Philippines’ Duterte derides US for past inaction in South China Sea

Inaction, as Duterte puts it – and under the Obama administration – has lead to China’s unchecked rise in Asia during the last eight years. It will prove extremely difficult, if not impossible to reverse this tide without a major war that would jeopardize many lives. China’s hold was solidified with the artificial islands the Obama administration did nothing about.

 

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures while answering questions during a news conference upon arrival from a trip to Myanmar and Thailand at an international airport in Manila, Philippines March 23, 2017. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

 

MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday accused the United States of having a provocative stance on the South China Sea and said its inaction when China started building manmade islands was the cause of tensions now besetting the region.

Duterte said Washington’s freedom of navigation patrols risked a “miscalculation” that could spark conflict, and accused the previous U.S. administration of pressuring the Philippines to take a stand against China, without a guarantee of military support.

“You go there in the pretence of challenging them?” he said of the U.S. patrols that began under the Obama administration. “One single solitary shot, it could lead to an explosion and it could lead to a war and it will be a slaughter.” Continue reading

Trump critic Patrick Cronin to head plum Pentagon think tank

Patrick Cronin, an Asian security expert with the Democrat-leaning Center for New American Security, has been named to the plum post of director of a key Pentagon think tank, the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies.

The appointment was announced March 10 in a notice from the center that said Mr. Cronin was approved by Defense Secretary James Mattis.

While Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said Mr. Mattis “was not involved in this decision” that was made before President Trump took office in January, the selection has set off criticism among conservative China analysts who are concerned about Mr. Cronin’s views and writings on China. However, the key eyebrow-raiser for critics was Mr. Cronin’s signing of an anti- Trump protest letter last year. Continue reading

Duterte Seems Alarmingly Resigned to Beijing’s New Building in the South China Sea

Over the last couple of years it has been said several times that Asian nations can no longer consider the United States a reliable partner. Its military has been decimated by budget cuts, technical problems (think F-35) and politics. The Obama administration had thrown into doubt the protection of Taiwan and Japan should either or both go to war with China. Asian nations see this and they don’t want to take chances on dealing with a bi-polar United States that changes policy whenever and whichever direction the wind blows with every new administration.

So, simply put, President Duterte has confirmed and cemented the the continuous prediction:

You take a gamble on a shaky alliance with the United States, go to war and see what happens. Maybe you’ll be defended, maybe you won’t. Maybe you won’t be offered full protection of the U.S. forces.

or

You play it safe, abandon the old club and join the club, and guarantee yourself not to get crushed in 48 hours by the Asian juggernaut.

Because of this realization, the day is coming where an Asian bloc will form under a Chinese protectorate. The vacuum is already there and is starting to be filled.

For further information, see the following (handful of many) articles:

Japan needs to seek out regional allies, view U.S. as ‘second resort,’ says head of think tank

Duterte Aligns Philippines With China, Says U.S. ‘Has Lost’

Beijing strengthens police powers in South China Sea

New blocs emerging: China and Russia vs US and Japan

Is Vietnam tilting toward China?

 

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during a joint press conference with Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha at the government house in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, March 21, 2017.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during a joint press conference with Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha at the government house in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, March 21, 2017. [SAKCHAI LALIT/AP]

‘What will I do? Declare a war against China? I can, but we’ll all lose our military and policemen tomorrow,’ President Duterte said this week.

In the mid-1990s Beijing reassured Manila that structures it was building atop Mischief Reef, near the Philippines in the South China Sea, were merely fishermen’s shelters. Today China has a militarized island at that “shelter,” complete with a runway and large anti-aircraft guns.

A similar progression could begin this year at the currently undeveloped Scarborough Shoal, which China seized from the Philippines in 2012. For Beijing, an installation there would go a long way toward establishing effective control over the waterway, creating a strategic triangle in conjunction with other facilities it’s built in the sea in recent years. Continue reading

READY FOR WAR: China deploys missiles capable of ANNIHILATING US military bases

Tensions between Taiwan and China are on the rise [Getty]

 

CHINA has deployed a range of highly accurate ballistic missiles capable of launching precise strikes against US military bases amid increasing tensions in the region.

