The Evening CSIS May 28 2015
May 28, 2015
Welcome to The Evening CSIS—my daily guide to key insights CSIS brings to the events of the day plus HIGHLY RECOMMENDED content from around the world. To subscribe, please click here and if you want to view this in your browser, click here.
US Demands, China Accuses
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said late yesterday during a ceremony at Pearl Harbor, “We want a peaceful resolution of all disputes and an immediate and lasting halt to land reclamation by any claimant” in the South China Sea, Australia’s ABC News reports.
In response today, as the Wall Street Journal reports, “ China accused the US of provoking tensions over the South China Sea.”
And, aboard a US military plane today, Reuters’ David Alexander reports that Secretary Carter said “ The new facts are the reclamation and the scale on which it is being done, and that’s not an American fact, that’s a Chinese fact.”
Dive Deeper: The Sydney Morning Herald provides a smart article utilizing CSIS/Digital Globe satellite images from CSIS’s Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI)” “South China Sea dispute: What you need to know.”
The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative has all the latest satellite images and analysis of island building and land reclamation in the South China Sea. Explore these images and analysis by visiting the AMTI micro website.
Tough Talks Ahead at G7
Top finance officials from the Group of Seven wealthy democracies are debating ways to broaden and strengthen economic recoveries that aren’t as robust as everyone would like, reports the AP’s David McHugh ahead of the June 7-8 G7 Summit. The official G7 Summit page can be accessed here.
Dive Deeper: The latest issue of CSIS’s Global Economics Monthly was published today with a key article by Matthew Goodman: “G7 Endures, With Fault Lines.”
In that Number
62,710 square meters have been reclaimed (as of February 18, 2015) by Chinese development at Hughes Reef in the Union Banks, located in the northern Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.
Source: CSIS AMTI
Asked: What’s to be expected at next week’s G7 summit?
Answered: Matt Goodman, senior adviser for Asian economics and Simon Chair in Political Economy: A surprise victory for Canada’s opposition party earlier this month in the energy-rich province of Alberta has opened the door for more ambitious G7 efforts in advance of the upcoming UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting in Paris in late 2015. The United States and the European Union have already announced ambitious targets for reducing CO2 emissions over the next 10 to 15 years, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to announce Japan’s target at Schloss Elmau.
G7 leaders will also seek to show common resolve on a number of burning global political and security issues. Foremost among these will be Ukraine, where the group is likely to reiterate the importance of all sides’ implementing the Minsk agreements and to warn of strengthened sanctions if Russia does not comply.
Other political issues likely to feature prominently in the Schloss Elmau communiqué were previewed in a G7 foreign ministers’ statement in mid-April and range from confronting the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, to endorsing a comprehensive deal with Iran on nuclear issues, to addressing an array of conflicts in Africa. Maritime security will also likely feature: the G7 foreign ministers unveiled the group’s first-ever standalone statement on the issue at the April meeting.
Read more and subscribe to “Global Economics Monthly” here.
One to Watch
CSIS’s Bonnie Glaser ( @BonnieGlaser) is a senior adviser for Asia with the Freeman Chair in China Studies, where she works on issues related to Chinese foreign and security policy. With this weekend’s Shangri-La summit in Singapore coming up, she is one to watch for her analysis and commentary.
Johnson South Reef is a 7.2 square kilometer submerged reef in the Union Banks of the South China Sea. The photo you see above is an exclusive satellite image by the CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative and Digital Globe. Until early 2014, the only manmade feature on the reef was a small concrete platform that housed a communications facility, garrison building, and pier. That platform is now surrounded by an island that is approximately 400 meters across at its widest points and now has an area of about 100,000 square meters.
There has been some speculation that Beijing may build an airstrip on Johnson South Reef, although experts have argued that any such airstrip would be too small to have a significant strategic impact. Significant progress was made toward the construction of new buildings on Johnson South Reef between November 15 and December 12, 2014.
A new Wall Street Journal column by Yaroslav Trofimov, Middle East Crossroads, covers the region stretching from West Africa to Pakistan and today asks “Will Nuclear Deal Boost Iran Moderates or Hard-Liners?” It's a must read.
This Town Tomorrow
The Atlantic Council will host a 10:00 a.m. panel discussion on “Saudi Arabia’s Leadership Changes: Implications for Stability and Energy Markets,” with CSIS’s Anthony Cordesman and other regional experts.
CSIS on Demand
Yesterday, CSIS hosted Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg of NATO for a large public address on the challenges facing the Transatlantic Alliance and how NATO is adapting to a changed security environment. The Guardian has this piece covering Stoltenberg’s comments on Russia’s nuclear threats.
The BBC checks in on New York, Mogadishu, Ghana, Morocco, and the far flung Faroe Islands for this week’s From Our Own Correspondent Podcast . Besides CSIS, it’s a combination you won’t find often and makes for a great listen.
I Like It Like That
Stanford University has a Mapping Militants Project, which identifies patterns in the evolution of militant organizations in specified conflict theaters and provides interactive visual representations of these relationships. Certainly worth a look.
As Toronto’s Globe and Mail points out, “Selfies” have become a new form of photography —especially when fans get to pose with their favorite celebrities. So we got a big smile when the Globe and Mail included a fan “selfie” taken at CSIS in the same collection of other “selfies of the week” that featured LeBron James, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and other celebs in “Capturing the ‘selfies’ from around the world this past week.”
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