In first under Trump, U.S. warship challenges Beijing’s claims in South China Sea

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey prepares for a replenishment-at-sea in the South China Sea May 19, 2017. Picture taken May 19, 2017. Kryzentia Weiermann/Courtesy U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS

 

A U.S. Navy warship sailed within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island built up by China in the South China Sea, U.S. officials said on Wednesday, the first such challenge to Beijing in the strategic waterway since U.S. President Donald Trump took office.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the USS Dewey traveled close to the Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, among a string of islets, reefs and shoals over which China has territorial disputes with its neighbors.

The so-called freedom of navigation operation, which is sure to anger China, comes as Trump is seeking Beijing’s cooperation to rein in ally North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs. Continue reading

Philippine forces call Beijing’s bluff in South China Sea

Philippines-controlled Thitu Island, also known as Pagasa, in the Spratly chain of islands in the disputed South China Sea. | REUTERS

 

The Philippines has begun moving military forces to the disputed Pag-asa Island in the South China Sea

(WASHINGTON, DC) Pag-asa Island is claimed by both Manila and Beijing and according to a Philippine general the pacific U.S. ally has plan to build infrastructure and lengthen the airstrip on the island.

The troops and initial supplies arrived at Pag-asa Island last week, Lt. Gen. Raul del Rosario, head of the Philippine military’s Western Command, said as quoted by AP. 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

China already moving to test Trump

Threatening to penalize US automaker, fortifying South China Sea islets

BEIJING — Eager to see how Donald Trump backs up his hard-line rhetoric, the Chinese government is taking steps to elicit responses from the U.S. president-elect on the economic and foreign policy fronts.

An official of the National Development and Reform Commission has revealed that an unnamed U.S. automaker is to be fined for instructing dealerships in China to fix prices, according to the English-language newspaper China Daily. Trump has responded by meeting with Wilbur Ross, his pick for commerce secretary. Continue reading

Exclusive: China installs weapons systems on artificial islands – U.S. think tank

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A satellite image shows what CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative says appears to be anti-aircraft guns and what are likely to be close-in weapons systems (CIWS) on the artificial island Johnson Reef in the South China Sea A satellite image shows what CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative says appears to be anti-aircraft guns and what are likely to be close-in weapons systems (CIWS) on the artificial island Johnson Reef in the South China Sea in this image released on December 13, 2016. Courtesy CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/DigitalGlobe/Handout via REUTERS

The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) said its findings come despite statements by the Chinese leadership that Beijing has no intention to militarize the islands in the strategic trade route, where territory is claimed by several countries.

AMTI said it had been tracking construction of hexagonal structures on Fiery Cross, Mischief and Subi reefs in the Spratly Islands since June and July. China has already built military length airstrips on these islands. Continue reading

Pax China: Manila’s capitulation sets ominous precedent for U.S. allies in Far East

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, left, with Chinese President Xi Jinping after a signing ceremony in Beijing on Oct. 20. / Ng Han Guan / AP

 

Rodrigo Duterte was reputed as a killer long before his election as president of the Philippines five months ago. He countenanced the slaughter of hundreds of drug addicts and dealers while mayor of Davao, the major port city on the rebel-infested southern island of Mindanao, and has applauded the arbitrary killing of upwards of 2,000 more druggies as president.

Duterte’s brutality, though, doesn’t mean he’s interested in battling China on behalf of his country in the South China Sea. In fact, he’s confounded strategists in Washington by appearing to disavow the historic Philippine-American alliance, aligning with the Chinese while tossing out agreements with the U.S. He’s saying, in effect, “Yankee Go Home.” Continue reading

Chinese Warships Shadow Alaska Amid G20 Fallout

(VERO BEACH, FL) Five Chinese warships have been spotted in international waters off the coast of the Bering Sea near the Aleutian Islands in Alaska.

The armed flotilla has been under observation by US military elements for several days, TASS reports.

