About Us

Shang-Su Wu

Assistant Professor & Research Coordinator

Shang-Su Wu is an assistant professor and research coordinator at the Homeland Security Program, the Rabdan Academy, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. He was a research fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Wu has a PhD from the University of New South Wales, Australia. He is the author of The Defence Capabilities of Small States: Singapore and Taiwan’s Responses to Strategic Desperation (London: Palgrave, 2016). His research interests are military modernisation, security issues of Southeast and East Asia, railway and international relations. Wu’s articles, commentaries and op-eds have been published in Asian Survey, Contemporary Southeast Asia, the Pacific Review, Defence Studies, Naval War College Review, and East Asia Forum, among others.


    PhD: University of New South Wales

    MA: National Taiwan University

    BA: National Taiwan University

Teaching Areas

    Research Project

Research Interests

    Southeast and East Asian security, military modernization, railways of international relations.



    • The Defence Capabilities of Small States: Singapore and Taiwan’s Responses to Strategic Desperation (London: Palgrave, 2016)

    Book Chapters


    • “China’s railway diplomacy under the Belt and Road Initiative,” in Joseph Chinyong Liow, Hong Liu and Gong Xue, Research Handbook on the Belt and Road Initiative (London: Edward Elgar, 2021), pp. 28-42.
    • “Lancang-Mekong cooperation: The current state of China’s hydro-politics”, in Bhubhindar Singh and Sarah Teo (eds), Minilateralism in the Indo-Pacific: The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Mechanism, and ASEAN (Oxon: Routledge, 2020), pp. 74-87.
    • “Smart Taipei City: understanding policy motivations, approaches and implementation,” in Yu-Min Joo and Teck-Boon Tan (eds.), Smart Cities in Asia (Surrey: Edward Elgar, 2020), pp. 61-77.
    • “Rail Developments Under the BRI,” in Alan Chong and Pham Quang Minh (eds.), Critical Reflections on China’s Belt & Road Initiative (New York: Springer, 2020), pp. 95-122.
    • “Taiwan: the Strait Challenge” in Amit Gupta (ed.), Air Forces the Next Generation (Hampshire: Howgate, 2020), pp. 290-314.
    • “Taiwan’s Armed Forces: Development and Perspectives,” in Benjamin Schreer and Andrew Tan (eds.), the Taiwan Issues: Problems and Perspectives (London: Routledge, 2019), pp. 156-173.
    • “Conscription in Taiwan: A Problematic Evolution,” in Graham Ong-Webb and Shu Huang Ho (eds.), National Service in Singapore (Singapore: World Scientific, 2018), pp. 229-249. Co-authored with Shu Huang Ho.


    Journal Articles

    • “Military Modernisation in Southeast Asia in the Indo-Pacific Strategic Context,” Defence and Security Analysis, Vol. 37, No. 2 (2021), pp. 212-231. https://doi.org/10.1080/14751798.2021.1919355
    • “Developmental Railpolitics: The Political Economy of China’s High-Speed Rail Projects in Thailand and Indonesia,” Contemporary Southeast Asia, Vol. 40, Issue 3 (2018), pp. 503-526. Co-authored with Alan Chong.
    • “Taiwan's Defense under the Tsai Administration,” Asian Survey, Vol, 58, No. 4 (July / August 2018), pp. 704-725.
    • “Vietnam: A Case of Military Obsolescence in Developing Countries,” the Pacific Review, Vol. 31, Issue 1, pp. 113-130.
    • “The modern naval fortress: an additional sea denial option for coastal states,” Defence Studies Vol. 18, Issue 1, pp. 76-94.
    • “The Development of Vietnam’s Sea Denial Strategy,” Naval War College Review, Vol. 70, No. 1, Winter 2017, pp. 143-161.
    • “Nuclear disaster in Taiwan: a multidimensional security challenge,” Global Change, Peace & Security, Vol. 28, Issue. 3, July 2016, pp. 289-305.
    • “Struggle for Basic Defence Capacity: The National Defence of the Philippines in the Post Marcos Era,” Taiwan Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, Vol. 10, No. 1, October 2014, pp. 71-108.
    • “Taiwan in the Cross Strait Arms Dynamics: Past and Present,” International Journal of China Studies, Vol. 5, No. 1, April 2014, pp. 107-135.


