Did China’s balloon violate international law?

Was the balloon that suddenly appeared over the US last week undertaking surveillance? Or was it engaging in research, as China has claimed? While the answers to these questions may not be immediately known, one thing is clear: the incursion of the Chinese balloon tested the bounds of international law. This incident also has added […]Continue Reading

West-China co-existence: some inconvenient truths

China is the center of the global production network. It is the largest trading partner for all its neighbors and has fueled economic growth in and out of the Indo-Pacific region for decades. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, even during the Covid-19 pandemic, trade deepened between China and the United States, Canada, Japan, Southeast Asia, and the […]Continue Reading

Serious matter – but check out our great balloons!

On Monday, after the government in Beijing had expressed its displeasure over news that the US had shot a Chinese balloon out of the sky, some in China’s media took a different tack: boasting that the country produces affordable meteorological balloons of a world-class standard. Media said the concerned balloon was made by ChemChina’s Zhuzhou […]Continue Reading

China goes on the spy-balloon offensive

Mao Ning, a spokesperson of the Chinese foreign ministry, said Monday that the balloon that the US shot down over the weekend had been blown into US airspace initially, entirely by accident – and he said the case would test whether the US is sincerely interested in stabilizing and improving Sino-US relations.  China’s Vice Foreign […]Continue Reading

If a Chinese spy balloon flew over Israel

Consider this: if China sent one of its high-tech surveillance balloons over Israel, what would happen? The answer: Israel would have sounded air raid sirens telling its citizens to go into shelters. It would then fire an air defense missile to take the balloon down. No hand-wringing. No waiting. No lies. Just eliminate the threat. Israel has an extensive air […]Continue Reading

Taking the air out of China’s spy balloon hubbub

The US military shot down what US officials called a Chinese surveillance balloon off the coast of South Carolina on February 4, 2023. Officials said that the US Navy planned to recover the debris, which is in shallow water. The US and Canada tracked the balloon as it crossed the Aleutian Islands, passed over Western […]Continue Reading

Dynastic politics taking deeper root in Indonesia

JAKARTA – President Joko Widodo, better known as Jokowi, rode to victory eight years ago on the strength of his common-man image, the first of Indonesia’s seven presidents to come from the heartlands of Java instead of the ranks of Jakarta’s civilian and military elite. Still polling at 71%, a result most world leaders would […]Continue Reading

Taiwan’s ‘new normal’ of volatility and deterrence

Volatility is perhaps the best word to describe Taiwan’s 2022. Though initial economic forecasts expected Taiwan to continue its strong growth from 2021, Taiwan’s actual annual GDP growth rate — 2.43% — was nearly half of 2022’s projected 4.42%. Actual growth in the fourth quarter contracted 0.86%, a rare 5% departure from the original forecast of a […]Continue Reading

China building new satellite station in Antarctica

China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) had been selected to build a new ground station in Antarctica to serve China’s National Satellite Ocean Application Service (NSOAS). Such news, reported on February 2, might have ordinarily set off alarm bells in Washington, but the Americans were too busy watching the large Chinese spy balloon drift […]Continue Reading

Turkey spreads influence inside Russia’s borders

As the war in Ukraine grinds on, Turkey is making geopolitical inroads in places long dominated by Russia, such as Central Asia and the South Caucasus. Increasingly, though, Turkey is zeroing in on regions where Moscow should have firm control: inside the Russian Federation itself. It’s no secret that some political forces in Turkey view certain Russian territories […]Continue Reading