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Flashpoints

Will China’s military rival the United States’ in the Pacific? Will Japan abandon the constitutional fetters on its own military? How will India respond to the String of Pearls strategy? The Diplomat has put together a team of leading analysts to offer must-read, regular commentary on the big defence and security issues in the Asia-Pacific.

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Washington Watching as Beijing’s Space Power Grows
September 10, 2020

Washington Watching as Beijing’s Space Power Grows

By Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan
The latest U.S. Defense Department report on Chinese military power recounts Beijing’s growing space and counterspace capabilities.
India and China Exchange Accusations About Gunfire as Window for Diplomacy Narrows
September 09, 2020

India and China Exchange Accusations About Gunfire as Window for Diplomacy Narrows

By Abhijnan Rej
The Indian and Chinese foreign ministers are scheduled to meet later this week in Moscow amid a dramatic turn in the four-month long Ladakh crisis.

How Strong Are the Ropes That Bind the Japanese Military?
September 08, 2020

How Strong Are the Ropes That Bind the Japanese Military?

By Robert Farley
It is difficult to imagine that Japanese leadership would not use offensive weapons if Tokyo believed an attack was imminent.

Triangles of Instability: Nuclear Dilemmas and How They Feed into Each Other
September 08, 2020

Triangles of Instability: Nuclear Dilemmas and How They Feed into Each Other

By Abhijnan Rej
Two overlapping triangular nuclear relationships could compound risks and complicate deterrence calculi for all the parties involved.

America Is Betting Big on the Second Island Chain
September 05, 2020

America Is Betting Big on the Second Island Chain

By Derek Grossman
Defense Secretary Esper's recent visits to Palau and Guam highlight the importance of the Second Island Chain to U.S. interests -- and China's growing influence there.
India Deploys Ethnic Tibetan Special Operators Against China: What Next?
September 04, 2020

India Deploys Ethnic Tibetan Special Operators Against China: What Next?

By Abhijnan Rej
Events early this week point to a particularly sharp turn in the India-China crisis in eastern Ladakh.

How China Strengthens the Quad
September 04, 2020

How China Strengthens the Quad

By Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan
Chinese belligerence further strengthens the motivation for Australia, India, Japan, and the United States to keep the Quad together.
China’s Insurgency Card in India’s Northeast Is Overhyped
September 03, 2020

China’s Insurgency Card in India’s Northeast Is Overhyped

By Avinash Paliwal
Even if China decides to increase military and financial support for insurgents in India’s Northeast, it will find it difficult to alter the security situation there.

Germany Joins the ‘Indo-Pacific’ Club
September 03, 2020

Germany Joins the ‘Indo-Pacific’ Club

By Sebastian Strangio
Berlin's announcement of an official Indo-Pacific strategy reflects a wider European turn against China.

Kavkaz 2020: Why Russia’s Latest Military Drills Are a Golden Opportunity for Pakistan
September 02, 2020

Kavkaz 2020: Why Russia’s Latest Military Drills Are a Golden Opportunity for Pakistan

By Shahid Hussain
Beyond a chance to deepen ties with Russia, Pakistan hopes to build bridges with Central Asian countries through the Kavkaz 2020 exercises.

What the Israel-UAE Agreement Means for Asian Powers
September 01, 2020

What the Israel-UAE Agreement Means for Asian Powers

By Guy Burton
China and India have been watching the shifting geopolitics in the Middle East.
What Good Is the Russia-India-China Triangle for Moscow?
September 01, 2020

What Good Is the Russia-India-China Triangle for Moscow?

By Abhijnan Rej
Russia has viewed both India and China through the lens of its relationship with the West. And that may not be a bad thing in the future.

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