„Wanna go to Kabul this Fall?“ When my sister first suggested to spend both our vacations with our mum in Afghanistan, I thought she was kidding. Continue reading Swing riding in Kabul
The Taliban capture of Kundus, Afghanistan’s main transportation hub in the North and the first major city controlled by the Taliban since 2001, is a major setback for government forces. Just how dire is the situation? Continue reading The Fall of Kundus
The recent Turkish attacks on IS and PKK indicate that Erdogan’s regional strategy has failed, while Assad’s seems more likely to succeed. Continue reading Too Little, Too Late
The outcome of the Greek referendum seems like a paradox: Voting against austerity measures lead to yet more extensive austerity measures. That is mainly due to Greece not only being in an economic and international crisis, but also in a political, domestic crisis that Tsipras was tackling. Continue reading Strong Tsipras, Weak Greece
When rocks become a matter of national security
The Senkaku/Diaoyu islands, including five uninhabited islands and three rocks, each smaller than 3.5 km² (Shaw 1999, 9), have caused diplomatic tensions between China and Japan for the last four decades. Most recently, an increase in Chinese vessels approaching the islands (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan 2015), currently under Japanese control, as well as an increase in intercepted chinese aircrafts in the area (Japanese MoD 2015) have raised concerns about an escalation of the conflict. The declaration of an East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) by China has further caused the US to send B-52 bombers to fly through the zone (Danner 2014), a move accompanied by similar reactions from Japan and South Korea.
How did islands which China described as „economically and strategically insignificant“ in 1990 (Downs and Saunders 1999) and whose ownership was ignored by both sides until the 70s (Shaw 1999) become such a major issue in the relations between the two countries? Continue reading Competing for the Sea: Historical origins of the territorial dispute over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands