A war footing emerges in the South China Sea

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Navy personnel of Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy take part in a military display in the South China Sea April 12, 2018. Picture taken April 12, 2018. Photo: Reuters/Stringer

 

China’s recent deployment of nuclear-capable bombers, missiles and jamming devices has drastically shifted the contested area’s strategic calculus

China’s deployment of H-6k bombers to disputed land features in the South China Sea has provoked an uproar across the region and beyond while raising considerably the potential for armed conflict.

China’s bombers are capable of conducting nuclear strikes and have an operational range of more than 1,000 nautical miles. This places practically all other claimant states in the contested maritime area within their crosshairs. Continue reading

Short of War, China Now Controls South China Sea

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Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy warships and fighter jets take part in a military display in the South China Sea, April 12, 2018. Photo: Reuters/Stringer

 

Tensions in the South China Sea are on the boil again amid new reports that China has deployed advanced missiles to land features in the disputed maritime area.

According to new reports, China has installed several Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAMs) and Anti-Cruise Ballistic Missiles (ACBMs) systems across the Paracel and Spratly island chains, parts of which are claimed by multiple regional states including the Philippines and Vietnam.

Weeks earlier, China also deployed electronic jamming equipment to the maritime area, giving it the ability to disrupt the command-and-control communications of rival states’ military assets operating in the South China Sea. Continue reading

Theory: China’s Secretly Prepping for War in the South China Sea

Chinese leader Mao Zedong, 1963.

 

Should a U.S.-China war break out in the South China Sea, Beijing will rely on an old Mao-era military tactic in its efforts to vanquish the United States.

The likelihood of such a conflict increases by the day…

That’s because the United States continues to exert its military presence in the trade- and resource-rich South China Sea, despite China’s insistence that nearly the entirety of the valuable maritime region belongs to it. China’s claims, as a matter of fact, clash with those of six other nearby nations, such as Vietnam and Taiwan. Continue reading

‘I’ve seen America, it’s lousy’: Duterte vows never to visit US

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte © Romeo Ranoco / Reuters

 

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has fired back at US senators who criticized abuses during his ‘war on drugs.’ While the US lawmakers opposed any possible trip by Duterte to America, the leader said he had no intention of visiting the “lousy” country.

“There will never be a time that I will go to America during my term, or even thereafter,” Duterte said on Friday, as quoted by Reuters. Continue reading

Russia-Philippines Relations: Defense Agreements But Short Of Military Alliance

Putin with Duterte (Source: Kremlin.ru)

 

On May 23, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. However, Duterte had to suddenly return back to Manila, due to a terrorist attack that hit the southern island of Mindanao. Nevertheless, his ministers signed close to $1 billion worth of business deals with Russian firms.[1] The Philippines and Russia have also signed an Agreement on Defense Cooperation. The defense cooperation will expand “exchanges in terms of training, seminars and best practices between the two countries, with the end to develop relations in the field of military education, including military medicine, military history, sports, and culture as well as experiences in consultation, observer participation in military training exercises, and military port calls.”[2] Continue reading

Philippines to shop for Chinese, Russian arms due to strict US conditions

FILE PHOTO: Philippine Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana speaks during the opening ceremony of Philippines and U.S. military joint exercises called Balikatan in Quezon city

 

The Philippines has been forced to turn to China and Russia for arms supplies because of conditions imposed by its long-time ally and former colonial ruler the United States, Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Monday.

The United States has provided its defence treaty ally with most of its major hardware, like ships, fighters, helicopters and small arms, but the Philippines was now looking to China and Russia for drones, planes, fast boats and rifles to fight Maoist-led rebels and Islamist militants behind an unrelenting spree of piracy and kidnapping, he said. Continue reading

Philippines’ Duterte derides US for past inaction in South China Sea

Inaction, as Duterte puts it – and under the Obama administration – has lead to China’s unchecked rise in Asia during the last eight years. It will prove extremely difficult, if not impossible to reverse this tide without a major war that would jeopardize many lives. China’s hold was solidified with the artificial islands the Obama administration did nothing about.

 

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures while answering questions during a news conference upon arrival from a trip to Myanmar and Thailand at an international airport in Manila, Philippines March 23, 2017. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

 

MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday accused the United States of having a provocative stance on the South China Sea and said its inaction when China started building manmade islands was the cause of tensions now besetting the region.

Duterte said Washington’s freedom of navigation patrols risked a “miscalculation” that could spark conflict, and accused the previous U.S. administration of pressuring the Philippines to take a stand against China, without a guarantee of military support.

“You go there in the pretence of challenging them?” he said of the U.S. patrols that began under the Obama administration. “One single solitary shot, it could lead to an explosion and it could lead to a war and it will be a slaughter.” Continue reading

Duterte Seems Alarmingly Resigned to Beijing’s New Building in the South China Sea

Over the last couple of years it has been said several times that Asian nations can no longer consider the United States a reliable partner. Its military has been decimated by budget cuts, technical problems (think F-35) and politics. The Obama administration had thrown into doubt the protection of Taiwan and Japan should either or both go to war with China. Asian nations see this and they don’t want to take chances on dealing with a bi-polar United States that changes policy whenever and whichever direction the wind blows with every new administration.

