SIGN UP FOR INSIGHTS

Geopolitics

China

What Is Xi Jinping’s Major Power Diplomacy?

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Since Xi Jinping ascended to the presidency, he has spearheaded a reorientation of China’s major power diplomacy. With China’s foreign policy in the spotlight during the annual meeting of its legislature, Yoshikazu Kato of the Asia Global Institute outlines his thoughts on what this diplomacy is and how it came about.

ASEAN

The Philippines’ Maritime Conundrum

Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Philippines, a major maritime nation, must better protect its resources and exclusive sovereign rights. The South China Sea disputes, where China has exerted increasing dominance over one of the planet’s vital waterways, have been a sorely-needed wakeup call.

China

China and the Rise of Africa

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Chinese investment in Africa supports the continent’s growth, but as concerns of a “new colonialism” arise, what will define the future of China-Africa relations?

China

China in Africa: Practicing Diplomacy as a Great Power

Thursday, December 6, 2018

China’s strategic approach to foreign policy has changed, and governments need to reorient to this new reality. A look at its actions in Africa reveals how China is employing its status as a great power on the diplomatic stage.

Asia Pacific

Overlapping Regionalism in the Asian Order

Thursday, November 1, 2018

As multiple actors compete for influence in Asia, some analysts anticipate an intensification of rivalries. However, overlapping regionalism leaves room for potential cooperation and shared governance in the future regional order.

China

Farewell to Nuclear Arms Control?

Thursday, October 25, 2018

The United States has affirmed strategic competition with both Russia and China as the central organizing principle of its national security policy. The announcement on October 20 by President Donald Trump that the U.S. would withdraw from the 30-year-old Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty because of alleged Russian violations might be a key plank of that policy.

Asia Pacific

The Timor Sea Dispute: Territorializing the Sea?

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Many maritime disputes are motivated by material factors like oil, gas, and fishing stocks. Weaker countries tend to insist on sovereignty claims, at the risk of stretching legal definitions, while those with access to resources are inclined to maintain the status quo. The Timor-Leste-Australia dispute shows how sovereign claims risk weakening the international sea regime.

Asia Pacific

Chinese Whispers and the Geopolitics of the Pacific Islands

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Australia and New Zealand have long viewed the Pacific Islands as part of their sphere of influence. China’s increasing engagement in the region is now throwing that in doubt. Canberra and Wellington must reconfigure their regional strategies to be more inclusive, and recognize Pacific Island states as sovereign actors in their own right.

Japan

Japan Attempts to Crack the Central Asian Frontier

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Over the past couple of decades, Japan has indicated its desire to play a bigger role in Central Asia and has gradually increased its developmental efforts in the region. However, Japan’s engagement in the region remains overwhelmingly government-driven. To make a bigger impact, it must increase private sector participation.

ASEAN

India and Indonesia Standing in the Way of the Indo-Pacific

Thursday, August 23, 2018

There are many who would like to see the concept of the “Indo-Pacific” region evolve from an idea to reality. These supporters are looking to India and Indonesia, two of the most populous countries in the region, to lead the way. This, however, is currently unlikely, owing to misalignment between the two countries’ political-economic goals and actions.

China

China, Venezuela, and the Illusion of Debt-Trap Diplomacy

Thursday, August 16, 2018

China has often been accused of practicing “debt-trap diplomacy”—miring supposed partners, particularly developing countries, in unsustainable debt-based relationships. But this is a misreading of the issue, and nowhere is this more apparent than in China’s dealings with Venezuela.

Global

Technology and Maritime Imperialism in Southeast Asia

Thursday, August 2, 2018

In light of the fierce technology-fueled geopolitical battles being waged on the world stage today, it is time to examine how technology facilitated imperialism at the turn of the 20th century. Specifically, in Southeast Asia, the Dutch and the British used telegraphs, lighthouses, and more as instruments of empire.

ASEAN

China’s Railway Dreams Have Missing Link

Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Pan-Asia Railway, meant to stretch from Kunming to Singapore, is seen by China as one of the crown jewels of its Belt and Road Initiative. While the project has seen early success in Laos, stronger Southeast Asian countries are pushing back against Beijing’s plans.

China

Security Implications of China’s Rising Appetite for Seafood

Thursday, June 28, 2018

China’s growing appetite for seafood has led to fundamental changes in the global fishing industry, with ramifications for regional security. With every step it takes in fishing policy, the Chinese government must balance its need for food security with environmental and diplomatic concerns.

China

Belt and Road’s Future Lies in California

Thursday, June 7, 2018

China’s Belt and Road Initiative seems to focus on connections with Africa, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe. But the country’s economic future is really in “netware” technology, similar to America’s. Contrary to how BRI is viewed and talked about now, China’s more profitable path actually points, as illuminated by the likes of Alibaba and Tencent, eastward to California.

India

Is There Space for Europe in the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor?

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Spearheaded by India and Japan, the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor aims to improve intercontinental connectivity. But, as of now, this competing plan to China’s Belt and Road Initiative is only a proposition. To make it a reality, India and Japan must enlist the EU.

ASEAN

China and the Quad: Challenges for Southeast Asia

Thursday, May 10, 2018

As each ASEAN country has its own position on China and the Quad, Southeast Asia risks being torn between great powers. Greater ASEAN unity and higher economic growth are needed to protect the region’s interests.

China

China and the Building of Africa’s Information Societies

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Despite suspicions, China's engagement in developing Africa's telecom infrastructure has not led to an imposition of an authoritarian model of information control on the continent. Concerns should rather focus on the promotion of a top-down governmental model of development, which has proved inefficient.