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
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.
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
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.
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
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
Air Force Gen. Paul Selva, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate this week that the military is taking steps to improve its capabilities for countering and conducting information warfare — the use of cyberattacks and influence operations.
The Pentagon “must continue to improve its ability to exploit cyberspace as a pathway for information operations to affect adversary perceptions, decisions and actions in support of strategic ends,” Gen. Selva said in written policy statements to the Senate Armed Services Committee.
The four-star general testified at a nomination hearing for a second term as vice chairman. Continue reading
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…
WASHINGTON: Two Chinese SU-30 aircraft carried out what the US military described on Thursday (May 18) as an “unprofessional” intercept of a US aircraft designed to detect radiation while it was flying in international airspace over the East China Sea.
“The issue is being addressed with China through appropriate diplomatic and military channels,” said Air Force spokeswoman Lieutenant Colonel Lori Hodge. Continue reading
Japan worries that China’s probing of its air defences is part of a push to extend its military influence in the East China Sea and western Pacific, where Japan controls an island chain stretching 1,400 km (870 miles) south towards Taiwan.
“Recently we have seen Chinese military aircraft operating further south and that is bringing them closer to the main Okinawa island and other parts of the island chain,” Japan’s top military commander, Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano, told a briefing in Tokyo. Continue reading
OKINAWA-While the world watches mounting military tensions in the South China Sea, another, more ominous situation is brewing in the East China Sea that could be the trigger point for a major war between the superpowers. At the heart of tensions are eight uninhabited islands controlled by Japan that are close to important shipping lanes, rich fishing grounds and potential oil and gas reserves. China contests Japan’s claims and is escalating its military activity in Japan airspace. In response, Japan has been doubling its F-15 jet intercepts.
The situation increases the risk of an accidental confrontation — and could draw other countries, like the United States, into a conflict. It’s a topic President Trump will likely bring up with Chinese President Xi Jinping at his Mar-a-Lago estate this week. Continue reading
With the December monthly TIC data due out this week, bond traders will be closely watching if the selling of US Treasuries by foreign accounts, and especially central banks, which as we have repeatedly shown for the past several months has hit record levels…
However, this time the surprise may not be China, but its nemesis across the East China Sea, Japan. Continue reading
Donald Trump’s election as US president has increased the risk of hostilities breaking out, according to Chinese state media and analysts
China is stepping up preparedness for a possible military conflict with the US as the Donald Trump presidency has increased the risk of hostilities breaking out, state media and military observers said.
Beijing is bracing itself for a possible deterioration in Sino-US ties, with a particular emphasis on maritime security. Continue reading
China has a changing attitude to the thornier diplomatic and security crises now afflicting the Asian continent. Depending on the amount of national interest at play and the power it can reasonably project in the relevant geopolitical chessboards, Beijing can put on the face of peace facilitator in Syria, peace broker in Afghanistan and would-be boss in the Western Pacific.
While the main driver for the Chinese diplomacy in the Middle East is the protection of economic interests, the assertion of national sovereignty, combined with the aspiration to become the driving force in East Asia, mostly explains China’s moves in the East and South China seas. The rationale for Beijing’s posturing in Central Asia is instead more nuanced. The region is in fact a crossroads for many stakeholders; here China is committed to safeguarding precious economic assets and, at the same time, exerting some form of power.
In an osmotic way, all of these three approaches are conditioned by China’s interaction with the other great powers – the United States and Russia. Continue reading
Taiwan’s military was on placed on high alert as a group of Chinese ships, led by the Liaoning aircraft carrier, transited the Taiwan Strait on Jan. 11.
According to Taiwan’s Defense Ministry, Beijing’s Soviet-built aircraft carrier, returning from exercises in the South China Sea, had not entered Taiwan’s territorial waters but did enter its air defense identification zone in the southwest.
Taiwan sent its aircraft and ships to “surveil and control” the passage of the Chinese ships north through the body of water separating Taiwan and China, Taiwan defense ministry spokesman Chen Chung-chi said. Continue reading
The mainland Chinese air force said on Thursday it would continue training and patrols in the air space over the East and South China seas, following recently intensified drills that have rattled Taiwan and Japan.
The People’s Liberation Army air force would keep training and patrolling the air space in accordance with its schedule, spokesman Shen Jinke said.