Military power

An aerial view shows Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF)'s multi-purpose destroyer Izumo (DDH-183) leading the fleet during the International Fleet Review to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the JMSDF, at Sagami Bay, off Yokosuka, south of Tokyo, Japan, 6 November 2022. (Kyodo/via Reuters)

Japan's move towards acquisition of strike capabilities could benefit Southeast Asia

Japan is considering the deployment of non-nuclear counter-strike capabilities in the face of growing threats from North Korea and China. Japanese academic Yoichiro Sato believes that for Southeast Asian countries, this might be a win-win situation in terms of maintaining the region’s non-nuclear stance, yet retaining the option of bringing US-Japanese allied capabilities to bear in contingencies.
People attend a media tour ahead of Airshow China 2022 in Zhuhai, Guangdong province, China, 6 November 2022. (CNS)

China’s latest military drones on display at Zhuhai Airshow

The People’s Liberation Army Air Force is showcasing its air combat capabilities during the 14th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition, with static displays and aerial demonstrations for its advanced military drones, fighter jets and other military weapons and equipment. From boasting of a fully China-made fighter jet, to its home-designed drones, the developments in China’s air combat power shows the impact of the geopolitical situation on the military industry.
Visitors near a screen displaying an image of Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Museum of the Communist Party of China in Beijing, China, 3 September 2022. (Florence Lo/Reuters)

[Future of China] Xi Jinping and the world: Retrospect and prospect

As the 20th Party Congress approaches, US academic Robert S. Ross assesses China’s foreign policy record over the last ten years and weighs up China’s foreign policy priorities in the likely third term of President Xi Jinping’s leadership. This is the last in a five-part series of articles on the future of China.
A vintage doll is pictured near a damaged kindergarten following recent Russian shelling in the city of Slovyansk, Ukraine, as Russia's attack in Ukraine continues, on 2 September 2022 (Ammar Awad/Reuters)

In the China-US-Russia confrontation, it is military power that counts in the end

The Russia-Ukraine war has turned into a stage for the US and Russian militaries to flex their muscles, and so too in the case of the Taiwan Strait for the People’s Liberation Army and the US military. Against this backdrop, says political commentator Jin Jian Guo, the arms race in East Asia is quickening its pace, with Japan seeking to revise its constitution, Taiwan aiming to raise military spending next year, and North Korea holding firm to its nuclear programme. How will these developments affect geopolitics and security in the region?
The Ground Force under the Eastern Theatre Command of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) conducts a long-range live-fire drill into the Taiwan Strait, from an undisclosed location in this handout released on 4 August 2022. (Eastern Theatre Command/Handout via Reuters)

Implications of the Russia-Ukraine war for the People’s Liberation Army

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) is closely watching the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, with the Russian army continuing to meet stubborn resistance from the Ukrainian forces. Japanese academic Sugiura Yasuyuki examines how the PLA is learning from the crisis and reevaluating its military doctrine in the case of Taiwan, especially following the recent visit to Taiwan by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Fumio Kishida, Japan's Prime Minister and president of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), walks past his poster after placing a paper rose on an LDP candidate's name, to indicate a victory in the upper house election, at the party's headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, 10 July 2022. (Toru Hanai/Pool via Reuters)

Japanese academic: Misunderstandings surrounding Japan’s constitutional revision

Japanese academic Shin Kawashima notes that concerns about Japan's possible increased militarism amid constitutional revision may be misplaced. The debate in Japan is focused on making Japan's Self-Defence Forces constitutional, and not so much altering Article 9 itself. If countries are concerned about Japan's security moves, they should really be looking out for changes in documents such as the revised National Security Strategy to be launched at the end of the year.
Members of the honour guard prepare for a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, 25 October 2019. (Jason Lee/Reuters)

The PLA’s political role: The party still, and must always control the gun

While the Chinese government has paid more attention to the navy and air force contingents of the People’s Liberation Army in recent times, it is still the land forces that have the most political influence. The party is well aware that it is the latter’s might they would need in the event of internal uprisings and it is this constituent’s loyalty and strength they must ensure.
This screen grab made from a video released by Chinese state broadcaster CCTV shows the launch ceremony of the Fujian, a People's Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft carrier, at a shipyard in Shanghai, China, on 17 June 2022. (CCTV/AFP)

China’s third aircraft carrier: No need to panic just yet

China’s third aircraft carrier is not yet nuclear-powered and won’t be battle-ready for some years yet. Besides, in terms of possible warfare, it’s the numerous surface combatants China possesses that the US should be worried about, says Loro Horta. But with every iteration of China’s aircraft carrier, its ambitions of eventually taking on the US in the open Pacific is increasingly clear.
US President Joe Biden during a news conference following the final day of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit at the IFEMA congress center in Madrid, Spain, on 30 June 2022. (Valeria Mongelli/Bloomberg)

What a ‘resurrected’ NATO means for China and the world

The recent NATO summit in Madrid seems to indicate that NATO is making a comeback in full force. For China, painted as presenting “systemic challenges” to NATO, this should sound a warning that when the time is ripe for the US to contain China, key countries in the Asia-Pacific and the EU will not be on its side.