    Short Articles and Commentaries

    • “Proceed with caution: high-speed rail for Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur,” the Interpreter, June 6, 2022.
    • “THAILAND’S VISION TO BECOME A RAIL HUB: A LONG SHOT,” Fulcrum, February 23, 2022.
    • “Chinese Aircraft Approaching! An Opportunity for Malaysian Airpower,” Fulcrum, June 4, 2021.
    • “Taiwan and India: Building Bigger Together?” RSIS Commentary, May 6, 2021. Co-authored with Rajesh Basrur.
    • “China’s pineapple ban exposes Taiwan’s vulnerability,” East Asian Forum, April 24, 2021.
    • “Taiwan’s Security An Intertwined Knot,” Indo-Pacific Perspectives, April 1, 2021.
    • “Gauge-Change Train is No Game Changer for China,” the Interpreter, November 18, 2020.
    • “Southeast Asian Military Acquisition under the China-Quad Dynamics,” East Asia Security Centre, Bond University, October 2020.
    • “China’s Aircraft Carriers and Southeast Asia: Testing Coercive Naval Diplomacy?” Center for International Maritime Security, September 14, 2020.
    • “Vietnam’s Pandemic Countermeasure: An Essential Element of Deterrence,” the Australian Outlook, July 15, 2020.
    • “Osprey in the Archipelago: The Deal of MV-22 to Indonesia,” the Jakarta Post, July 14, 2020.
    • “Modernising the Philippine Navy,” East Asian Forum, July 8, 2020.
    • “Taiwan and China attempt civility in coronavirus crisis,” Nikkei Asian Review, April 7, 2020.
    • “Cruise control? Securitizing luxury cruise ships in times of coronavirus”, the Jakarta Post February 29, 2020, co-authored with Alan Chong.
    • “Indonesia’s Burgeoning Railway Diplomacy”, The Diplomat, February 27, 2020.
    • “ADMM-Plus Exercises: A Platform for Power Competition?” the Australian Outlook, January 22, 2020.
    • “Belt and rail: New Vietnam-China train aims to put relations on track,” the Interpreter, January 15, 2020.
    • “Japan's overseas railway-building heightens rivalry with China,” Nikkei Asian Review, October 30, 2019.
    • “Is Japan’s Rail Diplomacy in Southeast Asia Moving Away From Shinkansen?” the Diplomat, October 23, 2019.
    • “Undersea Surveillance: Supplementing the ASEAN Indo-Pacific Outlook”, Center for International Maritime Security, September 3, 2019.
    • “What Indonesia’s Submarine Purchase Tells Us About Its Strategic Priorities,” the Australian Outlook, June 3, 2019.
    • “Why New Submarines Alone Won't Save Taiwan from China,” the National Interest, May 18, 2019.
    • “Maritime to be Main Focus of Malaysia’s Military Modernisation,” GBP Aerospace & Defence, March 26, 2019.
    • “China’s Social Credit System: the black market and inequalities,” The Interpreter, March 18, 2019. Co-author with Gulizar Haciyakupoglu.
    • “Kazakhstan: a growing rail hub,” Policy Forum, March 18, 2019.
    • “Myanmar: A New Pattern of China-Japan Interactions?” the Diplomat, February 13, 2019.
    • “The Trouble With the Lancang Mekong Cooperation Forum”, The Diplomat, December 19, 2018.
    • “Coast Guard build-up: Taiwan’s approach to the South China Sea,” Taiwan Insight, October 16, 2018.
    • “Redundancy and Risk Management: Lessons from Japan’s Disasters for Southeast Asian Infrastructure,” the Diplomat, September 07, 2018.
    • “Competition and Neutrality of Southeast Asian States in Indo-Pacific Strategy,” Center for International Maritime Security, August 22, 2018.
    • “Upgrading Conventional Railways in Asia: A Practical Alternative to High Speed Rail?” the Diplomat, July 18, 2018.
    • “What’s behind Southeast Asia’s high military spending?” East Asia Forum, May 25, 2018.
    • “Malaysia: A Sample for Southeast Asian Military Modernisation,” DSA 2018 Daily News, April 17, 2018, pp. 10-11.
    • “Deterrence under the dragon’s shadow: Vietnam’s military modernisation,” the Interpreter, March 30, 2018.
    • “‘Indo-Pacific’ vs ‘Asia-Pacific’: Contending Visions?” RSIS Commentary, No. 34, February 28, 2018. Co-author with Alan Chong.
    • “China’s one-track mind in Kazakhstan,” APPS Policy Forum, February 13, 2018.
    •  “Taiwan’s Illustrative Minehunter Troubles,” RUSI Defence system, Vol. 20, No. 1, February 7, 2018.
    • “Policy Ramifications of Industry 4.0,” global-is-Asian, January 30, 2018. Co-author with Tan Teck boon.
    • “Japan-China Rail Competition Reaches Britain,” the Diplomat, December 14, 2017.
    • “Do the Taiwan Independence Movement’s Symbolic Victories Hide a Lack of Practical Hope?” the Diplomat, October 27, 2017.
    • “Holding the Status Quo? Taiwan’s Security under the Tsai Administration,” IAPS Dialogue: The online magazine of the Institute of Asia & Pacific Studies, September 28, 2017.
    • “The Initial Section of OBOR: China’s High-Speed Rail Projects in Southeast Asia Synopsis,” Prospects and Perspectives, No. 17, August 23, 2017.