The White House is aware of the Chinese warships, and the Pentagon has not registered any threatening activity, even though the same five Chinese warships came within 12 miles of the US coastline during President Barack Obama’s visit to Alaska in September 2015.

Continue reading

US Air Force Flies All Three Bombers in Pacific Op

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A U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress, B-1 Lancer and B-2 Spirit fly over Guam after launching from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, for an integrated bomber operation Aug.17, 2016. This mission marks the first time in history that all three of Air Force Global Strike Command’s strategic bomber aircraft are simultaneously conducting integrated operations in the U.S. Pacific Command area of operations. (Photo by Sandra Welch/U.S. Air Force)

 

The U.S. Air Force flew its three strategic bombers — the B-1B Lancer, B-2 Spirit and B-52 Stratofortress — in what was billed as the first-ever integrated bomber operation in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

The flight took place Aug. 17 at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, according to a press release and photos from the service. The news quickly circulated on social media. Continue reading

China building aircraft hangars on disputed islands in South China Sea, says US think tank

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Construction work on one of the reefs in the South China Sea. Photo: Centre for Strategic and International Studies

 

Satellite images show construction work on three reefs in the Spratly chain

China appears to be building reinforced aircraft hangars on reclaimed islands it controls in a disputed area of the South China Sea, according to a US think tank.

Satellite photographs taken in late July show the construction of hangars on Fiery Cross, Subi and Mischief Reefs in the Spratly chain of islands and some have already been completed, according to a report by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

Continue reading

Chinese Military Vice Chairman Urges Troops to Get Ready For Combat: Xinhua

While it is unclear how much of it is populist bluster, how much is posturing, and how much an actual, objective caution, Bloomberg points out an article by China’s news agency Xingua posted on the website of the Ministry of National Defense, in which Fan Changlong, vice chairman of China’s Central Military Commission (which is chaired by Xi Jinping himself) “urges Chinese troops to get prepared for combat by improving planning, equipment and logistical support in order” to be ready to “win the war.”

Bloomberg adds that Fan made the comments in recent inspection tour of China’s Southern Theater Command. The warning comes days after China officially warned the US that its patrols in the South China Sea – which despite last week’s decision by the Hague tribunal – deems as its own, could end in “disaster.” Continue reading

PLA Navy ‘ready’ to counter aggression in South China Sea

Spratly Islands are Chinese territory and construction in disputed waters will continue, Admiral Wu Shengli tells visiting US naval chief

Beijing is ready to counter aggression in the South China Sea, the PLA Navy commander warned on Monday as a new round of military drills were announced in the disputed waters.

Admiral Wu Shengli made the remarks as he met US Chief of Naval Operations John Richardson in Beijing yesterday, in the first high-level meeting between the two militaries since the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague said China’s “nine-dash” line was invalid. Continue reading

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

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 Is Steering the World Toward War

 

Satellite imagery shows China taking over the South China Sea, as it is with other trade routes globally. Both history and biblical prophecy show why this is extremely dangerous.

Tensions are rising between China and America.

Ever since Xi Jinping took over as general secretary of the Communist Party of China, his administration has been militarizing the South China Sea and working to push the United States out of East Asia. In two island chains, the Paracels and the Spratlys, China is building a series of man-made islands, 800 miles from China’s shore. These islands are being installed with antiaircraft batteries and fighter jets are stationed on them.

The Spratly Islands are claimed by the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam. China is ignoring these nations’ territorial claims. China is being aggressive and provocative.

These militarized islands now function as forward bases for Beijing to challenge seven decades of American naval dominance in the Pacific Rim. This should alarm the world! Continue reading

China claims base with ‘military facilities’ in disputed Spratlys is to rescue fishing boats

China is building a base in the disputed Spratly Islands for an advanced rescue vessel complete with drones and underwater robots.

Chen Xingguang, political commissar of the ship, said the ship is scheduled to be deployed in the second half of the year, the official China Daily reported on May 23. Continue reading