China Mobilizes DF-26 Missiles in Response to Warship Passage

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Nuclear, intermediate-range anti-ship missiles shown on television after Navy warship sails S. China Sea

China has mobilized nuclear-capable intermediate-range missiles in response to the passage of a Navy warship near disputed islands in the South China Sea this week, according to state-run Chinese media.

The long-range, anti-ship ballistic missile known as the DF-26—dubbed the “Guam-killer” because of its ability to strike targets on the U.S. western Pacific island—was moved in northwestern China, China Central Television reported Wednesday. 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

Beijing’s great game to win over Pacific’s small island states

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Micronesia’s President Peter Christian, center, reviews an honor guard with Xi Jinping outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing in March 2017. Photo: AFP/ Greg Baker

 

Deploying classic tactics – leverage via investment, tourism, diplomacy and political funding – Beijing is winning the strategic competition with Washington across the west and northern Pacific

While the South China Sea is East Asia’s strategic center stage as China expands its military presence and control over that critical seascape, Beijing is quietly and successfully upping its presence in Pacific territories that have traditionally fallen under US influence.

But unlike in the South China Sea, it is not capturing influence with hard power. Instead, it is deploying a range of big-picture, long-game asymmetric tactics that will be familiar to anyone who has studied Beijing’s Belt and Road initiatives in other regions.

While the US fought its now-legendary, trans-Pacific “island hopping” campaign against Japan in many of these territories in World War II, China is today winning a new, non-kinetic war by default – for, beyond East Asian shores, the Pacific suffers from benign neglect in Washington. Continue reading

China Adds Advanced Missiles to South China Sea Islands

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Pentagon plans major response to Chinese hegemony

China’s military has stepped up militarizing disputed islands in the South China Sea by deploying advanced missile systems on the Spratly islands, according to the Pentagon.

Defense officials disclosed to the Washington Free Beacon that the militarization has raised alarm bells about China’s creeping takeover of the strategic waterway used for some $5 trillion annually in international trade. Continue reading

U.S. B-1 Fleet Grounded

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(Photo Credit: A1C Thomas Spangler/U.S. Air Force)

 

The aircraft, which have been critical to the ‘maximum pressure campaign’ against North Korea, appear to have ‘ejection seat issues.’

According to a new report this afternoon, the Pentagon has ordered all B-1B Lancer bombers to be grounded due to safety concerns related to “ejection seat issues.”

According to Military.com, the stand-down order is a direct result of an emergency landing of a B-1B that suffered “an engine flameout” on May 1 at Midland Airport in Texas. The incident occurred in broad daylight and involved an aircraft from Dyess Air Force Base—located about 150 miles east of Midland—that was not carrying a nuclear payload. Continue reading

‘Guam Express’ DF-26 missiles in service with PLA

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The DF-26 missiles were first seen during a PLA parade in 2015. Photo: Xinhua

 

Carrier killer missiles are now operational along China’s coastal provinces and possibly on South China Sea atolls

China’s defense ministry confirmed on Thursday that high-tech DF-26 intermediate-range ballistic missiles have been deployed with the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force.

The DF-26 is tailor-made for precision offensives as well as swift nuclear counter-attacks – with its nuclear-tipped variant – against land- and sea-based targets.

The new missiles, with a hit range of 3,000-4,000km, are also known as the “Guam Express” among Chinese military buffs. They are the PLA’s first conventionally-armed missiles capable of reaching the US outpost of Guam if fired from China’s southeastern coastline. Continue reading

China Plans Base in South China Sea to Launch Deep-Diving Drones

Further militarization under the guise of ‘science’:

 

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Just after the likely next head of US Pacific Command told Congress China’s undersea warfare capability is one of the most pressing threats to the US, a new report says Beijing is establishing another base in the South China Sea for deploying manned and unmanned submersible vehicles.

The base would be located in Sanya, a city on the southern edge of China’s Hainan island, Asia Times reported Friday. Continue reading

Pentagon Sending Heavily Armed Marine Units To East Asia To “Counter China Threat”

 

According to a recent report by the Wall Street Journal, the Pentagon is considering plans to transfer heavily armed, versatile Marine Corps Expeditionary Units (MEU) to East-Asia, citing the rapidly expanding Chinese influence in the region.

