Articles by: "Brahma Chellaney"
A concert of Indo-Pacific democracies

On his week-long tour of Asia, US vice president Mike Pence has been promoting a vision of a ‘free and open’ Indo-Pacific region, characterised by unimpeded trade flows, freedom of navigation, and respect for the …

The end of America’s China fantasy

A long-overdue shift in America’s China policy is underway. After decades of ‘constructive engagement’—an approach that has facilitated China’s rise, even as the country has violated international rules and norms—the United States is now seeking …

The China backlash

On a recent official visit to China, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad criticised his host country’s use of major infrastructure projects—and difficult-to-repay loans—to assert its influence over smaller countries. While Mahathir’s warnings in Beijing against …

A global environmental threat made in China

Asia’s future is inextricably tied to the Himalayas, the world’s tallest mountain range and the source of the water-stressed continent’s major river systems. Yet reckless national projects are straining the region’s fragile ecosystems, resulting in …

Trump’s grand strategy

US President Donald Trump’s inability to think strategically is undermining longstanding relationships, upending the global order, and accelerating the decline of his country’s global influence—or so the increasingly popular wisdom goes. But this assessment is …

Who lost the South China Sea?

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has spoken out against China’s strategy of ‘intimidation and coercion’ in the South China Sea, including the deployment of anti-ship missiles, surface-to-air missiles and electronic jammers, and, more recently, the …

The world according to Trump and Xi

The world’s leading democracy, the United States, is looking increasingly like the world’s biggest and oldest surviving autocracy, China. By pursuing aggressively unilateral policies that flout broad global consensus, President Donald Trump effectively justifies his …

How to negotiate with North Korea

North Korean leader Kim Jong‑un seems to be setting the stage for an historic deal with US President Donald Trump that would allow his country, like Myanmar and Vietnam, to reduce its dependence on China …

Making water-smart energy choices

Climate change undoubtedly poses a potent—even existential—threat to the planet. But the current approach to mitigating it, which reflects a single-minded focus on cutting carbon dioxide emissions, may end up doing serious harm, as it …

A new order for the Indo-Pacific

Security dynamics are changing rapidly in the Indo-Pacific. The region is home not only to the world’s fastest-growing economies, but also to the fastest-increasing military expenditures and naval capabilities, the fiercest competition over natural resources, …

India’s choice in the Maldives

The Maldives—that beautiful Indian Ocean country comprising more than 1,000 coral islands—is known the world over as a tranquil and luxurious travel destination. But the country is now being roiled by a political crisis so …

China’s creditor imperialism

This month, Sri Lanka, unable to pay the onerous debt to China it has accumulated, formally handed over its strategically located Hambantota port to the Asian giant. It was a major acquisition for China’s Belt …