Vietnam Bends the Knee to China

Chinese President Xi Jinping accompanies President Tran Dai Quang of The Socialist Republic of Viet Nam to view a guard of honour during a welcoming ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People on May 11, 2017 in Beijing, China. GETTY IMAGES

 

More proof that in the South China Sea, Beijing is king.

In recent decades, Vietnam has distinguished itself several times as a nation not afraid to stand up to its larger and far more powerful neighbor to the North. From the border conflicts of the 1970s and ’80s to the passage in 2012 of the “Law on the Sea” resolution, Hanoi has demonstrated its willingness to resist Beijing. But last month, in a sign of the shifting power balance between China and the United States, Vietnam yielded to Beijing’s intimidation. Continue reading

Philippines’ Duterte derides US for past inaction in South China Sea

Inaction, as Duterte puts it – and under the Obama administration – has lead to China’s unchecked rise in Asia during the last eight years. It will prove extremely difficult, if not impossible to reverse this tide without a major war that would jeopardize many lives. China’s hold was solidified with the artificial islands the Obama administration did nothing about.

 

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures while answering questions during a news conference upon arrival from a trip to Myanmar and Thailand at an international airport in Manila, Philippines March 23, 2017. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

 

MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday accused the United States of having a provocative stance on the South China Sea and said its inaction when China started building manmade islands was the cause of tensions now besetting the region.

Duterte said Washington’s freedom of navigation patrols risked a “miscalculation” that could spark conflict, and accused the previous U.S. administration of pressuring the Philippines to take a stand against China, without a guarantee of military support.

“You go there in the pretence of challenging them?” he said of the U.S. patrols that began under the Obama administration. “One single solitary shot, it could lead to an explosion and it could lead to a war and it will be a slaughter.” Continue reading

EU Makes Powergrab for British Fishing Waters

[Shutterstock]

 

The European Union is set to put pressure on the government to ensure continued access to British fishing waters for European vessels despite the mad Common Fisheries Policy being one of the major concerns of Brexiteers across the country. Continue reading

Russia’s Arctic Dreams Have Chinese Characteristics

The most significant geophysical event on our planet since the end of the ice age is taking place today—the opening of the Arctic. As the High North maritime environment warms, the Arctic Ocean’s abundant energy, minerals, fish stocks, and other natural resources are becoming increasingly accessible, while new potential maritime routes promise to reduce shipping times and costs and accelerate ties between major commercial centers. These new opportunities for energy development, natural resources extraction, and shipping suggest that the region risks becoming an arena of intense competition, tension, and potentially even confrontation, not only between the United States and its two near-peer strategic competitors—China and Russia—but also among other Asia-Pacific states with observer status in the Arctic Council. Continue reading

Global Ballistic Missile Threats Beginning to Outpace US Defense Capability

Global Geopolitics has warned at least nine times throughout the years that Chinese and Russian weaponry is either on par or will soon be more advanced than what the United States has:

China, Russia, Iran Closing Gap with Smaller, Older U.S. Military

Russia claims to have super weapon that disables western satellites and long range arms

Chinese bought division of IBM that manufactures computing servers for U.S. Navy Aegis cruisers

China Tests ICBM With Multiple Warheads

‘Stolen’ J-31 can beat American jets in dogfight, says US pilot

Pentagon: Military Losing Technological Superiority to China

Photos show second China stealth fighter prototype has test flight

Silent Running

Obama’s Lost in Space

The most America has done to mitigate this threat is to hastily rush the F-35 into service and claim it’s ‘combat ready’ — even though it has 419 known defects.

 

The United States should upgrade missile defense capabilities to be able to counter growing threats, Republican Senator Jim Inhofe said in a press release following the launch of two medium-range ballistic missiles by North Korea.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) —  North Korea fired two ballistic missiles from its eastern shore on Wednesday morning. One of the weapons landed into the Sea of Japan, the country’s exclusive economic zone.

Continue reading

China must prepare for ‘people’s war at sea’: Defence minister

BEIJING: China’s defence minister has urged preparations for a “people’s war at sea” to counter offshore security threats and safeguard sovereignty, state media reported on Tuesday.

Chang Wanquan’s comments came several weeks after an international tribunal dismissed the country’s claim to most of the South China Sea, a judgement it angrily rejected.

Chang “called for recognition of the seriousness of the national security situation, especially the threat from the sea”, Xinhua news agency said. Continue reading

China Orders Military to “Prepare for Combat” (with United States) Over Hague Ruling on South China Sea

If you ever wanted to understand China’s view on America and its true intentions, let this be the only thing you read:

War Is Not Far from Us and Is the Midwife of the Chinese Century

 

 

Chinese president Xi Jinping has ordered the People’s Liberation Army to prepare for combat. This comes after an international tribunal on Tuesday issued an unfavorable ruling against China’s claims over the South China Sea.  U.S.-based Boxun News said Tuesday that the instruction was given in case the United States takes provocative action in the waters once the ruling is made.

The U.S. and China have been expanding their military activities across the sea, stoking heavy tension between the two superpowers. Continue reading

China to build on disputed Scarborough Shoal this year: Report

https://i0.wp.com/atimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/sunset.jpg

Chinese surveillance ships are seen off Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea

 

Beijing will start construction this year on a South China Sea islet within the Philippines’ claimed exclusive economic zone as it seeks to project its power in the disputed waters, Hong Kong media reported Monday.

China will establish an outpost on Scarborough Shoal, 230 kilometres (143 miles) off the Philippine coast, the South China Morning Post newspaper cited an unnamed source close to the People’s Liberation Army as saying.

