In September 2016, the Philippines’ President, Roderigo Duterte (DU30) claimed that he is willing to ‘cross the Rubicon’ in terms of the Philippines’ historic security relationship with the United States, and tilt the country towards Russia and China. To be clear, DU30 insists he does not mean cutting ties with the United States; rather he … More Making Sense of the Philippines ‘Crossing the Rubicon’
The recent spat between Singapore and China is, in my opinion, instructive of global attempts at socialising China into the existing rules-based international order. Ever since Deng Xiaoping took control of Chinese politics, China has undergone a series of remarkable economic reforms that transformed China’s economy into one of the world’s largest economies, second currently … More Singapore-China Spat October 2016: my views
This is something that I have wanted to write about for some time. When the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) delivered its ruling in August 2016, it left absolutely no doubt that the Spratly Islands are precisely not that, islands! For China, indeed any other state, to claim the Spratly Islands as theirs, and to … More The Strategic Hubris of “Socialising” China: The Lessons of the PCA Ruling
So the Permanent Court of Arbitration has, in the case of the Republic of the Philippines versus the People’s Republic of China, ruled unanimously in favour of the Philippines. As the PCA’s press release noted, “there is evidence that Chinese navigators and fishermen, as well as those of other States, had historically made use of … More Permanent Court of Arbitration rules in favour of the Philippines case: so now what?
So Australia went with the French submarine, ending one of the most tortuous acquisition programmes in my memory. The PM’s words suggest several considerations that tilted in favour of the French application: “superior sensor performance and stealth characteristics, as well as range and endurance similar to the Collins Submarine”, “cost, schedule, program execution, through life … More Thoughts on Australia’s French Submarine Decision
This is something that I have been wanting to write about, since the news first emerged, but have been KIVing because I was swamped with other work. On 29 March 2016, Jon Grevatt reported in Jane’s that Singapore’s defence budget for FY 2016 – SGD 13.96 billion – is set to increase by 6.4%, which … More Singapore’s defence budget for 2016 set to increase?
Hugh White, a hugely influential and respected strategist from Australia, wrote this piece which came out in The National Interest on 10 March 2016. His parting shot: “More realistically, we will have to accept some changes in the regional order to accommodate China. We all find the idea of making such an accommodation uncomfortable, even … More Accept a China-centric Asian Order? Hugh White seems to think we have to