No Shangri-La in South China Sea

On Saturday in Singapore, U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter addressed the attendants at the 14th Shangri-La Dialogue, a high-level security forum, asserting China’s recent land reclamation in the South China Sea was "out of step" with international norms, and adding his opposition to “any further militarization” in the region. Read more »

U.S. Confronts China Over Airspace in South China Sea

I had not given much thought to the flight plan of the airline I recently booked to go back to the U.S. from Vietnam, but recent events in the airspace over the South China Sea prompted an online search. As I discovered, my commercial flight will be flying not far from where a U.S. surveillance plane was warned on Wednesday to leave by a Chinese radar operator. Read more »

The Straits Forum, Thawing China-Taiwan Relations?

The Fifth Straits Forum opened in Xiamen, southeast China’s Fujian province on June 15 and will run until June 21. The goal of the forum is “to promote people-to-people exchanges across the Taiwan Strait amid deep-rooted distrust.” While China maintains an arsenal of nearly 1,600 missiles pointed directly at Taiwan, one must question if these talks are enough to breach the nearly six decades of hostilities that have existed between the two countries. Read more »

Don’t Panic, But China Mingles Its Nukes with Regular Missiles

It turns out that China's been mixing its nuclear missiles in with its conventional ones at the same military bases. Not really, uh, advisable: that makes it really hard for other countries to figure out if a Chinese missile launch is just a conventional one or the beginnings of a nuclear Armageddon. But fret not -- while China's missile mingling may not be very sensible, it's not going to cause World War III. Read more »