Asia emerges as an economic zone

Source: Bloomberg

Source: Bloomberg

 

Asian currencies (Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, India, Indonesia, Taiwan and China) are now trading in lockstep with the Japanese yen. In large part this is managed: so many Asian countries compete in the same export markets that their central banks try to keep their currencies aligned with each other. Continue reading

China ‘in Secret Talks with N.Korea’

Beijing and Pyongyang are in secret talks about the North’s nuclear weapons program, reports said last week.

NBC on Thursday quoted a U.S. government source as saying that China sent its “top nuclear negotiators” to Pyongyang to “communicate the gravity of the situation to the North.” Continue reading

Fracking Comes to the Arctic in a New Alaska Oil Boom

Alaska’s North Slope region, including the National Petroleum Reserve (NPRA), Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and Trans-Alaska Pipeline (TAPS). US Geological Survey/Wikipedia

 

Arctic lands and waters hold irresistible allure for global oil companies. Despite opposition from environmental groups and President Obama’s 2016 ban on drilling in federal Arctic waters, exploration in Alaska has revealed massive new volumes of oil. The Conversation

This comes at a time of low oil prices, when many observers felt the Arctic would remain off limits. Alaska has proved precisely the opposite. Although it has gone largely unnoticed outside the industry, foreign firms are partnering with American companies to pursue these new possibilities. I expect this new wave of Arctic development will help increase US oil production and influence in world oil markets for at least the next several decades. Continue reading

China ‘SCRAMBLES 25,000 extra troops to North Korea’ & puts country on ‘NATIONWIDE ALERT’

North Korea China

China has reportedly set 25,000 troops along the North Korean border [Reuters/Getty]

 

CHINA has scrambled another 25,000 troops to be militarised along the North Korean border as the country is put on ‘nationwide alert’ amid heightened tensions between the hermit state and the West, according to reports.

All five regions military regions from China have been ordered by Beijing to maintain readiness for the possibility of conflict along their border with Kim Jong-un’s kingdom, according to UPI.

China’s armoured and mechanised infantry brigades in the Shandong, Zhejiang and Yunnan provinces have been given the go-ahead. Continue reading

Japan scrambles jet fighters at record pace as Chinese military activity rises

FILE PHOTO: A Japanese Air Self Defense Force F-15 fighter scrambles at the Air Self Defense Force Naha base in Naha, Okinawa prefecture, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo April 13, 2015. Kyodo/via REUTERS

 

Japan worries that China’s probing of its air defences is part of a push to extend its military influence in the East China Sea and western Pacific, where Japan controls an island chain stretching 1,400 km (870 miles) south towards Taiwan.

“Recently we have seen Chinese military aircraft operating further south and that is bringing them closer to the main Okinawa island and other parts of the island chain,” Japan’s top military commander, Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano, told a briefing in Tokyo. Continue reading

World War III nightmare scenario brewing in the East China Sea

Mounting threat: Japanese F-15 jets are intercepting Chinese military planes daily. (Toru Yamanaka | AFP | Getty Images)

 

OKINAWA-While the world watches mounting military tensions in the South China Sea, another, more ominous situation is brewing in the East China Sea that could be the trigger point for a major war between the superpowers. At the heart of tensions are eight uninhabited islands controlled by Japan that are close to important shipping lanes, rich fishing grounds and potential oil and gas reserves. China contests Japan’s claims and is escalating its military activity in Japan airspace. In response, Japan has been doubling its F-15 jet intercepts.

The situation increases the risk of an accidental confrontation — and could draw other countries, like the United States, into a conflict. It’s a topic President Trump will likely bring up with Chinese President Xi Jinping at his Mar-a-Lago estate this week. Continue reading

READY FOR WAR: China deploys missiles capable of ANNIHILATING US military bases

Tensions between Taiwan and China are on the rise [Getty]

 

CHINA has deployed a range of highly accurate ballistic missiles capable of launching precise strikes against US military bases amid increasing tensions in the region.

The bases in Okinawa, Taiwan, are within range of the missiles, as relations between the two super-powers continue to decline.

In January, China revealed war with the US is now a “practical reality” as military officials prepare to “retaliate decisively” to any of Donald Trump’s new policies they consider to be a threat. Continue reading

Taiwan says capable of strike against China

 

Taiwan said for the first time publicly that it is capable of launching missiles at China, as the government on Thursday unveiled a major defence report warning of increased risk of Chinese invasion.

China still sees Taiwan as part of its territory to be brought back into its fold, by force if necessary, even though the island has been self-governing since the two sides split after a civil war in 1949.

Ties have worsened since Beijing-sceptic President Tsai Ing-wen took power last year, ending an eight-year rapprochement. Continue reading

Procurement: Taiwan Rebuilding Against China

Taiwan has finally begun upgrading its force of 144 elderly F-16A Block 20 fighters. These are some of the oldest F-16s still in service. The upgrades will cost about $38 million per aircraft. Taiwan has on order 66 F-16 block 50/52 fighters, a sale which has been blocked by local politics, and Chinese protests, for years may now be happening because the new U.S. government has expressed interest in dealing with Chinese threats.

