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  • OPINION

    Xi's favourite general trips up over Taiwan

    News, Peter Apps, Published on 10/06/2019

    » As the head of Beijing's strategic nuclear forces and its fastest rising general, Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe had a reputation for "doing more and saying less". It was a methodical, determined approach that made him a clear favourite of President Xi Jinping, placing him at the heart of China's remarkable military revolution and its efforts to dominate the region.

  • OPINION

    Drones reflect changing Middle East dynamics

    News, Peter Apps, Published on 08/03/2019

    » Ever since Sept 11, drones have been amongst the most visible, and often controversial, signs of American power in the Middle East and beyond. But as regional powers look to chart their own course, a new generation of cheaper unmanned aerial vehicles -- Chinese or locally built, with far fewer restrictions on their use -- are taking to the skies.

  • OPINION

    Who has the lead in the AI race?

    News, Peter Apps, Published on 17/01/2019

    » In October, 31 Chinese teenagers reported to the Beijing Institute of Technology, one of the country's premier military research establishments. Selected from more than 5,000 applicants, Chinese authorities hope they will design a new generation of artificial intelligent weapons systems that could range from microscopic robots to computer worms, submarines, drones and tanks.

  • OPINION

    How far is China prepared to go over Taiwan?

    News, Peter Apps, Published on 09/01/2019

    » In the first week of 2019, as China grabbed headlines for landing a spacecraft on the far side of the moon, a New Year's Day editorial in the nation's official military newspaper told its readers that "war preparations" should be a top priority for the year. The following day, President Xi Jinping offered a forceful reminder of what Beijing considers its most likely focus of conflict to be: Taiwan.

  • OPINION

    The biggest security threats in 2019

    News, Peter Apps, Published on 02/01/2019

    » With an ongoing trade war between the United States and China, Russian military posturing in Eastern Europe at its greatest since the Cold War and the most unpredictable US administration in living memory, 2019 may offer no shortage of strategic surprises.

  • OPINION

    In Azov Sea, Putin plays a very deadly Ukraine game

    News, Peter Apps, Published on 28/11/2018

    » When Vladimir Putin opened a new bridge linking Crimea to the rest of Russia across the Azov Sea in May, Russian officials said it was intended to integrate the disputed peninsula -- seized by Moscow from Ukraine in 2014 -- into Russia's transport infrastructure. By limiting ships transiting the Kerch Strait beneath the giant central span of the bridge, however, it also gave the Kremlin the ability to control maritime access to an area of water roughly the size of Switzerland.

  • OPINION

    Can US-China relations be saved?

    News, Peter Apps, Published on 21/11/2018

    » At the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting on Saturday afternoon, Chinese diplomats arrived unexpectedly at the Foreign Ministry of host Papua New Guinea. Angry at Papua New Guinea's support for American wording in the meeting's final communiqué, they only left after police were called, Australian and other media reported.

  • OPINION

    Leaders must adapt to Trump's post-midterm world

    News, Peter Apps, Published on 14/11/2018

    » For Donald Trump's first foreign trip since Americans voted in the midterm elections, the bleak weather in Paris appears to have matched the diplomatic mood. The US president seemed subdued during his visit to mark the centenary of the truce that ended World War I, and insulted many Europeans when rain and traffic were cited as the reason for cancelling one of his visits to an American war cemetery.

  • OPINION

    America's waning Middle East clout

    News, Peter Apps, Published on 19/10/2018

    » When it comes to defining America's quandary on Saudi Arabia, US President Donald Trump's description is mercenary in the extreme. If Washington doesn't stay close to Riyadh and sell it arms, he told reporters in the Oval Office this weekend, the Saudis will turn to Moscow or Beijing instead. Given that, he seemed to be suggesting, the United States should just keep its plans for a US$110 billion arms deal and the 450,000 jobs he says it would bring.

  • OPINION

    Brexit process approaches roller-coaster endgame

    News, Peter Apps, Published on 04/10/2018

    » If Britain genuinely wanted a good last-minute Brexit deal, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt should probably not have compared the European Union to the USSR.

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