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Security Commentaries #013
May 4th, 2021


Asia Pacific

After the ASEAN Emergency Summit on the Myanmar Crisis—The Positives and the Challenges: The ultimate outcome of the agreement will largely determine ASEAN's credibility, the commitment of the military junta, and one can hope, the return of Myanmar to a democratic government.

When the Sea Turns Gray—A Look at the Gray Zone Tactics in the South China Sea: Both global and regional stakeholders make their moves to gain and retain advantageous positions in the disputed areas in the South China Sea.

Around the World

Leaders' Summit on Climate Change—The Return of America with an Ambitious Commitment: How feasible and credible are Biden's climate change plans for the international agenda? Will the U.S. and China cooperate and what would this mean for the global coalition towards climate change?

EU’s Indo-Pacific Strategy—Toeing the Line or Calling Its Own Shots: As a major normative power in the world, despite arguably losing much of its legitimacy these past few years, the 27 European member states have once again come out with a framework that is principled, yet still raised eyebrows from adversaries and allies alike.

After the ASEAN Emergency Summit on the Myanmar Crisis: The Positives and the Challenges
- Elpeni Fitrah,  Taiwan Center for Security Studies

The ASEAN special high-level summit addressing the ongoing crisis in post-coup Myanmar on April 24th, was held at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia. To much surprise, the member states produced a spontaneous “progressive” resolution seeking to end the turmoil. However, the agreement is considered far from perfect and still provokes dissatisfaction from some parties... Read More

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When the Sea Turns Gray: A Look at the Gray Zone Tactics in the South China Sea
- Angelo Brian T. Castro, Taiwan Center for Security Studies

The highly contested South China Sea has become a silent witness to a prolonged dispute among global and regional stakeholders. As the sea could provide enormous food and energy resources, the stakes are high for those who desire to extract these resources. The primary tool employed by countries such as China, Russia, and Iran in conflict areas where conventional war is not an option is called gray zone tactics. Most commonly, this can be in the form of information warfare, economic coercion, and ambiguous forces, to name a few... Read More

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Leaders' Summit on Climate Change: The Return of America with an Ambitious Commitment 
- Thuong Nguyen, Taiwan Center for Security Studies

Last week, the U.S.-led Leader’s Summit on Climate was a meeting of heads of states, including from the most prominent economies with the most greenhouse gas emissions, such as the U.S., China, India, Russia, Japan, and the countries with the most vital commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Nations that are most vulnerable to climate change or play an important role in green economic development regions, together with the Secretary-General United Nations António Guterres and heads of many other regional and international organizations attended Biden's Climate Change Summit on April 22nd and 23rd... Read More

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EU’s Indo-Pacific Strategy: Toeing the Line or Calling Its Own Shots
- Richard Chen, Taiwan Center for Security Studies

This month, the European Council approved the conclusions of its EU Strategy for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific. The document lays out a blueprint for how the 27 member states moving forward approach their engagements with the Indo-Pacifc region. Fundamentally, the Council conclusions laid out the priorities the European Union seeks to achieve and push in the region... Read More

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Editor’s Picks - Hot Off the Press


COVID-19 cases in India surges as the world scuttles to bring aid to the world’s second largest nation… Read more

Vulnerabilities from Beijing’ incursions on Taipei’s South China Sea claims… Read more

In Myanmar, the specter of civil war means the situation could get worse before it gets better… Read more


Japan-US cooperation in security cooperation substantially increases under Biden… Read more

Vietnam and China held their seventh ministerial defence strategy dialogue… Read more

What is Happening at TCSS

Rotary Forum on Climate Change and 10th Anniversary Banquet of Taipei Dragons

Our world faces many challenges. One of them is climate change that affects the whole of humanity. Global warming has for better or worse, become a main focal point for various international fora and summits. In light of this, on Saturday April 24th, Taipei Dragons Rotary Club, Taiwan Center for Security Studies, Rotary International and Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group (ESRAG) held the Rotary Forum on Climate Change and Sustainability as a part of the 10th Rotary Anniversary Event. The event addressed climate impact on Small Island States in the Caribbean and Pacific Islands, stressing the urgency for climate action.

Keynote Speakers:

H. E. Ambassador Edwin Laurent, Ambassador of St. Lucia to the Republic of China (Taiwan)

H. E. Ambassador Herve Denis, former Ambassador of Haiti to the Republic of China (Taiwan)

H. E. Dr. Jack Guy Lafontant, former Prime Minister of Haiti

Mr. Tom Thorfinnson, Chief Strategy Officer, Rotary International

Dr. Christopher Puttock, Chair, Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group


Synergia Foundation, a partner think tank of TCSS in Bengaluru, India, published two editions of their weekly publication INSIGHTS. In these recent editions, Synergia and TCSS provide our readers with deep analysis on views from Taiwan, partnered with expert opinions from India as well as across the globe.

"The Chip between US & China", a research collaboration between Synergia Foundation and Taiwan Center for Security Studies on chip nationalism and the semiconductor industry supply chain.

"Charting the American Course on the Indo-Pacific", this issue is based on views expressed at Synergia Foundation’s 101st Forum, held jointly with TCSS on “U.S. and the Indo-Pacific: Charting through a turbulent South China Sea” on the 22nd of April.
Thank you for subscribing to the TCSS Security Commentaries email newsletter, a weekly publication aimed at providing independent and transparent analysis on key events around the world regarding international security and developments in the Asia-Pacific region. 

Copyright 2021 - Taiwan Center for Security Studies 

All views and articles in this periodical do not necessarily represent the views of either TCSS or the editors.

Editors : Richard Chen & Jaime Ocon
Image Sources: Getty Images, Associated Press, US State Department
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