How China Isn’t Egypt or like the Middle East

So many articles about whether and how China is “like” the Middle East … But I really wish we wouldn’t compare China and, say, Egypt. They are very different indeed: In many Arab countries, mid- and low-ranked military and security elites may well support the opposition. This is not the case in China. Indeed, where the military in Egypt and Tunisia ultimately turned on their presidents, the People’s Liberation Army will not challenge the Chinese Communist Party under present circumstances, nor will the paramilitary and police forces on which Beijing would largely rely.

Middle East Crisis: How US loss could become China’s gain

A man is arrested by police in front of the Peace Cinema, where internet social networks were calling to join a “Jasmine Revolution” protest, in downtown Shanghai on February 20, 2011. (Carlos Barria/Courtesy Reuters) It has been fascinating to watch as Beijing traverses the tricky ground of revolution in the Middle East

Inter-Korean Relations Becomes Critical for neighbors

A critical question becomes whether Korea’s neighbors have enough patience, “strategic” or otherwise, to wait for two more years before revisiting an agenda that includes not only a stalled denuclearization process where there is no prospect of resuming Six Party Talks to address denuclearization, but also three practical concerns in North Korea: 1) humanitarian aid, 2) missile development, and 3) conventional provocations, especially around the Northern Limit Line (NLL). In some respects, the most attractive feature of patience with the current status quo from a North Korean perspective is that every day that there are no talks on denuclearization means one more day in which the world has tacitly accepted North Korea as a de facto nuclear weapons state

An Agenda for United States and Central Asia Relations

When it snows on the steppes of eastern Kazakhstan, hunters saddle up and gallop off with eagles on their arms in search of prey. (Shamil Zhumatov/Courtesy Reuters) I’ve blogged mainly on East Asia and South Asia here at Asia Unbound.

Could Egypt be a potential transition model for Indonesia ?

An opposition supporter flashes the victory sign as he holds an Egyptian flag atop a lamp post near a mosque in Tahrir Square in Cairo February 7, 2011. (Yannis Behrakis/Courtesy Reuters) As the chaos in Cairo builds to a climax, some outside observers are comparing a potential transition in Egypt to Indonesia in the late 1990s, after the end of longtime dictator Suharto amid massive street protests in Jakarta and other cities. As Thomas Carothers notes in the New Republic , in Indonesia the Clinton administration stuck with the dictator Suharto until long after his sell-by date, and then seemed confused about how to handle the post-Suharto situation.

Are Thailand and Cambodia Heading to War?

Over the past week, fighting between Thailand and Cambodia over the disputed Preah Vihear border temple has left its bloodiest toll in at least a decade. At least seven people have been killed in recent days and dozens of soldiers on both sides wounded, as the Thai and Cambodian militaries trade rifle and artillery fire