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Stirring up the South China Sea (III): A Fleeting Opportunity for Calm

Asia Report N°267, 7 May 2015

Law enforcement personnels examine passing ships with telescopes on the patrol vessel Haixun-21 on the South China Sea in south China. 21 April 2015. AFP/  GUO QIUDA, XINHUA

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.

Recent Reports

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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Old Scores and New Grudges: Evolving Sino-Japanese Tensions, Asia Report N°258, 24 Jul 2014

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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Fire on the City Gate: Why China Keeps North Korea Close, Asia Report N°254, 9 Dec 2013

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

Dangerous Waters: China-Japan Relations on the Rocks, Asia Report N°245, 8 Apr 2013

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 Central Asia Problem, Asia Report N°244, 27 Feb 2013

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

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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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Stirring up the South China Sea (I), Asia Report N°223, 23 Apr 2012

China is one of its own worst enemies in the South China Sea, as its local governments and agencies struggle for power and money, inflaming tensions with its neighbours, illustrated by Beijing’s latest standoff with the Philippines.

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China and Inter-Korean Clashes in the Yellow Sea, Asia Report N°200, 27 Jan 2011

China is undermining its own security interests by downplaying North Korea’s deadly provocations in the Yellow Sea.

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China’s Myanmar Strategy: Elections, Ethnic Politics and Economics, Asia Briefing N°112, 21 Sep 2010

As Myanmar approaches its first elections in two decades, China’s primary concerns are the security and stability of its south-western border and protecting its strategic and economic interests in the country.

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The Iran Nuclear Issue: The View from Beijing, Asia Briefing N°100, 17 Feb 2010

The revelation in 2009 of nuclear facilities near Qom intensified international criticism of Iran’s opaque nuclear development.

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