China waging a quiet three-front war against US: expert

China is waging three-front political warfare against the United States as part of a “Three Warfares” strategy to drive the US out of the Asia-Pacific region, according to US defense analyst Bill Gertz in an article for the Washington Times on Mar. 26.

Citing a defense contractor report published for Pentagon thinktank the Office of Net Assessment, Gertz said Beijing’s “Three Warfares” consists of psychological, media and legal operations. “They represent an asymmetric ‘military technology’ that is a surrogate for conflict involving nuclear and conventional weapons.” Continue reading

China Challenges Obama’s Asia Pivot With Rapid Military Buildup

“There are growing concerns about what China is up to in the maritime space,” said Bonnie Glaser, a China expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “There’s a widely held view in the region that the U.S.-China relationship is tipping toward being much more confrontational.”

Obama arrives today in Japan, the start of a weeklong [sic] journey that also will take him to South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines. On display throughout will be the challenge of managing the uneasy relationship with China, the U.S.’s No. 2 trading partner and an emerging rival for global influence. Continue reading

China boast: U.S. Marines would be like ‘marching band’ in all out fight

A casual remark by a U.S. general during a breakfast has made China mad, really mad, and Beijing’s response is far less than civil and humble.

On April 11, Marine Corps Lt. Gen. John Wissler, commander of the 18,000 Marines in Okinawa, Japan, told reporters at a Washington breakfast meeting that the Marines in the Pacific would quickly retake the Senkaku island group and return it to Japan if China were to invade it.

The statement was nothing new, as U.S. officials from the president on down repeatedly have told the Chinese that the United States would fulfill its defense treaty obligations to help Japan militarily in any conflict with China over the islands.

What apparently incensed the Chinese was what Gen. Wissler said next: “You wouldn’t maybe even necessarily have to put somebody on that island until you had eliminated the threat, so to speak.” Continue reading

Putin Ignores Sanctions, Cuts Deals with Beijing

WASHINGTON – Russian President Vladimir Putin intends to respond to Western sanctions triggered by his country’s participation in the Ukrainian crisis by dramatically expanding bilateral trade with China, particularly in providing energy to fuel China’s fast-growing economy, according to Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

Moscow and Beijing have developed closer bilateral ties as relations between Russia and the European Union worsen. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has said cooperation with Beijing is a top priority for Moscow.

“It is the rise of the Eurasia century,” one Asian source said. “Moscow and Beijing’s interests are converging.” Continue reading

China Prepares Massive Investments in Crimea

China intends to invest in massive projects in Crimea less than a month after the former Ukrainian province was annexed by the Russian Federation.

Vladimir Chizhov, Russia’s ambassador to the European Union, said Russia is partnering with China in two major Crimean projects:  the “Power of Siberia” gas pipeline and a 25 meter deep Crimean deep water port. These projects will continue despite the ongoing crisis in the Ukraine, Chizhov said.

Chizhov described the “Power of Siberia” gas pipeline as a mega-project that will pump 60 billion cubic meters of gas annually from the Kovykta and Tchayandinskoe gas fields to Russia’s far east, where a branch line will deliver 38 billion cubic meters a year to China. Continue reading

Russia to Build 150 Military Facilities on Kuril Islands

MOSCOW, April 18 (RIA Novosti) – Russia will build more than 150 military facilities on the Iturup and Kunashir islands, part of the Kuril chain disputed by Japan, a senior military commander told reporters Friday.

“All decisions on the construction of military stations on the Iturup and Kunashir islands have been made and approved,” said Col. Gen. Sergei Suvorkin, the head of Russia’s Eastern Military District.

“All essential facilities, more than 150, will be built before 2016,” he added. Continue reading

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.”

Continue reading

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