Islands, not rocks: China rejects arbitration ruling

MANILA – China’s Foreign Ministry rejected Tuesday the ruling of an international arbitration court that nixed Beijing’s claims to economic rights across large swathes of the South China Sea.

In response, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China said the award of the Permanent Court of Arbitration “is null and void and has no binding force. China neither accepts nor recognizes it.” 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

China Completes Island Construction, Will Now Build Military Facilities

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“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

Navy Official: China Training for ‘Short Sharp War’ with Japan

China has long trained for an amphibious invasion of Taiwan during military exercises but has expanded its training to include a similar attack on Japanese holdings in the East China Sea, according the chief of intelligence of the U.S. Pacific Fleet (PACFLEET).

As part of China’s Mission Action 2013 exercise — a massive exercise between the all branches of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) — the military trained for taking the Senkaku Islands, said Capt. James Fannell, deputy chief of staff intelligence and information operations for PACFLEET.

View China’s Training Plan in a larger map Continue reading