Taiwan navy gets two new warships as China tensions grow

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Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen vowed Thursday that the island would not “concede one step” in defending itself as she inaugurated two frigates bought from the United States aimed at boosting Taipei’s naval capabilities against China.

Rival China has upped military drills including a live fire exercise in the Taiwan Strait in April, declaring its willingness to confront the island’s “independence forces”. Continue reading

American Politics Is Now Just Civil War by Other Means

From a pragmatic standpoint, it really is all over for America. The United States has already been in a civil war for at least 10 years. As Martin Armstrong bluntly pointed out in a previous post:

“All we are doing now is waiting for the first shot to be fired that will literally be heard around the world. There will be no return to civility. It will only get worse from here on out. There is no going back. We have actually crossed the point of no return. It is all over.”

The typical ‘civil war’ most Americans think of is the shooting, rioting and tragic violence that takes place. Fact is, that’s only at the end, which lasts anywhere from 48 hours to two weeks, perhaps.

 

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In the wake of the sending of bomb-like devices of uncertain capability to prominent critics of US President Donald Trump and of a mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue (both Trump’s fault, of course) – plus a migrant invasion approaching the US through Mexico – there have been widespread calls for toning down harsh and “divisive” political rhetoric. Of course given the nature of the American media and other establishment voices, these demands predictably have been aimed almost entirely against Trump and his Deplorable supporters, almost never against the same establishment that unceasingly vilifies Trump and Middle American radicals as literally Hitler, all backed up by the evil White-Nationalist-in-Chief, Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Those appealing for more civility and a return to polite discourse can save their breath. It’s much, much too late for that. Continue reading

Xi Tells PLA to ‘Prepare for War’ in South China Sea, Taiwan

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(Photo Credit: The Kremlin/www.kremlin.ru)

 

Details of the Chinese president’s speech were not made public for nearly 24 hours.

Today, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post has reported that state-controlled CCTV broadcaster has reported on a Thursday speech made by Chinese President Xi Jinping in which he told the military region responsible for monitoring the South China Sea and Taiwan to “prepare for war.” Continue reading

China Is Challenging The US In Central America, And Washington Can’t Do Anything

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El Salvador’s Foreign Minister Carlos Castaneda (L) shakes hands with China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing on August 21, 2018

 

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Central America late last week when he criticized China’s rising influence there by questioning the intentions behind its investment activity, which prompted the country’s media to angrily respond earlier this week and lambast the US for trying to “drive a wedge” into Sino-Latin American relations. Washington is worried that Central America is slipping out of its hegemonic control after tiny El Salvador broke ties with Taiwan in August and recognized Beijing as China’s legitimate government in exchange for economic support, which some observers feared could catalyze a chain reaction in this part of the world where the self-proclaimed country counts a handful of its dwindling supporters. Continue reading

Taiwan Seeks Bigger Military to Protect Itself From China

 

The Taiwanese are bracing for the possibility that China will use military force to attempt to assert control over their island.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen promised on October 10 to boost Taiwan’s national security in order to counter an increasingly aggressive China. Taiwan will not allow Communist China’s efforts to seize control of the island, Tsai said. Continue reading

Panic in Beijing: Caught off guard by Trump trade tactics, CCP courts Pentagon

Chinese supreme leader Xi Jinping with U.S. President Donald Trump. / Getty Images

 

As its relationship with other U.S. agencies sours amid President Donald Trump’s trade and twitter offensive, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has worked to maintain close ties to the Pentagon, U.S. defense officials said.

Beijing has stepped up contacts with the Pentagon in recent weeks as Defense Minister Wei Fenghe prepares to meet U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in Washington before the end of the year.

“The Chinese are definitely eager to stay connected to the department,” a senior official said, according to Breitbart News. Continue reading

China’s New Stealth Bomber a Game Changer in South China Sea

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New pilots of Chinese air force attends the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) air force aviation open day at PLA Air Force Aviation University on August 30, 2018 in Changchun, Jilin Province of China. (Getty Images)

 

‘Shockwaves throughout the U.S. military and the American defense industry’

China’s Hong-20 nuclear stealth bomber is near to making its first flight, military experts told the government-run Global Times on October 9.

“The trial flight will come soon,” military analyst Song Zhongping was quoted as saying. Song said the avionics systems and hydraulics of the revolutionary Hong-20 bombers have apparently passed inspections, which will let the project advance to the next phase of testing. Continue reading

A New Era for the China-Russia-U.S. Triangle

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Nearly a half-century ago, President Richard Nixon’s secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, established a successful U.S. strategy for dealing with America’s two most dangerous rivals. He sought closer ties to both the Soviet Union, with its more than 7,000 nuclear weapons, and Communist China, with the world’s largest population.

