China Completes Island Construction, Will Now Build Military Facilities

https://i0.wp.com/www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user92183/imageroot/2015/06/ChinaIslandPic.jpg

 

“I’m an amateur student of history and I’m reminded of … how Germany was testing the waters and what the response was by various other European powers… But unfortunately, up to the annexation of the Sudetenland, Czechoslovakia, the annexation of the entire country of Czechoslovakia, nobody said stop. If somebody said stop to Hitler at that point in time, or to Germany at that time, would we have avoided World War II.”

That piece of revisionist history is brought to you by Benigno Aquino and is excerpted from a speech the Philippine President gave to the Japanese parliament earlier this month.  Continue reading

Photos Show China Military Buildup on Island Near Senkakus

© CNES (2014), Distribution Airbus DS / Spot Image / IHS

 

Tensions high between China and Japan over island chain

Recent satellite photos of an island off the coast of China confirm Beijing’s buildup of military forces within attack range of Japan’s Senkaku islands.

The imagery, obtained from the Airbus Defense and Space-owned Pleaides satellite, reveals China is constructing an airfield with 10 landing pads for helicopters on Nanji Island.

Military analysts said the new military base appears to be preparation by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army for an attack or seizure of the Senkakus.

“China’s new heli-base on Nanji Island demonstrates that the PLA is preparing for an offensive military operation against the Senkaku/Daiyoutai Islands,” said Rick Fisher, a senior fellow with the International Assessment and Strategy Center.

“If you want to rate the level of tension, this is the PLA reaching for its holster. When forces start deploying to Nanji Island, that means the hammer is cocked.Continue reading

Senior Navy Intelligence Officer Canned by Pentagon for China Comments

Capt. James Fanell was removed from his position as the director of intelligence and information operations at U.S. Pacific Fleet. Fanell was reassigned within the command.

Though neither the Navy nor Fanell commented on the reason for the personnel change, it is widely believed to be due to an internal investigation of his comments on China, according to the report.

Fanell warned during a February public appearance that a recent Chinese amphibious exercise led naval intelligence to assess that China’s strategy was to be able to launch a “short, sharp war” with Japan, an unusually frank assessment about a closely watched region.

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

China Is Mass-Producing Islands To Extend Its Strategic Borders

A dramatic change is taking place in the South China Sea where, since the beginning of this year, Beijing has created at least five new islands by dredging rock and sand and pumping it into reefs to form new land. By doing so, the Chinese are sending a blunt message to its neighbors and the U.S.: Keep out.

As a BBC News special report notes, China’s island building is aimed at addressing what it views as a serious strategic deficit:

In 2012 the Communist Party reclassified the South China Sea as a “core national interest”, placing it alongside such sensitive issues as Taiwan and Tibet. It means China is prepared to fight to defend it.

This is confirmed by Prof Yan Xuetong of Beijing’s Tsinghua University— a pro-government academic well known for presenting the Communist Party’s view to the outside world.

Continue reading