Is an Asian NATO Possible?

In the new concluding chapter to his classic The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, John Mearsheimer argues: “There is already substantial evidence that countries like India, Japan, and Russia, as well as smaller powers like Singapore, South Korea, and Vietnam, are worried about China’s ascendancy and are looking for ways to contain it. In the end, they will join an American-led balancing coalition to check China’s rise, much the way Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and eventually China, joined forces with the United States during the Cold War to contain the Soviet Union.”

This is at odds with most analyses which postulate that Asia is not ripe for a NATO style containment block against China. For instance, in summing up the conventional wisdom on the subject, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Stewart Patrick opined last summer that: “Despite its strategic ‘rebalancing’ toward Asia, the United States is unlikely to sponsor a collective defense organization for the Asia-Pacific, for at least three reasons: insufficient solidarity among diverse regional partners, fear of alienating China, and the perceived advantages of bilateral and ad-hoc security arrangements.”

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Japan’s indigenous stealth fighter to fly this year amid arms race worries

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Development of ATD-X jet part of Tokyo’s effort to upgrade its defence capabilities; analysts warn it could spark claims of arms race in Asia

A prototype of Japan’s first domestically produced stealth fighter will get airborne before the end of the year, a significant development in Tokyo’s efforts to improve its defence capabilities.

Known as the Advanced Technology Demonstrator-X (ATD-X) fighter, the aircraft is being developed by the defence ministry’s research institute and a number of private companies, primarily Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Continue reading

2,000 PLA troops could invade Diaoyutai in 5 hours: WSJ

China has the ability to deploy 2,000 troops to the disputed Diaoyutai islands (Diaoyu to China, Senkaku to Japan) in just five hours using its four Zubr-class air-cushioned landing craft purchased from Russia, according to an Apr. 2 report in the Wall Street Journal.

Although Lieutenant General John Wissler, the commanding general of the US Marine Corps in Okinawa, says that the United States is capable of wiping out invading Chinese forces without mobilizing ground forces, Western military expert have begun to question whether Washington and Tokyo are capable of defending Okinawa from a potential PLA invasion. Continue reading

Chinese Military Can ‘Fight Any Battle and Win’

As the article states, intra-Asian diplomacy is what’s going to hold the key. The more time that’s wasted by the United States in taking a clear stand, the more likely Japan will try to come to terms with China on its own. Coming to terms could also eventually lead into an Asian economic and security bloc with China as the umbrella protectorate.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s whirlwind tour of China in early April saw a tense exchange with his Chinese counterpart Chang Wanquan over the United States’ pivot to Asia.  China would “make no compromise, no concession, no treaty,” Chang said, adding, “the Chinese military can assemble as soon as summoned, fight any battle and win.”

Hagel, for his part, said that the United States was “fully committed” to is treaty obligations with the Philippines and with Japan — which administers the Senkakus, the disputed islands which China claims and calls the Diaoyu. In the days leading up to U.S. President Barack Obama’s late April trip to the region, where is visiting Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, and Malaysia — and pointedly not China — there is a worrying amount of strain among China, Japan, and the United States. Are temperatures running so high that China might actually seize the Senkakus by force? Or are these worries overblown? Continue reading

US could retake Diaoyutai if China invades, says US general

The United States could overcome a potential Chinese invasion of the disputed Diaoyutai (Diaoyu to China, Senkaku to Japan) islands without even mobilizing ground forces, reports the Stars and Stripes operated by the US military, citing Lt Gen John Wissler, the commanding general of III Marine Expeditionary Force based in Okinawa, Japan, on Apr. 11. Continue reading

Russian oil firm says Asian buyers willing to use euros

(Reuters) – Russian state-controlled oil producer Gazprom Neft said it had received positive responses from Asian clients about the possibility of using euros as a settlement currency instead of the dollar.

Company head Alexander Dyukov said this week Gazprom Neft had broached the idea of dropping the dollar, traditionally the currency of choice for the global energy sector, in response to a possible new round of Western sanctions over Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Continue reading

Romania and China join hands in better approach to European markets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Romania plans to become the open door of China to Europe, not only through the Constanta Port (eastern Romania, on the Black Sea shore), but also through the development of such investment projects to prove the high technological level reached by the Chinese economy in the past years, Secretary of State for political analysis and the relation with the Parliament, Radu Podgorean, stated during a visit he paid to the People Republic Continue reading

US unsettled by China’s ‘three warfares’ strategy: Pentagon report

The US and its military partners are reaching for new tools to counter an unconventional ”three warfares” strategy that China is using to advance aggressive territorial claims, according to a Pentagon report.

It says the People’s Liberation Army is using what it calls ”legal warfare”, ”media warfare” and ”psychological warfare” to augment its arsenal of military hardware to weaken the resolve of the US and its regional partners to defend islands and oceans in the East and South China seas. Continue reading

DHS study: North Korea capable of EMP attack on U.S.

As mentioned here before, imagine what normally looks like and passes as a satellite that has already been orbiting earth and hanging over the United States for quite some time, and is ready to drop out of the sky on command. The country would be less ready for that than an attack from the South or East. There would be virtually no defense against such an attack with the exception of a preemptive strike.

Long-suppressed report concludes communist nation can deliver on threats

WASHINGTON – A long-suppressed report prepared by the Department of Homeland Security for the Defense Department concludes that North Korea could deliver on its threats to destroy the United States with a nuclear electromagnetic pulse attack.

The report remains blocked from release to the American public.

However, a copy obtained by Peter Vincent Pry from sources within DHS finds North Korea could use its Unha-3 space launch vehicle to deliver a nuclear warhead as a satellite over the South Pole to attack the U.S. from the south.

Pry, executive director of the congressional advisory Task Force on National and Homeland Security, pointed out that the U.S. “has no early warning radars or interceptors” to stop a missile from the south. Continue reading

China ‘has more gold than official figures show’

In other words, they could be getting ready to pull the plug.

China could be holding even more gold than previously realised, according to Alasdair Macleod, a researcher at online precious metals trader,GoldMoney.

Official figures from China Gold Association (CGA) show that the Asian superpower consumed 1,176 tonnes of gold in 2013, 41pc higher than in 2012.

However, about 500 tonnes of gold from Chinese mines and scrap is unaccounted for by the CGA.

Mr Macleod believes the country holds more gold that the stated figures suggest, and in fact consumed 4,843 tonnes in 2013 alone. He raised his estimate after researching Chinese Gold Reports, where he said he found details of the amount of gold vaulted.

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China warns it cannot be contained as US defense secretary visits (+video)

Unfortunately, the video link cannot be posted as there are compatability issues. Please see the video here.

The timing was part of the message: The day after China brought US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on board its first aircraft carrier as the first foreign visitor, its defense minister warned that no one, not even the United States, could contain its military ambitions. 

“With the latest developments in China, it can never be contained,” Gen. Chang Wanquan said, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. The US is “a country of worldwide influence, and the Pacific Ocean is huge enough to hold both China and the US for common development and also huge enough to hold the other Asia-Pacific countries.” Continue reading

Central banks’ investment in yuan puts currency nearer reserve status

At least 40 central banks have invested in the yuan and several others are preparing to do so, putting the mainland currency on the path to reserve status even before full convertibility, Standard Chartered said.

Twenty-three countries have publicly declared their holdings in yuan, in either the onshore or offshore markets, yet the real number of participating central banks could be far more than that, said Jukka Pihlman, Standard Chartered’s Singapore-based global head of central banks and sovereign wealth funds.

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