U.S. aircraft carrier group begins patrols in disputed S. China Sea

USS Carl Vinson transits the Philippine Sea on Feb. 14. /U.S. Navy/MC3 Kurtis A. Hatcher

 

The U.S. deployed an aircraft carrier group to the South China Sea on Feb. 18, one day after China completed naval exercises in the disputed waters.

Rear Adm. James Kilby, commander of the Vinson strike group, told Navy News Service that “the training completed over the past few weeks has really brought the team together and improved our effectiveness and readiness as a strike group. We are looking forward to demonstrating those capabilities while building upon existing strong relationships with our allies, partners and friends in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.” Continue reading

War With US Becoming A “Practical Reality” Chinese Military Warns

 

In the harshest warning yet that China is actively contemplating a worst case scenario for its diplomatic relations with the US, a senior Chinese military official said that “a war within the president’s term’ or ‘war breaking out tonight’ are not just slogans, they are becoming a practical reality.The remarks, first reported by the SCMP, were published on the People’s Liberation Army website in response to the escalating rhetoric towards China from America’s new administration, and as Beijing braces itself for a possible deterioration in Sino-US ties, with a particular emphasis on maritime security.

The commentary written by an official at the national defence mobilisation department in the Central Military Commission – which has overall authority of China’s armed forces – also called for a US rebalancing of its strategy in Asia, military deployments in the East and South China Seas and the instillation of a missile defence system in South Korea were hot spots getting closer to ignition. Continue reading

How China wins the South China Sea war without firing a shot

China is engaged in a broad-ranging information warfare campaign as part of a covert effort to take control of the South China Sea — in the words of ancient strategist Sun Tzu, without firing a shot.

The Chinese cyber attacks have been carried out extensively on regional states along with political influence operations designed to falsely convince the international community that the waters of the sea are and have been China’s sovereign maritime territory.

James Clapper, the US director of national intelligence, told a Senate hearing last week that aggressive Chinese cyber attacks were continuing. ”China continues to succeed in conducting cyber espionage against the US government, our allies, and US companies,” he said. Continue reading

The Beginning of the End for SWIFT Payment System

The Beginning of the End for SWIFT Payment System

 

In a major move to explore the use of digital currency in Singapore, the city state’s central bank plans to launch a pilot project with the country’s stock exchange and eight local and foreign banks to use blockchain technology for interbank payments.

  • Cross-border foreign currency transactions will also be reviewed under the pilot as Singapore’s central bank looks to position the financial center as an important Fintech hub.
  • The effort is supported by the R3 blockchain research lab and BCS Information Systems, Ravi Menon, managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), said at the Singapore Fintech Festival
  • “Under the pilot system banks will deposit cash as collateral with the MAS in exchange for MAS-issued digital currency,” Menon said on Wednesday.

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China—Superpower of the Future?

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Caption: (iStock.com/chinaface)

 

China will take more than your manufacturing job.

China is a sovereign state in East Asia with a population of over 1.3 billion people. The nation possesses the world’s largest economy by some measurements, the world’s largest population and the fourth-largest territory.

These are the building blocks of a superpower. While the world anticipates China gaining superpower status, analysts debate on when and whether
its rise will be peaceful.

The Trumpet forecasts that China will continue to grow as a formidable power, combining its strength with Russia. Further, we forecast that it will play a major role in waging economic war that will devastate America.

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Russia’s Arctic Dreams Have Chinese Characteristics

The most significant geophysical event on our planet since the end of the ice age is taking place today—the opening of the Arctic. As the High North maritime environment warms, the Arctic Ocean’s abundant energy, minerals, fish stocks, and other natural resources are becoming increasingly accessible, while new potential maritime routes promise to reduce shipping times and costs and accelerate ties between major commercial centers. These new opportunities for energy development, natural resources extraction, and shipping suggest that the region risks becoming an arena of intense competition, tension, and potentially even confrontation, not only between the United States and its two near-peer strategic competitors—China and Russia—but also among other Asia-Pacific states with observer status in the Arctic Council. Continue reading

China and Russia close ranks against US missile-defence system

Military officials from Moscow and Beijing use security forum to condemn plans by Washington to deploy systems in Asia and Europe

The officials said Beijing and Moscow would conduct another joint computer-simulated missile-defence exercise next year in response to proposed US deployments in Northeast Asia and Europe. The two countries held their first such drill in May.

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Chinese company to spend US$20 billion on Egypt’s new capital east of Cairo

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The pyramids are illuminated during New Year’s day celebrations on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt, January 1, 2016. Photo: Reuters

 

China Fortune Land Development Co. Ltd. (CFLD) has signed a deal to develop and manage 14,000 acres (5,700 hectares) of Egypt’s new administrative capital at a cost of US$20 billion, the Egyptian cabinet said in a statement on Monday.

