China Is Ticking All the Boxes on Its Path to War

The Chinese dream of hegemony in Asia has been a long time coming. The map following is from a Nationalist primary school textbook from 1938.

 

There are currently three communiques that have guided U.S.-China relations for the last 45 years. These joint statements by the U.S. and Chinese governments were signed in 1972, 1979, and 1982. Among other things, the second communique states that, “Neither should seek hegemony in the Asia-Pacific region or in any other region of the world”.

China has recently been attempting to have the U.S. sign onto a Fourth Communique under which the U.S. would no longer consider Taiwan as an ally or deal with it in any military or diplomatic terms. In effect, the U.S. would peacefully decline and leave the Western Pacific to China. The White House rejected it prior to the meeting of the U.S. and Chinese presidents on April 6-7 at Mar-a-Lago. It was raised again by Henry Kissinger, now in the pay of the Chinese government, at his meeting with President Trump on May 10. Continue reading

Massive Shark Die-Off on California Coast is Alarming Researchers

 

Mass marine animal die-offs have become regular news in recent years, especially along the western coast of the America’s where it is quite common to hear of pods of whales or other animals mysteriously perishing in great numbers.

Most recently along the coast of California, primarily around the San Francisco Bay area, an alarming number of sharks are dying, and officials are at a loss as to why. For the past three months, thousands of dead leopard sharks have been washing up on shores in the bay, and their decomposing bodies may be making the problem worse. Continue reading

Giving Japan a military

Air Self-Defense Force F-15 fighters fly over the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier Carl Vinson during a Japan-U.S. joint training drill exercise in the Sea of Japan on June 1. | AP

 

After 70 years, Japan may finally be on the cusp of acquiring its own military. Legally, that is. Last month, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe indicated his desire to change the Constitution by 2020 to include a clause to give legal standing to the Self-Defense Forces. The revision, while historically controversial domestically, is long overdue. Continue reading

US Air Force Grounds F-35s at Arizona Base

An F-35A Lightning II on static display at Luke AFB, Arizona, in April 2016. (U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Christopher Boitz)

 

Base officials halted local flights after five pilots experienced symptoms of oxygen deprivation.

The U.S. Air Force has grounded 55 of its F-35 Joint Strike Fighters at Arizona’s Luke Air Force base following five incidents in which pilots experienced symptoms of oxygen deprivation.

The pilots “reported physiological incidents while flying” but a backup oxygen system turned on, allowing them to land safely, Capt. Mark Graff, an Air Force spokesman at the Pentagon, said in an email Friday afternoon.

Continue reading

Sources: 3rd US Naval Strike Force Deployed to Deter North Korea

FILE – Ships assigned to the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group participate in a strait transit exercise in the Pacific Ocean in this April 3, 2017 photo.

 

The USS Nimitz, one of the world’s largest warships, will join two other supercarriers, the USS Carl Vinson and the USS Ronald Reagan, in the western Pacific, the sources told VOA’s Steve Herman.

The U.S. military has rarely simultaneously deployed three aircraft carriers to the same region. Continue reading

Geography and the coming Sino-American war at sea

A member of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force takes part in an amphibious drill on May 13 during joint military exercises on Guam involving Japan, the U.S., France and Britain that were intended to show support for the free passage of vessels in international waters amid concerns China may restrict access to the South China Sea. | AP

 

Geography is determinate in military plans, a fact that planners understand at all levels, from tactical to strategic. While tailored combat elements may traverse difficult environments on land and at sea, heavily laden logistics craft that follow and enable them can rarely do the same. This is what pushes armies and fleets toward certain immutable routes, resulting in battles occurring at the same locations, over and over, throughout recorded history. Much as the ridge at Megiddo, better known as “Armageddon,” played witness to strife no less than 13 times since the 15th century B.C. because it stood astride the route from Mesopotamia to Egypt, key maritime straits such as the waters of the South China Sea and the Sunda and Malaccan Straits will provide the backdrop for future naval battles. Geography and geopolitics are intermeshed and unavoidable. Unfortunately for China, they sit upon the wrong side of the former and are rather poor at the latter. Western advantages in both must not be squandered. Continue reading

World Leaders Gather in Beijing While the US Sinks into Irrelevancy

The United States is fractured and permanently scarred with very little diplomatic room to maneuver, and as the article states, doesn’t even know it. We’re looking at a new world shaping up within the next 10 years… a new world without the United States having a voice in its affairs. This is an unprecedented new chapter in world history that the old order doesn’t recover from. If you’re an American, get used to second or third-rate living standards and all the problems that come with it.

To add clarification: President Trump has a great chance in saving America from ruin, and let’s hope he will. Where he has almost zero chance is in saving it’s standing in the world. An alternative world structure has already been built and members are being filtered in. The ‘on button’ is waiting to be pushed. All that needs to happen is an event, such as global economic collapse, that sets America back and simultaneously provides the new world structure a window of opportunity to spring into first place.

 

World Leaders Gather in Beijing While the US Sinks into Irrelevancy

 

While vaudevillian comedy-like shouting matches broke out in the West Wing of the White House between President Donald Trump and his senior advisers and between the White House press secretary and various presidential aides, world leaders gathered in Beijing to discuss the creation of modern-day land and maritime «silk roads» to improve the economic conditions of nations around the world. Nothing more could have illustrated the massive divide between the concerns of many of the nations of the world and those of the United States, which is rapidly descending into second-rate power status, along with its NATO allies Britain, France, and Germany. Continue reading

Pacific Command chief exhorts Russia and China to bring Kim Jong Un ‘to his senses’

U.S. Pacific Command chief Adm. Harry Harris answers questions during a speech at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation in Tokyo on Wednesday. | AP

 

The head of the U.S. military’s Pacific Command on Wednesday urged Russia and China to step up efforts in reining in North Korea and persuade the reclusive state to halt its nuclear weapons program and related provocations.

