Asia

China’s Maritime Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Capability in the South China Sea

Detecting, identifying, and tracking ships at sea are among the most fundamental intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) tasks that any country must perform if it wants to exert control over a maritime area—a goal China has long sought to...

Read more »

The U.S.-Japan Summit: Uneventful and Indecisive

Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide’s summit with U.S. President Joseph Biden was awaited with a mixture of anticipation and anxiety in at least four capitals: Washington, Tokyo, Beijing, and Taipei. Both the United States and Japan have concerns about...

Read more »

Palm Oil: Malaysian Economic Interests and Foreign Relations

The relative importance of the factors that drive Malaysian foreign policy has long been opaque. Historically, decisions have been made within a small coterie of senior officials and without much debate or discussion of their policy options in civil...

Read more »

Biden Takes on China

Future historians may well consider President Joseph Biden’s recent comments on China as a pivotal moment in the history of American foreign policy. It was not long ago—early in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary process—that Biden dismissed the idea...

Read more »

China’s Two Sessions—And What They Mean for the United States

Every March, nearly 5,000 delegates descend on Beijing for the meeting of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political and Consultative Conference (CPPCC), generally simply referred to as the lianghui, or two meetings. The NPC,...

Read more »

Beyond Oil: Lithium-Ion Battery Minerals and Energy Security

Oil has long dominated concerns about energy security because oil products have fueled nearly all of the world’s transportation for over a century. But that may be changing as vehicles powered by electric motors have become competitive with those...

Read more »

The Quad: Form without Substance?

The declassification of the U.S. Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific in the waning days of the Trump administration stated forthrightly America’s intention to align its Indo-Pacific strategy with those of Australia, India, and Japan by “aim to create a...

Read more »

The Ryukyu Defense Line: Japan’s Response to China’s Naval Push into the Pacific Ocean

For most of the nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth centuries, the sea was the path over which foreign foes reached China, a fact not lost on Chinese naval strategists. In the 1980s, with the advent of...

Read more »

Biden Faced His First Taiwan Test. Now What?

Only days after his inauguration on January 20, President Joseph Biden faced one of his first foreign policy tests in the Indo-Pacific. On January 23-24, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) sent over 15 aircraft into the southwestern part of...

Read more »

Taking Flight: China, Japan, and South Korea Get Aircraft Carriers

Many naval theorists have heralded the end of the aircraft-carrier era. They argue that the advent of pervasive sensors and precision-guided munitions would overcome improvements in ship-based defenses to render the aircraft carrier (and perhaps most large surface combatants)...

Read more »