Association Of Southeast Asian Nations
A free and open Indo-Pacific: Regional and global implications
One of the techniques devised for managing China’s ascent and its destabilizing impact is the concept of a “free and open Indo-Pacific.” This idea, embraced by the governments of Japan, India and the United States, includes military, economic, political, legal and diplomatic dimensions. Some argue it is a smoke screen to mask U.S. disengagement, while others maintain it is a Japanese-inspired effort to enlist American help.
Brunei, a case of missing an opportunity
As its oil and natural gas reserves near depletion, Brunei is searching for ways to diversify its economy, but thus far the only country willing to invest in the strategically located sultanate is China. Europe, the United States and Japan are missing on an important business and geopolitical opportunity in Southeast Asia.
GIS Dossier: The South China Sea
The South China Sea is critical for global trade and security. Beijing’s moves to extend its influence throughout the sea have heightened tensions, risking conflict with neighbors and the United States. China’s global position, economic power and energy riches are all at stake. This survey presents GIS experts’ analyses and predictions for this crucial body of water.
Thailand slides toward a geopolitical realignment
Thailand, a country notorious for military coups but also a longtime security partner of the United States, has been slowly but inevitably aligning itself with China. The process is driven by political and economic considerations. Washington, obliged by the U.S. Congress to curb military assistance to Bangkok, has limited options to stop it.
Brexit and the sunset of European influence in Asia-Pacific
Though the Asia-Pacific region seems too far away to be affected by Brexit, the UK’s departure from the EU will have a profound impact on the region. While it will reduce the bloc’s significance in the region’s affairs, the UK’s status may suffer as well. Asia-Pacific states will likely look to countries such as Germany to act as a new counterweight to China and the United States.
China is playing for keeps in Southeast Asia
In addition to becoming a prime global economic power, China is striving to become the hegemon in Southeast Asia. Expansionist policies in the China Seas are crucial to this design and Beijing is not going to back off. Neither its neighbors in the region, nor the rules of international law, nor the Western powers appear to be in a position to prevent the Middle Kingdom from fulfilling its ambition.
U.S. trade options in Asia
President Donald Trump’s pledge to crack down on countries that have large trade surpluses with the U.S. has created a lot deal of uncertainty in Asia. Will the new administration enforce current laws and seek bilateral deals, or will it take a more punitive, protectionist stance? Washington’s choice – and how its partners respond – may determine whether the U.S. keeps its leading role in Asia or gets marginalized.