    • “The Weak Points in Vietnam's Military,” the Diplomat, June 27, 2017.
    • “Taiwan: A Strategic Transit Hub?” the Global Taiwan Brief, Vol. 2, Issue 19, May 10, 2017.
    • “Sea Denial: An Incomplete Answer to Southeast Asian Countries,” IAPS Dialogue: The online magazine of the Institute of Asia & Pacific Studies, April 4, 2017.
    • “Malaysia’s Military Modernisation: Post-Modern Maritime Centre,” LIMA 17 Daily News, March 22, 2017, pp. 14-15.
    • “Myanmar’s Military Modernisation: Impressive, but Challenges Ahead,” The Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies, March 2, 2017. Co-author with Eddie Lim.
    • “Can Surface-to-Air Missiles Replace Fighters in Southeast Asia?” the Diplomat, February 25, 2017.
    • “Frictions on the New Silk Road,” the RSIS Commentary, No. 20, January 25, 2017. Co-author with Alan Chong.
    • “The Limits of China's 'Silk Road' to Europe,” the Diplomat, January 13, 2017.
    • “How Much of an Advantage Is China's Aircraft Carrier?” the Diplomat, November 26, 2016.
    • “Taiwan’s Interest in Aegis, Warships: Would They Make Operational Sense During Cross-Strait Hostilities?” The Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies, October 31, 2016. Co-author with Ben Wan Beng Ho.
    • “Taiwan's Military Conscription Dilemma,” The Diplomat, August 30, 2016.
    • “The Singapore-KL High Speed Rail: Tracking the Challenges Ahead,” the RSIS Commentary, No. 188, July 22, 2016. Co-author with Alan Chong.
    • “South China Sea Ruling: A Boost for Cross-Strait Relations?” the Diplomat, July 16, 2016.
    • “Singapore-Kunming Rail Link: A 'Belt and Road' Case Study,” the Diplomat, June 17, 2016.
    • “Taiwan's New President Will Have to Play Nice with China,” the National Interest, May 25, 2016.
    • “Malaysia’s Antique Arms: Moderate but Continuous,” Asian Defence and Technology Daily News, April 19, 2016, p. 6.
    • “Aquino’s Military Modernization: Unprecedented But Insufficient,” the Diplomat, March 23, 2016.
    • “Taiwan’s South China Sea Dilemma,” the Diplomat, February 12, 2016.
    • “Ageing Arsenals in Southeast Asia: Impact on Military Modernisation” (With Eddie Lim), RSIS Commentary, February 10, 2016.
    • “Taiwan: Vulnerable in ways it has not been before,” the Interpreter, February 10, 2016
    • “Japan’s High-Speed Rail Breakthrough,” the Diplomat, December 17, 2015.
    • “Japan’s Railway Diplomacy,” the Diplomat, November 9, 2015.
    • “Taiwan’s Continued Conscription: An Unsolved Problem,” RSIS Commentary, September 23, 2015.
    • “Pokemon Warfare: The Rise of Military Robots,” the Diplomat, August 16, 2015.
    • “The Singapore-Malaysia High Speed Railway: New Challenges in Bilateral Relations,” Australian Outlook, August 3, 2015.
    • “Taiwan: the Final Piece of Rebalance?” the Diplomat, June 24, 2015.
    • “Russia’s Railway Technology: New Source for Southeast Asia?” RSIS Commentary, May 6, 2015.
    • “Could Thailand Become the Transport Hub of Indochina?” the Diplomat, March 24, 2015
    • “Commentary: The Gradual Undermining of Taiwan,” Defense News, February 9, 2015.
    • “No, Stealth Missile Corvettes Won’t Help Taiwan,” the Diplomat, January 9, 2015.
    • “Opposition Ascendancy Won’t Release Taiwan from China’s Grip,” the Diplomat, December 8, 2014.
    • “Is Vietnam in denial on military strategy?” East Asia Forum, October 31, 2014.
    • “A Possible Nuclear Disaster in Taiwan: An International Crisis in East Asia,” Australian Outlook, August 6, 2014.
    • “Naval Fortresses: An Old Concept for a New Era?” the Diplomat, August 5, 2014.
    • “Asia-Pacific: A Step toward Historical Déjà Vu?” the Diplomat, July 12, 2014.
    • “Taiwan: An Emerging Asset for Chinese Expansion?” the Diplomat, June 3, 2014.
    • “Taiwan’s Indigenous Submarine: A Viable Project?” RSIS Commentaries, 071/2014, April 16, 2014.
    • “Indigenous Submarine an Unlikely Dream for Taiwan”, the Diplomat, March 21, 2014.
    • “Taiwan’s Defence: Towards an All-Volunteer Military?” the RSIS Commentary, No. 051/2014, March 17, 2014.
    • “Diaspora + Fait Accompli: A New Formula for Force Projection?” The Diplomat, March 13, 2014.
    • “Taiwan: Another Step towards Integration?” the Diplomat, January 27, 2014.
    • “Taiwan’s All-Volunteer Military,” the Diplomat, December 25, 2013.
    • “Beijing Priming Itself as A Norm Maker,” the Strait Times, December 6, 2013. Co-author with Irene Chan.
    • “Typhoon Haiyan and the Philippine Military,” the Diplomat, November 25, 2013.
    • “Nuclear Disaster in Taiwan: An Ignored Factor in the US-China Relationship”, e-International Relations, September 4, 2012.
Shang-Su Wu
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