Currenly Asia appears peaceful in comparison to Ukraine and the Middle East. However, behind this facade of stability, China's assertive maritime behavior is reshaping power dynamics in the region.
Over the next decades, Japan will add to stability in Asia through a stronger economy, by working more closely with other Asian partners, and potentially helping take up any slack caused by a retrenchment of American forces due to shrinking defense budgets. All of this would be good for Asia.
One hundred years after the beginning of World War I, many Asians fear history is repeating itself. The source of concern is China's growing power and its demonstrated willingness to use that power coercively
The mid-2014 update of the China Global Investment Tracker sees the first decline in investment since the financial crisis. This is due primarily to a dearth of energy spending and could be reversed by a single large deal. But it is a useful reminder that China is not buying the world.
Put in the context of Japan's gradual security evolution over the past several decades, Shinzo Abe's push to revoke the country's ban on engaging in collective self-defense is neither a radical move nor one that threatens peace in Asia.
Indonesians on July 9 will vote in the third presidential election since the collapse of former President Suharto's regime in 1998. Their choice may determine whether Indonesia turns inward or continues to liberalize at home and abroad.
China has recently attempted to use military force to back up alleged historical claims to the South China and East China Seas; however, upon closer examination, the claims do not hold up.
For Abe, the Tokyo-Canberra agreement is larger than just countering China. It is to make Tokyo an increasingly vital part of political, security and technological cooperation regionally and globally.