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The Baltic Sea is an unlikely place to find Chinese warships. Their presence at joint naval exercises with the Russian navy went well beyond showing the flag.
Prince Michael of Liechtenstein
President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines has made a splash for many reasons, one of the most important being his suggestions that Manila will work toward a new strategic alignment. While shunning the United States, he has called for new alliances with Russia and China. How likely is this shift to take place in the all-important South China Sea region?
Vietnam has traditionally sought a maximum degree of autonomy. However, its geopolitics are dominated by competition between the United States and China, as well as Russia. How the machinations between these powers play out in the region will determine the choices Hanoi makes, as it tries to balance the benefits it receives from its alliances with its desire to hold back external influence.
Since Thailand’s May 2014 coup, China’s influence in the country has increased at the expense of Bangkok’s long-standing alliance with the United States. China’s success is rooted in its nonideological foreign policy, as well as increasing economic and political leverage. Looking forward, economic, historical, cultural, geographic and political factors all favor a deepening of the Sino-Thai partnership.
Russia’s navy became severely neglected after the collapse of the USSR in 1991. This culminated in the loss of the submarine Kursk and its 118 crew in 2000. Now Moscow is spending billions of dollars on upgrades, but a questionmark hangs over equipment at the centre of the project. This is regarded by some experts as its only truly modern component.
Professor Stefan Hedlund
Russia is taking an increasingly aggressive stance against Nato. And the key issue - which overshadows the already fragile East-West detente – is the acrimonious dispute over Nato missile defence sites in Central Europe. The Kremlin says these are a threat to its own strategic nuclear deterrent. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin made his point by excusing himself ...