After 16-years of military embarrassments in the Middle East, the Pentagon appears to have realized that its misfortunes in the area have transformed into nothing more than Vietnam 2.0; alternatively it is merely provoking Asian superpowers into a new race for military dominance in the region. Continue reading

Exclusive: Pentagon evaluating U.S. West Coast missile defense sites – officials

FILE PHOTO: A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor is launched during a successful intercept test, in this undated handout photo provided by the U.S. Department of Defense, Missile Defense Agency. U.S. Department of Defense, Missile Defense Agency/Handout via Reuters/File Photo

 

SIMI VALLEY, Calif (Reuters) – The U.S. agency tasked with protecting the country from missile attacks is scouting the West Coast for places to deploy new anti-missile defenses, two Congressmen said on Saturday, as North Korea’s missile tests raise concerns about how the United States would defend itself from an attack.

West Coast defenses would likely include Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-ballistic missiles, similar to those deployed in South Korea to protect against a potential North Korean attack.

The accelerated pace of North Korea’s ballistic missile testing program in 2017 and the likelihood the North Korean military could hit the U.S. mainland with a nuclear payload in the next few years has raised the pressure on the United States government to build-up missile defenses. Continue reading

McMaster: U.S. Willing to Use Military Force With China

McMaster: U.S. Willing to Use Military Force With China

National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, aboard Air Force One ahead of President Donald Trump’s visit to China, has told the media the U.S. is willing to use military force to demonstrate China’s advances in the Pacific are not in its best interests.

 

Ahead of President Donald Trump’s visit to China this week, President Xi Jinping’s military has been sending its bombers in the vicinity of the U.S. island territory of Guam in a move likely meant to deter the administration from challenging Chinese movements in the region.

National Security Adviser Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster told a press gaggle during Air Force One’s flight to Japan on Saturday the U.S. is taking a very dim view of those provocations. And, he added, the Trump administration is willing to use military force to prove its resolve. 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

Japan’s ‘peace constitution’ on the brink as NE Asia braces for war

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the LDP headquarters in Tokyo, on Oct. 22. Isse Kato / Reuters

 

TOKYO ― The overwhelming success of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the latest elections for members of the Japanese “Diet” ― the peculiar word for Japan’s parliament or national assembly ― portends hardening of tensions and priorities in Northeast Asia.

Yes, Abe would dearly like to revise Japan’s post-war “peace constitution” whose Article 9 declares “land, sea and air force will never be maintained” and “belligerency of the state will not be recognized” (hence the term “self-defense forces” for Japan’s military establishment). In fact, one reason Abe called the snap election was to shore up his popularity, to show he was in charge after his ratings fell to 30 percent a few months ago. Continue reading

Navy Does Not Rule Out Intentional Act in Latest Warship Collision

Lowe and behold, look who is the first to cast a stone in calling the U.S. Navy a hazard in the region. The aim is clearly to portray the military as incompetent in order to increase the likelihood of other nations pushing back, thus elevating regional resistance to an American presence with the end game being pushing America out of the Asia-Pacific.

 

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China calls Navy ‘hazard’ in Asian waters

The Navy has not ruled out an intentional action behind the latest deadly collision between a Navy destroyer and a merchant ship, the chief of naval operations told reporters Monday.

“That’s is certainly something we are giving full consideration to but we have no indication that that’s the case—yet,” Adm. John Richardson, the CNO, said at the Pentagon.

“But we’re looking at every possibility, so we’re not leaving anything to chance,” he said. 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

Iranian president threatens to revitalize nuclear program

 

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s president warned Tuesday that it could ramp up its nuclear program and quickly achieve a more advanced level if the U.S. continues “threats and sanctions” against his country, which signed a landmark nuclear accord with world powers in 2015.

Hassan Rouhani’s remarks to lawmakers were his most direct warning that the deal could fall apart and risked ratcheting up tensions with the United States. President Donald Trump has repeatedly said he wants to scuttle the accord, which limited Iran’s ability to produce a nuclear weapon while ending most sanctions against it. Continue reading