The bases in Okinawa, Taiwan, are within range of the missiles, as relations between the two super-powers continue to decline.

In January, China revealed war with the US is now a “practical reality” as military officials prepare to “retaliate decisively” to any of Donald Trump’s new policies they consider to be a threat. Continue reading

Is A Russian-Iranian Energy Pact In The Making?

Oil Rigs

 

In the lead-up to President Rouhani’s visit to Moscow, expected to take place in late March, a plethora of news regarding joint Russo-Iranian energy projects has been circulating on the Internet. A three-year long negotiation process regarding a 100,000 barrels-per-day swap contract is believed to be agreed upon, premised on Iran providing Russia (most likely, Rosneft) oil from Kharg Island or other hubs in the Persian Gulf in return for cash and Russian goods that Iran would “require”. Teheran also woos LUKOIL, currently Russia’s only major oil producer in the Caspian, to participate in swap deals bound for Iran’s Neka Port (in return for Iranian crude provided from Kharg Island or other Persian Gulf hubs), albeit on a much smaller scale at 4000 to 5000 barrels per day. To top it all up, numerous Russian oil companies have committed themselves to developing Iran’s hydrocarbon fields. Continue reading

Mexico Ranked (By Verisk Maplecroft) As World’s Third Most Dangerous Country

The consulting firm Verisk Maplecroft compiled a Crime Rate Index for calendar year 2016, and Mexico was in third place, as the third most dangerous country in the world.  The list was released in December of 2016.

Verisk Maplecroft describes itself on its website as “a leading global risk analytics, research and strategic forecasting company offering an unparalleled portfolio of risk solutions.”

Here is the firm’s Top Ten Most Dangerous Countries list, with #1 as the most dangerous country in the world, #2 as the second most dangerous, and so on: Continue reading

Nuclear Investigator: Worry over underground explosions at Fukushima — New data shows molten fuel is “dropping lower each day”, melting deeper into ground below plant — Disaster far worse than public being told — “Why aren’t we reading about this everywhere?”

Excerpts from a column by Robert Cringely (Cringely is a best-selling author and his work has appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, and Forbes. He wrote in 2009 that “there is a place for nuclear power in our energy future”.), Feb 17, 2017 (emphasis added):

  • Here’s why I am writing about this subject and why you should take me seriously. Back in 1979 I was hired by the White House to help investigate the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island. My friend Robert Bishop, whom I consulted for this column, was the only American at Chernobyl.

  • Well it’s six years later and, if anything, the Fukushima situation is even worse. Far from being over, the nuclear meltdown is continuing, the public health nightmare increasing. Why aren’t we reading about this everywhere? Continue reading

Taiwan says capable of strike against China

 

Taiwan said for the first time publicly that it is capable of launching missiles at China, as the government on Thursday unveiled a major defence report warning of increased risk of Chinese invasion.

China still sees Taiwan as part of its territory to be brought back into its fold, by force if necessary, even though the island has been self-governing since the two sides split after a civil war in 1949.

Ties have worsened since Beijing-sceptic President Tsai Ing-wen took power last year, ending an eight-year rapprochement. Continue reading

Report: Hundreds of millions of Pacific salmon missing, presumed dead — Gov’t issues emergency order along US West Coast — Japan suffering historic collapse, fish starving to death — All forms of ocean life dying in stunning numbers across Pacific

South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL), Mar 16, 2017 (emphasis added): The low salmon run size for the Yuba River appears to be part of another regional salmon collapse. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife point to preliminary data from the Sacramento River that indicates salmon runs have also dropped to record low levels. According to Dan Bacher’s reporting, last year’s salmon run on the Klamath River was a 38-year low… Gary Reedy, SYRCL’s consulting salmon expert reports that “A new crash for the Central Valley Chinook salmon is not unexpected.”… Continue reading

North Korea issues SHOCK war warning: ‘If a single bullet is fired, we WILL nuke the US’

Now would be a great time for the U.S. intelligence community (IC) to assess whether or not the two North Korean ‘weather satellites’ hanging over the American mainland aren’t nukes or EMP devices ready to drop on command.

