Philippines’ Duterte wants to ‘open alliances’ with Russia, China

As predicted several times, and as early as 2012, Asian nations will begin to abandon the United States which is seen as an increasingly unreliable partner, and join the communist Chinese protectorate umbrella. If you’re a nation in Asia today it’s more costly to go to war against China and risk annihilation without knowing if America really does have your back, so you’re better off joining them. The want of deeper ties also with Russia, even only on the economic level, is a long-term strategic bonus for the Philippines.

 

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte arrives at the military’s Camp Tecson to talk to soldiers in San Miguel, Bulacan in northern Philippines September 15, 2016. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

 

MANILA (Reuters) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday he would visit Russia and China this year to chart an independent foreign policy and “open alliances” with two powers with historic rivalries with the United States.

Duterte said the Philippines was at the “point of no return” in relations with former colonial ruler the United States, so he wanted to strengthen ties with others, and picked two global powers that have been sparring with Washington on the international political stage.

Last week, he last declared he would visit China, with which ties remain frosty over a South China Sea arbitration ruling won by the Philippines in July. He said Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was expecting him in Moscow. 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

Tribunal rejects China’s expansive South China Sea claims

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — An international tribunal rejected China’s extensive claims in the South China Sea in a landmark ruling Tuesday that also found the country had aggravated the seething regional dispute and violated the Philippines’ maritime rights by building up artificial islands that destroyed coral reefs and by disrupting fishing and oil exploration.

While the decision is seen as a major legal declaration regarding one of the world’s most contested regions, China immediately rejected it as a “farce” and the true impact is uncertain given the tribunal has no power of enforcement.

While the findings cannot reverse China’s actions, it still constitutes a rebuke, carrying with it the force of the international community’s opinion. It also gives heart to small countries in Asia that have helplessly chafed at China’s expansionism, backed by its military and economic power. Continue reading

Passivity in the Face of Big-Power Aggression

  • The West has developed reasonable-sounding rationales for not acting in the face of what is clearly aggression by big powers. That inaction has bought peace, but the peace has never been more than temporary.
  • Officials in Beijing and Moscow believe their countries should be bigger than they are today. Faced with little or no resistance, China and Russia are succeeding in redrawing their borders by force.
  • Should we be concerned by a nuclear-armed, hostile state falling apart? Of course, but we should be more worried by a hostile state launching nuclear attacks on the Baltics, as the Kremlin has repeatedly threatened to do.
  • The Chinese and Russians may be villains, but it is we, through inaction, who have permitted them to be villainous. The choice is no longer risk versus no risk. The choice is which awful risk to assume.

Speaking in April at the Aspen Security Forum in London, Douglas Lute, Washington’s permanent representative to NATO, said:

“So essentially there is a sense that, yes, there is a new more assertive, maybe even more aggressive Russia, but that fundamentally Russia is a state in decline. We have conversations in NATO headquarters about states in decline and arrive at two fundamental models: states in rapid decline which typically lead to chaos and breakdown, and states in gradual decline. Then we ask ourselves: Which of these two tracks would we rather have our nearest, most militarily capable neighbor, with thousands of nuclear weapons, move along? To many, trying to manage Russia’s decline seems more attractive than a failed state of that size and magnitude right on the border of NATO.”

Continue reading

What China will do if it loses the South China Sea arbitration ruling

If there ever was a time to follow the always action-packed South China Sea showdown, mark your calendar for July 12th.

Why this specific date? Well, that is the date the International Court of Arbitration has set to issue its ruling in the case of China vs. the Philippines. Most experts are of the collective mind that Beijing is likely to suffer some sort of negative outcome — an outcome they are already trying to distance themselves from.

But what will China do when the verdict is handed down and they likely lose in large measure, as is widely expected? Continue reading

China Outlines Plan for Military Buildup on Disputed Island

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Website reveals future warship deployment to Philippines’ Scarborough Shoal

China’s plan for a new military buildup on a disputed island near the Philippines shows the future deployment of Chinese warships close to where U.S. naval forces will be stationed in the future.

