The Indo-Pacific is a strategic system encompassing the Indian and Pacific oceans, reflecting the expanding interests and reach of China and India as well as the enduring role of the US. The Lowy Institute's International Security program presents a weekly selection of links illuminating the changing security picture in this increasingly connected super-region.
- Victor Robert Lee has a new satellite image analysis of China's construction in the Spratly island group in the South China Sea.
- Gideon Rachman in the Financial Times is arguing that US pressure on its allies to not join the Chinese-sponsored AIIB has made America look 'isolated and petulant' in the region.
- Japan and France have signed an arms transfer agreement that will include technological exchanges on unmanned underwater vehicles for surveillance and sea-mine removal.
- Also, later this month the foreign ministers of China, Japan and South Korea will hold their first trilateral meeting since 2012.
- In May, Kim Jong Un will attend World War Two victory celebrations in Moscow, his first foreign trip since taking power three years ago. China is also considering holding its own World War Two commemorative parade. But instead of Tiananmen Square, the site for the parade being considered is Marco Polo bridge, which is often associated with the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War.
- Fascinatingly, the linguistic divide between North and South Korea is growing, to the extent that even 'language experts from the two countries can have trouble understanding each other.'
- The Economist has a piece on the growing border conflict between China and Myanmar, and how it could affect the latter's upcoming election.
- David Brewster wrote an excellent round-up of the strategic outcomes of Prime Minister Modi's recent trip to Sri Lanka, Mauritius and Seychelles. Interestingly, while in Sri Lanka, Modi was also the first Indian prime minister to visit the predominantly Tamil sections of the country's northeast.