Vietnam seeks to pacify China as landmark U.S. carrier visit signals warming ties

FILE PHOTO: U.S. aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson is seen in the Pacific Ocean on May 27, 2017. Torrey W. Lee/Courtesy U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

 

HONG KONG/HANOI (Reuters) – The visit of a U.S. aircraft carrier to Vietnam for the first time since the end of the Vietnam War is a powerful symbol of the growing strategic ties between the former foes.

But the arrival on Monday of the USS Carl Vinson also illustrates Hanoi’s complex and evolving relationship with Beijing over the disputed South China Sea.

For months now, Vietnamese envoys have been working to ease the concerns of their giant Chinese neighbor over the visit and the prospect of broader security co-operation between Hanoi and Washington, according to diplomats and others familiar with discussions. Continue reading

War With US Becoming A “Practical Reality” Chinese Military Warns

 

In the harshest warning yet that China is actively contemplating a worst case scenario for its diplomatic relations with the US, a senior Chinese military official said that “a war within the president’s term’ or ‘war breaking out tonight’ are not just slogans, they are becoming a practical reality.The remarks, first reported by the SCMP, were published on the People’s Liberation Army website in response to the escalating rhetoric towards China from America’s new administration, and as Beijing braces itself for a possible deterioration in Sino-US ties, with a particular emphasis on maritime security.

The commentary written by an official at the national defence mobilisation department in the Central Military Commission – which has overall authority of China’s armed forces – also called for a US rebalancing of its strategy in Asia, military deployments in the East and South China Seas and the instillation of a missile defence system in South Korea were hot spots getting closer to ignition. Continue reading

Duterte to visit China in coming weeks, in sign alliances may be shifting in East Asia

https://i2.wp.com/cdn4.i-scmp.com/sites/default/files/styles/980x551/public/images/methode/2016/10/01/f512cc94-872c-11e6-8fff-f52227c06034_1280x720.jpg

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will visit China from October 19-21. Photo: AP

 

If Beijing and Manila can work together over such issues as fishing rights in the disputed Scarborough Shoal, the Philippines’ reliance on the US could erode further, analysts say

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte travels to China this month on a visit that could redraw alliances in East Asia after his incendiary comments about the United States and active courting of Washington’s chief rivals.

The friendly relationship between the Philippines and the United States has been one of the pillars of Washington’s strategic military rebalance to Asia under US President Barack Obama. But the alliance has been under strain since Duterte came to power three months ago and chafed at US criticism of his bloody war on drugs, which has led to the killing of more than 3,100 alleged drug users and dealers by police and vigilantes.

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