Asia

Unveiling the Submerged Symphony: The Strategic Significance of the U.S. Navy’s 2010 Submarine Surfacing Near China
Geopolitics and International Security, Asia

Unveiling the Submerged Symphony: The Strategic Significance of the U.S. Navy’s 2010 Submarine Surfacing Near China

Photo: U.S. Navy Ohio Class Submarine By José Carlos Palma* In the annals of geopolitical maneuvering, the year 2010 stands as a pivotal moment when the United States, under the Obama Administration, orchestrated a compelling and strategic demonstration of maritime dominance. The scene was set in the Indo-Pacific region, where tensions were simmering, and China's ascent as a formidable power was becoming increasingly evident. Contextualizing the Era The early 2010s were marked by a whirlwind of global events, from the signing of the technocratic Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (Obamacare) to populist uprisings worldwide. Amidst this backdrop, China emerged as a focal point, signaling its potential to become a regional hegemon in Northeast Asia, challenging the longstan...
China’s Rocket Force Faces Leadership Shake-up Amid Corruption Probes
Asia

China’s Rocket Force Faces Leadership Shake-up Amid Corruption Probes

By José Carlos Palma* China's People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force (PLARF) has experienced significant leadership changes and corruption probes, raising questions about political stability and strategic priorities in the Chinese military. The recent removal of top aerospace-defense executives and military officials has created a notable shift in the leadership landscape. The turmoil began in March 2023 with the scheduled resignation of former Rocket Force commander Wei Fenghe, followed by the replacement of Li Shangfu as China’s defense minister. Subsequent months saw the removal of key Rocket Force figures, including Li Yuchao, Xu Zhongbo, Liu Guangbin, and Zhang Zhenzhong, amid allegations of embezzlement and espionage. In July 2023, Foreign Minister Qin Gang and PLA Strategic Suppo...
A Deep Dive into China’s Economic Ascendancy: Unveiling the Factors Behind its Rapid Rise
Asia

A Deep Dive into China’s Economic Ascendancy: Unveiling the Factors Behind its Rapid Rise

By José Carlos Palma * China's economic transformation from a centrally planned, agrarian society to a global powerhouse is one of the most remarkable economic success stories of modern times. Its rapid ascent to the second-largest economy in the world has been met with both admiration and apprehension, with many seeking to understand the factors that have propelled its economic growth. Gradual Economic Reforms: Opening the Door to Global Markets In the late 1970s, under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping, China embarked on a series of economic reforms that marked a departure from its traditional communist economic model. These reforms, known as the "Four Modernizations," aimed to modernize agriculture, industry, science and technology, and national defense. One of the most significant ...
Is China Losing Patience with Russia’s War?
Asia

Is China Losing Patience with Russia’s War?

By NOAH ROTHMAN * China’s supposed peace overture is likely a product of its unease with how its junior partner in Eurasia has prosecuted the conflict. All Our Opinion in Your Inbox NR Daily is delivered right to you every afternoon. No charge. SUBSCRIBE For months, political observers have been confronted with growing evidence that the formerly durable consensus in the West around the need to support Ukraine in its defense against Russia’s war of territorial expansion is eroding. This developing trend has been met with both trepidation and jubilance, depending on the observer’s political affinities. The risks associated with drawing a potentially fallacious straight-line projection into the future notwithstanding, the trend is real, and no one can afford to ignore it....
China sanctions Lockheed Martin, Raytheon for Taiwan sales
Asia

China sanctions Lockheed Martin, Raytheon for Taiwan sales

China has imposed trade and investment sanctions on Lockheed Martin and a unit of Raytheon for supplying weapons to Taiwan, stepping up efforts to isolate the island democracy claimed by the ruling Communist Party as part of its territory. Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Technologies' Raytheon Missiles and Defence are barred from importing goods into China or making new investments in the country, the Ministry of Commerce announced on Thursday. It said they were added to the "unreliable entity" list of companies whose activities are restricted because they might endanger national sovereignty, security or development interests. It wasn't clear what impact the penalties might have. The United States bars most sales of weapons-related technology to China, but some mili...
North Korea shows off largest number of nuclear missiles
Asia, Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation

