In the wake of the end of the Cold War, there were three hot spots of potential conflicts in East Asia in the 1990s, namely the Korean Peninsula, the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea.
In early 2016, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has again engaged in nuclear test and launching of long-range rocket into orbit, and raised high tensions in northeast Asia. For its part, China - after 2 years of rapid land reclamation work – has enlarged several rocks and reefs in the South China Sea into manmade islands with the potential of being militarized. In mid-February, China further put HQ-9 surface-to-air missiles on Woody Island in the Paracels and may threaten the freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea.
In Taiwan, the victory of the Democratic Progressive Party in both the presidency and the parliament in the January elections has put the common political basis for negotiations across the Taiwan Strait into questions.
Are we going to witness the return of the three hot spots in East Asia this year? Join us for discussion.