China’s secret plan to topple the US as the world’s superpower

SCSC - In 1995, Michael Pillsbury, an expert on China who has worked with every US president since Nixon and has, he writes, “arguably had more access to China’s military and intelligence establishment than any other Westerner”, was reading an article written by “three of China’s preeminent military experts” about “new technologies that would contribute to the defeat of the United States”. [READ MORE]

Of Course China Is Building More Aircraft Carriers

SCSC - A local government inadvertently confirmed that China is building a second aircraft carrier on Sunday, sparking a wave of media analysis of China’s maritime ambitions. According to Reuters, the government of Changzhou, a city in Jiangsu province, posted on its microblog that a Changzhou - based power cable manufacturer had been awarded a deal to supply products for China’s new carrier. The reports were also carried by a local newspaper before being scrubbed.

China currently operates one aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, the pride of China’s navy (which last year was even the subject of musical paeans). [READ MORE]

How to Push Back against an Aggressive China: Enter the 'Quad'

SCSC - Face it. China is a problem. Nations across the Pacific and Asia are looking for constructive solutions. And that’s the promise of a Quad Dialogue—a forum for developing cooperative, synchronized policies among India, Australia, Japan and the United States.

Start with the facts. China's economic policies are increasingly mercantilist. It is developing military capabilities to exclude others from operating in Asia. Beijing is no friend of democracy. [READ MORE]

Chinas Central Asian Opportunity

SCSC - Earlier this week, I penned an admittedly pessimistic take on Central Asia’s short - and medium - term economic fortunes owing primarily to the collapse of the ruble. Even though the current crisis should be an important reminder of the risks of economic over - reliance on Russia, these states should seize the opportunity to appeal to China’s westward impulses.

Critically, by attracting Chinese trade and investment at a time of economic need, these former Soviet republics could bring some much - needed balance to their economies. [READ MORE]

India US ties are essential to contain Chinese expansionism

SCSC - PM Modi will do well to find a balance between the American relevance in the economic arena and the need to collaborate with China on both economic and cultural revival theory.

US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi walk through the gardens at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on 25 January. Obama visited India for three days to attend Republic Day celebrations and meet Indian leaders. [READ MORE]

Mackinder Revisited: Will China Establish Eurasian Empire 3.0?

SCSC - In 1904 the founder of geopolitics Sir Halford Mackinder famously pronounced the end of “the Columbian epoch” – that of the dominance of the Western sea power – and the advent of the age of land power, in which the Heartland of Eurasia, or “the pivot area”, would hold the key to the world domination. The pivot area largely corresponded to the territory of the then Russian Empire – occupying central and northern Eurasia.

Mackinder’s main concern was that a rapidly industrializing and expansionist Tsarist Russia could successfully challenge the West’s sea - power - based primacy [READ MORE]

Wake Up, America: China Is a Real Threat

SCSC - Between complacency and confrontation there is a responsible way forward that keeps the Asia - Pacific a big enough place to accommodate the vital interests of both Beijing and Washington. The heavy lifting will have to be done by the United States. That's okay. The work will make America a stronger nation and a better Asian ally.

In the last decade, the Chinese regime has shown itself to be anti - democratic, no friend of free markets, a first - class cyber bully and more interested in rewriting or ignoring international norms than in respecting them. [READ MORE]


SCSC - Even before the hype over US President Barack Obama’s visit has died down, the Modi government is on the move to enhance its ties with China. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s ongoing visit is an important part of this effort, especially as she is accompanied by new Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, who had done a full three - year term as ambassador to China till 2013.

Ms Swaraj was in China to work out the preliminaries of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s China visit most probably in May, which is expected to even the keel of the Sino - Indian relations that have been tilted by US President Obama’s recent visit to India. [READ MORE]

Territorial disputes can be set aside

SCSC - MR LEE HSIEN LOONG is Prime Minister of a small country with a big name and influence that should not be underestimated.

The city - state Singapore with its 5.4 million inhabitants might seem tiny next to the major Asian powers.

But as a traditional trade and transfer hub with excellent relations to all regions in the world and with Western thinking prevalent among its political elite, Singapore has always been arbiter, interpreter, and a microcosm for European and American projections of South - east Asia. [READ MORE]

Philippine, Indonesian Leaders to Discuss Territorial Spats

 SCSC - MANILA — The Philippines will raise its concerns over China’s land reclamation in disputed reefs and discuss Manila’s new peace deal with Muslim rebels with Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, who arrived Sunday for a brief visit, an official said.

The Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila said President Benigno Aquino will discuss with Jokowi how their Southeast Asian nations can strengthen defense and maritime cooperation and bolster trade and investment. [READ MORE]

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