So, simply put, President Duterte has confirmed and cemented the the continuous prediction:

You take a gamble on a shaky alliance with the United States, go to war and see what happens. Maybe you’ll be defended, maybe you won’t. Maybe you won’t be offered full protection of the U.S. forces.

or

You play it safe, abandon the old club and join the club, and guarantee yourself not to get crushed in 48 hours by the Asian juggernaut.

Because of this realization, the day is coming where an Asian bloc will form under a Chinese protectorate. The vacuum is already there and is starting to be filled.

For further information, see the following (handful of many) articles:

Japan needs to seek out regional allies, view U.S. as ‘second resort,’ says head of think tank

Duterte Aligns Philippines With China, Says U.S. ‘Has Lost’

Beijing strengthens police powers in South China Sea

New blocs emerging: China and Russia vs US and Japan

Is Vietnam tilting toward China?

 

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during a joint press conference with Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha at the government house in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, March 21, 2017.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during a joint press conference with Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha at the government house in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, March 21, 2017. [SAKCHAI LALIT/AP]

‘What will I do? Declare a war against China? I can, but we’ll all lose our military and policemen tomorrow,’ President Duterte said this week.

In the mid-1990s Beijing reassured Manila that structures it was building atop Mischief Reef, near the Philippines in the South China Sea, were merely fishermen’s shelters. Today China has a militarized island at that “shelter,” complete with a runway and large anti-aircraft guns.

A similar progression could begin this year at the currently undeveloped Scarborough Shoal, which China seized from the Philippines in 2012. For Beijing, an installation there would go a long way toward establishing effective control over the waterway, creating a strategic triangle in conjunction with other facilities it’s built in the sea in recent years. Continue reading

Philippine leader scraps communist truce, tells troops ‘be ready to fight’

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks before soldiers during a visit at a military camp in Awang, Maguindanao in southern Philippines January 27, 2017. REUTERS/Marconi Navales/Files

 

MANILA: The Philippine government will on Friday withdraw from a ceasefire with communist rebels, President Rodrigo Duterte said, as he ordered soldiers to get ready to fight and declared there would be no peace with the insurgents for a generation.

Duterte had made a nationwide peace process one of the priorities of his administration but showed frustration over demands made by the New People’s Army (NPA), and the deaths of seven soldiers since the group pulled out of the ceasefire two days ago. Three soldiers have been captured. Continue reading

Is Vietnam tilting toward China?

First the Philippines, then Malaysia, now Vietnam… As predicted, Asia will tilt away from the United States and come under the umbrella protectorate of China, and form a new Asian bloc.

Who wants to go to war with China when you have an unstable United States under Barack Obama who may or may not have your back? Who wants to go to war with China with a bi-polar United States that changes its position with every new President? Who wants to go to war with China when the United States is further decimating its own already-troubled military?

These are the perspectives these Asian nations have. If you can’t beat them (China), join them.

 

When he traveled to China for a state visit in October 2016, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was grandly received by Beijing.

Nguyen Phu Trong, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), was treated much in the same manner during his official trip to China last week.

Yet, while Mr Trong’s visit was aimed at developing stronger ties with China, it does not mean that the communist leadership in Hanoi is pursuing a Duterte-like pivot to Beijing. Continue reading

Duterte Hopes Russia Will Become Philippines’ Ally and Protector

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (3rd L) talks to senior Russian military officials, Manila, Philippines / REUTERS

 

MANILA (Reuters) – President Rodrigo Duterte said on Friday that he hoped Moscow, a rival of the Philippines’ traditional ally the United States, would become his country’s ally and protector as he toured one of the two Russian warships on a four-day visit to Manila.

Duterte‘s remarks came a day after Russia’s ambassador said his country was ready to supply the Philippines with sophisticated weapons and aims to become its close friend. Continue reading

Russia flags war games with US ally Philippines

The Russian Navy said Tuesday it was planning to hold war games with the Philippines, as two of its ships made a rare stop in Manila following Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte’s pivot from the United States.

Rear Admiral Eduard Mikhailov, the deputy commander of the Russian Navy’s Pacific fleet, said the joint military exercises would focus on maritime piracy and terrorism, which he described as the region’s two top security concerns. Continue reading

Duterte seeks ‘strategic shift’ from US to China: envoy

 

The Philippines is tilting away from its traditional ally the United States towards China in a bid to “normalise” relations following a longstanding territorial dispute, the country’s incoming ambassador to Beijing said Monday.

Manila has been one of Washington’s most loyal allies in Asia, but Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to end the decades-long alliance after the US criticised his bloody war on drugs that has killed over 5,000 people since he took office in June. Continue reading

Duterte Says US Forces Must Be Prepared to Leave Following Economic Aid Halt

© AFP 2016/ BAY ISMOYO

 

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The US military forces must be prepared to leave Philippines as their presence in the country is not needed, President Rodrigo Duterte said following the US announcement to halt economic aid to Manila protesting Duterte’s anti-drug policy, which reportedly resulted in deaths of over 2,000 people at the hands of the police. Continue reading

Philippines’ Duterte Says He’ll Kill Human Rights Activists. Who’s Next?

Caption: Rodrigo Duterte (NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte threatened on Monday to kill human rights activists who criticize his murderous and illegal war on drug dealers and users.

“The human rights [activists] said I ordered the killings,” he said in a speech in Malacañang. “I told them ‘OK. Let’s stop. We’ll let them [drug users] multiply so that when it’s harvest time, more people will die.”

Then he added: “I will include you [in the killing] because you are the reason why their numbers swell.” Continue reading