There is a slow-burning conflict in the South China Sea, essentially a regional conflict, that could suck the US into a third mess after Ukraine and Palestine. China has laid out territorial claims in Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), and the US has picked a side, as it were.

Everybody seems to have some idea about “the rise of China”, but a wider context may be helpful. The Taiwanese went to the polls last weekend. The incumbent, Lai Ching-te of the Democratic Progressive Party, returned to office with about 40% of the vote but with a loss of legislative majority...

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