The Utterly Dysfunctional Belt and Road

Image Source It is not luxury and pomp that make a king a king. It is when his orders are never disobeyed that he has entered a title such as yours. β€”Mudrarakshasa 3.99 [c. 300 AD] The always excellent Stella Zhang directed me to a newish paper by political scientists Lee Jones and Zeng Jinhan […]

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Khashoggi’s Death is the Crisis We Have Been Waiting For

β€œAlas, I am a wretch! Because of the terrors I have sufferedI bring pleasure to my enemies and toil to my friends.” β€”Theogenis of Megara ιš”ε²Έθ§€η« β€”γ€ŠδΈ‰εε…­θ¨ˆγ€‹ The President’s statement on U.S.-Saudi relations has caused understandable upset and predictable uproar. Most of these reactions are explicitly framed in terms of values. They need not be. […]

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Taiwan’s Past Matters Less Than Taiwan’s Present

Image Source The time was, sir, when we loved the King and the people of Great Britain with an affection truly filial. We felt ourselves interested in their glory. We shared in their joys and sorrows. We cheerfully poured the fruits of all our labour into the lap of our mother country, and without reluctance […]

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Losing Games We Don’t Know Are Being Played

The Sydney Herald Morning Post has this on their front page today: China eyes Vanuatu military base in plan with global ramifications China has approached Vanuatu about building a permanent military presence in the South Pacific in a globally significant move that could see the rising superpower sail warships on Australia’s doorstep.  Fairfax Media can […]

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Chinese Influence and Intelligence Activities: A Few Notes

Image Source The most important thing you will read this weekβ€”likely the most important thing you will read this monthβ€”is Anne-Marie Brady’s report β€œMagic Weapons: China’s political influence activities under Xi Jinping.” In this report Dr. Brady describes in detail what is known about Chinese influence and intelligence operations inside New Zealand. In many ways […]

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Leveraging Indian Power The Right Way

Image source. Now that the affair in Doklam has come to a close, analysts of various stripes are trying to make sense of what happened and what lessons can be learned from the episode. One of the smartest of these write ups was written by Oriana Skylar Mastro and Arzan Tarapore for War on the […]

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The Cambodian Tilt Towards China

A map of “Khmer Krom,” territory once dominated by Khmer speakers before it was conquered by Vietnam in the 18th and 19th centuries. Image Source: Douc Sokha, “β€‹αžŸαž αž‚αž˜αž“αŸβ€‹αžαŸ’αž˜αŸ‚αžšαž€αŸ’αžšαŸ„αž˜β€‹αžαžΆβ€‹αžšαž€αžƒαžΎαž‰β€‹αž―αž€αžŸαžΆαžšβ€‹αž‡αžΆαž„β€‹αŸ€αŸ αŸ αŸ β€‹αž‘αŸ†αž–αŸαžšβ€‹ αž‘αžΆαž€αŸ‹αž‘αž„β€‹αž“αžΉαž„β€‹αž€αžΆαžšβ€‹αž€αžΆαžαŸ‹β€‹αž‘αžΉαž€αžŠαžΈβ€‹αž€αž˜αŸ’αž–αž»αž‡αžΆβ€‹αž€αŸ’αžšαŸ„αž˜β€‹αž²αŸ’αž™β€‹αžœαŸ€αžαžŽαžΆαž˜β€‹β€‹“, Vod Hot News (15 February 2015) Folks, I have a piece up at Foreign Policy on two of my favorite topics–Cambodian politics and China’s international relations. Most analysts see […]

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China: The Unknowable Kingdom

Earlier this year I wrote that the Chinese do not want our liberal, rules-based order. How America should respond to this rejection was a question I left open. This week, however, in a long  two-book review essay published over at Strategy Bridge, I have returned to the question. The two books under review are Lyle […]

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Everybody Wants a Thucydides Trap

This post was originally published as part of the Thucydides Roundtable project over at Zenpundit. I encourage you to read all of the posts in the roundtable. All the world trembles at the dreaded “Thucydides trap.”Of late this phrase has been all the rage. It was first popularized by Graham Allison in 2012, and has only […]

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Costly Signaling in the South China Sea

This will be my final post in the “China Does Not Want Your Rules Based Order” series. You can read the original post that started the conversation here and the first follow up discussion here. In this post I will focus on a comment left back on the original essay by Andrew Chubb. Chubb is […]

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