Adjunct Professor, National University of Singapore
May 18 , 2017
Pakistan’s deep-sea port Gwadar, which the Chinese built and are now operating under a 40-year agreement, is a key part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The U.S. and India are looking at the Chinese initiative with skepticism, believing that the twin initiatives are meant more to secure China’s geo-strategic aims.
Jan 21 , 2017
The CPEC was expected to bring various units of Pakistan together in an integrated economic and communication framework but has instead fanned provincialism and discord. Moreover, senior economists in Pakistan are now increasingly voicing their concern over the terms of financing from China, which is mostly shrouded in mystery.
Dec 14 , 2016
President-elect Donald Trump’s announcement that the United States will quit the Trans-Pacific Partnership kills the stillborn deal. For the countries of Southeast Asia who joined this U.S. led pact, it is a moment of reflection over their policy choices, making them seek accommodation with a more certain China rather than a wavering U.S.
Nov 18 , 2016
China and Pakistan are forming an ““iron friendship” through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and it is becoming widely influential in the region. Although negotiations with the Pakistani government have been effectively turned over to the military, Pakistan and China hope to develop, the coastline, particularly port and naval cities like Gwadar and Omara. Pakistan has long eyed developing Gwadar as a bridgehead for commercial activity, and the robust military relationship between China and Pakistan and the unfolding strategic power play in the Indian Ocean add a huge security dimension to the CPEC.
Sep 05 , 2016
While the U.S. calls for respect of the given ruling under the Law of the Sea Convention, of which the U.S. is not a signatory, none of the predicted responses from China and the Philippines have come true. On the contrary, both have opted for ‘strategic restraint,’ choosing to use dialogue in order to find common ground.
Jul 20 , 2016
Though The Hague ruling pertains to the Philippines-China dispute, it will bolster similar claims by other states against China’s nine-dash line; it will increase pressure on China to seek a negotiated resolution to the overlapping claims; and it will circumscribe China’s SCS claims. In response, China must assure the ASEAN states of its benign intentions, dispelling impressions of hegemonic intentions.
May 03 , 2016
The U.S. military is back in the Philippines after a fourteen-year hiatus, sending the message that it will work with its allies to pushback on Beijing’s expanding presence in the disputed SCS, while also reinforcing belief amongst the Chinese and many others that U.S. is only raising military stakes to thwart China’s rise.
Feb 10 , 2016
China now provides half of Pakistan’s military hardware and has demonstrated willingness to transfer technology to Pakistan. As geo-political alignments are changing, the mutuality of interests is drawing China and Pakistan closer.
Dec 29 , 2015
Chinese leadership’s recent engagements points to their persistent pursuit of its vision of connectivity named One Belt One Road (OBOR). New areas are now being added to the list.
Jul 14 , 2015
The new AIIB reflects China’s opportunity to assist the developing world, but how China cooperates with India, and U.S. interests in the Asia Pacific, will determine the effectiveness of the new Bank.