Beijing claims nearly all the strategically vital sea, despite competing claims from several Southeast Asian neighbors, and in recent months it has developed contested reefs into artificial islands, some topped with airstrips. Continue reading

Russia formally stakes claim to North Pole and vast Arctic expanse

https://i0.wp.com/www.smh.com.au/content/dam/images/g/i/r/t/l/a/image.related.articleLeadwide.620x349.girthc.png/1438741630961.jpg

A titanium capsule with the Russian flag is seen seconds after it was planted by the Mir-1 mini submarine on the Arctic Ocean seabed under the North Pole in 2007. Photo: AP

 

Moscow: Russia formally staked a claim on Tuesday to a vast area of the Arctic Ocean, including the North Pole.

If the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, the UN commission that arbitrates sea boundaries accepts Russia’s claim, the waters will be subject to Moscow’s oversight on economic matters, including fishing and oil and gas drilling. However, Russia will not have full sovereignty. Continue reading

The militarization of a China its rulers want you to think is just a peaceful, growing economy

As the Chinese and the Americans sat down for the seventh of their annual two-day meeting [June 22-24], set up in 2009 to maintain bilateral cooperation despite growing differences, a major transformation of the Chinese regime was a new and worrying factor.

With growing criticism of the Obama Administration’s China strategy from the Congress, Daniel Russel, assistant secretary of state for East Asia and the Pacific, has said the U.S. agenda would include:

  • Differences over the South China Sea,
  • Cyber security and
  • Human rights.

Continue reading

Satellite photos show China reclaiming land around disputed Mischief Reef

https://i2.wp.com/www.scmp.com/sites/default/files/styles/980w/public/2015/04/09/mischief_mar17_2015_wv03-1024x569.jpg

 

Newly published satellite images show that China is quickly reclaiming land around a submerged reef within what the Philippines says is its exclusive economic zone, with several dredgers in operation and seawalls built.

The work on Mischief Reef is China’s most recent reclamation in the disputed Spratly archipelago of the South China Sea. Reclamation is well advanced on six other reefs in the Spratlys, Reuters reported in February, activities that have alarmed other claimants and drawn criticism from Washington. Continue reading

How Russia Could Annex the Arctic

Russia’s latest military exercise could be it’s latest step toward claiming maritime borders in the Arctic.

Tensions have increased a notch in the Arctic with the news that the Russians have started a major military exercise in the region. Nearly 40,000 servicemen, 41 warships and 15 submarines will be taking part in drills to make them combat-ready—a major show of strength in a region that has long been an area of strategic interest to Russia.

Russia might be reshaping national borders in Europe as it reasserts its geopolitical influence, but the equivalent borders in the Arctic have never been firmly established. Historically it has proven much harder for states to assert sovereignty over the ocean than over land, even in cases where waters are ice-covered for most of the year. Continue reading

Why Is Turkey Increasing Tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean?

WASHINGTON—On September 23, the drill ship SAIPEM 10000 — built in South Korea at the cost of $250 million and flying the flag of the Bahamas — arrived in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Cyprus to begin exploring for gas under a license awarded to an Italian-South Korean consortium, ENI-KOGAS. The Cyprus government hopes that additional discoveries over the next 18 months in its EEZ will be sufficient to make its plans to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant on the island, to condition gas for export, commercially viable.

The Turkish authorities declared that the drill ship violated Turkey’s area of maritime jurisdiction and sent the Corvette Bafra to monitor operations. Another Turkish warship, the Gelibolu, engaged in planned maneuvers south of Cyprus ostensibly to ensure maritime safety in the eastern Mediterranean. The Cyprus foreign minister, Ioannis Kasoulides, said that exploration would continue despite Turkey’s “potential harassment.” Continue reading

Turkish warship monitors Cyprus gas exploration

…and now we have factual proof as to why a German-led European Union had pushed Russia out of Cyprus and raided the cash vaults. It had nothing to do with corrupt Russian bankers, businessmen or shady politics. The hit was motivated by solidifying Europe’s future energy independence and positioning EU as a future world superpower. In previous posts, it was also mentioned that Greece would be the future corridor for forwarding energy from the Mediterranean, Middle East and northern African nations. Don’t count the ‘broke’ nation out of the game.

 

Turkey has sent a warship to the island of Cyprus to monitor a drillship that has been sent to search for natural gas reserves off the island’s coast.

Italian-Korean consortium ENI/KOGAS has sent the Bahamas flag-carrier Saipem 10000 drillship to the “Onasagoras” gas field in Block 9 of the island’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) on Tuesday.

In response, the Turkish navy has sent its Bafra Korveti warship to observe the drillship’s activities.

Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said on Wednesday that hydrocarbon exploration in the region will continue despite Turkey’s objections, calling Turkey’s actions ‘potential harassment’.

Continue reading

Obama to create world’s largest protected marine reserve in Pacific Ocean

President Obama will use his legal authority Thursday to create the world’s largest fully protected marine reserve in the central Pacific Ocean, demonstrating his increased willingness to advance a conservation agenda without the need for congressional approval.

By broadening the existing Pacific Remote Islands National Marine Monument from almost 87,000 square miles to more than 490,000 square miles, Obama has protected more acres of federal land and sea by executive power than any other president in at least 50 years and makes the area off-limits to commercial fishing.

The proclamation will mean added protections for deep-sea coral reefs and other marine ecosystems that administration officials believe are among “the most vulnerable” to the negative impacts of climate change.

While the new designation is a scaled-back version of an even more ambitious plan the administration had floated in June, it marks the 12th time Obama will have exercised his power under the 1906 Antiquities Act to protect environmental assets. The decision to continue to allow fishing around roughly half the area’s islands and atolls aims to limit any economic impact on the U.S. fishing interests. Continue reading