Details of the militarization plan for Scarborough Shoal in the Spratly Islands were obtained by U.S. intelligence agencies over the last several months, according to defense officials. Continue reading

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

In Warning To US, China Doesn’t Mince Words: ‘Be Careful’

Beijing:  Beijing’s defence ministry yesterday warned the US navy to “be careful” in the South China Sea and slammed a newly signed agreement between Washington and the Philippines.

Earlier this month, Manila agreed to give US forces access to five military bases, including some close to the disputed South China Sea, where tensions have risen over Beijing’s assertion of its territorial claims. Continue reading

Is China Deploying Anti-Ship Missiles on Islands in the South China Sea?

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Did China just deploy dangerous anti-ship missiles to Woody Island in the South China Sea?

Several outlets are speculating that Beijing might have taken what is very likely the next logical step in its dangerous game of military brinksmanship in this increasingly tension-filled body of water. Continue reading

China Warns Philippines Military to Stay Away from Disputed Territory

China has warned Philippine military planes six times to leave disputed areas of the South China Sea and may be “testing the waters” to see if it can establish a no-fly zone in the region, senior Philippine military officials said.

“As we were conducting routine maritime air patrols and flying in international airspace, our air force aircraft were challenged over the radio,” Vice Admiral Alexander Lopez told a Senate hearing in Manila on Thursday.

While Lopez did not provide a timeframe, another senior Philippine air force official who asked to not be identified told Reuters that the six warnings had come in the past three months. Continue reading

Is China Preparing for Currency War?

China has entered the global monetary-easing fray, along with more than a dozen other economies, after its central bank surprised investors by cutting reserve requirements 50 basis points to spur lending and combat deflation. But Beijing may be raring for an even bigger and more perilous fight — in the currency markets.

At the same time, something else is afoot in Beijing could have even greater global impact. The central bank is cooking up measures to widen the band in which its currency trades. People’s Bank of China officials say it’s about limiting volatility as capital zooms in and out of the economy. Let’s call it what it really is: the first step toward yuan depreciation and currency war. Continue reading

US moves closer to reviving bases in Philippines as part of focus on Asia

Pacific Fleet commander in Manila for talks as next phase of American ‘pivot’ towards Asia takes key step of setting up troops agreement

With the US pressing ahead with its “pivot” to Asia, Admiral Harry Harris is expected to use his first official trip to the Philippines to discuss a deal which would allow United States troops to be rotated around the country in bigger numbers and in more areas.

“Admiral Harris plans to use this opportunity to discuss the strong and enduring relationships between the US and Philippine navies, the implications of the US military’s rebalance to the Pacific, and the importance of naval engagement and co-operation for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief,” the US embassy in Manila said yesterday. Continue reading

China Pres Urges Military To Expand, Strengthen

As China becomes a superpower, so with it comes the need for a stronger military.

President Xi Jinping told the Navy this weekend that he wants his military to train harder, strengthen their defense capabilities and protect the country’s “sovereignty, security and development.”

Last week, President Xi was at the Shenyang military theater of operations where he visited a training session aboard China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning. Continue reading

China betting on overland energy-supply lines

SINGAPORE – China’s strategy to diversify supply routes for its rapidly rising energy imports has just taken a major step forward.

On July 15, natural gas from Myanmar (aka Burma) started to flow along a recently completed pipeline that stretches for 1,100 kilometers from the sea coast, through jungle and mountains, to Kunming in southwest China.

There it will feed into other gas lines supplying homes, industries and power plants generating electricity in the world’s biggest energy user. Continue reading

Philippines to move air force, navy camps for faster access to disputed South China Sea areas

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines plans to relocate major air force and navy camps to a former U.S. naval base northwest of Manila to gain faster access to waters being contested by China in the South China Sea, according to the country’s defense chief and a confidential government report.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said Sunday that as soon as relocation funds are available the government plans to transfer air force and naval forces and their fleets of aircraft and warships to Subic Bay, which has become a busy free port since the 1992 departure of the U.S. Navy.

“It’s for the protection of our West Philippine Sea,” Gazmin said from South Korea, where he was on a visit, using the name adopted by the Philippine government for the disputed South China Sea. Continue reading