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Edited by Andrew T.H. Tan

This timely and significant book seeks to explain the deep-seated complexities of terrorism and insurgency in Southeast Asia. In the aftermath of 9/11, this region has been designated by the United States to be the ‘second front’ in the war on terrorism. Yet despite the emergence of this ‘new’ global terrorism, the authors argue that armed rebellion in Southeast Asia is a phenomenon that predates Al Qaeda and the global Jihadist movement and that much can be learned from the motivations behind it.
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Andrew T.H. Tan

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Andrew T.H. Tan

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Andrew T.H. Tan

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Edited by Andrew T.H. Tan

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Andrew T.H. Tan

This chapter argues that despite counter-terrorism successes since 2001, the persistence and resilience of the Southeast Asian radical Islamism is a result of historical antecedents, particularly in Indonesia where they have survived since the 1950s, coupled with the impact of the spread of the Islamic State’s radical pan-Islamist ideology since 2014. This means that the region continues to face a clear and present danger from terrorism. Counter-terrorism in the Malay Archipelago therefore remains a long-term endeavour and a work in progress. This chapter begins with an examination of the evolution of the terrorist threat after 9/11 including the rise of IS, followed by an assessment as to why the problem continues to persist. It concludes with an analysis of what may be done to counter the continuing threat of terrorism.

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Andrew T. H. Tan

How to understand and explain the evolutions as well as predict the future directions of bilateral relations between the United States and China has become an imperative task for both policy-makers and academic scholars. Borrowing insights from three mainstream international relations (IR) theories, realism, liberalism and constructivism, this chapter suggests a three-stage, perceptual model of ‘threat–interest’ to explore the dynamics of Sino–US relations from 1949 to 2015. It argues that the nature of US–China relations, either cooperation or competition, is mainly shaped by the perceptions of leaders regarding security threats and economic interests between the two nations. How to manage their perceptions regarding each other and how to find a balance between cooperation and competition are the key issues for leaders in both the United States and China to manage their bilateral relations in the future. The next decade or two may be the best or worst times for US–China relations.

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Andrew T. H. Tan

The rise of China and the challenge it poses to US dominance is regarded as one of the most important issues in international relations today due to its implications not just on the dominant position of the United States but also the stability of the evolving post–Cold War international system. The relationship between the world’s two largest economies is crucial. Should they succeed in coming to an understanding, war will be avoided and a new regional and global equilibrium will be the result. While Henry Kissinger concluded that ‘the appropriate label for the Sino–American relationship is less partnership than co-evolution’ the process of working out the entente cordiale that would underpin such a co-evolution is complicated by a number of serious challenges, such as economic disputes, human rights issues, China’s emerging military power, the rise of Chinese nationalism, the apprehensions in Washington over China’s rise and growing Chinese assertiveness in Asia. It remains to be seen if an entente cordiale could be achieved before growing mutual mistrust and misperception lead to open conflict.

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Andrew T. H. Tan

China’s dramatic economic rise, its emerging global economic power, and its expanding military capabilities have led to predictions that it will soon supplant the United States as the dominant global power. However, it is not in fact on a trajectory to do so. China does not have the desire or capacity for global leadership, its armed forces are not organized for deployment and intervention in the far corners of the globe, and it suffers from a significant deficit in soft power that would make it appeal to others and confer it with global influence. On the other hand, the United States continues to have the will and capacity, backed by its global military capabilities and dominant position established following the end of World War II, to play a global role. Thus, while China’s global influence will increase as it becomes a global economic actor, it will in fact not replace the United States as the dominant global power any time soon. For the foreseeable future, the United States will remain the ‘indispensable nation’.