Japanese submarine, destroyers arrive in Philippines for port call near disputed South China Sea waters

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The Maritime Self-Defense Force training submarine Oyashio, escorted by the destroyer Ariake (background), one of two vessels that accompanied the sub, arrives at Subic Bay in the Philippines on Sunday. | AFP-JIJI

 

A Maritime Self-Defense Force flotilla of three ships arrived in the Philippines early Sunday on a goodwill visit — the first to include a Japanese submarine in 15 years — amid China’s growing assertiveness in the region.

The training submarine Oyashio, accompanied by the destroyers Ariake and Setogiri, made a port call at Subic Bay, home of a former U.S. naval base, ahead of planned open sea drills. Some 500 Japanese personnel, including 55 officer candidates, are taking part in the confidence-building exercise. Continue reading

Why China will intervene in Iraq

China has consistently maintained its core principle of non-interference in the domestic affairs of other countries for over six decades, and it continues this policy toward Iraq during its ongoing battle against the Islamic State In Iraq and Syria (ISIS).  Although Beijing maintains this strong position of non-intervention, over the past several decades its sharp economic rise and growing middle class, together with its need to secure natural resources, represent markers for potential deviation from this longstanding approach. Continue reading

Is Sri Lanka Becoming A Key Player In China’s String Of Pearls?

China has offered Sri Lanka new loans for infrastructure projects, worth US$ 2.2 billion dollars. In a reply to a question, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Mr. Hong Lei told the news media that in addition to infrastructure loans, both countries agreed to further deepen defence cooperation and maintain exchanges between two defence ministries, whilst they continue to carry out in cooperating defence technology, personal training and other fields. Yet, the spokesperson did not reveal further details regarding the nature of the new strategic cooperation.

Sri Lankan External Affairs Minister Professor G. L. Peiris, mentioned in an interview with Global Times that, Sri Lanka will embrace China’s rise and characterised bilateral ties as “very warm and mutually supportive”. He also mentioned that China has “stood the test of time”, referring to the military support the country extended during the last phase of the war against the LTTE, as well as the support given to Sri Lanka against a US-backed resolution at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Continue reading