The Sky is Not Falling

… or Why We Shouldn’t Worry Too Much About China’s Latest Military Budget _______________ Ernest Chong China’s official defence budget is set to rise by 11.2 percent this year to an estimated 670 billion RMB ($106B US). Hold the Chicken Little routine. Is the budget increase really that big of a deal? Not really. The…

Uncle Sam Is Back

Ernest Chong The United States is returning to the Asia-Pacific region. Last November, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrote of “America’s Pacific Century” in Foreign Policy, and Washington announced the basing of Marines in Australia. Shortly thereafter, President Obama began reversing years of perceived American disengagement by participating in the East Asia Summit (EAS) for…

Interpreting China’s First Aircraft Carrier

Ernest Chong China’s first aircraft carrier is back at sea. The ex-Ukrainian warship has spent more than a decade being refurbished and modified in Chinese shipyards, and only had its maiden voyage in August of this year. To the world, Shi Lang (the carrier’s rumoured Chinese name) is the latest unsettling example of Beijing’s rapid…