Asia

Strategic Choice: Australia’s Nuclear-Powered Submarines

In September 2021, Australia scuttled a deal with a French shipbuilder to buy 12 diesel-electric attack submarines. Instead, Australia decided to acquire at least eight nuclear-powered ones with technical assistance from the United Kingdom and the United States, as...

Read more »

At a Crossroads: Indonesia’s Navy Modernization

The sea has long shaped Indonesia’s strategic thinking. Its leaders have traditionally regarded the waterways running through their country’s 17,500 islands as both the sinew that binds those islands together as a country and the arteries that link it...

Read more »

The Arctic: Global Warming and Heated Politics

The Arctic, a vast sea historically trapped in ice for most of the year, has long been an object of fascination for explorers. The search for a shortcut from Europe to Asia began as early as the 15th century...

Read more »

The U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty and Philippine External Defense Forces

On the face of it, the Philippines’ security situation is somewhat puzzling. The country has a mutual defense treaty with the United States, the world’s strongest military power. Yet, China regularly intrudes into what the Philippines claims as its...

Read more »

A Sea Change Brewing over the Taiwan Strait?

One of the most impressive developments over the course of President Joseph Biden’s recent summits with foreign leaders has been the consistent attention on the Taiwan Strait. The first joint statement to include such language occurred during the April...

Read more »

Hot and Cold: The Philippines’ Relations with China (and the United States)

In spring 2021, hundreds of Chinese fishing boats gathered at several South China Sea islets, most notably at Whitsun Reef, within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone. Worried that China might use the boats, which were suspected of being part...

Read more »

ASEAN’s Search for a Third Way: Southeast Asia’s Relations with China and the United States

Stung by Southeast Asian criticism of Chinese behavior in the South China Sea at the 2010 ASEAN Regional Forum, China’s then-Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi curtly remarked to his Singaporean counterpart: “China is a big country and other countries are...

Read more »

Taiwan and the Future of its International Participation Efforts

On May 24, the World Health Assembly began its annual meeting, again focusing on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. And again, for the fifth straight year, Taiwan has been excluded from participating as an observer despite significant international support. Last...

Read more »

China’s Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile Capability in the South China Sea

In August 2020, China fired what were reported to be anti-ship ballistic missiles (ASBM) into the South China Sea. The missile firings were the second time that China launched such missiles into the disputed waters. The first occurred in...

Read more »

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 »