Dr. Shang-Su Wu

Dr. Shang-Su Wu

Assistant Professor - Research Coordinator, Homeland Security Program

Shang-Su Wu is an assistant professor and research coordinator at the Homeland Security Program. He was a research fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. 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, Taiwan issues, 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.

Ph.D. in Politics and International Relations 2008-12

The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Master in Political Science (International Relations) 2004-7

The National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan

Defence Policies, case studies

Security of small states, military modernisation, Taiwan issue, railway of international relations, deterrence, nuclear disaster.


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


Book Chapters

• “Inconsistent struggle shadowed by the dragon: Taiwan’s defence under the Tsai Ing-Wen Administration,” in Caleb M. Clark, Karl Ho, and Alexander C. Tan (eds.), Taiwan: Environmental, Political and Social Issues (Hauppauge, NY: Nova, 2021), pp. 107-125.

• “China’s railway diplomacy under the Belt and Road Initiative,” in Joseph Chinyong Liow, Hong Liu and Gong Xue (eds.), 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.

• “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


• “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.


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