follow us like us subscribe contact us
Loading, please wait

Geopolitics / Asia

  • What Territorial Dispute? Vietnam Moves To Repair Relations With China

    The government of Vietnam is sending a senior politburo member to China to help repair relations that were strained over Beijing’s deployment of an oil rig in waters of the South China Sea claimed by Hanoi.The move, on May 1, started a serious dispute between the two countries, sparking violent and often deadly demonstrations in Vietnam and confrontations at sea between Vietnamese boats trying to approach the rig and Chinese coast guard vessels sent to protect it.Two-and-a-half months later, China withdrew the $1 billion rig, the Haiyang Shiyou 981, saying it had completed its work and should be moved out…

  • China’s Careful Days

    The Chinese believe that they can achieve their objective of acquiring islands throughout the South and East China Seas without a fight.  It worked against the Philippines.  If they try the same strategy against Japan over the Senkaku Islands, they just may get a bloody surprise.The Reference to the "String of Pearls" first appeared in a 2005 intelligence report about the emergence of China as a regional power.  The String of Pearls is a number of Chinese built port facilities in Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Pakistan and were constructed by Chinese state owned corporations.  That is to say that…

  • Sakhalin Energy Reserves Russian Calling Card for Improved Japanese Ties

    Siberia has traditionally conjured up images of fearsome cold and death, first as a place of exile under the Russian Tsars and later under the murderous regime of Lenin’s Bolsheviks.A great appeal of eastern Siberia for political exile was its extreme remoteness. Originally only reachable by ship, eastern Siberia’s isolation was only somewhat alleviated by the opening of the single-track Trans-Siberian railroad in 1916. Russia’s Pacific coast city Vladivostok is closer to Tokyo and Beijing than Moscow.Russia’s Pacific seaboard is comprised of the Primorsky Krai, (Primorye), Khabarovsk Krai, Magadan Oblast and Kamchatka. The large offshore island of Sakhalin (Sakhalin oblast,…

  • This Week in Energy: At the Crossroads of Japan’s Energy Future

    Japan’s 9 February gubernatorial elections are being billed largely as a referendum on the fate of the country’s nuclear energy future—an election that will shape the debate on whether Japan should continue its reliance on nuclear energy, at least for the next two decades.The gubernatorial elections come as Abe administration is hoping to restart some nuclear power plants once the Nuclear Regulation Authority confirms that they are safe.  Challenging this plan is an alliance between former prime minister Morihiro Hosokawa and former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi, who are pushing an influential zero nuclear platform.As such, and in this post-Fukushima environment,…

  • Ten Trends that will Effect Asia in 2014

    According to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Asia could be in for a turbulent 2014. Today, Evan Feigenbaum outlines the ten key factors – both positive and negative – that will shape the region’s politics and security over the coming year.A fraught 2014 lies ahead for Asia. Political risks will rise, security tensions will increase, and skepticism will continue to grow about whether major Asian governments—especially in Beijing, Tokyo, New Delhi, and Jakarta—are sufficiently committed to growth-conducive reforms.Ten trends will shape this more volatile Asia, yielding risks, opportunities, and patterns that will influence the next twelve months and beyond.1.…

  • Southeast Asia Energy Advisory

    This week our advisory for investors focus on India and Indonesia, where new oil and gas blocks are up for offer, and Pakistan, where the government is banking on a massive privatization plan that includes the state oil company and refinery—big profit makers. INDIALast weekend, the government of India announced it was putting 46 new oil and gas blocks up for auction, but bidding rules have not yet been defined so investors remain wary. Here are the details for potential investors: •    The new blocks include 14 deep-water, 15 shallow-water and 17 onshore, covering a total of 94 364 km2 …

  • Freed from Prison Russian Energy Oligarch Khodorkovsky Flies to Germany

    Following a marathon four-hours news conference on 19 December, Russian President Vladimir Putin had a surprise announcement to make about former oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, arrested in October 2003 and due to be released in 2017. Following up on the last question of the press conference, Putin told reporters that Khodorkovsky recently "wrote to me asking for pardon. He has already spent over 10 years in confinement. This is a serious punishment." Noting that Khodorkovsky’s mother was ill, Putin added, "Considering all those circumstances, I believe it is possible to make a relevant decision and a (presidential) pardon decree for him…

  • Azerbaijan: Oil, Natural Gas and No Complicated Politics

    Azerbaijan, a former Soviet republic on the Caspian Sea, has the proper mix of abundant natural resources and uncomplicated politics making it attractive to Washington. Additionally, Baku has the desire to become fully integrated in the West, perhaps even joining the European Union.  It would in fact seem that the United States may have found a new best friend in the region in Azerbaijan. Indeed, an article in a newspaper in Azerbaijan recently described relations between the United States and Azerbaijan as “excellent.” What does Washington see in this country that is lacking in the rest of the area and that…

  • Can China’s Financial Might Force Stability in Central Asia?

    Does China believe that it can bankroll a two-part goal in Central Asia – i.e., lower tensions between the region’s states and still make money? Not entirely, argues Chris Rickleton. Beijing knows that its economic ties with individual countries are still more important than promoting regional stability.China is striving to forge Central Asia into a streamlined conduit for its regional trade and energy ambitions. But Beijing is finding that domestic insecurity and fractious bilateral relations among the region’s five former-Soviet republics have created a web of obstacles.Despite what may seem like daunting challenges, regional analysts say Beijing remains confident there…

  • Canada Continues Energy Push into Asia

    Continuing Canada's search to conquer new Asian energy markets, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver was in Daegu, South Korea, this week to address the World Energy Conference. Oliver is on an extended tour of the region and just last week signed an agreement with Japan seeking to promote trade and investment in liquefied natural gas (LNG) and oil by creating a forum for the exchange of information and discussion.Called a "strategic energy partnership" with Japan, the practical work will focus on infrastructure development, the lack of which is a principal obstacle to Canada's greater participation in global LNG markets. The…