PLA capable of removing Philippines military base in disputed area of South China Sea, warns Communist Party mouthpiece

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The Philippines military vessel grounded on the shoal in 1999 and used a base. Photo: SCMP Pictures

 

China has shown patience, but it is committed to defending its territory, says commentary in the People’s Daily ahead of tribunal ruling on maritime disputes in the region

China is fully capable of removing a Philippine naval vessel set up as a permanent base in a disputed atoll in the South China Sea, but has so far shown restraint, the Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece said on Monday.

The commentary in the People’s Daily comes ahead of an imminent ruling from a international court in The Hague on China’s claims to territory in the region’s disputed waters. The case was bought by the Philippines. Continue reading

China to build on disputed Scarborough Shoal this year: Report

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Chinese surveillance ships are seen off Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea

 

Beijing will start construction this year on a South China Sea islet within the Philippines’ claimed exclusive economic zone as it seeks to project its power in the disputed waters, Hong Kong media reported Monday.

China will establish an outpost on Scarborough Shoal, 230 kilometres (143 miles) off the Philippine coast, the South China Morning Post newspaper cited an unnamed source close to the People’s Liberation Army as saying.

Beijing claims nearly all the strategically vital sea, despite competing claims from several Southeast Asian neighbors, and in recent months it has developed contested reefs into artificial islands, some topped with airstrips. 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

US enhances nuclear strike capability at Guam: Sankei Shimbun

The United States is enhancing its nuclear strike capability at Guam for a potential confrontation against China in the Far East, the Tokyo-based Sankei Shimbun reported on July 30. 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

PHL plans air, naval bases in Subic with access for US forces

The Philippine military has revived plans to build new air and naval bases at Subic Bay, a former U.S. naval base that American forces could use to counter China’s creeping presence in the disputed South China Sea, senior navy officials said.

The proposed bases in the Philippines, a close US ally, coincides with a resurgence of US warships, planes and personnel in the region as Washington turns its attention to a newly assertive China and shifts its foreign, economic and security policy towards Asia. Continue reading