The Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, met with President Trump in Washington in September, 2019. At that meeting, Mr Trump initially signalled the possibility of a military strike against Iran, as the pair discussed the special relationship between the two nations.
The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed US officials, reported that Cambodia had signed a secret pact with China to allow the latter exclusive rights to part of the Kingdom’s Ream Naval Base on the Gulf of Thailand.
The US is proposing Operation Sentinel to promote maritime stability, ensure safe passage, and de-escalate tensions in international waters throughout the Arabian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, the Bab el-Mandeb Strait and the Gulf of Oman.
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.