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Monthly Archives: March 2021

Situation Report of the Military Coup in Myanmar

June 26, 2021 09:19 PM
On the morning of February 1st, 2021, the military of Myanmar seized control of the government after the general election in which Aung San Suu Kyi, the current head of the government, and the National League for Democracy (NDL) party won by a landslide. The military is now currently in charge and has declared a year-long state of emergency. The military had backed the opposition in the election, who were demanding a rerun of the vote, claiming widespread fraud. The election commission of Myanmar said there was no evidence to support these claims of voter fraud. The coup was staged shortly after as a new session of parliament was set to open. Ms. Suu Kyi is currently under house arrest and has been charged with possessing illegally imported walkie-talkies. Many other NLD officials have also been detained. Power has been handed over to commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing, who has overseen the military of Myanmar for many years now and has declared that the country will have a “free and fair” election after the state of emergency is over.
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Monthly Archives: January 2021

Power PLA: A New Chinese Village on the Bhutan-China Border

June 26, 2021 09:13 PM
In November, Chinese media revealed shocking images of a new village built inside an area that has been disputed by China and Bhutan for decades. All this despite recent statements by Lotay Tsering, the prime minister of Bhutan, saying that negotiations over the Bhutan-China border had been progressing well. The Chinese village, Pangda, had been built in a short period and already had residents living in it by the time Bhutan discovered it.
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Monthly Archives: December 2020

Rethinking Resort Islands: American Efforts to Shore up Connections to the South China Sea

June 26, 2021 08:58 PM
Since its independence from the United Kingdom in 1965, other countries have known the Republic of Maldives mostly as a honeymoon destination for Bollywood actors. However, the archipelago is now seeing renewed attention for a more strategic purpose. The sea surrounding the islands is the Laccadive Sea, which connects Maldives, India, and Sri Lanka. The Laccadive Sea has stable waters throughout the whole year, which makes it ideal for a naval base, something the United States might try to establish in the coming years, given its activity in base-building in other parts of the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
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Monthly Archives: October 2020

Re-education or Genocide? Chinese Oppression of Xinjiang’s Uyghurs

June 26, 2021 08:53 PM
Behind green barbed-wire fences sit rows of men and rows of women, segregated by gender. They have been stripped of any religious clothing and instead wear royal blue jumpsuits. Behind these fences, Uyghur Muslims go to have “their thoughts transformed.” China claims these camps are necessary for preventing future acts of terrorism perpetrated by Muslim extremists. The country has built more of these camps at an alarming rate, all the while claiming that it is scaling back re-education efforts. These actions have brought the condemnation of some countries in the United Nations, as well as the United States. Attempts at further “re-education” will likely increasingly be met by more aggressive economic sanctions because detention camps violate international law and China’s promised obligation to protect human rights.
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Monthly Archives: August 2020

Rodrigo Duterte and the Erosion of American-ASEAN Ties

June 26, 2021 01:00 PM
Filipino policy has changed drastically in the last few years, with ramifications for Southeast Asian geopolitics. President Rodrigo Duterte has launched a campaign to break up “oligarchies” in the Philippines’ economy, stripped journalists critical of his policies of their licensing, and conceded to Chinese claims in the South China Sea. Duterte’s critics worry that if he isolates himself and the Philippines from the United States and traditional allies too much, China will replace them.
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Chinese Expansion in the South China Sea

June 26, 2021 12:46 PM
In the past five years China has become increasingly aggressive about asserting their authority over greater and greater swathes of the South China Sea through the creation and militarization of artificial islands. One aspect of this expansion that has drawn considerable ire from the US is the movement and subsequent testing of anti-ship cruise missiles to advance positions in the South China Sea in July of 2019. This movement of missiles is the pinnacle of a vast effort by the Chinese to project power into the South China Sea and deter the powerful US presence in the region.
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Insurgency in North East India

June 25, 2021 11:21 PM
For decades, Northeastern India has faced relentless violence from rebel groups seeking autonomy from the Indian government. Militant groups started with India’s independence in 1947, when they felt like their voices weren’t heard by the government, “Militants in India’s northeast once enjoyed vast popular support since they, in their formative years, voiced genuine grievances of the people such as poor governance, alienation, lack of development and an apathetic attitude from the central government in New Delhi.” Now that they don’t have sway with the government, they make themselves heard through militant acts including bombings and shootings.
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Coronavirus and Economics

June 25, 2021 11:14 PM
The coronavirus has caused widespread panic throughout the world and bears strong resemblance to the SARS outbreak of 2003. While the SARS virus caused an estimated $40 billion economic loss, the coronavirus has the potential to cause much more damage as China has become more integrated into the global economy (1). While China has enforced many policies in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus, the virus has caused extensive economic damage in China that will spread to the global economy.
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Monthly Archives: December 2019

Tbilisi’s Political Woes Continue

June 19, 2021 11:38 PM
Protests in Tbilisi ignited in Juneafter Russian lawmaker Sergei Gavrilov, deputy of the Russian State Duma, sat in the Georgian parliamentary speaker’s seat and addressed the audience in Russian. Protesters were not only angry about the Kremlin’s overreach into Georgia, but also with the Georgian Dream Party, which protesters claim has failed to adequately protect the country from Russian aggression. “The Russia factor was the trigger for this crisis, but it was not the cause,” rather the breaking point was “very polarized domestic politics in which the opposition plays the Russian card to discredit the government” according to Georgia expert Thomas de Waal (Higgins).
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Monthly Archives: December 2019

