ASEAN: Perceptions of power and security

The State of Southeast Asia: 2020 Survey Report, produced by the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute of Singapore, has confirmed the power rivalry between China and United States is one of the primary concerns of Southeast Asian states. The survey of professionals from the business sector, public service, civil society, and media found almost half of all respondents saw the top three security challenges in Southeast Asia as “increased military tensions in flash-points such as South China Sea, Taiwan Straits, and Korean Peninsula”. Across Southeast Asia, there is equal distrust for the…

South China Sea news: Furious Beijing attacks US for Trump’s ‘deliberate provocation’ | World | News

The islands, named after a C19th British whaling captain, are the subject of a sovereignty dispute between China, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines. They offer rich fishing grounds and are believed to contain significant oil and natural gas reserves. The battleship USS Montgomery was tracked by the People Liberation Army (PLA) forces, as it sailed on January 25 in an area adjacent to where China controls a man-made island without Beijing’s authorisation. In a sharply worded statement, Senior Colonel Li Huamin, spokesman for the PLA’s southern command said:…

Oversimplifying the History of Anarchy on the Asian Continent

Installation view of the 2019 edition of the Asian Art Biennial The Strangers from Beyond the Mountain and the Sea (all images courtesy the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts) TAICHUNG CITY, Taiwan — Often when traveling to other parts of Asia, and in the West, people are caught off-guard when I mention I am a third-generation Singaporean, given my Sri Lankan Tamil ancestry. In spite of increasing connectivity, most people in Asia and beyond are not aware of the heterogeneity that exists within the various countries in the region.…

Time for corvettes for the Royal Australian Navy

It’s time for the Royal Australian Navy to break out of a 20th-century force design mindset and embrace the robotic revolution at sea. As part of the debate surrounding the Pacific 2019 and Sea Power conferences, I argued that even with the recapitalisation now underway, the navy would remain seriously undergunned to deal with possible scenarios emerging in our region. The RAN’s future surface warfare plans are based on its three Hobart-class air warfare destroyers and nine Hunter-class frigates now being built. The first new frigate won’t appear until the…

An interview with Brahma Chellaney

This week, Project Syndicate catches up with Brahma Chellaney, Professor of Strategic Studies at the New Delhi-based Center for Policy Research and Fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin. Project Syndicate: You support the vision of a “free and open” Indo-Pacific promoted by US President Donald Trump’s administration, but complain that it lacks strategic heft – a failing that has allowed Chinese expansionism in the region to continue unabated. Given how erratic the Trump administration has been – the recent escalation in US-Iran tensions being a case in point…

The epidemic of racism in news coverage of the coronavirus and the public response

The coronavirus outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China is not (yet) a pandemic, according to the WHO, but its spread has been accompanied by reports of racism and xenophobia from around the world. Jonathan Corpus Ong of the University of Massachusetts and Gideon Lasco of the University of the Philippines argue that more needs to be done to stop the spread of prejudice in the wake of the outbreak. The way we understand illness is rarely defined by science alone. That is particularly evident when there are gaps in scientific knowledge – cliche and prejudice…

LNG tanker diverted from China in sign of weaker demand

LONDON/BENGALURU — A liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker that had been heading to China has been diverted, data intelligence firm Kpler and two industry sources said on Tuesday, probably due to lower demand for the fuel as businesses are hit by the coronavirus outbreak. The Tangguh Foja tanker loaded a cargo at the Tangguh LNG plant in Indonesia last month and had been heading to China’s Rudong terminal in Jiangsu province, Refinitiv shipping data shows. It was diverted towards the South China Sea on Jan. 30 and is now between…

Vietnam Red Flags China with Travel and Visa Bans

The Wuhan coronavirus, which has infected 20,000 people and killed more than 425 since it was first identified in Wuhan, China, has stoked a tsunami wave of anti- China sentiment, especially in neighboring Vietnam. The deepening fears in the region needed no new fuse to reignite long-held resentment among Vietnamese toward China, resulting in swift action on the part of the Hanoi government. Because there’s only 125 miles that separates Vietnam from the Chinese border, Hanoi knows that it must continue a fragile geo-political game with its ideological communist brother.…

Indonesian women arrested for spreading coronavirus hoax

BALIKPAPAN, Indonesia: Two Indonesian women who allegedly posted misinformation online about the deadly coronavirus have been arrested, police said, as they warned dozens of hoaxes were being rapidly shared by the country’s millions of internet users. The pair were taken into custody in Balikpapan, a city on Borneo island, in the past few days after separately posting rumours on their social media accounts that a local resident was infected and undergoing treatment. Advertisement Advertisement Indonesia has yet to report a confirmed case of the virus, which emerged in a Chinese market…