News + Media

The aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt anchored off Manila Bay in 2018.Credit...Bullit Marquez/Associated Press

In the News

June 2, 2020

Philippines backs off threat to terminate military pact with US

Jason GutierrezThe New York Times

M Taylor Fravel quoted: “In light of China’s continued assertion of its historic rights in Vietnamese and Malaysian waters over the last year, Manila may have concluded that its previous rapprochement with Beijing would not protect Philippine interests,” said M Taylor Fravel, a political-science professor who is director of the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Indian schoolgirl wears a face mask of Chinese President Xi Jinping

Analysis + Opinion

June 2, 2020

Why are China and India skirmishing at their border? Here’s 4 things to know.

M Taylor FravelThe Washington Post

Here’s what we know— and don’t know—about China’s recent actions in this long-standing territorial dispute. 

In the News

May 29, 2020

Experts explain: What triggered China’s recent LAC moves?

Sushant SinghThe Indian Express

M Taylor Fravel quoted: “China’s actions are hard to decipher, especially in the absence of any authoritative statements from Beijing.  The simplest explanation perhaps is that China is responding to India’s efforts to bolster border-area infrastructure in Ladakh after the completion of the DSDBO road. After India’s move into Doklam in 2017, China is perhaps especially sensitive to Indian activity along the disputed border. Around Galwan, in particular, China may be seeking to pre-empt an Indian effort to improve its links to the LAC”, he added.

In the News

May 28, 2020

Chinese aggression in Ladakh also a message for domestic and external audience: Experts

Snehesh Alex PhilipThe Print

M Taylor Fravel quoted: “While I don’t think this alone would lead China to create an incident with India, I do think it helps to explain the scope, scale, and posture of China’s response,” he said. “In many issues this spring, China has sought to signal its resolve, especially when sovereignty is involved — Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the South China Sea.”

In the News

May 28, 2020

Robert Art retires as director of the Seminar XXI Program

Michelle EnglishMIT News

Robert Art is stepping down as director of the Seminar XXI Program, a post-graduate education program in the national security arena that has inspired graduates to apply the compelling insights of social science to the most pressing challenges of our times.

In the News

May 28, 2020

Amid a pandemic, China picks a border fight with India

Sadanand DhumeWall Street Journal

M Taylor Fravel quoted: M Taylor Fravel, a political scientist and China expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, says "putting the border dispute in a box" has been "the great success of the India-China relationship." No soldier has died on the boundary since 1975.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell wearing face mask

In the News

May 28, 2020

What do the IG firings say about American democracy?

WBUR On Point

The president has fired at least five inspectors general. It may be his right, but what does it say about political accountability and American democracy? Joel Brenner weighs in.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, center, and Premier Li Keqiang, center-right, with other delegates at the second plenary session of China’s National People’s Congress in Beijing on Monday. (Roman Pilipey/Pool/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

In the News

May 27, 2020

Far from being weakened by coronavirus, China pursues sovereignty claims on all fronts

Anna Fifield and Joanna Slater The Washington Post

M Taylor Fravel quoted: The recent flare-up along the “line of actual control,” which has marked the unofficial border between China and India since they fought a war in 1962, prompted a response from President Trump. “We have informed both India and China that the United States is ready, willing and able to mediate or arbitrate their now raging border dispute,” he tweeted Wednesday.

File photo of Pangong lake which bisects Line of Actual Control between India and Chinese occupied territory.   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

In the News

May 27, 2020

Changing balance across LAC trigger for stand-off, says China expert Taylor Fravel

Ananth KrishnanThe Hindu

The spark for the current stand-off with China, with the ongoing face-off situations in the Galwan River valley, Pangong Lake and other areas, is the increasing infrastructure competition along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), says M Taylor Fravel.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks during a meeting of the Seventh Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party of Korea in this photo provided Sunday by the North Korean government. (AP)

In the News

May 24, 2020

Two years after Trump summit, Kim vows to boost North Korea’s nuclear deterrent

Simon DenyerThe Washington Post

Vipin Narang quoted:  MIT professor Vipin Narang called the statement “alarming.” “I have no idea what this means but I am sure we won’t like it,” he tweeted.