US Hints At Naval Blockade Of Russian Energy Exports Which Moscow Warns Would Be “An Act Of War”

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Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke speaking at an industry event on Friday. Image source: State Impact Pennsylvania

 

In a interview about fracking and the implications of making the United States less dependent on foreign sources of energy, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told the Washington Examiner that the US Navy has the ability to blockade Russia from controlling energy supplies in the Middle East.

“The United States has that ability, with our Navy, to make sure the sea lanes are open, and, if necessary, to blockade… to make sure that their energy does not go to market,” Zinke said on Friday at a Consumer Energy Alliance event in Pittsburg.  Continue reading

Japan Wants Supersonic Glide Bombs To Protect Disputed Islands from China

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Earlier this week, we published a summary of an internal document via Kyodo News from China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) that specified a military crisis at sea between China and Japan could be on the horizon.

The internal report, authored by two Chinese military officials at the Naval Military Research Institute and Dalian Naval Academy, suggested that the probability of a significant military crisis at sea between both countries is rapidly increasing due to disputes over islands in the East China Sea. In particular, the Japan-owned Senkakus Islands, which are also claimed by China, where the land masses are known as the Diaoyu, and Taiwan, which calls them Tiaoyutai. Continue reading

PLA Expanding Power Through Belt and Road Initiative

Randall Schriver / Getty Images

 

Schriver: U.S. to bolster Taiwan air defenses, submarines

China’s military is a key player in the Belt and Road economic initiative around the world that is being used to expand Beijing’s overall global power, a senior Pentagon Asian affairs official says.

Separately, the Pentagon is working with Taiwan’s government to bolster the island’s air defenses in the face of growing missile and aircraft threats from China, said Randall G. Schriver, assistant defense secretary for Asian and Pacific security affairs. Continue reading

Will China One Day Dominate the Seas? History Provides Some Clues

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China has recently launched its first domestically built aircraft carrier, doubling its embryonic capacity to project power on the world’s oceans. A third carrier is under construction, with more to follow in due course. China has militarized its artificial islands in the South China Sea, extending its security barrier away from the Asian coast. It has fielded anti-access area denial weapons, including so-called “carrier killer” ballistic missiles that can reach Guam, to keep foreign warships away from Chinese waters should war come to East Asia. The Chinese fleet now has more, albeit technologically inferior, combat warships and submarines than the U.S. Navy. Nevertheless, they exist—ready to extend China’s reach and protect Chinese interests in an increasingly globalized world. Continue reading

China Pushes at Taiwan With ‘Large-Scale’ Military Exercises

 

A six-day live-fire drill gets Xi Jinping’s point across.

China began a six-day military drill in the East China Sea on July 19 as a threat toward the island nation of Taiwan.

Located near Taiwan, these “live-fire” drills are complex and will simulate real combat, according to the Global Times. China’s People’s Liberation Army (pla) will practice their “systematic combat capability, tactics, training methods and capacities of its weaponry and equipment.” Continue reading

Leaked Chinese Memo Warns Of “Thucydides Trap” With US, “War Is Unavoidable”

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A series of leaked internal documents reveal that China’s military reforms are aimed at allowing Beijing to “manage a crisis, contain a conflict, win a war” and overtake the United States in military strength, according to the Express.

The leaked documents were published by the Central Military Commission in February for the purpose of spreading President Xi Jinping’s “thought on strengthening the armed forces”.

If the reforms go ahead, they will lead to heightened tensions with China’s neighbouring countries, including Japan, in the East and South China Seas and the US. –Express Continue reading

American Military Aircraft Targeted By Lasers in Pacific Ocean, U.S. Officials Say

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Officials said all the incidents occurred in and around the East China Sea, typically where the Chinese military or other Chinese civilians operate. An Air Force bomber, above, in August on a flight over Japan, the East China Sea and Korean Peninsula. Photo: Gerald Willis/U.S. Air Force/EPA/Shutterstock

 

U.S. officials wouldn’t definitively confirm Chinese personnel were behind laser incidents

WASHINGTON—Lasers have targeted pilots of American military aircraft operating over the western Pacific Ocean more than 20 times in recent months, U.S. officials say, following a series of similar incidents in which Pentagon officials said Chinese personnel used lasers against U.S. pilots in East Africa.

