Increased authoritarianism and expressions of more assertive nationalism have become evident across Asia over the past few years. While for many countries the impact of these trends is primarily domestic, a more bellicose China has ramped up tension with its neighbours, including Taiwan and Vietnam, and engaged in low-level conflict with India.
Explanations for these trends have been many and varied. Social media has provided a platform for illiberal voices. Insularity of the United States under Donald Trump provided China with space to propagate its global world view.