At the ASEAN meetings, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated an indirect but obvious warning to China that Washington was committed to the rule of law in the South China Sea. He then announced a security aid package to Southeast Asia prioritizing maritime security.
In the run up to US Secretary of Defense James Mattis’ first visit to China from June 27-28, 2018, he said: “I want to go in without poisoning the well and do a lot of listening.” Well he certainly got an earful regarding the South China Sea.
By reframing the issue, the perceived threat to the DPRK’s ideological and psychological security may be reduced. A common discursive ground may then be found to engage the DPRK without a breakdown in dialogue on denuclearization, peace and the normalization of relations.
The war of words and tit-for-tat provocative actions of China and the US regarding the South China Sea could spiral out of control. Thus, it is a good time for analysts and decision makers to step back and distinguish between hope (the possible) and reality (the probable).
The killing of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Mullah Fazlullah in a US drone strike in Afghanistan is a major blow to the terror group. Fazlullah’s killing will further undermine TTP’s organizational coherence, possibly paving way for more defections.
The Xiangshan Forum and the Shangri-La Dialogue are two of the most important security dialogues regionally and globally. The Xiangshan Forum was inaugurated in 2006 and it became a Track 1.5 event in 2015. The Shangri-La Dialogue has been going strong as well.