Friday, July 19, 2013

Recent Geopolitical Developments in the East Asian Region

Busy doing research for the next few weeks for an upcoming project, so for now enjoy these links on recent developments taking place regarding the East Asian geopolitical scene.

Going Long

The United States navy is getting closer to developing its own "Carrier Killer" missile platform, the long-range anti-ship missile (LRASM).  The development is a necessary one for the U.S. military, as it looks to maintain the capability to strike adversaries from a distance outside a "danger zone" where its strike carrier fleets could remain relatively safe, from say an enemy ballistic missile threat.  Testing is likely to continue into 2014, and the project should remain safe from the recent federal government sequester budget cuts.

The Winds of Change 

James Holmes of the US Naval War College writes a great piece on Japan's need to change it's military structure.

China upset over US support of Taiwan's ICAO Observer Status....When they should be celebrating

China recently expressed its protest over a recent law signed by President Obama that supported Taiwan's bid for observer status in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a UN-sponsored organization that promotes safe air travel, as well as keeps member states aware of the most up to date aviational safety regulations.  Rather than protesting, however, officials in Beijing should be doing this.  Why? Because for nearly 20 years the United States has held an official position of supporting Taiwan's Full Membership into international organizations that do not require statehood as a prerequisite. Taiwan officials in Washington DC (known by their acronym as TECRO officials) still insisted on pushing for observer status regardless.  I spoke about this particular issue when the bill was signed into law on Michael Turton's Taiwan-based site.

Brian Benedictus noted that there was a big TECRO (the Taiwan representative office in the US) push for this, remarking:
"[TECRO] knew what they were doing---which is setting a precedent--Which is to ask (and receive) support from Congress on Taiwan's international participation in a lesser degree than they should. This was a bad precedent to set, and Taiwan's international space actually got a little smaller tonight."

China releases its report on US-Japan Military Power 2012 

While the report is relatively void of aggressive wording against the United States per say, it does have a theme in which it states that US military exercises in the region are directed against China, and are not helpful for bilateral relations:

 "...exercises prepared against the so-called A2/AD threats are clearly targeting China and IranExercises such as Internal Look 2012 and Austere Challenge 2012 are clearly aimed at Iranwhile exercises such as Gold Cobra 2012, Balikatan 2012,RIMPAC 2012 are clearly targeting ChinaThe exercises which were large in scale,high in frequency and intensityand especially those that took place when tension in the region rosenaturally caused concern and anxietywhich in turn further intensified the situationexerting a negative impact on world peacestabilitycooperationand development."

Russian Vessels conducting  maneuvers during a recent joint exercise with Chinese military forces

The Chinese paper does not, however, mention recent joint-exercises that took place near Japan that consisted of PLA and Russian forces that were widely seen in Japan as provocative in nature.

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