Monthly archive January, 2012
Assessing China's Approach to the South China Sea

Assessing China’s Approach to the South China Sea

While realpolitik continues to underpin China's policymaking process, the transmission of external norms has fuelled internal debate on whether Beijing should adopt win-win approaches to the South China Sea maritime disputes.

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Japan's new approach to the export of arms

Japan’s new approach to the export of arms

I have provided my own translation of the official document (jp) released by the kantei at the end of my commentary – feel free to offer any thoughts on my interpretation/summary if warranted.  Recently the Japanese government decided to revise its approach to the export of certain types of ‘defense equipment’ overseas. For a detailed ‘legal’ history of...

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PLA Watchers: Beware of Open Sources and Information Laundering

PLA Watchers: Beware of Open Sources and Information Laundering

Guest post by M. Taylor Fravel, Associate Professor of Political Science and member of the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, writing on the promise and problems of open-source information for the study of China’s rapidly changing military.

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Links for 1/9/12

  * Israeli Defense Industries sells $1.1 billion USD to unidentified Asian customer * Philippines to boost air, naval forces * Assessing Indonesia’s defense industry * Project “Diving Dragon”: Taiwan and submarines * Vietnam hopes to be UXO-free in 100 years

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Cross-Strait Relations in 2012: Political and Security Developments

Cross-Strait Relations in 2012: Political and Security Developments

In 2012, Taiwan and China will be occupied with political and leadership transitions, with electoral outcomes and succession arrangements potentially re-defining the cross-Strait status quo and yielding greater regional and international tension.

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Guest Post: Asymmetry in military literacy between Japan and China

Guest Post: Asymmetry in military literacy between Japan and China

Guest post by Joe Kamishiro. A comparative perspective on the broad range of Chinese media coverage of security and military issues in contrast to the diminutive market for such coverage in Japan.

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Yikes. New US Military Strategy Largely Focuses on China

Yikes. New US Military Strategy Largely Focuses on China

US President Barack Obama unveiled his administration's plan Thursday for a leaner, cheaper military, a reflection of Washington's fiscal belt-tightening and slower national economic growth. The new strategy calls for greater US military presence in Asia, based on a US Defense Department document which identifies China as a security threat.

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Welcome to Asia Security Watch

Welcome Asia Security Watchers. For those who want some background on the New Pacific Institute and the launch of Asia Security Watch:

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Link: CFR – “The Pentagon Pivots to Asia”

Associate staff writer Jonathan Masters at the Council of Foreign Relations discusses the US shift towards Asia:

Many observers see the shift toward the Asia-Pacific region as a natural, if long overdue, transition for the United States as it draws down in Iraq and Afghanistan. CFR President Richard N. Haass says the U.S. “rediscovery” of East Asia and the Pacific is a welcome development after Washington’s long preoccupation with the Middle East. On ForeignPolicy.com, Patrick M. Cronin says, thus far, China has taken advantage of a light U.S. military footprint in the region. A failure to address the imbalance directly, coupled with U.S. military cuts exceeding Pentagon recommendations, “will accelerate China’s relative rise,” he cautions.

But critics suggest the U.S. move toward Asia could reinforce China’s fear of encirclement and prompt further militarization of an already unstable region. Writing in The Hill, Gen. Stephen A. Cheney and Joshua Foust of the American Security Project say the “the prospect of a major conflict with China is remote, and assuming one is inevitable poses the danger of becoming a self-fulfilling prophesy.”

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Links for 1/6/12

  * CFR: The Pentagon Pivots to Asia * Japan, India “Asia’s Natural Born-Allies” * Chinese, Burmese ships attacked on Mekong River * Kidnappings of locals, foreigners in Philippines reflect collapse of law and order *  Antiterrorism training in Vladivostok

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The PLA on Afghanistan

The PLA on Afghanistan

As the Iraq war concludes, there have been plenty of debate in the United States about what specific lessons can be learned from the conflict and the ongoing counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan. Curious about what the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) made of the whole enterprise? Andrew Scobell, David Lai, and Roy Kamphausen have edited...

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Links for 1/2/12

* Former F-14 aviator, Libya air ops head picked to head U.S. PACOM * Report: China may overtake U.S. mil power by 2050 * Feng: The year that was and the year that is coming for the PLAAF * Profile of supreme commander of Thai military, Thanasak Patimaprakorn * Australia, struggling to fill ranks, seeks laid-off...

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