Author Archive

Steve Mollman

Asia Correspondent

Asia Correspondent for Quartz.

China’s Growing Power Is Bringing Military Drills Center Stage in Asia

Beijing will send troops, tanks, and aircraft to join Russia's largest exercise in decades. That's just one example.


China Just Conducted Its Biggest-Ever Display of Naval Power

It involved 48 warships, 76 aircraft, and more than 10,000 personnel in the South China Sea, plus an onboard speech by president Xi Jinping in military fatigues.

Science & Tech

Security at the Winter Olympics Includes Drones That Catch Drones

Even without the Olympics, South Korea has been beefing up its drone expertise.


North Korea-Bound Ships Could Soon Be Routinely Intercepted by the US and Allies

Foreign ministers from the U.S. and about 20 other countries will weigh the measures as part of new pressure on Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile weapons programs.


Beijing's Latest Moves in the South China Sea Spark Fears of a New Land Grab

Alarm bells sounded when Chinese ships recently gathered at Sandy Cay, a set of sandbars close to Philippines-occupied Thitu Island in the Spratly archipelago.


'We Do Not Have Long to Act': Tech Heads Warn UN About Autonomous Arms

SpaceX head Elon Musk and other industry leaders write that autonomy will lead to wider and faster war.


North Korea Is Helping China in the South China Sea—Whether It Knows It or Not

Pyongyang’s rocket tests have elbowed Beijing’s land grab out of the spotlight — just as the Chinese might have hoped.


Syria’s War Has Been a ‘Goldmine’ for North Korea—and Don’t Expect It to Change Anytime Soon

Weapons from North Korea have ended up in Syria, ultimately enriching the Kim regime and prolonging Bashar al-Assad’s grip on power.


Duterte Seems Alarmingly Resigned to Beijing's New Building in the South China Sea

'What will I do? Declare a war against China? I can, but we’ll all lose our military and policemen tomorrow,' President Duterte said this week.


Now China Wants All Subs in the South China Sea to Ask Permission, Surface, Show Flag

Beijing's proposed revisions to maritime law, if adopted, could set up a nuclear naval confrontation with the United States in international waters China claims to own.


Duterte's Forces Are Secretly Being Paid Per-Kill Bonuses, Says Watchdog

Police are paid $160 to $300 secretly for each extrajudicial killing disguised as a legitimate operation, and zero for arrests, according to Amnesty International.


The Philippines Is About to Give Up the South China Sea to China

'We cannot win that,' President Rodrigo Duterte said of Scarborough Shoal this week. 'We can’t beat" China.


Maritime Tensions Grow Between Rising China and Rearming Japan

The most dangerous flashpoint in the South China Sea could be a Japanese warship, not a disputed isle.


Even Duterte’s Slurs Can’t Break US-Philippines Ties Cemented by Chinese Aggression

Attention is turning to the Scarborough Shoal, just west of the Philippines, where many fear Beijing will build more islands to expand its control of the South China Sea.


Beijing Announces New Plans to Break International Law in South China Sea

During a three-day visit from the U.S.'s top admiral, China flouts UN ruling on contested waters.


Now China's Fake Island Has a Farm

Hospitals, gardens, lighthouses, and Céline Dion cover artists are some of the softer elements joining the jets and runways on the contested Fiery Cross Reef.


Beijing Is Setting the Stage for War in the South China Sea

China is setting itself up to be repeatedly provoked in the disputed waters—it might even be counting on it.


Indonesia Blames ISIS for Suicide Bombs in Jakarta

A Muslim country heretofore largely unaffected by the Islamic State is hit by a series of bombings.

Science & Tech

US Navy Revives Ancient Navigation as Cyber Threats Grow

Satellites and GPS are vulnerable to cyber attack. The tools of yesteryear are not.