Wednesday, July 24, 2024
Security Challenges

China’s relations with its neighbors and the West will define the next world order

By Theo Sommer

For seven decades now, the world’s most perilous flashpoints have all been in Asia: Kashmir, Taiwan and Korea. India and Pakistan fought three bloody wars over Kashmir, in 1947-48, 1963 and 1971, and still face one another at gunpoint in the contested Himalayan region. Beijing’s determination to reunify Taiwan with the mainland has triggered several international crises; in the 1950s US President Dwight D. Eisenhower even considered using nuclear weapons …

North and South Korea are speaking again, but Pyongyang will never give up its nuclear weapons

By Matthias Nass

One can be forgiven for doubting that Kim Jong-un is an “absolutely competent and mature politician,” as Russian President Vladimir Putin has called him. He is rather a cold cynic risking the lives of millions of people to secure his own political survival. Indeed, the sole reason he is amassing a nuclear arsenal is to forestall meeting to same fate as Saddam Hussein or Muammar al-Gaddafi. He is striving for …

China’s long-term strategy for becoming the world’s number one power

By Kishore Mahbubani

When Donald Trump became US president on Jan. 20, 2017, the world could and should have seen a downturn in Sino-American relations. During his election campaign, Trump had criticized China fiercely: “We can’t continue to allow China to rape our country, and that’s what they are doing.” He also declared he would “label China a currency manipulator.”

A year later, in January 2018, it is remarkable how stable the US-China …

India sees the Belt and Road Initiative for what it is: evidence of China’s unconcealed ambition for hegemony

India sees the Belt and Road Initiative for what it is: evidence of China’s unconcealed ambition for hegemony
By Samir Saran

For 73 days between June and August 2017, Indian and Chinese troops were locked eyeball to eyeball over a small strip of land marking the tri-junction between India, Bhutan and China: the Doklam Plateau. The clash was ostensibly triggered by Chinese road construction activities around disputed territories. But military tensions at Doklam are only the symptom, not the cause of conflict. The standoff itself is the naked manifestation of a …

An unorthodox view of the Israel-Palestine problem

By Michael Wolffsohn

First, the thesis: The twostate solution is not a solution. It only creates new problems. “Israel here, Palestine there” sounds good, and was recently repostulated by the United Nations, Barack Obama and John Kerry, but it won’t bring about the desired peace.

The goal: Individual and collective self-determination.

The premises: The configuration of states in the Middle East is crumbling. Contrary to what many choose to believe, individual politicians are …

An isolated Turkey is turning towards Russia and away from Europe and the US

By Özlem Topçu

Just a few years ago, observers and commentators could barely contain their enthusiasm. Turkey was long regarded as the only Muslim democracy in the Middle East, a “model state” proving that a predominantly Islamic country could in fact develop into a democracy. Its unique geographical situation also made it a great advantage for Western governments, because Turkey, since the founding of the republic, had seen itself as anchored in the …

The Trump administration adds uncertainty to the standoff in the South China Sea

By Carlyle Thayer

A new phase of strategic uncertainty has emerged in relations between China and the United States under the Trump administration on a number of issues, including maritime security in the South China Sea. Rising tensions create the prospect of a downturn in bilateral relations or, worse, a confrontation at sea or in the air over contested waters.

A review of the four major developments in the South China Sea in …

How can India raise the costs of Pakistan’s troubling actions towards its neighbor?

By Shashi Tharoor

Following the terrorist attack in Uri in September of last year, Indian commentators, in understandable outrage, suggested a number of rather dramatic courses of action against Pakistan. These ranged from “surgical strikes” against terrorist training camps in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) or even at Muridke, near Lahore, to the abrogation of the Indus Waters Treaty, with hopes of bringing the Pakistani economy to its knees.

However, the unpalatable truth is …

Is the Middle East becoming a zone full of half-forgotten, widely misinterpreted wars?

By Dan Smith

When Lord Louis MountbatteDn became Supreme Allied Commander, South East Asia Command in 1943, he visited various units of the 14th Army that later retook Burma from Japanese forces. On these visits, it is said that he made the same joke time and again: “I understand you believe you’re the forgotten army. That’s not true. The truth is nobody’s ever bloody well heard of you!” This being a British army, …

US-China relations in the year of living dangerously

US-China relations in the year of living dangerously
By Kevin Rudd

Chinese New Year in the Middle Kingdom is a time for celebration and relaxation with family and friends. Yet this year, many of Beijing’s decision-makers begin the Year of the Rooster with a deep sense of unease about the future. This is in part the product of uncertainty about future policy directions of the new Trump administration. Indeed, 2017 is shaping up as what I call the ‘year of living …