By Siegfried S. Hecker.
"What are the greatest threats from the rapidly expanding North Korean nuclear program? Left unchecked, Pyongyang will likely develop the capability to reach the continental United States with a nuclear tipped missile in a decade or so. Much more troubling for now is that its recent nuclear and missile successes may give Pyongyang a false sense of confidence and dramatically change regional security dynamics. The likely ability of the DPRK to put nuclear weapons on target anywhere in South Korea and Japan and even on some US assets in the Pacific greatly complicates the regional military picture"
"While the country does not want war, its calculus leads it to cultivate a permanent risk of one — and prepare to stave off defeat, should war happen, potentially with nuclear weapons. That is a subtler danger, but a grave one."
"Today, given the astronomical stakes at play, many assume that armed conflict between the two giants is out of the question....Yet, as China flexes its muscles in the South China Sea and East China Sea, the risks of an inadvertent clash on the water or in the air are growing by the day."
"U.S. military activities in the SCS have harmed China in an unnecessary way and silenced the moderates’ voice in China, while stimulating Chinese nationalism. It creates tremendous internal and external pressure for Beijing, thus forcing the country to respond aggressively. In this case, it is inevitable for China to deploy military facilities and conduct military exercises in the SCS; otherwise, the government cannot dilute the increasing domestic nationalism. As Ouyang Yujing, director general of the Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs of China’s Foreign Ministry, has said, the relationship between China and the United States is like a spring. The more pressure from U.S., the larger the rebound from China."
"The fact is since October 2015 the muscular actions continuously provoked and humiliated China and forced China to react."
News release from Hague on the South China Sea arbitration.
By Shen Dingli
"While forceful action represents China's will and competence, Beijing could employ a more moderate and skilled approach to present its position. Otherwise, it is prone to stir up Japan's nationalism and deepen US-Japan defence ties, which runs counterproductive to China's interests in shaping a more amicable peripheral environment."
By Feng Zhang
"A new status quo demands China clarify its strategic intentions. Right now, not even the Chinese leadership has a clear answer to that question. Among the three schools analyzed above, only the extreme hardliners have a quick, but highly destabilizing, answer. The rest of China is debating what China’s strategy toward the South China Sea should be. This is an important fact. It suggests that China’s South China Sea policy has not hardened yet, and is thus malleable."
"The law of unintended consequences is in danger of taking the upper hand. “The two sides may thus be stumbling blindly into severe crisis instability and growing competition by China with respect to strategic forces,” Lewis argues. “A competition between unevenly matched forces is inherently unstable.”"
An archive of news and resources on East Asian security. Rather than adhering to a particular political agenda, this archive aims to bring together diverse and insightful resources found while conducting research.