The Temperature in Canberra as the South China Sea Boils

By various accounts, policy is firming up in Australia on what to do about the South China Sea – specifically, whether Canberra should take an unambiguous stand on the destabilising impact of China’s island-building activities. Australian policymakers are not fooled by the surface calm with which discussions concluded at the recent Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. […]

Carter on the South China Sea: Committed and (Mostly) Clear

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter’s remarks at the Shangri-La Dialogue on May 30 amounted to a robust, but measured, defense of the United States’ rebalance to the Asia Pacific and its commitment to remain a Pacific power. The speech covered a broad spectrum of U.S. commitments to the region—economic, political, and security—before concluding with an enthusiastic […]

What is Japan’s Shangri-La Dialogue Initiative?

Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani proposed a “Shangri-La Dialogue Initiative” (SDI) at this year’s Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. To build foundation for deeper security collaboration with regional partners, Nakatani proposed crisis management though the promotion of common rules and law in the maritime and air domains, maritime and air security through the enhancement of regional […]

In Defense of Facts in the South China Sea

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter’s address at this weekend’s Shangri-La Dialogue was generally well received by conference attendees and Asia-security watchers. A few critics have argued that Carter was “just talk.” What none have noted, however, is the fact that the Secretary’s remarks were the latest installation in a series of moves by the administration […]

Showdown at Shangri-La: Confronting China’s Maritime Ambitions

China is far from a monolithic power. Its rapid ascent has transformed it into both a centripetal force of integration as well as a centrifugal force of fragmentation. Earlier this year, China managed to pull off a major strategic coup against the United States (U.S.) by astutely convincing almost all relevant economies in Asia and […]

Carter Defends the South China Sea at Shangri-La

On Saturday morning at the Shangri-La defense dialogue in Singapore, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter delivered a long-anticipated speech on security issues in Asia.  As tensions have mounted over China’s island building in the South China Sea, Carter has been one of the administration’s strongest voices, calling the militarization of the islands a challenge […]

The South China Sea at Shangri-La 2015: A Primer

As delegates assemble for the 14th annual Asia Security Summit, better known as the Shangri-La Dialogue, regional tensions are running high over China’s island building in the South China Sea.  As the weekend summit gets under way, here are the issues to watch. Stormy Seas and Skies: In the last several months, the region and […]