North Korea is somewhat akin to a loudmouth who always makes threats, but is always downplayed and laughed at because people only see the weakling on the surface, yet one day might deliver a crippling blow with a hidden weapon. President Trump has so far shown that he is one to take every threat seriously.

See also: North Korea’s new satellite flew over Super Bowl site

 

North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un

KIM JONG-UN: North Korea is talking up open war with the US in the Korean Peninsula [Getty]

 

NORTH Korea has pledged to launch a nuclear strike on the US if a “single bullet is fired” as US forces flood the Korean Peninsula.

Kim Jong-un’s rogue state issued the stunning warning as Washington and South Korea carry out war games in the region.

Pyongyang blames the rest of the world for rising nuclear tensions as the DPRK continues its quest for nuclear missiles capable of striking the US mainland. Continue reading

Germany’s Geopolitical Interests

BERLIN/ANKARA (Own report) – In spite of the Turkish government’s recent provocations, Berlin is steadfastly maintaining its cooperation with Ankara. Over the past few days, members of the Turkish government have affronted several EU countries as “fascist,” thereby again provoking sharp protests. For some time, human rights organizations and other critics of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have been up in arms over Ankara’s brutal violations of human and civil rights, its attempt to establish a presidential dictatorship and its arbitrary incarceration of citizens of foreign countries. Last week, Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that her objective was to prevent Turkey from “becoming even more alienated from us,” which is why we must persist in our cooperation. Since some time, government advisors in Germany’s capital have been warning that Ankara is seriously considering joining the Chinese-Russian Alliance (the Shanghai Cooperation Organization – SCO), and that, within the Turkish establishment, voices calling for Turkey to leave NATO are growing louder. That would be a serious setback for Berlin’s ambitions to become a world power, which for geostrategic reasons, is dependent on its cooperation with Ankara. Continue reading

China Plans Massive Increase to Marine Corps to Pursue Global Ambitions

Delegates from Chinese People’s Liberation Army / AP

 

China is preparing a five-fold surge to the size of its Marine Corps as Beijing moves to further exert its influence abroad.

The plan would increase the number of Marine Corps personnel from about 20,000 to 100,000 people, the South China Morning Post reported Monday, citing military insiders and experts. The move will be accompanied by cuts to the Chinese military’s land forces in an attempt to modernize the People’s Liberation Army. Continue reading

China ready to neutralise THAAD, retired PLA general says

The US-made Terminal High Altitude Area ­Defence system is being deployed in the Seongju region, southeast of Seoul. [Photo: Reuters]

 

The military will deploy its own system before Seoul sets up the American one, Wang Hongguang says

China knew it might not be able to stop Seoul deploying a US anti-missile system and was prepared to counter with its own anti-radar equipment, a retired PLA general said on Monday.

The comments by Wang Hongguang came as a South Korean court’s decision to uphold the impeachment of Park Geun-hye, the country’s former president, fanned hopes Seoul might put plans for the Terminal High Altitude Area ­Defence system on hold. Continue reading

SEAL Team 6 is training for a decapitation strike against North Korea’s Kim regime

A Navy SEAL emerges from the water during a training exercise. [US Navy Photo]

 

The annual Foal Eagle military drills between the US and South Korea will include some heavy hitters this year — the Navy SEAL team that took out Osama bin Laden, Army Special Forces, and F-35s, South Korea’s Joon Gang Daily reports.

The SEALs, who will join the exercise for the first time, will simulate a decapitation attack, or a strike to remove North Korea’s leadership. Continue reading