Geopolitics in the South China Sea: Expansionism in the Shadow of North Korean Drama

By Stephen Nagy / GeoPoliticalMonitor

The world’s attention has been captured by the political drama emanating out of Pyongyang and Washington. The cat-and-mouse posturing prior to a potential June summit that may lead to an incremental denuclearization over what is likely going to be a generation masks the critical and potential irreversible geopolitical machinations occurring in the South China Sea (SCS) as China expands its military, economic, and diplomatic influence in the region. Continue reading “Geopolitics in the South China Sea: Expansionism in the Shadow of North Korean Drama”


Breaking the Ice to Warm Relations: Ramos-Fu Track II Meeting and Beyond

by Lucio Blanco Pitlo III / October 17, 2016 / Originally Posted at China US Focus 

Track II diplomacy has been credited with creating openings for improving relations when official state-to-state interactions are frozen or constrained. As unofficial and private representatives, Track II participants are freer to discuss and explore various issues, scenarios, and options that are important in assessing the interests, priorities, and preferred solutions of both sides. These discussions may then be passed on to official channels for appropriate scrutiny and consideration. States seeking to relieve tensions or establish resolutions to disputes may resort to this approach and its outcome may shape the next steps that both sides can undertake. Track II diplomacy’s results remain mixed, but it takes only one successful attempt to provide concrete and specific agenda items for formal talks. It is within this lens that the Ramos-Fu August 2016 meeting in Hong Kong could be appreciated. Continue reading “Breaking the Ice to Warm Relations: Ramos-Fu Track II Meeting and Beyond”

Strategic Perceptions and Misperceptions in the South China Sea

by Aaron Jed Rabena/ Sep 20 , 2016 / Originally posted at ChinaUSFocus

In recent years, the South China Sea (SCS) has become a defining feature of East Asia’s security complex and regional order. In the pioneering book Perception and Misperception in International Politics (1976), Robert Jervis exhaustively explored the causes and consequences of misperception, the kinds of perceptual errors (psychological forces) in decision-making, and the importance of image (belief) formation in relation to intentions or inferences arising from information assimilation. Jervis’ framework of analysis could apply no better than in the case of the SCS where perceptions and misperceptions, particularly between the Philippines and China, and China and the United States, have led to periodic strategic and diplomatic conflicts.

Continue reading “Strategic Perceptions and Misperceptions in the South China Sea”