Neighbors wary as China’s PLA modernizes, builds capability

Under Chinese President Xi Jinping, the People’s Liberation Army is undergoing massive changes as it is reorganized, resized and mobilized. On one hand, the PLA is also getting a bigger role in China’s strategic and foreign-policy outreach. On the other hand, it is shedding weight and becoming a leaner and more information-driven army.

These far-reaching changes will have implications for the region, as neighbors India, Japan and Vietnam and powers like the US and Australia watch closely. Continue reading

The Deeper Purpose of Trump’s Asia Trip

 

President Trump is wrapping up his historic visit to Asia today. Trump’s journey is the longest overseas trip of his presidency and the longest Asian visit of any president in 25 years.

After a stopover in Hawaii, Trump proceeded to Japan, where he met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe, and then to South Korea where he met with President Moon Jae-in. Continue reading

In blow to U.S. alliance, South Korea’s foreign minister assures China on THAAD, Japan ties

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with South Korean President Moon Jae-In at the Blue House in Seoul on Nov. 7. / AP

 

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-Wha, in a bow to China, has said Seoul will not seek any more deployments of the U.S. THAAD missile defense system.

Kang also assured that the South will not join the U.S. missile defense networks nor seek a trilateral alliance involving Japan, Yonhap reported on Nov. 10. Continue reading

China has practiced bombing runs targeting Guam, US says

Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford reviews a Chinese honor guard during a welcome ceremony at the Bayi Building in Beijing, Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017. (Mark Schiefelbein/AP via Pool)

 

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii – China has practiced bombing runs targeting the U.S. territory of Guam, one of a host of activities making U.S. forces here consider Beijing the most worrisome potential threat in the Pacific, even as North Korea pursues a nuclear warhead.

Beyond the well-publicized military build up on man-made islands in the South China Sea, China has built up its fleet of fighters to the extent that it operates a daily, aggressive campaign to contest airspace over the East China Sea, South China Sea and beyond, U.S. military officials here in the region said. China has also taken several other non-military steps that are viewed as attempts to make it much more difficult for the U.S. to operate there and defend allies in the future.

Continue reading

Jim Rogers Warns “If Trump Starts A Trade War With China, It Will End US Hegemony”

This is exactly what Global Geopolitics mentioned just a five days ago. The tables have turned on the global playing field and the traditional options once thought to be useful to use against China will now backfire. America will now have to get more creative to once again get ahead in controlling the narrative when it comes to using leverage against its adversaries.

Adding to this, China is likely waiting for such a move to happen, which will benefit the nation in numerous ways:

  • China is a master in state propaganda, will successfully claim it’s the victim of a U.S. economic attack and rally support throughout the nation.
  • China, through provocation, will have produced a reason to retaliate. The trade war begins.
  • Retaliation will be successful due to the weakening of the U.S. positions and strengthening of Chinese leverage. World-wide, this will cause people and nations to question America’s ability to act and standing as the lone global superpower. If the Dollar goes down, the U.S. goes down with it.

 

 

Following Treasury Secretary Mnuchin’s threat that the US could impose economic sanctions on China if it does not implement the new sanctions regime against North Korea:

“If China doesn’t follow these sanctions, we will put additional sanctions on them and prevent them from accessing the US and international dollar system, and that’s quite meaningful.”

Continue reading

Theory: China’s Secretly Prepping for War in the South China Sea

Chinese leader Mao Zedong, 1963.

 

Should a U.S.-China war break out in the South China Sea, Beijing will rely on an old Mao-era military tactic in its efforts to vanquish the United States.

The likelihood of such a conflict increases by the day…

That’s because the United States continues to exert its military presence in the trade- and resource-rich South China Sea, despite China’s insistence that nearly the entirety of the valuable maritime region belongs to it. China’s claims, as a matter of fact, clash with those of six other nearby nations, such as Vietnam and Taiwan. Continue reading

Vietnam Bends the Knee to China

Chinese President Xi Jinping accompanies President Tran Dai Quang of The Socialist Republic of Viet Nam to view a guard of honour during a welcoming ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People on May 11, 2017 in Beijing, China. GETTY IMAGES

 

More proof that in the South China Sea, Beijing is king.