Officials said all of the incidents occurred in and around the East China Sea, typically where the Chinese military or other Chinese civilians operate. The laser signals directed at American aircraft appeared to be coming from fishing boats operating in the area and from shore, multiple officials said. Continue reading

US struggles to counter Chinese maritime hegemony

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has spoken out against China’s strategy of “intimidation and coercion” in the South China Sea, including the deployment of anti-ship missiles, surface-to-air missiles and electronic jammers, and, more recently, the landing of nuclear-capable bomber aircraft at Woody Island. There are, Mattis warned, “consequences to China ignoring the international community.”

But what consequences? Two successive US administrations – Barack Obama’s and now Donald Trump’s – have failed to push back credibly against China’s expansionism in the South China Sea, which has accelerated despite a 2016 international arbitral tribunal ruling invalidating its territorial claims there. Instead, the US has relied on rhetoric or symbolic actions. Continue reading

Taiwan “Won’t Bow Down To China Pressure”; Plans To Purchase 108 US Abrams Tanks

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Taiwan “will not bow down to pressure from Beijing” Foreign Minister Joseph Wu says, but “will work with friendly nations to uphold regional peace and stability and ensure our rightful place in the international community.”

His exclamation came after news that the Dominican Republic had broken ties with Taipei and established formal relations with Beijing, expressing “deep regret” that the Dominican Republic had “set aside 77 years of partnership” in order “to accept deceptive promises of investment and aid from China.”

Taiwan’s presidential office also issued a statement criticizing the Chinese government for “exacerbating tension in the Taiwan Strait” just as international society was working to promote reconciliation and dialogue, “including in the Korean Peninsula.” Continue reading

Why the blind spot for China by the American intelligentsia?

Communist North Korea’s first dictator Kim Il-Sung, left, with Communist China’s first dictator Mao Zedong in 1961.

 

China remains the darling of western, particularly American, intellectuals and academicians even though under President Xi Jinping it’s reverting to the dictatorial habits of the era of Mao Zedung.

The system is not only incredibly corrupt but also authoritarian. We hear constantly about suppression of free speech, of the arrests of those speaking out against the regime or against particular policies, while serious dissent and political opposition is simply not possible.

The same intellectuals who once berated the U.S. for not moving closer to China, for remaining suspicious of Chinese motives and intentions, for objecting to the role of the Communist Party in a system masked in secrecy, have little to say about the real nature of the regime of Xi Jinping.

Continue reading

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

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

Report: China Increasing Drone Operations in Disputed Seas

In the future, power projection via drones will not be limited to Asia or the Asia-Pacific, but the Western Pacific on America’s doorstep — if not pushing through.

You will advance against my people Israel like a cloud that covers the land. In days to come, Gog, I will bring you against my land, so that the nations may know me when I am proved holy through you before their eyes.Ezekiel 38:16

 

An unmanned drone aircraft is tested during a campaign for disaster prevention and reduction in Beijing / Getty Images

 

DOD predicts China will produce tens of thousands of drones by 2023

A new report reveals how the Chinese military uses unmanned drones as a means of power projection and surveillance in the hotly contested South and East China Seas.

The report, released Monday by the Project 2049 Institute, offers “a field guide to Chinese UAVs/UCAVs operating in the disputed East and South China Seas.” Continue reading

Russia Deploys Nuclear-Capable Bombers Near Korea

Russian TU-95 bomber

 

With the U.S. periodically sending the occasional sortie of B1 bombers, accompanied by South Korean fighters, over the Korean peninsula to simulate what a (very fast) war with Pyongyang would look like, the airspace over the biggest geopolitical hotspot in the world today just got a little hotter after Russia deployed nuclear-capable strategic bombers over the Pacific Ocean, the Sea of Japan, the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea, prompting Japan and South Korea to scramble jets to escort them, Reuters reported. Continue reading

We’re About to See the U.S. Lose in an Unprecedented Deal with North Korea

 

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s decision not to bomb the American territory of Guam was a strategically planned chess move.

It was a stalling tactic on the regime leader’s part to give the United States one last chance to strike a deal with North Korea – on North Korea’s terms.

And whatever Washington does in response will come with enormous risk.

Here’s why… Continue reading