North Korea shows off largest number of nuclear missiles

SEOUL — Nuclear-armed North Korea showcased its missile production muscle during a nighttime parade, state media reported on Thursday (Feb 9), displaying more intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) than ever before and hinting at a new solid-fuel weapon. North Korea held the widely anticipated nighttime military parade in Pyongyang on Wednesday to mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of its army, state news agency KCNA said. Leader Kim Jong Un attended with his daughter, who is seen as playing a possible future leadership role in the hereditary dictatorship. Imagery released by state media showed as many as 11 Hwasong-17s, North Korea's largest ICBMs, which are suspected to have the range to strike nearly anywhere in the world with a nuclear warhead. "This is cumulatively m...
How Vietnam Can Balance Against China, on Land and at Sea
Asia

How Vietnam Can Balance Against China, on Land and at Sea

By Khang Vu * Vietnam’s proximity to China and lack of strategic depth limit its options in forming security partnerships with other great powers. Vietnam hosted its first international defense expo last week, in a move to diversify its weapons suppliers away from Russia. In addition to the technical aspect of weapons, the expo was also an opportunity for partners such as the United States or India to foster a closer defense relationship with Hanoi, and to signal to China that Vietnam is serious about modernizing and diversifying its armed forces. So where does this expo fit into Vietnam’s general security strategy? While the country prioritizes maintaining good relations with China to avoid unnecessary conflicts, it is looking for options that can help minimize the negative impact of...
China Again Stages Combat Drills Around Taiwan: Over 50 Warplanes, 4 Naval Vessels Involved
Asia

China Again Stages Combat Drills Around Taiwan: Over 50 Warplanes, 4 Naval Vessels Involved

Taiwan strongly condemned military combat drills held by China on Monday, the second such drills around the democratically-governed island in less than a month. Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said it had detected 57 Chinese aircraft and four naval vessels around Taiwan at 6 a.m. local time on Sunday, with 28 of those aircraft entering Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) and crossing the Taiwan Strait median line. The Taiwanese ministry said it scrambled aircraft, naval vessels, and land-based missile systems to monitor the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA’s) activities. The PLA is the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) military wing. Meanwhile, Taiwan’s presidential office issued a statement saying both Taiwan and China have the responsibility to maintain peace and stability in t...
Economics key to Japan’s new security strategy
Asia

Economics key to Japan’s new security strategy

Russian reduction of energy exports and Western sanctions show importance of ‘weaponization of interdependence’ Economic security, or keizai anpo, continues to loom large in the Japanese strategic debate. Since 2019, the Japanese government has rapidly put in place new positions, organizations and bills related to economic security. According to Takayuki Kobayashi, former minister for economic security, the term refers to securing “the Japanese state and national interest through economic measures.” To achieve this objective, the Japanese parliament passed the Economic Security Promotion Act in 2022 to strengthen supply chain resilience, protect critical infrastructure, develop emerging technologies and prevent technology outflow. There’s a history to this It is not the first time...
Can the world trust China again?
Asia

Can the world trust China again?

Flip-flop on ‘zero-Covid’ shows a willingness to take huge and risky bets at a time Beijing needs to open its markets and politics For almost 20 years, the US bet on China first offering to be a responsible stakeholder and then being a member of the G2. Yet, according to the US, China turned down both suggestions, and now the bilateral trust is gone. Once trust is gone, it’s gone forever, or at least for a long time. How can China recover the confidence of America, which props up general trust from the world? The US apparently feels right or wrong; it doesn’t need to have China’s faith since it has that of the world. But what about China: Can China do without trust? When there is no trust, there’s some kind of conflict and attrition that can slip into war. This, in a tiny nutshell, is...