The new capital is one of a series of mega-projects announced by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi designed to attract foreign investment and create jobs in a country with a booming population of 91 million. Continue reading

Duterte to visit China in coming weeks, in sign alliances may be shifting in East Asia

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will visit China from October 19-21. Photo: AP

 

If Beijing and Manila can work together over such issues as fishing rights in the disputed Scarborough Shoal, the Philippines’ reliance on the US could erode further, analysts say

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte travels to China this month on a visit that could redraw alliances in East Asia after his incendiary comments about the United States and active courting of Washington’s chief rivals.

The friendly relationship between the Philippines and the United States has been one of the pillars of Washington’s strategic military rebalance to Asia under US President Barack Obama. But the alliance has been under strain since Duterte came to power three months ago and chafed at US criticism of his bloody war on drugs, which has led to the killing of more than 3,100 alleged drug users and dealers by police and vigilantes.

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China Could Control the Global Internet After Oct. 1

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ICANN Chairman Steve Crocker speaks during the opening of the ICANN meeting in Singapore on Feb. 9, 2015. The U.S. plan to relinquish control of ICANN opens the door for China to have greater influence over the global internet. (Roslan Rahman/AFP/Getty Images)

 

The handover of ICANN, the body that governs domain name registration, fits into a strategy by the Chinese regime to determine how the Internet is run

In November 2014, Li Yuxiao, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Cyberspace, stated, according to the state-run China Daily, “Now is the time for China to realize its responsibilities. If the United States is willing to give up its running of the internet sphere, the question comes as to who will take the baton and how it would be run?”

“We have to first set our goal in cyberspace, and then think about the strategy to take, before moving on to refining our laws,” he said.

Li’s comments were in response to news, also in 2014, that the United States would relinquish its remaining federal government control of the internet by ending its contract between the Commerce Department and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which is scheduled for Oct. 1. Continue reading

China Buys Panama’s Largest Port

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Caption: Colón, Panama (LUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Consolidating power in the Panama Canal

For more than 100 years, the Panama Canal has controlled the bulk of goods transferred between the Pacific and the Atlantic. For much of that history, this monumental feat of engineering was under the control of the United States. But this is no longer the case.

In May, Panama’s largest port was purchased by a Chinese company called Landbridge Group.

Margarita Island Port, on the canal’s Atlantic side, offers the company intimate access to one of the most important goods distribution centers in the world.

While promising to upgrade the ailing Panama facilities and offer more trade with America’s distant east coast, there is substantial reason to hesitate at the purchase of such a critical trade hub.

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The ‘Inevitable War’ Between the U.S. and China

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Chinese soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army Navy stand guard in the Spratly Islands, known in China as the Nansha Islands, on February 10. The Spratlys are the most contested archipelago in the South China Sea. Stringer/Reuters

 

Roughly 15 years ago, a Chinese fighter jet pilot was killed when he collided with an American spy plane over the South China Sea. The episode marked the start of tensions between Beijing and Washington over China’s claim to the strategic waterway. So in May, when two Chinese warplanes nearly crashed into an American spy plane over the same area, many in China felt a familiar sense of nationalist outrage. “Most Chinese people hope China’s fighter jets will shoot down the next spy plane,” wrote the Global Times, China’s official nationalist mouthpiece.

Though little talked about in the West, many Chinese officials have long felt that war between Washington and Beijing is inevitable. A rising power, the thinking goes, will always challenge a dominant one. Of course, some analysts dismiss this idea; the costs of such a conflict would be too high, and the U.S., which is far stronger militarily, would almost certainly win. Yet history is riddled with wars that appeared to make no sense. Continue reading

China says it doesn’t fear ‘trouble’ in S. China Sea

An Asian security summit ended in discord Sunday after China denounced US “provocations” in the South China Sea and declared it does not fear trouble in the contested waters.

“The South China Sea issue has become overheated because of the provocations of certain countries for their own selfish interests,” Admiral Sun Jianguo told an annual forum in Singapore.

Sun, who stressed China’s desire for a peaceful solution, spoke one day after US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said any Chinese construction on an islet near the Philippines would prompt unspecified “actions” by the United States and other nations. Continue reading

Russian Navy is Returning to Cam Ranh Bay

Vietnamese Ambassador to Russia Nguyen Thanh Sean says that his country is not opposed to the Russian Navy returning to the base in Cam Ranh Bay, on the condition that its presence is not directed against any third country. Will Russia take the opportunity to regain a foothold in Southeast Asia? Svobodnaya Pressa journalist Anton Mardasov explores.

Speaking to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti earlier this week, Nguyen Thanh Sean explained that “Vietnam’s policy is not to enter military alliances or to ally with any one state against another.”

During the interview, Nguyen Thanh Sean also said that Hanoi plans to continue defense cooperation with Russia, and added that Vietnam has always considered Russia to be “a close country, and a traditional partner,” and that a “relationship of trust with Russia is a priority of Vietnamese foreign policy.” Continue reading

Putin Believes Creation of ASEAN-EEU Free Trade Zone Possible

SOCHI (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said the creation of an ASEAN-EEU free trade zone was not only possible, but “a preferred format.”

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