Hypersonic Missiles in Asia

June 19, 2021 11:33 PM
On October 1, China impressed the world on the 70th anniversary of Communist rule with a military parade that highlighted the technological progress and investment into military might China has made[1]. Among these technologies is the deployment of hypersonic missiles; weapons that have worrying implications for the nature of security and warfare in the Pacific.
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Monthly Archives: November 2019

Reform Proves Difficult in Former Dictatorship Kazakhstan

June 19, 2021 11:05 PM
On October 9, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev signed a presidential decree granting former president Nursultan Nazabayev power to veto appointees to a majority of government leadership positions (5). This decree forbade Tokayev from unilaterally appointing “cabinet ministers, heads of various security forces and regional governors.” Tokayev will still maintain control over cabinet minister appointments in the “defense, internal affairs and foreign affairs” departments (4). The decree granted Nazarbayev “a consultative role in the appointments in his capacity as chairman of the Security Council” (4). Tokayev will need to consult Nazarbayev on appointees for all subordinate bodies, including the Kazakh domestic intelligence agency (KNB), foreign intelligence agency, the central bank, and even the head of Tokayev’s own security detail (1).
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Monthly Archives: November 2019

Implications of Hong Kong’s Extradition Bill

June 19, 2021 04:26 PM
Western media has seen steady reports originating from Hong Kong in the last few months detailing the rising tension over the mainland-Chinese sponsored extradition bill, in which perpetrators of certain crimes can potentially be extradited to the mainland for prosecution. Hong Kong and China’s stark differences in government and right to free speech have exacerbated the issue, with claims from the former stating that China has seen fit to unfairly accuse and then prosecute their citizens for things as simple as professing their distrust of the latter’s oversight. Tensions hit a new high several months ago as Hong Kong’s citizens took to the streets in groups of up to a million people, protesting for their rights. Eventually this led to tear gassing from masses of riot police being introduced to the mix, who allegedly beat and injured thousands of people, even those not directly involved in the protest [1]. Just days ago, Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam, seen by many as a puppet figure controlled by Xi Jinping and the mainland government, came face to face with one of many angry groups of Hong Kong’s protesting citizens in a town hall meeting where she was insulted and frustratingly berated by a horde of people [2].
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Monthly Archives: October 2019

Sino–Australian Relations; from Bad to Worse

June 19, 2021 04:13 PM
Ever since the year 2000, economic trade between China and Australia has grown exponentially. David Chau from Australian Broadcasting Station reports, “In 2017-18, China was by far Australia’s largest trading partner, contributing $194.6 billion worth of imports and exports. This was more than the combined value of trade with Japan and the United States ($147.8 billion).”[1] Most of these economic ties were forged within just the last ten years.[2] For a time, it seemed like Sino–Australian relations could not get any better. However, since 2017, Sino–Australian relations have shown significant signs of decline. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute even stated, “A new cold war with China is playing out in all but name.”[3]
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Monthly Archives: October 2019

Thai Insurgents Threaten Regional Peace and Stability

June 19, 2021 04:03 PM
Analysis
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Monthly Archives: October 2019

“Go There and You Are Free to Kill Everybody”

June 19, 2021 03:48 PM
30 years ago, the Filipino city of Davao was one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Between communist groups, Muslim separatists, and local corruption, Davao had a 3-digit crime rate per 10,000 people. Asia Week branded Davao as the “Murder City” in 1985. Today Davao has just landed in 5th spot on the safest city rankings behind Osaka, Seoul, Singapore, and Bursa. According to the Davao City official website:
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Monthly Archives: September 2019

The Six-Party Talks in Context

June 17, 2021 02:18 PM
Denuclearization talks have come to the forefront of the Trump administration’s foreign policy concerns and now even tops the list of international issues. Negotiations with North Korea have been pursued for many years and over numerous administrations with varying success. Some of the most in-depth and involved discussions took place during the Six-Party talks in China from 2003 to 2009. While the talks ended with no comprehensive denuclearization deal, recent calls from many countries to resume talks may indicate that there is an increased willingness internationally to resolve this issue[1].
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Monthly Archives: August 2019

Mongolia and North Korea

June 17, 2021 01:46 PM
Mongolia, once the center of the largest contiguous land empire of all time, is now seldom seriously considered in terms of current global politics. In fact, when U.S. National Security advisor John Bolton was assigned to visit Mongolia during President Trump’s meeting with Kim Jong Un, it was reported as a “banishment”.1 To Mongolia, however, Bolton’s visit signaled a continued interest in expanding U.S. trade relations and military cooperation with a rare ally in Central Asia.2
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Monthly Archives: August 2019

JAD & Emerging International Threats from Indonesia

June 17, 2021 01:18 PM
With Indonesia being the fourth most populous nation on the planet, and with the largest Muslim majority of any country, the threat of Islamic extremism emanating from Indonesia cannot be overlooked. Malaysia, the Philippines, Afghanistan, Australia, and the United States are all keenly aware of the threat of terrorism coming from Indonesia. These countries have been involved in investigating attacks that have happened within Indonesia as well as outside of the country. Recently, one of the most potent Indonesian terrorist group that has instigated much havoc in, and outside the country, is the terrorist group Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD).
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