With global temperatures on the rise, melting ice is making the Arctic more accessible to maritime navigation, opening up shipping routes for global trade as well as areas containing sizable deposits of minerals and fossil fuels. As the five nations with Arctic coastlines address how to manage these new opportunities and the challenges they raise, South Korea is actively seeking to overcome its geography and gain a seat at the table. South Korean President Lee Myung-bak recently completed his first trip to the Arctic, where he apparently made some progress in advancing Seoul’s political, commercial and logistical interests. Overall, the […]

The large-scale anti-Japanese protests that swept across China over the weekend are likely to reach a crescendo today, as Sept. 18 marks the official Chinese anniversary of Japan’s invasion of China in 1931. The wave of public demonstrations was triggered by Tokyo’s announcement last week that it would purchase the disputed Senkaku Islands, known as Diaoyu in China, from a private Japanese owner. The islands are claimed by China and Taiwan but controlled by Japan. U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who is on a week-long tour in Asia, and other American officials have expressed concern that the escalating dispute between […]

India and Tajikistan elevated their relationship to a strategic partnership last week following discussions between Tajik President Emomali Rahmon and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi. In an email interview, Meena Singh Roy, a research fellow at the Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses, discussed India-Tajikistan relations. WPR: What is the recent trajectory of the India-Tajikistan relationship, and how does Tajikistan fit into India’s broader engagement with Central Asia? Meena Singh Roy: Tajikistan figures very high in India’s foreign policy priorities and remains a significant partner for India in Central Asia. India has excellent political and strategic relations […]