From the RAND Blog

Below, you'll find the most recent commentary from RAND experts on topics related to Asia. For a complete list of all commentaries by RAND staff, visit The RAND Blog.

  • Commentary

    PLA Reforms and Their Ramifications

    Sep 23, 2016

    The newest round of reforms to the People's Liberation Army (PLA) is expected to improve the military's efficiency, warfighting capability, and political loyalty, but entrenched interests within the PLA could lead to reluctance within the military to adjust to new realities.

  • Commentary

    On Northeast Asia

    Sep 23, 2016

    China has been a major proponent of regional security for Northeast Asia but appears disinterested in Republic of Korea (ROK) security against North Korean missile and nuclear weapon threats.

  • Commentary

    A Bumpy Road Ahead for China-Taiwan Relations

    Sep 22, 2016

    Taiwanese President Tsai has issued numerous political overtures to Beijing, yet Chinese President Xi has demonstrated a clear reluctance to accept her as a credible partner. Instead, he has turned up the heat on Tsai in an attempt to undermine her administration.

  • Commentary

    The Crucial South China Sea Ruling No One Is Talking About

    Sep 16, 2016

    The PCA found in July that China's coast guard had breached several UNCLOS articles governing safety and navigation at sea. Hopefully, this will help build a legal case that abiding by basic maritime safety principles is in the interest of all countries, including China.

  • Commentary

    What to Look for in North Korea's Fifth Nuclear Test

    Sep 9, 2016

    North Korea's fifth and biggest nuclear test could have implications for U.S. policy toward the North, China's role in the region, and the stability of the Kim regime.

  • Commentary

    China's Military Reorganization Aims to Tighten Party Control and Strengthen Warfighting Capabilities

    Sep 6, 2016

    Xi Jinping's sweeping reforms could result in a leaner, more combat-effective PLA that presents a more potent challenge to China's neighbors and to U.S. interests in the region. But even successful reforms will not guarantee victory on the battlefield, and any hypothetical conflict involving the U.S. would carry tremendous risks.

  • Commentary

    How Do Chinese Surface-to-Air Missile Forces Train?

    Sep 6, 2016

    Surface-to-air missile (SAM) forces play a crucial role in Chinese military planning. Recent training activity indicates that PLAAF SAM units' operational readiness and capabilities may vary depending on their location and the time of year.

  • Commentary

    Don't Weaken the U.S.-Japan Alliance, Strengthen It

    Aug 14, 2016

    As long as the United States and Japan stick together, they should have the strength to deter or, if necessary, defeat the threats they face. But if Washington abandons its alliance commitments, the risk of war will rise and America will be less safe.