• 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.

  • Events

    Nuclear Proliferation Success and Failure: Iran and North Korea

    14 July 2016. 

    IISS Webinar
    Mark Fitzpatrick, Executive Director, IISS–Americas
    Thursday 14 July 2016, 10–11AM BST

  • Expert Commentary

    BBC News: The submarines and rivalries underneath the South China Sea

    11 July 2016.  By Alexander Neill, Shangri-La Dialogue Senior Fellow for Asia-Pacific Security A tribunal is about to rule on China's territorial claims in the disputed South China Sea. But Beijing's desire for control is about much more than rocks above the water, argues analyst Alexander Neill. It is also central to China's plans for a submarine nuclear force able to break out into the Pacific Ocean. Historically, China's national infrastructure projects have tended to be...

  • Shangri-La Voices

    Evan A. Laksmana: A growing strategic impasse in the Indo-Pacific?

    08 July 2016.  Drawing on his experience of attending the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue, Evan Laksmana examines the competing visions presented at the summit of how tensions in the Indo-Pacific region should be resolved. To his dismay, these visions suggest that the established strategic framework is being set aside in favour of great power politics.

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