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

Beijing’s second aircraft carrier ‘takes shape’ after two years, nine months of construction: media

Mainland China’s first domestically made aircraft carrier, the Shandong, pictured during construction in Dalian in December 2016. Photo: Kyodo

 

Building of the Shandong by mainland China likely to further unnerve Taiwan and other neighbours about its growing military assertiveness

Beijing’s second aircraft carrier was “taking shape” after two years and nine months of construction, mainland Chinese media reported – a move likely to further unnerve Taiwan and other neighbours about its growing military assertiveness.

Construction of the Shandong, named after a province in China’s east coast, began in 2014, the mobile app of Shandong television and radio said in a report seen on Tuesday. Continue reading

Is Vietnam tilting toward China?

First the Philippines, then Malaysia, now Vietnam… As predicted, Asia will tilt away from the United States and come under the umbrella protectorate of China, and form a new Asian bloc.

Who wants to go to war with China when you have an unstable United States under Barack Obama who may or may not have your back? Who wants to go to war with China with a bi-polar United States that changes its position with every new President? Who wants to go to war with China when the United States is further decimating its own already-troubled military?

These are the perspectives these Asian nations have. If you can’t beat them (China), join them.

 

When he traveled to China for a state visit in October 2016, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was grandly received by Beijing.

Nguyen Phu Trong, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), was treated much in the same manner during his official trip to China last week.

Yet, while Mr Trong’s visit was aimed at developing stronger ties with China, it does not mean that the communist leadership in Hanoi is pursuing a Duterte-like pivot to Beijing. Continue reading

Chinese state media tells Donald Trump’s team to ‘prepare for military clash’

Remember a few things about China and what it has previously said:

  1. In Febuary of 2010, China warned there will be hand-to-hand combat with the United States within 10 years.
  2. It doesn’t care about Taiwan. Preparations for war with Taiwan are actually preparations for war with America:
    1. “The central committee believes, as long as we resolve the United States problem at one blow, our domestic problems will all be readily solved. Therefore, our military battle preparation appears to aim at Taiwan, but in fact is aimed at the United States, and the preparation is far beyond the scope of attacking aircraft carriers or satellites.” – Chi Haotian, Minster of Defense and vice-chairman of China’s Central Military Commission
  3. China’s main goal: The extermination of America.

The CCP has mastered the art of provocation while creating the perception it’s the victim.

 

Rex Tillerson during the confirmation hearing [Getty]

Follows Rex Tillerson’s South China Sea comments during confirmation hearing

The US should “prepare for a military clash”, a state run Chinese tabloid newspaper has warned.

Less than 24 hours after US Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson appeared to call for a blockade of South China Sea islands, a strongly-worded English editorial in the Global Times accused the former Exxon Mobil chief executive of “rabble-rousing”.

He “had better bone up on nuclear power strategies if he wants to force a big nuclear power to withdraw from its own territories”, the paper, which is known for writing hawkish editorials, said. However, despite being state run, it does not necessarily reflect government policy. Continue reading

How China wins the South China Sea war without firing a shot

China is engaged in a broad-ranging information warfare campaign as part of a covert effort to take control of the South China Sea — in the words of ancient strategist Sun Tzu, without firing a shot.

The Chinese cyber attacks have been carried out extensively on regional states along with political influence operations designed to falsely convince the international community that the waters of the sea are and have been China’s sovereign maritime territory.

James Clapper, the US director of national intelligence, told a Senate hearing last week that aggressive Chinese cyber attacks were continuing. ”China continues to succeed in conducting cyber espionage against the US government, our allies, and US companies,” he said. Continue reading

China Announces Military Drills in South China Sea After U.S. Navy Patrol

China will conduct military drills in the South China Sea on Thursday, less than a week after a U.S. Navy destroyer sailed near disputed islands claimed by Beijing in the region.

The Japan Times reported that China’s Maritime Safety Administration announced the planned day-long military exercises in a brief statement Wednesday. The country ordered non-military vessels to stay away from a designated section of the sea south of Hainan island and northwest of the disputed Paracel Islands. Continue reading

China urges Australia to be ‘cautious’ on South China Sea

BEIJING: China hopes that Australia acts and speaks with caution on the South China Sea and that its words and actions on the matter match each other, a senior Chinese officer told the visiting head of the Australian Defence Force.

