A Threat to Global Interdependence and Regional Stability
Journal of Political Risk, Vol. 10, No. 7, July 2022
Map of the South China Sea, with 9-dotted line highlighted in green. Source: CIA.
Priscilla Tacujan, Ph.D. U.S. Department of Defense
China’s expansionism in the South China Sea (SCS) is underway, despite opposition from small littoral states and regional powers in the area. China is seeking to change the legal order governing maritime conduct by engaging in “lawfare” and infrastructure-building on disputed waters as part of its maritime strategy. Lawfare enables Beijing to undermine established elements of international law and delegitimize neighboring states’ maritime claims. Claimant countries and the U.S. have argued for the importance of a rules-based approach that offers clear and uniform rules for maritime conduct. However, in the absence of enforcement mechanisms, China will likely continue to undermine international law, prevent littoral states from advancing their maritime claims, and threaten regional stability and global interdependence. Assessing and improving countermeasures currently in place, including enforcement mechanisms, existing maritime coalitions with regional allies and the U.S., and freedom of navigation (FON) operations may deter Chinese aggression and prevent the escalation of maritime conflicts in the SCS.
Journal of Political Risk, Vol. 10, No. 6, June 2022
President Joe Biden addresses the nation in the Roosevelt Room, 2022. Source: CNN.
William R. Hawkins President of the Hamilton Center for National Strategy
President Joe Biden has been using the term “inflection point” in his speeches. At the U.S. Naval Academy on May 27 he said, “Class of 2022, you are graduating at an inflection point not only in American history but in world history. And I mean it. The challenge we face and the choices we make are more consequential than ever. Things are changing so rapidly that the next 10 years will be the decisive decade of this century, because they’re going to shape what our world looks like and the values that will guide it not just for the immediate future, but for generations to come.” Yet, he didn’t lay out what those changes would be. He moved directly to a discussion of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, “A direct assault on the fundamental tenets of rule-based international order. That’s what you’re graduating into.” He then told them “You’ll learn to crew the most advanced ships in the world, train the most elite combat units, conduct undetected submarine missions, fly the most advanced fighter planes. But the most powerful tool that you’ll wield is our unmatched network of global alliances and the strength of our partnerships.”
Journal of Political Risk, Vol. 9, No. 3, March 2021
This article is by an anonymous university student in Myanmar (Burma) who is currently supporting the pro-democracy social movements there against the February 1 coup. Anonymity has been granted to the author due to the threat against his person that might result from a byline.
Pro-democracy protesters in Myanmar (Burma) following the February 1, 2021 coup.
On March 15th, the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (GCR2P) announced that they moved Myanmar (Burma) to the “Current Crisis” category, as populations here face crimes against humanity perpetrated by military coup leaders, known as the Junta. That followed the the March 2 announcement by civil society groups of the Myanmar Military as a terrorist group. Their legitimacy and tactics are, in fact, those of terrorists rather than a government, as they have attacked democratically-elected government officials, and shot randomly into people’s homes in an attempt to quell a rising social movement in defense of President U Win Myint, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, other government officials, and civil society leaders. Continue reading →
Journal of Political Risk, Vol. 9, No. 1, January 2021
Did British Prime Minister Theresa May’s ‘Hostile Environment Policy’ help Russian President Vladimir Putin? Wikimedia Commons
Bertie Harrison-Broninski Freelance Journalist and Editor
2021 marks ten years since the start of the Syrian Civil War, and we’re reaching the end of a decade of European and British politics defined by the migrant crisis. Anti-refugee campaigning contributed to the Brexit vote in the UK, and to far-right governments across Europe, such as Viktor Orban’s in Hungary, or Andrezej Duda’s in Poland.
Yet two seemingly contradictory developments in British policy this month demonstrate that the Brexit architects who are now leading the UK government lack Orban or Duda’s clarity around their attitude towards immigration.
Journal of Political Risk, Vol. 8, No. 9, September 2020
Detail from mural of Xi Jinping and Donald Trump in Berlin, Germany in 2020. Source: Yan Bennett.
John Garrick Charles Darwin University
Yan Bennett Princeton University
China has now fully weaponized its entire soft power repertoire and dramatically upgraded its military arsenal. The Middle Kingdom is no longer unwilling to openly challenge U.S. global hegemonic supremacy or coerce less powerful nations that do not accede to its will. The shocks caused by the Covid-19 pandemic have unmasked the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) ambition to be at the centre of global power, but at the same time, the CCP also faces uncertainty over China’s chances of achieving its 2017 strategic targets set by General Secretary Xi to ‘comprehensively build a moderately prosperous society’ by 2021.