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  • OPINION

    Beijing's South China Sea grab

    News, Brahma Chellaney, Published on 18/12/2018

    » It has been just five years since China initiated its major land reclamation in the South China Sea, and the country has already shifted the territorial status quo in its favour -- without facing any international pushback. The anniversary of the start of its island building underscores the transformed geopolitics in a corridor central to the international maritime order.

  • OPINION

    The end of America's China fantasy

    News, Brahma Chellaney, Published on 26/10/2018

    » A long-overdue shift in America's China policy is under way. After decades of "constructive engagement" -- an approach that has facilitated China's rise, even as the country has violated international rules and norms -- the United States is now seeking active and concrete counter-measures. But is it too late to rein in a country that has emerged, with US help, as America's main geopolitical rival?

  • OPINION

    'Belt and Road' is buckling under scrutiny

    News, Brahma Chellaney, Published on 01/10/2018

    » On a recent official visit to China, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad criticised his host country's use of major infrastructure projects -- and difficult-to-repay loans -- to assert its influence over smaller countries. While Dr Mahathir's warnings in Beijing against "a new version of colonialism" stood out for their boldness, they reflect a broader pushback against China's mercantilist trade, investment, and lending practices.

  • OPINION

    The world according to Trump, Xi

    News, Brahma Chellaney, Published on 25/05/2018

    » The world's leading democracy, the United States, is looking increasingly like the world's biggest and oldest surviving autocracy, China. By pursuing aggressively unilateral policies that flout broad global consensus, President Donald Trump effectively justifies his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping's longtime defiance of international law, exacerbating already serious risks to the rules-based world order.

  • OPINION

    A new front in Asia's water war

    News, Brahma Chellaney, Published on 13/10/2017

    » China has long regarded freshwater as a strategic weapon -- one that the country's leaders have no compunction about wielding to advance their foreign-policy goals. After years of using its chokehold on almost every major transnational river system in Asia to manipulate water flows themselves, China is now withholding data on upstream flows to put pressure on downstream countries, particularly India.

  • OPINION

    China uses trade as political weapon

    News, Brahma Chellaney, Published on 31/07/2017

    » China denies mixing business with politics, yet it has long used trade to punish countries that refuse to toe its line. China's recent heavy-handed economic sanctioning of South Korea, in response to that country's decision to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) anti-missile system, was just the latest example of the Chinese authorities' use of trade as a political weapon.

  • OPINION

    China heads for imperial overreach

    News, Brahma Chellaney, Published on 29/05/2017

    » Chinese President Xi Jinping's tenure has been marked by high ambition. His vision -- the "Chinese dream" -- is to make China the world's leading power by 2049, the centenary of communist rule. But Mr Xi may be biting off more than he can chew.

  • OPINION

    A water war in Asia?

    Asia focus, Brahma Chellaney, Published on 05/12/2016

    » Tensions over water are rising in Asia -- and not only because of conflicting maritime claims. While territorial disputes, such as in the South China Sea, attract the most attention -- after all, they threaten safety and freedom of navigation, which affects outside powers as well -- the strategic ramifications of competition over transnationally shared freshwater resources are just as ominous.

  • OPINION

    Water woes taking an increasingly hard toll on Asia

    News, Brahma Chellaney, Published on 28/04/2016

    » Asia's water woes are worsening. Already the world's driest continent in per capita terms, Asia now faces a severe drought that has parched a vast region extending from southern Vietnam to central India. This has exacerbated political tensions, because it has highlighted the impact of China's dam-building policy on the environment and on water flows to the dozen countries located downstream.

  • OPINION

    Capitalism not always route to democracy

    News, Brahma Chellaney, Published on 12/03/2016

    » As US President Barack Obama prepares to embark on a historic visit to Cuba this month, the future of the communist-ruled island is the subject of widespread speculation. Some observers are hoping that the ongoing shift toward capitalism, which has been occurring very gradually for five years under Raul Castro’s direction, will naturally lead Cuba toward democracy. Experience suggests otherwise.

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