Category Archives: South China Sea

US Defense Secretary James Mattis Tones Down Rhetoric on South China Sea Dispute; By Carlyle A. Thayer

CAS article no. 0016/2017 We request your assessment of the recent the visit by US Secretary of Defense James Mattis to South Korea and Japan. Q1. What are the implications for the South China Sea dispute? Secretary Mattis is quoted as saying there is no need for military moves. What message is the Trump Administration sending to the region? ANSWER: Secretary of Defense James Mattis’s visit to South Korea and… Read Article →

Vietnam and the South China Sea’s Roiled Waters; By Carlyle A. Thayer

CAS article no. 0015/2017 Courtesy: Policy Forum Shining a spotlight on Vietnam’s militarisation in the Spratlys Vietnam’s military activities in the South China Sea, while not on the same scale as China’s, pre-date them considerably and are squarely aimed at maintaining a balance of power in the region. On 11 January US Secretary of State-designate Rex Tillerson sparked a media storm in China during his confirmation hearing when he responded… Read Article →

Military Modernization and Capacity Building in the Philippines and Vietnam; By Carlyle A. Thayer

CAS article no. 0014/2017 Courtesy: Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Introduction This paper focuses on force modernization and capacity building in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Vietnam People’s Army (VPA) from the 1990s to the present. This paper is divided into five parts. Part one provides a historical background to force modernization in both countries during the period from the 1990s to around 2010 and… Read Article →

Are India and China Drifting Apart?; By Bhaskar Roy

CAS article no. 0162/2016 Courtesy: South Asia Analysis Group  Indian and Chinese National Security Advisors (NSAs) Ajit Doval and State Councillor Yang Jiechi are scheduled to meet in Hyderabad, India in the first week of November to review bilateral relations and regional developments.  Hugging and selfie diplomacy is over.  It is back to the brass tacks.  Core interests are to the fore. Doval and his delegation would certainly carry in… Read Article →

Malaysia: Prime Minister Najib Visits China; By Carlyle A. Thayer

CAS article no. 0155/2016 Courtesy: Carlyle A. Thayer, “Malaysia: Prime Minister Najib Visits China,” Thayer Consultancy Background Brief, November 1, 2016. We request your assessment on Malaysia PM Najib Razak’s visit to China this week, based on the issues raised below. Q1- There are reports that Malaysia will be buying up to ten littoral mission ships from China in the first defence deal between both sides. Among the ten deals… Read Article →

What To Expect From The Foreign Minister Of China Wang Yi’s Visit?; By Cmde. R. S. Vasan

CAS article no. 0134/2016 There is certainly some unwanted hype in certain media quarters both in China and India about the impending visit of Wang Yi to India and its possibilities. Wang Yi is expected to be in India on 13th and will hold discussions with Sushma Swaraj. Chinese media in general and Global Times in particular have gone overboard and have tried to counsel India on its relations and… Read Article →

Managing Security Tensions in the South China Sea: The Role of ASEAN; By Carlyle A. Thayer

CAS article no. 0133/2016 Courtesy: David Brewster ed., Indo-Pacific Maritime Security: Challenges and Cooperation (Canberra: National Security College, Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU College of the Asia & the Pacific, The Australian National University, July 2016), 25-30. This paper reviews current diplomatic and political efforts to manage security tensions in the South China Sea with a focus on interactions between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), China and the… Read Article →

Vietnam’s Strategy of ‘Cooperating and Struggling’ With China Over Maritime Disputes in the South China Sea; By Carlyle A. Thayer

CAS article no. 0132/2016 Courtesy: Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs, 3(2), 2016, 200-220. Abstract Since the normalization of relations in 1991, bilateral relations between Vietnam and China have developed into one of normal or mature asymmetry. This is a relationship in which China seeks acknowledgement of its primacy and Vietnam seeks recognition of its autonomy. Maritime disputes in the South China Sea have emerged as the major irritant in… Read Article →

India-China Engagement: Disturbing Divergence; By Bhaskar Roy

CAS article no. 0131/2016 Courtesy: Chennai Centre for China Studies Indian prime minister Narendra  Modi started  his tenure just over two years ago with a message of goodwill and partnership in development with India’s neighbours ,including China. Soon after, Chinese president XI Jinping made his maiden visit to India. The red-carpet welcome to Xi in Modi’s home state of Gujarat was unprecedented in warmth –  photographs of the two of… Read Article →

After the Ruling: Lawfare in the South China Sea; By Carlyle A. Thayer

CAS article no. 0130/2016 Courtesy: The Diplomat In April 2012, around a then-relatively unknown shoal off the coast of the Philippines’ largest island of Luzon, the Philippine Navy apprehended several Chinese fishing vessels. Though it was not known at the time, this incident at Scarborough Shoal would simmer into a major stand-off between the Philippines and China over the ensuing months, eventually sparking the contemporary period of tension and geopolitical… Read Article →