacific Security The 12 July judgment by the Hague-based Arbitral Tribunal on the South China Sea constituted a near-total defeat for China. While it was widely expected that the Philippines would win, it wasn't expected that China would lose by such a wide margin. Understandably, China has taken a hawkish and resolute stance against the Tribunal. Eager to show China’s resolve in defending its...

  • Strategic Comments

    Pakistan: a more positive trajectory

    27 July 2016. 

    The past 18 months have been an atypically salutary period for Pakistan. Democracy has deepened, civilian–military relations have been stable, the economy has grown and foreign relations have been conducted with relative maturity and civility. While Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif does face some political turbulence and the country's long-term challenges remain substantial, Pakistan's overall outlook is improving.

  • IISS Voices

    Sarah Raine: Tribunal ruling offers opportunity for negotiation, not confrontation over the South China Sea

    18 July 2016.  The recent judgment of an arbitral tribunal will have implications well beyond the South China Sea. While definitive solutions to competing territorial claims are likely to remain elusive, Sarah Raine suggests that the ruling nonetheless represents an opportunity for renewed discussion.

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