“The dangerous behavior by North Korea is not just a threat to the Korean Peninsula,” Adm. Harry Harris said at an event in Tokyo, referring to Pyongyang’s latest test launch of a new ballistic missile on Sunday. Continue reading

Xi wants Japan in AIIB as Beijing and Tokyo mend fences

Toshihiro Nikai, secretary-general of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party, left, and Chinese President Xi Jinping at a meeting in Beijing on May 16. © Kyodo

 

Abe government may reconsider membership in China-led investment bank

TOKYO — Japan could reopen talks on whether to join the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, a senior lawmaker signaled Tuesday after meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss improving bilateral ties.

Toshihiro Nikai, secretary-general of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party, did not discuss the matter with Xi directly during the pair’s 17-minute talk in Beijing on Tuesday, which was concerned mainly with the possibility of Chinese leaders including Xi visiting Japan and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visiting China. But Nikai told a news conference afterward that he would discuss the matter thoroughly with Abe when he returns home. Continue reading

Everyone on Earth has been irradiated by Fukushima — “Shocking new study reveals true extent of global impact” — “Scientists are only just now confirming far-reaching effects” of nuclear disaster

 

New Scientist, May 5, 2017 (emphasis added): Fukushima accident gave everyone an X-ray’s worth of radiation — “We don’t need to worry,” says Nikolaos Evangeliou at the Norwegian Institute for Air Research, whose team has conducted the first global survey of radiation exposure caused by the meltdown of three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant… Evangeliou’s team has calculated the approximate exposure of everyone on Earth to two radioactive isotopes of caesium… He has estimated the dose that most individuals received to be 0.1 millisievert. “What I found was that we got one extra X-ray each,” says Evangeliou… But Evangeliou says that the effects on wildlife around the plant might be more severe. Already, he says, increased levels of radiation around Fukushima have been linked to declines in bird populations there between 2011 and 2014. “There have also been reports of declines in other species such as insects and some mammals,” he says… Continue reading

China Heads New Alliance of Asian Universities

China has organized an alliance of Asian universities to compete with western educational institutions. The alliance will share resources and increase exchanges of students and teachers.

The new organization is called the Asian University Alliance (AUA). It was launched in late April at Tsinghua University in Beijing. The Chinese university was elected as chair of the group that includes a total of 15 universities from 14 countries and areas. Continue reading

Russian mystery plane at SFO

 

Departing SFO last week, I peered out my window at a rare site: a gigantic Russian Antonov An-124 cargo jet parked across the runways from airport terminals. I thought it was a one-time event, but I began hearing more about it from TravelSkills readers who have seen one or two of the behemoths over the last two weeks at SFO.

I reached out to airport officials at SFO to inquire about the planes, but only received vague replies: “Yes, we’ve had these Antonov An-124 cargo aircraft making semi-regular appearances over the past week, at times having two here simultaneously. None are here now, but the next one comes in tonight.”

When I asked why they are here, what they are transporting and where they are going, the airport said, “They’re coming from various locations, all for the same Bay Area company. I don’t have details on who…” Continue reading

Peak of Fukushima radiation now moving to West Coast — Levels much higher than predicted — Huge red blob of nuclear waste near shore — San Francisco area being hit hardest — Concern over Iodine-129 with 15 million year half-life (MAPS)

 

Feiro Marine Life Center, Apr 18, 2017 (emphasis added): Speaker Series: Studying Fukushima Radiation off the Coast of North America — The Integrated Fukushima Ocean Radionuclide Monitoring (InFORM) project is a partnership between academic, government, non-governmental organizations, and citizen scientists to monitor the arrival of Fukushima-derived contamination, cesium-134 (t1/2 = ~2 years), cesium-137 (t1/2 = ~30 years), and iodine-129 (t1/2 = 15.7 million years) in the open Pacific and Arctic Oceans and North American coastal waters. In response to public demand, monitoring began in the fall of 2014, when models predicted the arrival of radionuclide contamination from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident. Monitoring efforts will capture the peak of the radionuclide contamination, predicted to occur in our waters… Contamination levels continue to be below levels that are known to represent a significant threat to human or ecosystem health. Continue reading

Abe declares 2020 as goal for new Constitution

Due in part to America’s decline over the last eight years under the Obama administration, like a lot of the major powers in the world, Japan is beginning to realize it cannot 100% depend on the U.S. as a reliable partner. Policy changes with almost every new president make it difficult to find stability. It has now decided to scrap its current constitution and do away with the pacifism that keeps it from efficiently defending itself.

This is also the beginning of an Asian hegemonic bloc. Japan will eventually gravitate and align towards China, as the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia are currently doing.

 

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe addresses the annual rally on revising the Constitution organized by conservative lawmakers in Tokyo on Monday. | AP

 

In an unprecedented declaration, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Wednesday he hopes to see a revised Constitution take effect in 2020, when the nation will host the Tokyo Olympics.

Continue reading

Russia’s New Global Aims

The Cold War is back, but it is a different Cold War because it is a different Russia. It is important to know who the Russians are and what has shaped their worldview, including their sometimes justified suspicion and hostility toward the US.

Some features of Russian government go back to their beginnings as a country in the 10th century. Their geography places them very far north, which means that food, particularly grain harvests, are uncertain. The country has experienced more famine than feast. This is one reason for aggressively moving in on neighbors with better geography and better harvests (Ukraine and Belarus). Continue reading