AMTI Brief – Evaluating the Asia-Pacific Rebalance
The Center for Strategic and International Studies last month completed an independent review of the defense portion of the Obama administration’s rebalance to the Asia Pacific. This review, which includes an evaluation of the rebalance’s implementation and resourcing as well as recommendations for its improvement, was mandated by the U.S. Congress under the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act.
This week AMTI looks at the Asia-Pacific Rebalance 2025 report with an eye to understanding its implications for maritime Asia. Will the United States remain engaged in the region? Can U.S. forces counter coercion and anti-access / area denial threats? Will the United States strengthen itsalliances and partnerships to maintain security?
To read the full report CLICK HERE
To read the abridged report CLICK HERE
|South China Sea FONOP 2.0: A Step in the Right Direction
by Gregory Poling
|Philippine Supreme Court Approves EDCA: Unlocking the Door for the Return of U.S. Strategic Footprint in Southeast Asia
By Renato Cruz de Castro
|Getting the Balance Right: Singapore and Sino-U.S. Rivalry in the South China Sea
By Joseph Liow
In November, Singapore hosted a visit by Chinese president Xi Jinping. Notwithstanding the conclusion of several bilateral agreements, the spotlight invariably focused on Xi’s comments on the South China Sea, where he reiterated China’s commitment to freedom of navigation and the peaceful resolution of the South China Sea disputes. Xi’s assurances were timely given regional consternation at China’s ambitions driving massive land reclamation projects in the disputed area. The following month, Singapore’s defense minister, Ng Eng Hen, and his U.S. counterpart, Ashton Carter, signed an Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) which aimed to further deepen an already strong bilateral defense relationship. Among other things, the EDCA provided for U.S. P-8 surveillance flights to be flown out of the island-state. While the South China Sea was not mentioned explicitly, analysts have inferred the P-8 will likely operate in that domain. How should these two developments be understood in the broader context of regional geostrategic trends? Read on…
Is there Drinkable Water and Topsoil on Itu Aba?
By Yann-huei Song
I visited Itu Aba, or Taiping Island in Chinese, on December 12 alongside a group of high-ranking Taiwanese government officials to attend the opening ceremonies for new piers and a lighthouse. It was my fourth visit to the island.
These visits provided me an opportunity to answer for myself the following questions being asked of a tribunal considering the Philippines’ case against China at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague: Is Itu Aba an “island” or “rock” under Article 121(3) of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)? In other words, is it capable of sustaining human habitation or economic life of its own? And as a result, is the feature entitled to a 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelf? Read on…