In recent decades, Vietnam has distinguished itself several times as a nation not afraid to stand up to its larger and far more powerful neighbor to the North. From the border conflicts of the 1970s and ’80s to the passage in 2012 of the “Law on the Sea” resolution, Hanoi has demonstrated its willingness to resist Beijing. But last month, in a sign of the shifting power balance between China and the United States, Vietnam yielded to Beijing’s intimidation. Continue reading

Japan’s Shifting Power Alliances

 

I’ve just wrapped up a long trip to Japan. And I’ve taken away one lesson from all of my conversations, speeches and research: The rise of nationalism in the U.S. will cause massive shifts in global trade alliances.

One of the main beneficiaries will be Japan. Now, Japan might not be on your radar, day-to-day, but it’s about to play a very important role in the world of Donald Trump.

Here’s what I mean… Continue reading

Japan wants a massive trade deal without the US — but these countries stand in its way

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe next to a map of the original Trans-Pacific Partnership participating countries. [TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA / AFP / Getty Images]

 

  • Negotiators from the 11 remaining TPP countries are holding talks this week on how to ink a deal without Washington, but internal divisions are a key obstacle
  • Vietnam and Malaysia, in particular, are looking to re-open discussions on certain provisions, complicating Japan’s desire to cement an agreement

As the 11 remaining Trans-Pacific Partnership countries continue talks without Washington this week, certain member states now need convincing to stay on board with the massive trade deal. Continue reading

China Sends Warships, Fighter Jets to Intercept U.S. Destroyer in South China Sea

 

Just days before Trump’s meeting with the Chinese president in Hamburg later this week for the G-20 summit, the Trump administration sent a guided-missile destroyer near Triton Island in the South China Sea, Bloomberg reported, a move “which may cause concern ahead of President Donald Trump’s meeting with his Chinese counterpart.”

According to an anonymous official cited by Bloomberg, the U.S. Navy sent the destroyer USS Stethem within 12 nautical miles (22 kilometers) of Triton Island on Sunday, passing through the contested waters on the basis of “innocent passage.” Continue reading

China’s Latest Threat Is an Invisible Sub Built for “Research Purposes”

As noted in a previous article, China is ticking all the boxes on its path to war.

 

 

China has a new plan of attack in the South China Sea: espionage.

This morning, Beijing declared its new “invisible sub” primed and ready for its first official post-trial phase “research” mission. The sub is called the Jiaolong – named for a mythical sea creature – and its alleged purpose is to collect deep-sea samples of sediment, rock, and water for scientific research.

But the difficult-to-see, deep-water probe is now headed from the South China Sea to the East China Sea – a route that has raised some eyebrows among defense analysts and maritime law experts.

Here’s why they’re so skeptical about the Jiaolong’s deep-sea movements, with some even wondering if China’s true intent has less to do with scientific research and more to do with spying on its competition in nearby Pacific waters…

Continue reading

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

Russia-Philippines Relations: Defense Agreements But Short Of Military Alliance

Putin with Duterte (Source: Kremlin.ru)

 

On May 23, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. However, Duterte had to suddenly return back to Manila, due to a terrorist attack that hit the southern island of Mindanao. Nevertheless, his ministers signed close to $1 billion worth of business deals with Russian firms.[1] The Philippines and Russia have also signed an Agreement on Defense Cooperation. The defense cooperation will expand “exchanges in terms of training, seminars and best practices between the two countries, with the end to develop relations in the field of military education, including military medicine, military history, sports, and culture as well as experiences in consultation, observer participation in military training exercises, and military port calls.”[2] Continue reading

Trump’s stealth North Korea move sidelines China, could be game-changer

President Donald Trump and China’s Xi JInping in Florida.

 

Just how the shape of the new global strategic architecture will settle out as the framework for the 21st Century is still open to challenge, but the key dynamic — the initial door to that new world — is now being opened by a deliberately-orchestrated U.S.-North Korea confrontation.

What is emerging beyond this door is an overarching strategic alternative to the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) démarche of “One Belt, One Road” dominance of the Eurasian and Indo-Pacific geopolitical space, and an alternative, or balance, to the PRC’s reach into Africa and the Americas.

The confrontation between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean (DPRK) leader Kim Jong-Un is very much just between those two leaders, with the People’s Republic of China somewhat marginalized. Beijing is now fighting to find a path into this equation. 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