Russia’s prospective submarine sale to the Philippines would sideline the US Navy and therefore lay the basis for making Moscow, and not Washington, Manilla’s long-term military partner in this regard.
South East Asia
The case of the Reuters reporters in Myanmar is essentially a clash of principles, with the outcome largely depending on the intent of the accused, if it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt so as not to inadvertently harm the country’s soft power interests in the process.
In the ultimate analysis, North Korea’s goal is to be rid of the sanctions regime imposed on it, seek a place on the international stage as a recognized world power and not a pariah state, while paying lip service to complete denuclearization.
It seems that ISIS is not the only danger to the national security of Indonesians. The pirates on the Indonesian (gold) coast are not from the Middle East but rather from Phoenix Arizona, the location of the head quarters of mining company “Freeport McMoRan.” An American multinational that made incredibly huge profits from mining gold on West Papua.
There’s almost no realistic chance that the “Free Papua Movement” will succeed in Indonesia, and the latest violence might even backfire by provoking a more intensified security presence there in order to stop what the state has always considered to be a spark that could lead to an uncontrollable “Balkanization” chain reaction all throughout the archipelago.
Suspending the provocative and costly war games with South Korea – per the joint Russian-Chinese proposal of a “double freeze”, even if it’s never openly admitted to – was a mature move by Trump that shows his sincerity in making progress with Chairman Kim, thereby stabilizing the Korean Peninsula in the process.
Regardless of the current protest movement’s staying power – which isn’t expected to be much – the latest outbreak of demonstrations makes it all the more difficult for Vietnam to reach any pragmatic deal with China in the future no matter what the terms might be now that Hanoi sees just how controversial any agreement – whether real or imagined – with Beijing is to its citizens.
Who can blame the North Koreans for blowing their tops? As Trump administration mouthpieces were gabbing about peace and light, the US Air Force was getting ready to fly B-52 heavy bombers and F-22 Raptor stealth fighters around North Korea’s borders and missile-armed subs lurked at sea.
Malaysia under the returned leadership of Prime Minister Mahathir is expected to remain multipolar, even if it changes the manner in which it has hitherto expressed this geostrategic vision by rebalancing its relations with China and the US.
The Kachin rebels are concentrated mostly near the Chinese border, where some refugees have previously fled, and this brings about the possibility that the People’s Republic might be adversely affected if the situation doesn’t soon stabilize.
Due to international pressure and its own prerogative as well as a mix of fact and speculation North Korea is surprisingly following in Libya’s footsteps in the denuclearization process, though it remains to be seen whether this risky gamble will ultimately lead to a different outcome.
What should one expect from the upcoming US-North Korea summit? Whatever deals are struck, they must be clearly demarcated, so as to leave no room for aberration.