Strategic encirclement is a term that haunts Indian analysts quite a bit these days. So when noted Subcontinent watcher Selig S. Harrison reported in late August that 7,000-11,000 Chinese troops had poured into the northern part of Pakistani-administered Kashmir known as the Gilgit-Baltistan region, the feeling that India was being systematically “surrounded” by Beijing was loudly echoed in the Indian media. The revelations follow a recent controversy triggered by China’s refusal to issue a visa to an Indian general on the grounds that his area of responsibility falls in the disputed Kashmir region; Beijing will only issue “stapled visas” to […]

Filling the Global Security Gap

Addressing the possibility that the U.S. and Europe will shy away from military interventions post-Iraq/post-Afghanistan, Richard Gowan suggests that emerging countries — Brazil, China and India, in particular — could very well step in to fill the gap in the context of U.N. state-building operations. It tracks well with what Matt Armstrong wrote in his WPR feature article, U.N. Peacekeeping as Public Diplomacy. (Gowan’s article in that issue, The Tragedy of 21st Century U.N. Peacekeeping, makes for good reading, too, as a cautionary note.) In this case, emerging countries’ interest in burnishing their global bona fides would overlap with U.S. […]

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — On a steamy afternoon in the Sri Lankan capital, if you glance across the water at Colombo’s legendary Galle Face Green seaside promenade, past the spray of the Indian Ocean, you can make out a milky line of giant cargo ships at the point where the sky blends with the sea. That ocean traffic on the horizon, those dashes of gray steel, glide along the world’s busiest sea lane, navigated by anywhere from 100 to 200 ships every day. This is the maritime pipeline that makes it possible for China to remain the world’s fastest-growing economy. […]

More on the ‘Great Asia Rebalancing’

A propos my post of the other day, here’s more along the same lines from Carlyle Thayer writing at East Asia Forum, who frames it as China’s soft power vs. U.S. smart power. And once again, U.S. smart power seems to have made a significant comeback. Significantly, as Thayer puts it, “The timing is bad for China as the regional security architecture looks set to gain a new lease on life and expand into new areas of cooperation.” Add to that the fact that the soon-to-include-the-U.S. grouping, EAS, is apparently gaining an edge over the sans-U.S. ASEAN+3 grouping favored by […]

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