Kissinger’s approach was sometimes called “triangulation.” But distilled down to its essence, the phrase meant ensuring that China and Russia were not friendlier to each other than each was to the United States

Given that the Soviet Union was much stronger than China at the time, Kissinger especially courted Beijing. Continue reading

US Pacific Fleet Prepares For Global Show Of Force To Warn China: Media

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The US Navy’s Pacific Fleet has drawn up a classified proposal to carry out a global show of force as a warning to China and to demonstrate the US is prepared to deter and counter their military actions, according to several anonymous US defense officials cited by CNN.

The presumed draft proposal from the Navy recommends the US Pacific Fleet to conduct a series of operations during a single week in November. Continue reading

Japan Wants Supersonic Glide Bombs To Protect Disputed Islands from China

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Earlier this week, we published a summary of an internal document via Kyodo News from China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) that specified a military crisis at sea between China and Japan could be on the horizon.

The internal report, authored by two Chinese military officials at the Naval Military Research Institute and Dalian Naval Academy, suggested that the probability of a significant military crisis at sea between both countries is rapidly increasing due to disputes over islands in the East China Sea. In particular, the Japan-owned Senkakus Islands, which are also claimed by China, where the land masses are known as the Diaoyu, and Taiwan, which calls them Tiaoyutai. Continue reading

Japan conducts first submarine drill in disputed South China Sea

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Japan has carried out its first submarine drill in the South China Sea, a newspaper said Monday, a move that could provoke Beijing which claims most of the disputed waters.

Submarine Kuroshio on Thursday joined three Japanese warships in waters just southwest of the China-controlled Scarborough Shoal, the Asahi Shimbun said. Continue reading

Vatican’s deal with Beijing could end Taiwan’s ties with its last European ally

The Wanchin Basilica in Pingtung County, Taiwan was built in 1870. / Wikipedia

 

A deal between the Vatican and China, which would grant China the right to nominate future bishops, would likely end the diplomatic relationship between the Holy See and Taiwan that began in 1942.

Reports of the pending agreement come amid other reports of the suppression of religious expression throughout China.

A Human Rights Watch report estimates that over a million Muslim Uighurs are currently detained in re-education camps in the western province of Xinjiang. AP reported last week that reported that China’s government is seeking to drive citizens away from organized religion and toward the atheist Communist Party through scare tactics such as Bible-burning, shuttering churches, destroying crosses and forcing individuals to renounce their faith on paper. Continue reading

PLA Expanding Power Through Belt and Road Initiative

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Schriver: U.S. to bolster Taiwan air defenses, submarines

China’s military is a key player in the Belt and Road economic initiative around the world that is being used to expand Beijing’s overall global power, a senior Pentagon Asian affairs official says.

Separately, the Pentagon is working with Taiwan’s government to bolster the island’s air defenses in the face of growing missile and aircraft threats from China, said Randall G. Schriver, assistant defense secretary for Asian and Pacific security affairs. Continue reading

Will China One Day Dominate the Seas? History Provides Some Clues

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China has recently launched its first domestically built aircraft carrier, doubling its embryonic capacity to project power on the world’s oceans. A third carrier is under construction, with more to follow in due course. China has militarized its artificial islands in the South China Sea, extending its security barrier away from the Asian coast. It has fielded anti-access area denial weapons, including so-called “carrier killer” ballistic missiles that can reach Guam, to keep foreign warships away from Chinese waters should war come to East Asia. The Chinese fleet now has more, albeit technologically inferior, combat warships and submarines than the U.S. Navy. Nevertheless, they exist—ready to extend China’s reach and protect Chinese interests in an increasingly globalized world. Continue reading

Beijing’s great game to win over Pacific’s small island states

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Micronesia’s President Peter Christian, center, reviews an honor guard with Xi Jinping outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing in March 2017. Photo: AFP/ Greg Baker

 

Deploying classic tactics – leverage via investment, tourism, diplomacy and political funding – Beijing is winning the strategic competition with Washington across the west and northern Pacific

While the South China Sea is East Asia’s strategic center stage as China expands its military presence and control over that critical seascape, Beijing is quietly and successfully upping its presence in Pacific territories that have traditionally fallen under US influence.

But unlike in the South China Sea, it is not capturing influence with hard power. Instead, it is deploying a range of big-picture, long-game asymmetric tactics that will be familiar to anyone who has studied Beijing’s Belt and Road initiatives in other regions.

While the US fought its now-legendary, trans-Pacific “island hopping” campaign against Japan in many of these territories in World War II, China is today winning a new, non-kinetic war by default – for, beyond East Asian shores, the Pacific suffers from benign neglect in Washington. Continue reading