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.
- Kim Jong-Un climbed North Korea's biggest mountain over the weekend, reportedly saying that 'Climbing Mt Paektu provides precious mental pabulum more powerful than any kind of nuclear weapon.' But it looks like it was just photo-shop.
- The biggest joint US-Philippines military exercises in 15 years will do little to stem Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea, argues The Economist.
- Japan and the AIIB was a major topic this week. This piece in The Japan Times makes the case as to why Japan shouldn't join the Chinese-led initiative (h/t Geoffrey Wade) and this op-ed in the New York Times by Yoichi Funabashi argues Japan needs to be involved in all of Asia's regional architecture. The Japanese head of the ADB also said the creation of the AIIB was more symbolic than representing any major change in development finance.
- Meanwhile, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will be in Washington next week, where he will be the first Japanese leader to address a joint session of Congress. Before the visit, the New York Times published an editorial on Abe and the misuse of Japan's wartime history. China's state media also jumped on board.
- The Lowy Institute's Milton Osborne on the fall of Phnom Penh and its aftermath.
- Wu Jianmin argues that climate change and nuclear non-proliferation are two areas where the US and China can strengthen bilateral cooperation.
- In Foreign Affairs, Jacob Stokes on China's growing economic ambitions in Eurasia.
- The possible sale of Chinese conventional submarines to Pakistan will almost certainly increase maritime tensions in the Indian Ocean.
- Husain Haqqani argues that the Obama Administration's decision to continue selling arms to Pakistan is fueling its ambitions to rival India militarily, 'which is akin to Belgium trying to rival France or Germany.'