What Britain’s rapturous reception of President Xi shows about its future
Have Britain and America ever been more divided over any foreign-policy issue in the past 100 years than they are right now over China?
Consider the last fortnight. America has finally decided to confront China over its island grabs in the South China Sea. The Chinese government has responded by writing in its state media that it is “not frightened to fight a war with the U.S.” and that China must now “prepare for the worst.”
Meanwhile Chinese President Xi Jinping has just returned from his state visit to the United Kingdom, where the nation rolled out the reddest of red carpets. British officials joined their Chinese counterparts in proclaiming a “golden era” in British-Chinese relations. The Chinese state media called it an “ultra-royal welcome.”
In public, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government lists a more assertive China and a volatile North Korea as its top security concerns.
Behind the scenes, though, another concern is growing: that the United States may one day be unable or unwilling to defend Japan, interviews with Abe advisers, politicians and security experts show. The worries are adding momentum to Abe’s drive to beef up Japan’s air and naval forces while loosening constitutional limits on action its military can take abroad. Continue reading
Admiral: U.S. submarine forces decline as forces of China, Russia, Iran advance undersea warfare capabilities
China, Russia, and Iran pose regional and strategic submarine threats and are building up undersea warfare capabilities as the Navy is cutting its submarine force by 30 percent, the admiral in charge of Pentagon submarine programs told Congress on Thursday.
Rear Adm. Richard Breckenridge, director of Navy undersea warfare programs, said the decline of U.S. submarines is placing a key U.S. military advantage at risk.
“Our adversaries are not standing still, and so even though we have an advantage and we have a lead, we can’t sit on our lead,” Breckenridge told a hearing of the House Armed Services seapower subcommittee. Continue reading