China’s first overseas military base, located astride a crucial maritime choke point, is symbolic of its growing confidence as an emerging global power, capable of projecting military force and directly protecting its interests in Africa and the western Indian Ocean.
Aerial patrols will provide a significant boost to maritime patrols in the Sulu Sea through tracking militant movements. Further assistance from Singapore and Brunei is also likely.
The Malaysian application for a revision of the International Court of Justice judgement regarding Pedra Branca is a shrewd move by Kuala Lumpur to stir up nationalistic fervour ahead of a difficult election in 2018.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to South-East Asia does little to reassure the region about the US protectionist stance on economic relations. Tillerson’s agenda for the visit also suggests a deeper focus on the strategic aspect of the relationship.
If the measures discussed at the Sub-Regional Meeting on Foreign Terrorist Fighters and Cross Border Terrorism are correctly implemented, the region will likely benefit from enhanced security to better face the growing terrorist threat.
The multi-billion dollar investment in a high-speed rail line connecting the cities of Mumbai and Ahmedabad, if the project comes to fruition, should strengthen the Indo-Japanese relationship.
The toppling of Mr Sharif by Pakistan’s Supreme Court is very likely to have a negative effect on the country’s relationship with India.
While this year’s fire season is likely to be mild, there are still significant steps that the Indonesian Government needs to take to successfully address this recurring issue.
There are many suspicions over China’s ambitions behind the belt and road economic strategy. Much of the suspicion, however, can be dispelled with gradual implementation and a better global understanding of China and the position she will actively take in the world economy.
Loans provided by the Japan International Co-operation Agency will play a significant role in constraining the influence of China in Bangladesh.