On July 23, 2019, Russian warplanes intruded into South Korean airspace. They were accompanied by two Chinese bombers. The outstanding questions are whether the incidents represented a China-Russia challenge to US primacy, and whether an alliance is on the cards.
Philippines Associate Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio has responded to Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s challenge to him to suggest practical approaches to enforce the Philippines’ South China Sea arbitration victory against China.
Being caught at the crossroad of great powers’ competition for sphere of influences, ASEAN has become a center of geo-political and geo-economic gravity of battleground. What is ASEAN’s outlook in the rising volatility and dynamism of the Indo-Pacific region?
On June 9, 2019, there was a collision between two fishing boats in the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone, one a China-flagged vessel and one a Philippines-flagged fishing boat. The incident elicited wild accusations and demands for precipitous retaliatory action.
The US is proposing a “coalition of the willing” to protect “freedom of navigation” in the Strait of Hormuz. This cooperative protection might take the form of maritime and air surveillance, a “picket line of ships” or military escorts for tankers.
Economic coercion is a major instrument of Trump’s policy towards Iran. Economic force explains why Trump imposed new unilateral sanctions against Iran to stem the alleged militarization of its nuclear program.
Between all the warnings and threats, none of America’s Middle East allies would want a war, even as they would like to see Iran weakened. Trump also wants to avoid war, embarking on the path of even harsher sanctions and building up a coalition to guard the Strait of Hormuz.
Following territorial losses in Syria, the Islamic State declared Wilayahs in India and Pakistan on May 10 and 15, 2019, respectively. In a recent statement, IS also threatened a fresh wave of attacks in India and Bangladesh.
There is no universal agreement on the interpretation of key provisions in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Indeed, important differences are emerging between Southeast Asian nations and the US regarding the theory and enforcement of freedom of navigation.