A US policy shift toward Asia means a greater role for the Navy. Even pre-'pivot to Asia,' it already stationed half its ships in the region, and it is developing a new 'afloat forward staging base' in the Pacific.
Following a deadly avalanche in the disputed Siachen Glacier area, India and Pakistan have signaled openness to talks. A priority must be to demilitarize 'the world's highest battle ground' at Siachen, which incurs substantial economic and human costs for these two nuclear rivals.
In an effort to maintain ties with the US ahead of a major shift in China's leadership, China's response on a multimillion dollar arms sale to Taiwan, a normally divisive subject, appears muted.
Vice President Biden is expected to apprise China of the US decision to deny F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan. The dire implications of this should not be played down. It leaves Taiwan vulnerable and the US underpowered in Asia, as Washington looks to be walking away from democratic values.
China aircraft carrier: China bought the vessel from Ukraine more than a decade ago, and it is viewed as emblematic of the communist state's ambition to be a military power that can challenge America's decades-long supremacy in the west Pacific.