Two outbreaks of deadly violence in Xinjiang this week highlight China's failure to bring stability to its troubled far west Muslim frontier. A closer examination of the attacks reveals that Xinjiang's model of 'stability maintenance' continues to spark Uyghur unrest.
In the Korean peninsula, the risk of war remains much lower than is suggested by the atmosphere of crisis, but a great deal will depend on what level of escalation Pyongyang deems necessary for political and deterrent purposes.
The continuing development of North Korea's nuclear and missile capabilities is testing the readiness and long-term planning of South Korea's missile defences. The plans will undoubtedly be overshadowed by Chinese concerns.
North Korea’s latest nuclear test has resulted in a familiar chorus of international condemnation. Surprisingly, the only meaningful change in rhetoric has come from the regime itself. Pyongyang now implies its nuclear programme is no longer up for negotiation.
The UN Security Council is certain to impose sanctions on North Korea. But, since these are likely to involve – at least initially – just cutting off trade and diplomatic contacts, no significant impact is expected.