What has China achieved by sending its oil rig to drill off the Paracel Islands? It has managed to rupture relations with its brother communists in Vietnam, incensed Vietnamese popular opinion, generated gigabytes of critical international media coverage, revived the “China Threat” discourse in Southeast Asia and unified ASEAN […]
Dramatic images of Vietnamese workers vandalising Chinese-owned factories appear to be yet more proof that an angry nationalism is taking hold in East and South East Asia. The reality is a little more complex. Although passions are certainly rising over the fate of a few specks of rock in the […]
Why has China sent an oil rig, guarded by a flotilla of ships, into disputed waters near the Paracel Islands and sparked a confrontation with Vietnam just days before a summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)? An interview explaining the background for BBC World’s Newsday programme. Link […]
A copy of my presentation on the origin of the U-shaped-line can be found here. I gave two presentations at the Asian Center of the University of the Philippines – Diliman on Friday 25th April 2014. Around a hundred staff, students and members of the public were there. I was honoured by the attendance […]
An article for the CSIS CogitAsia blog on how the search for the missing Malaysian airliner has demonstrated the capabilities gap between China and the US and its allies but also how a combination of US operational secrecy and China’s developing public diplomacy has concealed the extent of that gap leaving a misleading impression […]
An article on The Diplomat about the China Coast Guard’s decision to prioritise its blockade of the Philippines garrison on the Second Thomas Shoal over the hunt for the missing airliner Flight MH370. I argue that, had the airliner crashed in the South China Sea, the decision not to redeploy those Coast Guard ships could […]
The story of how a translation error some 80 years ago led to a modern territorial dispute. In a fit of nationalist enthusiasm, a Chinese committee working from a British map laid claim to a piece of seabed off Borneo… Link to the original article here.