The Post-Reclamation Scenario in the South China Sea: The Role of China and the United States.

Since 2014, China has attracted tremendous regional and international attention through its land reclamation activities in some features of the Spratlys which it controls, namely Gaven Reef, Cuarteron Reef, Johnson South Reef and Fiery Cross. While many have criticisms and concerns, China feels this reclamation is necessary in order to keep up with others in […]

Vietnam Ramps Up Defense Spending, but Its Challenges Remain

Vietnam boosted its military spending by 113 percent between 2004 and 2013, the largest increase among Southeast Asian countries. Defense spending has accounted for around 2 percent of the country’s gross domestic product since 2004. Total spending was $3.3 billion in 2012 and $3.4 billion in 2013 (the latest year for which figures are available), […]

Fixed Budget, Dynamic Defense in Japan

As AMTI readers know well, tensions between Japan and China over the Senkaku Islands have been running high since 2010. Despite a partial thaw when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with President Xi Jinping last December, Beijing continues to put steady pressure on Tokyo’s control of the islands with regular maritime and aerial incursions and […]

Taiwan’s Defense Spending: The Security Consequences of Choosing Butter over Guns

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) announced on March 4 that it would raise its defense budget by 10.1 percent in 2015, which continues an almost unbroken pattern of double-digit annual increases over the past two decades. Meanwhile, defense spending by the Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan, which faces an ever-growing military threat from […]

The Evolving Role of Military Exercises in Asia

AMTI Director Mira Rapp Hooper interviews former Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Gary Roughead on the evolving role of military exercises in the Asia Pacific. Interview Transcript Mira Rapp Hooper: Hello everyone, I’m Mira Rapp Hooper, director of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative and I’m very pleased to be here today with Admiral Gary Roughead. […]

The Contribution of Maritime Exercises to U.S. South China Sea Policy

The U.S. policy approach to maritime disputes in the South China Sea is primarily diplomatic but not entirely so. While it focuses on creating stability by exhorting all the parties to follow the rules (international law) and explicitly defines how Washington would like conflicts to be solved (peacefully); it does not neglect hard-power initiatives aimed […]

PLA’s Deeper Engagement in Military Drills Aligns with Xi’s Call for “Active” Chinese Diplomacy

Chinese President Xi Jinping last November delivered a keynote address to a Central Foreign Affairs Work Conference (CFAWC) of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the first to be held under his stewardship as China’s top leader. Attending the meeting were all six of Xi’s Politburo Standing Committee colleagues, the rest of the full Politburo, China’s […]