China, Malaysia pledge to narrow differences on South China Sea

The Philippines were yesterday, Malaysia is today. Which nation will next help shift the global order in China’s favor under an often-mentioned Asian bloc? This is only one step for Malaysia, but will prove to be another huge setback for America in Asia in the near future. Military cooperation between the two Asian nations is now in the pipeline.

 

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Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and Premier Li Keqiang attend a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Tuesday. Photo: AFP

 

Kuala Lumpur also agrees to buy four Chinese naval vessels as part of Najib Razak’s visit to Beijing

China and Malaysia vowed to deepen cooperation on the ­disputed South China Sea on Tuesday as Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak met Premier Li ­Keqiang in Beijing.

Li called on Malaysia and China to further consolidate their relationship, especially when it came to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, as part of China’s efforts to win over member nations of the bloc.

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Japan Planning Military Deployment to its Southernmost Islands

The Defense Ministry of Japan is planning to deploy units of its Ground Self-Defense Force to the islands of Miyako and Ishigaki southwest of Okinawa, in what Japanese government sources claimed to be a response to increased maritime activity from Chinese naval vessels in the Pacific Ocean close to the islands.

Around 600 military personnel, equipped with surface-to-ship missiles, are to be deployed on the islands, which are controlled by Japan as part of its Okinawa Prefecture. Continue reading

Surveillance facility eyed for Pacific

BANGKOK – The Defense Ministry plans to build a communications intelligence facility on Iwoto Island in the Pacific to improve its ability to conduct surveillance on China and its growing military presence, a government source said Thursday.

The ministry’s budget request for next fiscal year includes part of the ¥12 billion needed to build the facility, which would come online in fiscal 2017, the source said. Iwoto, about 1,250 km south of Tokyo, used to be known as Iwojima and was the site of a terrible battle during World War II. Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera will visit the island early next month. Continue reading