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North East Asia

Stirring up the South China Sea (IV): Oil in Troubled Waters

Asia Report N°275, 26 January 2016

Vietnamese coast guard ship shows a Chinese coast guard vessel (L) sailing near China's oil drilling rig in disputed waters in the South China Sea in May 2014. AFP/Hoang Dinh

The race for hydrocarbon reserves in the South China Sea is aggravating conflicting territorial claims. The regional players need cooperation, yet have increasingly open confrontations at sea. For peaceful joint energy development, all parties need to stop acting unilaterally and do more to understand the others’ goals and limitations.

Recent Reports

Stirring up the South China Sea (IV): Oil in Troubled Waters , Asia Report N°275, 26 Jan 2016

The race for hydrocarbon reserves in the South China Sea is aggravating conflicting territorial claims. The regional players need cooperation, yet have increasingly open confrontations at sea. For peaceful joint energy development, all parties need to stop acting unilaterally and do more to understand the others’ goals and limitations.

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North Korea: Beyond the Six-Party Talks, Asia Report N°269, 16 Jun 2015

Prospects are bleak that the Six-Party Talks can lead to a denuclearised Korean peninsula, notably since North Korea has made nuclear weapons an integral part of its identity. The international community must open new channels of communication and interaction, give greater roles to international organisations, the private sector and civil society.

Stirring up the South China Sea (III): A Fleeting Opportunity for Calm, Asia Report N°267, 7 May 2015

The South China Sea is the cockpit of geopolitics in East Asia, and growing tensions pose a serious threat to stability in the region. China and ASEAN must take advantage of the currently favourable environment to establish new codes of crisis management, especially at sea, to withstand any new conflicts.

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Risks of Intelligence Pathologies in South Korea, Asia Report N°259, 5 Aug 2014

In the shadow of growing North Korean threats, South Korea needs to reform its intelligence apparatus to restore public confidence while enhancing the country’s intelligence capacity.

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The deterioration in relations between China and Japan has spiraled beyond an island sovereignty dispute and risks an armed conflict neither wants. A November regional summit is a fence-mending opportunity – if the two countries’ leaders rise above nationalism and manage multiple flashpoints.

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North Korea’s belligerent behaviour is testing the patience of China, its principal backer, but a consequential Chinese policy change, which the U.S. and its allies hope for, is not likely soon. 中文

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China and Japan must begin talks on crisis prevention and mitigation regarding the disputed waters of the East China Sea to avoid an accidental clash that could lead to a larger conflict. 

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China’s influence is growing rapidly in Central Asia at a time when the region is looking increasingly unstable.

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North Korean Succession and the Risks of Instability, Asia Report N°230, 25 Jul 2012

Despite last week’s abrupt shuffle at the top of the military leadership, Kim Jŏng-ŭn appears to be firmly established as the new leader of North Korea, completing a faster and smoother power transition than many experts anticipated.

한국어   中文

Stirring up the South China Sea (II): Regional Responses, Asia Report N°229, 24 Jul 2012

The long-simmering South China Sea dispute is doomed to escalate if the countries contesting its waters fail to take steps to reduce tensions.

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