At the 17th China-ASEAN leaders’ meeting in Naypyitaw, Myanmar in November 2014, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang called for the formulation of a Plan of Action to Implement the Joint Declaration on the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity (2016-2020) to ensure good neighbourly relations. A Global Times commentary has pointed out that while the Chairman’s Statement of the 24th ASEAN Summit on the South China Sea disputes ‘expressed serious concerns over the ongoing developments in the South China Sea’, the statement at the 25th Summit that concluded in Naypyitaw on 13 November, only mentioned that it was ‘concerned over the situation in the South China Sea’. Clearly, the Chinese are working on the ASEAN members to moderate their views on the seriousness of the impact of the South China Sea disputes, and by extension, China’s actions, on regional stability. Continue reading Divide and Rule: China Woos Southeast Asia
Originally published as “美国 ‘转向’ 亚洲: 对印度外交和安全政策的影响,” (“The US ‘Pivot’ to Asia: Impact on Indian Foreign and Security Policies”), 中国国际战略评论2012 (China International Strategy Review 2012), Centre for International Strategic Studies, Peking University, June 2012, pp. 62-72.
Abstract: Announced in January 2012, “Sustaining US Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense,” expounds on the United States’ key security goals in the coming decade, and has generated wide interest in the countries of the region. This article begins by outlining the domestic and international contexts and the key points of the United States’ rebalancing towards Asia. It then analyzes the possible foreign policy, security and other implications for China and India, pointing out that there are insurmountable differences between the United States and India. In the new environment, India has to simultaneously handle well its relations with both the United States and China while trying to achieve its regional, even global, ambitions most effectively.
Keywords: American international security strategy, Indo-US relations, Asia-Pacific security, Sino-Indian relations
(The abstract above in English is a rough translation. I would have summarized it somewhat differently. The original text in English follows below).
In January 2012, the US Department of Defense (DoD) released a new strategic plan titled, “Sustaining US Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense,” putting forward key American security goals for the coming decade. While US military forces will continue to be involved in security missions around the world, the Pentagon document was notable for the assertion that the US “will of necessity rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific region” (italics in original) (p.2). This doctrine has been widely described as a US ‘pivot’ toward Asia and within China views about the American move have ranged from seeing a fresh US attempt at a containment strategy to calling for calm while continuing to pursue its national interest. Continue reading The US ‘Pivot’ to Asia: Impact on Indian Foreign and Security Policies
Osama bin Laden’s death and the circumstances of his killing continue to provoke plenty of comment and analyses as to what it means for the future of US-Pakistan relations. By contrast, there has been considerably less attention paid to the implications for Sino-Pakistani relations. This paper argues that the killing of bin Laden, while increasing frictions in the US-Pak relationship, does not necessarily also mean a warming of Sino-Pak ties. The latter relationship is, in fact, bound up in a number of issues over and beyond the US-Pak equation. These include Chinese concerns over ethnic separatism in its Xinjiang province and the post-US drawdown stability of Afghanistan, the Sino-Indian equation, the Sino-US relationship and Chinese economic interests in Pakistan.
Read the full article here: Jabin T. Jacob, “The Future of China-Pakistan Relations after Osama bin Laden,” Associate Paper, Future Directions International (Perth), 8 August 2011.
During her visit to India for the 2nd Indo-US Strategic Dialogue, last week, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called upon India to “not just to look east, but to engage east and act east as well”. But the problem in New Delhi might well be an incapacity to ‘think east’ beyond the boundary dispute with China or trying to retain a toehold against Chinese dominance in Myanmar. What engagement there is occurs in the economic domain but India remains overcautious in its political and military outreach to the Asia-Pacific. Continue reading Hillary Clinton’s India Visit: Chinese Elephant in the Room
Osama bin Laden finally met his end in Pakistan in May 2011. While the world and Pakistan have not changed all that much since then, the killing of bin Laden did shake the Chinese up in more ways than one. From ordinary netizen to government-run media, there was disbelief (“Impossible! I don’t believe it”), sarcasm (“Sigh! Bin Laden has died once again!!”) and worries of a geopolitical sort (“After Bin Laden, will China become US foe?”).
Early May, even as the world was coming to grips with the killing of Osama bin Laden, the US was moving to deal with the other great challenger to its global interests, namely, China. The 3rd Strategic and Economic Dialogue (SED) between the two countries was held between 9 and 10 May in Beijing and touched upon a wide gamut of bilateral issues of concern. These ranged from human rights to China’s bias against foreign companies.
In addition to the usual heads of state summits between the two sides, the SED that involves cabinet ministers on both sides provides an opportunity for both sides to get down to the brass-tacks in the full glare of the media. The Dialogue indicates not just the gravity of the problems between them but also the seriousness of their bilateral dialogue. And the seriousness can only increase. Hitherto, the SED has performed the function more of maintaining status quo between them than of really ironing out differences. But the current SED suggests that the Obama administration has begun to reconsider its hitherto overly cautious China policy and is willing to take up confront Beijing on more sensitive matters. And coming in the wake of the bin Laden killing, the Chinese were no doubt aware that a reinvigorated US would also begun to turn its gaze back towards East Asia.
For India, the key point here is the manner of the Sino-US engagement. Continue reading Of Strategic Dialogues and Talk-shops