While US-China bilateral relations are currently strained across multiple issues –North Korea’s increased nuclear testing; emissions curbing of “super GHGs”, human rights; and China’s increasingly assertive territorial claims in the South China Sea and East China Sea – it is the cyber war debate that has been claiming recent news headlines, and much more so within the US than in China.
Territorial disputes are very much back on Asia’s security agenda. As the papers authored by Asian and European scholars and analysts explain, China is involved in many of the region’s territorial conflicts in East and Southeast Asia. Beijing’s increasingly assertive policies related to territorial claims in the East China and South China Seas are evidence that China’s economic and military rise is not only peaceful. Japan’s assessment of China’s policies related to territorial claims in the East China Sea is equally unfavorable. Beijing’s strategy to establish what Beijing refers to as ‘dual control’ in Japanese-controlled territorial waters airspace through naval and aerial intrusions confirm policymakers in Tokyo that Beijing is indeed a military threat directly challenging Japanese territorial integrity.
Despite the recent hike in attention devoted to a Sino-Japanese territorial dispute in the East China Sea, skirmishes between China and Japan over the control of the Senkaku/Diaoyu islets are nothing new. Periodically, tensions arise among Japan, China, and Taiwan over this small group of islets. This paper examines the legal grounds on which Japan’s claim to the islands rest. It emphasizes the historical ties that have led Japan to exercise administrative control over the islands.
This analysis evaluates the key factors involved in Japan's three territorial disputes with Russia, China and South Korea. First, the analysis provides a brief background for each dispute, examining their origins in Japan's pre-World War II Imperial expansion and the post-war settlement.
Sino-Indian relations have been marred by their territorial disputes in the past decades. Tensions and disputes in the border region are likely to continue to occur from time to time in the foreseeable future, but the two countries have demonstrated strong political will and incentives not to allow the disputes to hijack their bilateral ties.
Territorial disputes in Asia remain a serious challenge to peace, stability, and prosperity of the region. In fact, of all interstate disputes, those over territory tend to be nearly twice as likely as other issues to lead to armed conflict. A mix of political and economic interests, normative reasons, and competition over scarce natural resources has been suggested as drivers of conflict over disputed territories. In Asia today, geopolitical shifts, natural resources, and environmental degradation are a source of concern.
In dealing with its maritime disputes, China has lately followed an intransigent approach to strengthen its sovereignty claims in the China seas (The East China Sea and South China Sea) Beijing asserts not only its sovereign right but also its actual control of those disputed islands. By regularly dispatching maritime patrol vessels and surveillance aircrafts to the surrounding waters and skies, China has brought the Huangyan islands from the Philippines back under its control and made what is referred to as 'dual control' of the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands a new reality.
North Korea is flexing its muscles, again. The UN imposing further sanctions onto North Korea in a (late) response to its December 2012 missile and February 2013 nuclear tests had the regime in Pyongyang go ballistic leading to angry rhetoric and threats to attack the US and its allies with ballistic and nuclear weapons.
The reactions to the project of Eurasian Union, which was announced by Vladimir Putin after declaring his candidacy to the last presidential elections, have been mainly negative. Some observers have charged him of neo-imperialism, others have expressed their open skepticism about the effectiveness of this proposal. Anyway, the project of a new political integration in the post-Soviet space should be seriously considered, mainly because it could offer a strategic - not only ideological - way of exploiting the paramount opportunities offered to Russia by the dramatic rise of the Far East.