Australia, a staunch U.S. ally, has previously drawn criticism from China for running surveillance flights over disputed islands in the South China Sea and supporting U.S. freedom of navigation exercises there. Continue reading

Russia considers military bases in Vietnam and Cuba: agencies

Russia is considering plans to restore military bases in Vietnam and Cuba that had served as pivots of Soviet global military power during the Cold War, Russian news agencies quoted Russian Deputy Defence Minister Nikolai Pankov as saying on Friday.

“We are dealing with this issue,” the agencies quoted Pankov as saying in Russia’s parliament. Continue reading

Duterte declares upcoming Philippines-U.S. war games ‘the last one’

HANOI (Reuters) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte plunged one of the United States’ most important Asian alliances deeper into uncertainty on Wednesday by declaring upcoming U.S.-Philippine military exercises “the last”, and ruling out any joint navy patrols.

The firebrand Duterte pledged to honor a longstanding security treaty with the United States but said China opposed joint marine drills in the Philippines starting next week and there would be no more war games with Washington after that.

“I am serving notice now to the Americans, this will be the last military exercise,” Duterte said during a visit to Vietnam. “Jointly, Philippines-U.S.: the last one.” Continue reading

US-China tension: Maneuvering for pacific front of WW3?

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The US is not the only one building up forces. China has been building artificial islands in the South China Sea’s

US-China tension in the last few months has sharply increased, with both nations exchanging some heated dialogue over the contested issue of the South China Sea. Although the prospect of the US and China actually engaging in battle is still an abstract idea, the notion became a little more concrete recently with the decision of the RAND corporation (long-time New World Order think tank) to release a study entitled War with China – Thinking Through the Unthinkable. Continue reading

Japan Warns China Over ‘Territorial Aggression’

TOKYO — China risks triggering unintended conflict with Asian rivals through its aggressive stance in maritime disputes, Japan said Tuesday in a security assessment, as a Beijing minister urged preparations for a “people’s war at sea.”

China’s sweeping claims over the South China Sea, where it has built a series of artificial islands capable of supporting military operations despite overlapping claims from other nations, have stoked international alarm.

The region’s superpower “continues to act in an assertive manner” and its actions “include dangerous acts that could cause unintended consequences,” Tokyo said in a defense white paper. Continue reading

Chinese Military Vice Chairman Urges Troops to Get Ready For Combat: Xinhua

While it is unclear how much of it is populist bluster, how much is posturing, and how much an actual, objective caution, Bloomberg points out an article by China’s news agency Xingua posted on the website of the Ministry of National Defense, in which Fan Changlong, vice chairman of China’s Central Military Commission (which is chaired by Xi Jinping himself) “urges Chinese troops to get prepared for combat by improving planning, equipment and logistical support in order” to be ready to “win the war.”

Bloomberg adds that Fan made the comments in recent inspection tour of China’s Southern Theater Command. The warning comes days after China officially warned the US that its patrols in the South China Sea – which despite last week’s decision by the Hague tribunal – deems as its own, could end in “disaster.” Continue reading

China lands aircraft on disputed South China Sea reefs and coastguard blocks Philippine fishing boat as Beijing defies ruling

Two Chinese aircraft landed on disputed reefs and Beijing’s coastguard reportedly blocked a Philippine boat from a contested shoal, in acts of defiance after a landmark ruling found China’s vast claims in the South China Sea legally baseless.

Vietnam protested on Thursday that the recent Chinese actions seriously violated Vietnamese sovereignty.

Chinese state media reported that two Chinese civilian aircraft landed successfully on Wednesday on two new airstrips on Mischief and Subi reefs. China also said it had completed four lighthouses on disputed reefs and was launching a fifth. Continue reading

China threatens to impose air defence zone on disputed area of South China Sea

China raised tensions in the South China Sea on Wednesday by threatening to declare an air defence identification zone (ADIZ) over disputed waters where a tribunal has quashed its legal claim.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled on Tuesday that China had “no legal basis” for its “nine-dash line”, which lays claim to almost all of the South China Sea. After considering a case brought by the Philippines, the court ruled against China on virtually every substantive point.

President Xi Jinping responded by saying that China would “refuse to accept” the decision.

Continue reading