Three risks of conflict in Asia in 2015

Avatar of Nick John By Nick John Dec31,2023 #Asia #conflict #Three
Three risks of conflict in Asia in 2015 3
Three risks of conflict in Asia in 2015 3

In 2014, a series of traditional hot spots in Asia heated up again, mainly revolving around sovereignty disputes in the East Sea, East China Sea and the Korean Peninsula.

Asia in 2015 is predicted by experts to not have many more positive changes, continuing the risk of conflict from the previous year.

Risk of conflict in the East Sea

Tensions in the East Sea are likely to continue to increase in 2015. Pictured is the Hai Duong 981 oil rig that China illegally placed in Vietnamese waters in May 2014.

In 2015, the International Court of Arbitration on the Law of the Sea will issue an important ruling on the Philippines’ lawsuit with China.

`This will probably be the court’s most important ruling since the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) was born, marking a turning point in the East Sea sovereignty dispute,` said Mr. Murray Hiebert, researcher.

This expert commented that, if the court finds it has the authority to rule, it is almost certain that China’s so-called `nine-dash line` will be declared invalid in the field of goods.

Sharing the same opinion, BBC reporter Bill Hayton, author of the book `The South China Sea: The Struggle for Power in Asia`, believes that Manila will definitely win.

The court’s ruling and China’s protest will make Beijing be considered an irresponsible country in the international system.

To deal with the above situation, China, on the one hand, continues its `charm attack` strategy to bind and divide ASEAN through economic benefits, and on the other hand, strengthen its presence in the Truong Sa archipelago.

Talking to Vnexpress, leading expert on Southeast Asia Carl Thayer predicted that Beijing may send the Hai Duong 981 drilling rig to deep waters for oil and gas exploration in 2015, and deploy the Hai Duong 982 drilling rig.

These are said to be the decisive factors that will cause tensions in the East Sea to continue to increase in 2015, especially as the court’s verdict date gets closer.

Japan-China tensions have not come to an end

Three risks of conflict in Asia in 2015

Historical issues and sovereignty disputes are still two main obstacles in Japan-China relations in 2015. Pictured are Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (left) and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

In November 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met for the first time after nearly two years of frozen bilateral relations due to the sovereignty dispute over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands in East China.

Analysts have said this is an initial sign that Asia’s leading economy is willing to resolve disagreements for the national benefit.

Therefore, tensions between Tokyo and Beijing are forecast to still not be resolved in 2015, especially this is the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, a sensitive topic in bilateral relations.

`2015 will probably be like previous years, still shadowed by historical issues and sovereignty disputes, and there will be no substantive diplomatic progress between Japan and China,` comments

With a resounding victory in the early election at the end of 2014, Prime Minister Abe has the opportunity to change the Peace Constitution and strengthen military force, in order to transform Japan from an economic power to a powerful one.

`Just like his grandfather, he hopes to wash away the stains of war and change the constitution that America imposed on Japan,` said Wall Street Journal commentator Andrew Browne.

However, Tokyo’s above calculation is expected to face strong opposition from Beijing and spark an anti-Japanese movement that has been smoldering in China since before.

During the ceremony commemorating the Nanjing massacre on December 17, 2014, President Xi Jinping publicly warned Japan that any attempt to cover up an invasion would endanger peace.

`The rise of nationalism and lack of trust between the two countries will increase the risk of conflict and limit the ability to resolve disputes through peaceful means. Senior leaders want to refrain from using

The North Korean nuclear crisis is permanent

Three risks of conflict in Asia in 2015

The North Korean nuclear crisis is said to be an ever-present risk in 2015. Pictured is a cooling tower in North Korea’s Yongbyon nuclear complex that was demolished in a 2008 deal to exchange disarmament for concessions from the US

The nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula is still considered a permanent risk in 2015, due to Pyongyang’s continuous efforts to develop missiles and nuclear weapons, as well as the incapacity of its agencies.

`There is currently no mechanism to limit North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, and it seems unlikely in 2015,` said James Acton, director of the Organization’s Nuclear Policy program

Although the scope of North Korea’s uranium enrichment program has not been completely determined, US intelligence still estimates that Pyongyang has the capacity to produce 5-6 nuclear warheads.

At the end of 2014, North Korea threatened to conduct a fourth nuclear test, after the United Nations issued a resolution condemning the country’s human rights violations.

Yesterday, Pyongyang spoke out against the US sanctions decision, and also said that Washington’s policy will only make the country `strengthen its determination to expand military equipment, including developing nuclear weapons.`

Meanwhile, there is currently no mechanism effective enough to persuade North Korea to limit its nuclear program.

Even China, Pyongyang’s only ally, is said to be gradually losing patience with its neighbor.

Chinese scholars believe that Beijing’s policy space on the North Korean nuclear issue is narrowing.

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