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.
GIS Dossier: China’s global ambition
The People’s Republic of China is now attaining military might commensurate with its global economic position. This emerging colossus faces a dramatic demographic challenge at home, however, and stiff international resistance to some of its key strategic goals.
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.
Opinion: Military situation heats up on China’s perimeter
The main threat to world peace can be found not in Eastern Europe or the Middle East, but along a 6,000-mile stretch of land and sea on Asia’s eastern and southern rim. As China’s push for access to the sea runs up against a picket line of U.S. allies and bases, potential conflicts are brewing.
China modernizes its air force to project power globally
China has made a remarkable progress over the past 20 years in modernizing its air force. Ambitious new aircraft procurement programs are designed to strengthen Beijing’s position regionally and globally. Nevertheless, structural weaknesses in the economy will continue to prevent the Chinese air force from achieving technological parity with the United States.
Beijing’s maritime militias add to growing instability in the China Seas
Territorial waters disputes in East Asia have led to an arms race in the region. Military expenditure by East and Southeast Asian nations has risen by almost 90 percent between 2005 and 2015. A striking feature of the evolving geopolitical game is the increasing use of civilian maritime militias; at this point, China is positioned to win this lesser-arms race.
Assertive China dominates Russia and Japan
Increasing tension between Japan and China over Beijing’s territorial claims in the South China Sea has created an arena for Russia to raise its profile in the region. But an obstacle to a restored Russian presence is its long-standing conflict with Japan over the Kuril islands. There could be grounds for rapprochement between Russia and Japan. But if Tokyo believe...