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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 defense and security issues in the Asia-Pacific.

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The France-India Dalliance: Operationalizing Strategic Autonomy in the Indian Ocean

The France-India Dalliance: Operationalizing Strategic Autonomy in the Indian Ocean

By Olivier Blarel and Nicolas Blarel
France and India have the tools and legitimacy to become the main drivers of a novel cooperative and inclusive security architecture in the Indian Ocean.
The Munich Agreement: 3 Historical Lessons for the Taiwan Strait

The Munich Agreement: 3 Historical Lessons for the Taiwan Strait

By Yipeng Zhang and Jonghyuk Lee
While parallels are often overdone, the infamous attempt to appease Nazi Germany does hold lessons for contemporary China-U.S. relations.

Unveiling the Motivations: Tajik ISKP’s Calculated Strikes on Iran

Unveiling the Motivations: Tajik ISKP’s Calculated Strikes on Iran

By Uran Botobekov
The Gaza war has opened an unprecedented chapter in the bitter Shia-Sunni sectarian struggle. 

What the China-Maldives-India Triangle Tells Us About 21st Century Balancing

What the China-Maldives-India Triangle Tells Us About 21st Century Balancing

By Ovigwe Eguegu
Is India really “out” and China “in” for the Maldives? And what does this case tell us about the emerging approach of smaller states in great power competition?

Making Sense of India’s Muted Response to the Red Sea Crisis 

Making Sense of India’s Muted Response to the Red Sea Crisis 

By Rushali Saha
India’s supposedly passive response is characteristic of New Delhi’s tightrope balance between Iran and the United States.
China’s Belt and Road and Its Alternatives: Competing or Complementary?

China’s Belt and Road and Its Alternatives: Competing or Complementary?

By Zenel Garcia
Promoting various economic corridors as “alternatives” to the BRI misses the mark, for three reasons.

Security in the Taiwan Strait Remains Uncertain After Lai’s Election

Security in the Taiwan Strait Remains Uncertain After Lai’s Election

By Rex Li
The relative peace in the Taiwan Strait is likely to continue in the next few months and possibly years, but that peace will be punctuated by tensions and crises.
Preventing a Worst-Case Scenario on the Korean Peninsula

Preventing a Worst-Case Scenario on the Korean Peninsula

By James Park
Pyongyang’s increased hostility and Seoul’s unyielding posture have set the stage for 2024 to be a dangerous year.

The US, South Korea and Japan Conduct Naval Drills in a Show of Strength Against North Korea

The US, South Korea and Japan Conduct Naval Drills in a Show of Strength Against North Korea

By Kim Tong-hyung
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been on a provocative run of weapons testing and threats that raised regional tensions to their highest point in years.

Expect North Korean Provocations in Low Earth Orbit

Expect North Korean Provocations in Low Earth Orbit

By John Hickman
Space is a new realm for Pyongyang to engage in its strategy of extracting diplomatic or economic concessions from the United States and South Korea.

Why Is Sri Lanka Joining US-led Patrols in the Red Sea?

Why Is Sri Lanka Joining US-led Patrols in the Red Sea?

By Uditha Devapriya
The decision to deploy vessels to the Red Sea has turned the Sri Lankan Navy into an active participant in the tensions mushrooming in the region.
India’s Quiet Support of the Philippines in the South China Sea

India’s Quiet Support of the Philippines in the South China Sea

By Shambhu Sajith and Aswani RS
India is taking a greater interest in the China-Philippines maritime dispute, but is content to play “second fiddle” as an extra-regional actor.

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