The F-16As are 1980s technology but the F-16 is a very upgradable aircraft. That is largely because the F-16 has been popular enough to keep the production lines going strong until 2016. The U.S. still has about 1,200 F-16s in service (about half with reserve units). The 16 ton F-16 also has an admirable combat record, and is very popular with pilots. It has been successful at ground support as well. When equipped with 4-6 smart bombs it is an effective bomber. Continue reading

Taiwan Joins Global War On Cash: Plans To Ban Purchases Of Houses, Cars, & Jewelry

 

The cancerous virus of freedom-destroying worldwide cash-bans – in the name of fighting terrorism – has reached Taiwan this week. With the aim of ‘preventing money-laundering’, Taiwan may ban cash purchases of properties and luxury goods, Taipei-based Economic Daily News reports, citing unidentified official at Ministry of Justice.

As we previously noted, the War on Cash is not merely continuing, it is intensifying. Continue reading

Has China been Practicing Preemptive Missile Strikes against U.S. Bases?

What a great time to have most of the U.S. carrier strike groups docked on the mainland… for China, that is.

Please see the source for more eerie satellite pictures, etc…

 

Fig. 10: Possible moored ship and naval facility targets, imagery dated August 2013. Compared for scale with actual U.S. destroyer.

You’ve probably heard that China’s military has developed a “carrier-killer” ballistic missile to threaten one of America’s premier power-projection tools, its unmatched fleet of aircraft carriers. Or perhaps you’ve read about China’s deployment of its own aircraft carrier to the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea. But heavily defended moving targets like aircraft carriers would be a challenge to hit in open ocean, and were China’s own aircraft carrier (or even two or three like it) to venture into open water in anger, the U.S. submarine force would make short work of it. In reality, the greatest military threat to U.S. vital interests in Asia may be one that has received somewhat less attention: the growing capability of China’s missile forces to strike U.S. bases. This is a time of increasing tension, with China’s news organizations openly threatening war. U.S. leaders and policymakers should understand that a preemptive Chinese missile strike against the forward bases that underpin U.S. military power in the Western Pacific is a very real possibility, particularly if China believes its claimed core strategic interests are threatened in the course of a crisis and perceives that its attempts at deterrence have failed. Such a preemptive strike appears consistent with available information about China’s missile force doctrine, and the satellite imagery shown below points to what may be real-world efforts to practice its execution. Continue reading

China Tests Missile With 10 Warheads

cctv-warheads

 

Multi-warhead weapon tested amid growing tensions with the United States

China flight tested a new variant of a long-range missile with 10 warheads in what defense officials say represents a dramatic shift in Beijing’s strategic nuclear posture.

The flight test of the DF-5C missile was carried out earlier this month using 10 multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles, or MIRVs. The test of the inert warheads was monitored closely by U.S. intelligence agencies, said two officials familiar with reports of the missile test.

The missile was fired from the Taiyuan Space Launch Center in central China and flew to an impact range in the western Chinese desert.

No other details about the test could be learned. Pentagon spokesman Cmdr. Gary Ross suggested in a statement the test was monitored. Continue reading

Beijing’s second aircraft carrier ‘takes shape’ after two years, nine months of construction: media

Mainland China’s first domestically made aircraft carrier, the Shandong, pictured during construction in Dalian in December 2016. Photo: Kyodo

 

Building of the Shandong by mainland China likely to further unnerve Taiwan and other neighbours about its growing military assertiveness

Beijing’s second aircraft carrier was “taking shape” after two years and nine months of construction, mainland Chinese media reported – a move likely to further unnerve Taiwan and other neighbours about its growing military assertiveness.

Construction of the Shandong, named after a province in China’s east coast, began in 2014, the mobile app of Shandong television and radio said in a report seen on Tuesday. Continue reading

China ‘steps up preparedness for possible military conflict with US’

A file picture of China’s sole aircraft carrier Liaoning taking part in a drill last month in the South China Sea. Photo: Reuters

 

Donald Trump’s election as US president has increased the risk of hostilities breaking out, according to Chinese state media and analysts

China is stepping up preparedness for a possible military conflict with the US as the Donald Trump presidency has increased the risk of hostilities breaking out, state media and military observers said.

Beijing is bracing itself for a possible deterioration in Sino-US ties, with a particular emphasis on maritime security. Continue reading

Trump Takes On The Deep State

This is an article that merits a lot of attention. It explains what Donald Trump is really up against: A renegade “Deep State” that does what it wants, regardless of who is President, and can outlast many presidencies.

For archiving purposes, the article will remain in full here.

 

The tweet heard ’round the intelligence world.

 

 

  • Donald Trump engages in war of words with outgoing CIA head
  • Trump policies on trade, foreign policy depart from longstanding norms
  • Past events point to policymaking powers beyond elected officials
  • Russian relations a major sticking point between Trump, much of gov’t
  • Aggressive stance towards China could result in enormous market volatility

Last Sunday, US president-elect Donald Trump launched one of his now-trademark series of broadsides against the CIA, claiming that the latest series of leaks concerning his alleged misuse of a Moscow hotel suite previously occupied by president Barack Obama was a “complete fraud”.

Trump then compared the US intelligence regime to Nazi Germany in a tweet that called the leak, which alleged various colourful activities involving prostitutes, “fake news […] one last shot at me”. Continue reading