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The American Presence in the South China Sea

on Sun, 05/13/2012 - 18:43


The standoff currently unfolding between the Philippines, supported by the United States,and China over outlying shoals has seen alarmist statements in the news with regard to imminentconflict and the heating up of tensions between the U.S. and China. Dan Blumenthal, of theAmerican Enterprise Institute, is correct when he states that, despite increasingly vocal claims ofviolence by the Chinese, neither side wants war.

Strategic Alliances Deepen in South China Sea

on Sun, 05/13/2012 - 18:43


One of the most important parts of China's insurance policy with respect to regionalsecurity includes unquestioned dominance in the South China Sea. The United States and itsprojection power has long been the main focus of Chinese efforts to consolidate control over thesea, which would buffer the mainland from potential incursions and allow China to crediblyclaim dominance over the region.

North Korean Intransigence Hinders Chinese Plans Too

on Sun, 05/13/2012 - 18:42


News stories abound in the media regarding the quirks of the North Korean leadershipand oftentimes serve as comical fodder for even the most constrained news services. The realityof what goes through the minds of those select few running North Korea deserves an intense,level-headed look at what it really is - an unreliable, but threatening player in a regional gamedominated by two major powers.

Calls for greater overview of Chinese military development- Kevin Preskenis

on Sun, 05/13/2012 - 01:42


U.S. House members are calling for the Pentagon to offer more accurate and in-depth reports on Chinese military development. 

Congressman Randy Forbes (r ), chairman of the House of Representatives Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee is making the case. The 2013 bill has yet to be approved by the House and the Senate. 

"Instead of providing a frank assessment of People's Liberation Army capabilities, the China power report has become a political document that is watered down by various government agencies to avoid offending the PRC (People's Republic of China)" he said. 

This is

India's Exit from South China Sea - Kevin Preskenis

on Sat, 05/12/2012 - 22:36


India has plans to leave the oil block no  128 in the South China sea.

"Indian ministry of external affairs (MEA) has advised the petroleum ministry that ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the global arm of the state-owned ONGC, can take a decision based on the “techno commercial reason” to stay in or exit block no 128." 

The Indian oil ministry said in a letter that their decision to "initiate the relinquishment process was based purely on techno-commerical considerations"

They claim that their attempts to drill were unsuccessful, due to the hard sea floor. 

However, the sensitivity of the issue

Chinese Claims to South China Sea - Kevin Preskenis

on Sat, 05/12/2012 - 22:34


China is now seeking to assert larger territorial claims in the South China Sea. China officially claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, which stretches over 1.2 million square miles. The Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei, and Vietnam all consider at least some of island their own. 

China's State Oceanic Administration is now saying that it will begin developing tourism, recently stating that it plans to build a supply dock at Drummond Island. 

This has strong political implications for the United States since it has always maintained its commitment to free navigation and

The U.S. Pivot

on Tue, 05/08/2012 - 01:25

The United States announced that it plans to greatly increase its military aid to the Philippines. The
partnership the United States currently has with the Philippines is one that will be, if the United States is
serious about its re-prioritization of Asia, crucial in the coming years. As it stands, the United States lost
much of its presence in Asia in order to concentrate on the wars it waged in the Middle East. The cost is
now being felt as the United States moves to play a role in the flurry of activity happening in Asia, and
lacks the bases and strategic positions to effectively flex its

The Other Resource(s)

on Tue, 05/08/2012 - 01:24

There is much literature out discussing the difficult place that China is being put in by its demand for
oil, and the projected increase of that demand, see the China and the Politics of Oil—Analysis post.
This is a check on the potential rise in China’s power however; China has a response that may be just
as important. China is currently far and away the world’s leading producer of ‘rare-earth minerals’
(explanation). China has become, through clever investment 15 years ago, producer of upwards of 90%
of the world’s rare-earth minerals, almost cornering the market on materials needed to drive the

What Does India’s Missile Launch Mean?

on Tue, 05/08/2012 - 01:20

The growth of Chinese military power and its increasingly aggressive foreign policy have captured
the spotlight of the media for the past year. China’s rise is the hot new topic, especially in light of the
perceived American decline. However, China is not the only rising Asian power. India has seen a similarly
incredible rise over the past few decades, albeit slower than China’s. The growth, both economically
and militarily of these two Asian powers is quite remarkable and will, in the near future, greatly affect
the world’s power balance.

"The India-China Rivalry by Robert D. Kaplan"

on Mon, 05/07/2012 - 16:32

In a recent STRATFOR article, journalist Robert D. Kaplan argues that the emerging
great power rivalry between China and India is “borne completely of high-tech geopolitics.”
Kaplan notes that developments in military technology and competing interests in Eurasia lead
the two Asian powers into direct competition with one another. Although Kaplan highlights
several key concerns in Sino-Indian relations, including territorial disputes and economic
frictions, he misses perhaps the most important issue in this unfolding rivalry: energy security.
Already immense energy demands in both China and India