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.
By Richard Dowden, Director of the Royal African SocietyParts of Africa have become zones of interest for the US, but its focus on military operations might be counter-productive. Instead the decision by China to focus on resources and commerce could prove far greater in significance.
Far from transforming Asia's naval balance, the launch of China's first aircraft carrier will only begin to expose China to the rigours of modern naval warfare. The region should respond to the strategic ripples by steering carefully between complacency and alarmism.
The co-ordinated attack on a Pakistani naval base, the latest assault on a military facility, raises deep questions about the security of the country's nuclear weapons and the endurance of Pakistan's relationship with China and the United States.
The complexities of responding to a disaster in a highly developed and technologically sophisticated country like Japan are testing humanitarian response strategies. Much of what has happened and continues to unfold is the realisation of multiple worst-case scenarios.
Recent political posturing about the fate of the Kuril Islands is the latest development in a serious redressing of the balance of power between Moscow and Tokyo. Should the animosity continue, it is the latter which stands to lose the most.