TOKYO — The Philippines’ newly found affection for China has sparked concern in Japan that it would embolden the Asian giant to expand more aggressively in the South China Sea.
Japan has worked with the U.S. and others to pressure China to accept an international arbitration ruling in July that rejected Beijing’s claims in the South China Sea. The ruling involved a case brought by the Philippines, but Manila has downplayed the decision in its favor.
The most significant geophysical event on our planet since the end of the ice age is taking place today—the opening of the Arctic. As the High North maritime environment warms, the Arctic Ocean’s abundant energy, minerals, fish stocks, and other natural resources are becoming increasingly accessible, while new potential maritime routes promise to reduce shipping times and costs and accelerate ties between major commercial centers. These new opportunities for energy development, natural resources extraction, and shipping suggest that the region risks becoming an arena of intense competition, tension, and potentially even confrontation, not only between the United States and its two near-peer strategic competitors—China and Russia—but also among other Asia-Pacific states with observer status in the Arctic Council. Continue reading
RUSSIA has carried out a series of ballistic missile tests today as tensions with the US continue to rise over the conflict in Syria.
The Topol missile, the fastest in the world, was launched from a submarine in the Barents Sea off the Russian coast today as part of a series of ballistic tests.
Another was later shot from an island in the north-west of the country with its warhead hitting a simulated target, and a third missile – a nuclear-capable rocket – shot from a Pacific Fleet submarine in the Sea of Okhotsk, north of Japan.
Russia’s Ministry of Defence announced on 6 October the formation of a new long-range Heavy Bomber Division (Tyazheloy Bombardirovochnoy Aviatsionnoy Divizii, or HBD/TBAD). Stationed in the Far East, the unit’s role is to patrol the Pacific Ocean and, in particular, sea areas near to Japan, Hawaii, and Guam. Continue reading
Former Japanese Economy Minister Heizo Takenaka said on Wednesday the Bank of Japan will lower its minus 0.1 percent interest rate further to achieve its 2 percent inflation target.
(TRUNEWS Vero Beach, FL) – Takenaka stressed that “core-core inflation”, which excludes food and energy prices, rose around 1 percent last year, reversing the 1 percent decline seen before BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda took the post early 2013.
“I think BOJ Governor Kuroda has been doing well, although there is strong criticism.” Continue reading
As China’s yuan takes the first steps toward becoming a global reserve currency, Japan offers a lesson on how hard it is to rival the dollar’s supremacy.
The Japanese yen’s share of global reserves reached a record 8.5 percent in 1991 as the nation’s post-War industrial boom made its economy the world’s second-largest. But its economic decline soon resulted in its clout shrinking as the euro gained ground and the greenback re-asserted its dominance. While the yen is still ranked third for trading and fourth for payments, it now accounts for just 4 percent of world reserves, compared with the dollar’s 64 percent and the yuan’s 1 percent. Continue reading
Long-range drills and patrols the Chinese military held in the Western Pacific on Sunday demonstrated the nation’s ability to counter US interference in the South China Sea issues, Chinese military experts have said.
The unprecedented exercise involved more than 40 aircraft from different aviation teams, indicating the air force would join with the navy, rocket forces or other military arms to conduct additional large joint operational exercises in the region in the future, they added.
Air force spokesman Shen Jinke said H-6K bombers, Su-30 fighters and air tankers conducted reconnaissance and early warning drills, simulated attacks on sea targets, and carried out in-flight refuelling. Continue reading
Now the Russian Pacific Fleet has announced the arrival of its latest nuclear submarine, Vladimir Monomakh, to its new permanent deployment base in the far-eastern Kamchatka Peninsula. The peninsula has access to the Sea of Okhotsk, shared between Russia and Japan and the Bering Sea, shared by U.S. and Russia. Continue reading
HAVANA (Reuters) – Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang met with Cuban President Raul Castro on Saturday during a two-day trip to Havana, and the two leaders oversaw the signing of around 30 agreements on economic cooperation in various sectors, Cuban state media reported.
Li is the first Chinese premier to visit Cuba since the two countries established diplomatic relations 56 years ago, although President Xi Jinping visited in 2014. Continue reading
Beijing (AFP) – China has sent fighter planes for the first time over a strait near Japan, the two governments said Monday, after Tokyo announced it may patrol alongside the US in the disputed South China Sea.
More than 40 Chinese military aircraft on Sunday traversed the Miyako Strait between Japan’s Miyako and Okinawa Islands, to carry out training in the West Pacific, according to a statement on China’s defence ministry website.
The Sukhoi Su-30 fighters, bombers and refuelling aircraft did not violate Japanese airspace. Continue reading
America’s view of the Middle East today is shaped by our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the rise and reach of ISIS, a grinding conflict in Syria, the region as a source of wider ranging terrorism and staggering outflows of refugees that are changing the political calculus in Europe. The images that characterize and shape American involvement there are of arid landscapes and rubble from wanton destruction, our soldiers and marines in desert camouflage and videos of surgical airstrikes. However, the image of the beginning of our involvement in the Middle East is a rarely viewed February 1945 photo of President Franklin Roosevelt meeting with Saudi King Abdul Aziz aboard the USS Quincy in the Suez Canal. As our strategic role in the Middle East began with a meeting on the water so, too, are consequential changes there taking place at sea – the domain in which the U.S. has enjoyed unfettered access and dominance for over seventy years. Assuming continued uncontested American maritime dominance in that vital region is a grave strategic misstep – key Asian powers have turned to the sea, they understand fully what is at stake, and they have come to play.
China has failed to curb excesses in its credit system and faces mounting risks of a full-blown banking crisis, according to early warning indicators released by the world’s top financial watchdog.
A key gauge of credit vulnerability is now three times over the danger threshold and has continued to deteriorate, despite pledges by Chinese premier Li Keqiang to wean the economy off debt-driven growth before it is too late.
JAPAN has announced its intention to step up its activity in the disputed South China Sea region.
Japanese Defense Minister Tomoomi Inada said the country will conduct joint training patrols with the United States and bilateral and multilateral exercises with regional navies, Reuters reports.
Inada justified the decision by saying Japan shared similar concerns with the US about China’s rise to power and aggressive pursuit of territorial claims. Continue reading
China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force has announced that it will be organizing “regular” exercises that fly past the so-called first island chain — a key entryway into the western Pacific that includes Japan’s Ryukyu Islands and Taiwan.
In the latest exercise, air force spokesman Shen Jinke said China had sent a fleet of aircraft that included H-6K bombers, Su-30 fighters and air tankers over the Bashi Strait and into the western Pacific for a “routine” combat simulation drill Monday, state media reported. Continue reading
Russia and China are preparing for joint sea naval drills this weekend (Sept. 9-11).
The military exercises between the two countries are somewhat routine – there have been five since 2012.