China divides ASEAN in the South China Sea

Author: Sampa Kundu, IDSA

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s whirlwind tour of Brunei, Cambodia and Laos during 22–24 April 2016 courted support for his country’s territorial claims in the South China Sea. But the issue of China’s policy in the South China Sea has created a fault line across ASEAN, complicating the unity and effectiveness of the regional grouping. Read more…

Will the TPP and OBOR challenge ASEAN centrality?

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Ministerial Meeting in Singapore. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Alice D. Ba, RSIS

In 2016, Southeast Asia has found itself engaged in proactive regional initiatives led by major powers. The recently signed, but still to be ratified, US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is one attempt, while China’s land-based ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’ and ‘21st Century Maritime Silk Road’ — which together make up its ‘One Belt, One Road’ (OBOR) initiative — puts Beijing’s proactive engagement and growing confidence on display.

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What happened to Russia’s ‘pivot to Asia’?

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (L) and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi attend a joint press conference at the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing, China on 29 April 2016.

Authors: Dmitry Filippov, University of Sheffield and Peter Marino

In early 2014, Russia faced economic sanctions in response to its annexation of Crimea. Many in the country viewed the sanctions as proof that the West has contempt for Russia’s ‘sphere of influence’ in Ukraine and was trying to subvert Russian foreign policy. Responding to this pressure from the West, Moscow turned its attention to the East — specifically, to China.

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Chinese investment and national security: what Australians think

A patrol boat docking at Darwin Port, 17 May 2016. (Photo: AAP).

Authors: James Laurenceson and Hannah Bretherton, ACRI

In response to recent Chinese interest in infrastructure assets, the Australian government is under pressure to tighten its foreign investment review framework on national security grounds. Read more…

China’s SOE sector is bigger than some would have us think

A pedestrian walks past a branch of State Grid Corporation of China in Yichang city, central China's Hubei province, 11 January 2016. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Derek Scissors, AEI

There is a recurring question on the nature of China’s economy — is it mostly planned or mostly market? This question has become more concrete this year as China’s partners are scheduled to decide on whether or not to grant China ‘market economy status’. Read more…

Japan’s important sideshow to arbitration decision in the South China Sea

Fisherman Pan Chiu-chung displays a map marked with the area his son's fishing boat was detained by the Japanese coast guard during a protest outside of the Japanese representative office in Taipei, Taiwan on 27 April 2016. (Photo: AAP).

Authors: Jerome A. Cohen, NYU, and Peter A. Dutton, USNWC

While tensions continue to rise in the South China Sea and the disputing governments nervously await a decision in the Philippines’ arbitration case against China, an important sideshow has arisen between Japan and Taiwan in the central Philippine Sea. Read more…

Where does Taiwan stand on the South China Sea?

Yao Chow-tien, deputy director of the Taiwan Maritime Patrol Directorate General. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Jiye Kim, JNU

In January 2016, Tsai Ing-wen was elected president of the Republic of China (ROC, Taiwan). She will take office later this month. As the first president from the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party in eight years, Tsai’s election represents a wildcard of sorts for the ROC’s ongoing claims in the South China Sea.

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