Pictures of what appears to be a test installation of a naval railgun on a PLA Navy landing ship suggest China is moving forward with sea trials of a weapon which can threaten all Western surface assets. At the start of a huge ship-building plan, China is ideally placed to capitalise on this technology.
Prime Minister Theresa May undertakes her long-awaited visit to Beijing tomorrow. It gives London an opportunity to define and shape its relationship with China, and move it beyond behind-the-scenes sniping and grandiose public rhetoric.
The timing was perfect: just as the new Trump Administration is preparing to take over in the US, Beijing has published a White Paper entitled ‘China’s Policies on Asia–Pacific Security Cooperation’. It claims to outline China’s contributions to Asia–Pacific regional security. But it fails to diminish concerns over its regional ambitions.
China’s seizure last week of a US naval drone in international waters has drawn attention to China's assertive approach throughout South East Asia. And that affects both big countries and small countries, such as Singapore.
US President-elect Donald Trump broke with decades of American policy when he spoke on the phone with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen. The move sheds light on the broader speculation surrounding Trump’s intended policy towards Taiwan and China.
Tensions are rising again between India and Pakistan over violent attacks in Jammu and Kashmir. India and Pakistan have differing views on the role of international mediation in resolving this conflict. But foreign involvement remains essential, and China–US cooperation may be a way forward.