south china sea
Asia: On the Rocks

Asia: On the Rocks

Island disputes are a big thing in Asia. Japan and China both claim the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands. Japan and South Korea tussle over Dokdo/Takeshima. Japan and Russia still haven’t definitively sorted out who owns the Kuriles/Northern Territories. You’d think that these...

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Asia Smiles for the Cameras

Asia Smiles for the Cameras

It wasn’t long ago that certain pundits were predicting war in Asia. Back in the spring, the conflict over the South China Sea was heating up as China sparred with Vietnam over an oil exploration rig and with the Philippines over disputed reefs. Japan and China,...

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Japan Is Antagonizing Everyone

Japan Is Antagonizing Everyone

For four brutal years in the mid-20th century, the United States and Japan fought a bloody war in the Pacific—a conflict bracketed by the dueling national traumas of Pearl Harbor in the United States and the atomic bombing of Japan. Despite this ugly history, the...

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The Dance of Superpowers

The Dance of Superpowers

By now, the phrase “Pacific Pivot” gives off a whiff of nostalgia. The Obama administration’s announcement of its intention three years ago to reorient U.S. foreign policy toward Asia seems to belong to an entirely different era. It was a time when the United States...

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Parsing the East Asian Powder Keg

Parsing the East Asian Powder Keg

The past six months have seen an incredible ratcheting up of tensions in the East and South China Seas, where the world's three largest economies—China, the United States, and Japan—are caught up in an increasingly tangled web of territorial disputes, competing...

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The Impact of Chinese Maritime Policies on India

The Impact of Chinese Maritime Policies on India

  Two important bodies of water have been in the news for some months now. Numerous media reports have focused on Chinese claims made on the two seas off its eastern and southeastern shores. The Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, though uninhabited (and...

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China: Harmony vs. Power

China: Harmony vs. Power

Since Xi Jinping took over as China’s president last year, his administration has struggled to resolve an inherent contradiction between the country’s “peaceful rise” and its growing military capabilities. Xi has continued to sound themes of peaceful development. But...

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The Three-War Doctrine

The Three-War Doctrine

U.S. troops have left Iraq and are leaving Afghanistan. The “war on terrorism” now seems so last decade. U.S. military spending has leveled off, and the Pentagon is looking at some fairly serious reductions after 2015. Last month, President Obama finally pulled the...

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