China, Russia to Conduct Join Military Drills in South China Sea

Beijing will also deploy anti-missile defense tests to counter U.S. system in South Korea

The Chinese Defense Ministry announced Thursday that China and Russia will conduct joint naval exercises in the disputed South China Sea in September despite a recent international tribunal ruling that rejected Beijing’s claims to the strategic waterway.

Defense Ministry spokesman Senior Col. Yang Yujun called the drills “routine” at a news conference and vowed they were not directed at any countries. Continue reading

In Warning To US, China Doesn’t Mince Words: ‘Be Careful’

Beijing:  Beijing’s defence ministry yesterday warned the US navy to “be careful” in the South China Sea and slammed a newly signed agreement between Washington and the Philippines.

Earlier this month, Manila agreed to give US forces access to five military bases, including some close to the disputed South China Sea, where tensions have risen over Beijing’s assertion of its territorial claims. Continue reading

America sounds ‘arms race’ alert over South China Sea amid fears of military conflict

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The alleged ongoing land reclamation by China on Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, west of Palawan, Philippines Photo: REUTERS

The top US commander in the Pacific criticises ‘might is right’ approach as China scorns international tribunal on disputed waters

America’s top military commander for the Pacific has taken a thinly veiled swipe at China as he warned that a dangerous arms race over the disputed waters of the South China Sea could “engulf” the region.

Admiral Scott Swift said that nations could be increasingly tempted to use military force instead of international law to settle territorial claims.

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China’s lighthouses in Spratlys beckon recognition from passing ships

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The Huayang lighthouse

 

 

The next time the United States sends warships by China’s man-made islands in the disputed South China, officers aboard will have to decide how, if at all, they will engage with a pair of giant lighthouses that Beijing lit up there this month.

Chinese officials say the lighthouses on Cuarteron Reef and Johnson South Reef in the disputed Spratly islands will help maritime search and rescue, navigational security and disaster relief.

Experts, diplomats and foreign naval officers say, however, the lighthouses represent a shrewd move to help buttress China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea. Continue reading

China continued land reclamation in sea despite ‘halt’: expert

China was carrying out land reclamation in contested waters of the South China Sea this month, more than four weeks after saying it had stopped such activity, a US expert said Tuesday, citing recent satellite images.

The evidence of continued dredging in the Spratly archipelago could complicate a visit to the United States by Chinese President Xi Jinping next week, when US concerns about China’s assertive pursuit of territorial claims in Asia are expected to be high on the agenda. Continue reading

China Military Moves into South China Sea Dispute, Solidifying China’s New Area Grab

CNN broadcast an exclusive report, as one of its reporters hitched a ride on a U.S. Navy P-8 patrol aircraft overflying the artificial islands the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is building in the South China Sea. The Chinese repeatedly tried to warn off the aircraft, in English language broadcasts that CNN included in its report.

The report confirms that the Chinese are trying to establish sovereignty claims over these areas of the South China Sea by building major artificial islands atop reefs (which, by themselves, establish no territorial claims).

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China pursuing huge South China Sea land reclamation: US

China has dramatically ramped up its land reclamation efforts in the South China Sea this year, building artificial islands at an unprecedented pace to bolster its territorial claims in the disputed area, US officials said Friday.

The rapid construction of artificial islands in the strategic waters comes to 2,000 acres (800 hectares), with 75 percent of the total in the last five months, officials said.

“China has expanded the acreage on the outposts it occupies by some four hundred times,” said a US defense official. Continue reading

China Warns Philippines Military to Stay Away from Disputed Territory

China has warned Philippine military planes six times to leave disputed areas of the South China Sea and may be “testing the waters” to see if it can establish a no-fly zone in the region, senior Philippine military officials said.

“As we were conducting routine maritime air patrols and flying in international airspace, our air force aircraft were challenged over the radio,” Vice Admiral Alexander Lopez told a Senate hearing in Manila on Thursday.

While Lopez did not provide a timeframe, another senior Philippine air force official who asked to not be identified told Reuters that the six warnings had come in the past three months. Continue reading

US General Tells Senate North Korea Can Hit US With Nuclear ICBM

“I believe they’ve had the time and the capability to miniaturize” a nuclear weapon to arm North Korea’s new KN-08 intercontinental ballistic missiles, Army Gen. Curtis M. “Mike” Scaparrotti told the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC).

Scaparrotti, commander of U.S. Forces Korea, said “we must assume they have that capability” of hitting the U.S. Adm. Samuel Locklear, head of the Pacific Command, also testified and agreed with Scaparrotti’s assessment of North Korea’s nuclear capabilities but said they had yet to test the KN-08. Continue reading

The Great South China Sea Hydrocarbon Grab

In all of the struggles for territory in history, none has been quite as ambitious or unusual as a country trying to steal a whole ocean.

But that is what China is actively doing in the ocean south of the mainland: the South China Sea. Bit by bit, it is establishing hegemony over this most important sea where the littoral states — China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam — have territorial claims.

The importance of the South China Sea is hard to overestimate. Some of the most vital international sea lanes traverse it; it is one of the great fishing areas; and the ocean bed, near land, has large reserves of oil and gas. No wonder everyone wants a piece of it — and China wants all of it. Continue reading

US unsettled by China’s ‘three warfares’ strategy: Pentagon report

The US and its military partners are reaching for new tools to counter an unconventional ”three warfares” strategy that China is using to advance aggressive territorial claims, according to a Pentagon report.

It says the People’s Liberation Army is using what it calls ”legal warfare”, ”media warfare” and ”psychological warfare” to augment its arsenal of military hardware to weaken the resolve of the US and its regional partners to defend islands and oceans in the East and South China seas. Continue reading

China’s “marine defense identification zone” looks like a giant sea grab

In the beginning, it’ll start off with ‘fishing vessels’ that will need the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) or the Chinese coast guard equivalent to redirect these vessels or confiscate them. This will in turn escalate a situation when it takes place since the ‘intruding’ vessels will call in for military backup or come with military backing in future excursions. From then on, one can surely guess this will end up in incidents where maybe a fishing boat gets shot at or is sunk, leading to skirmishes or even a war. China is actually looking for a conflict to give them a reason to assert their power and expand their military reach. Their doctrine has been changed and crafted in such a way that they have to follow through with what’s in the playbook. Nevertheless, look for the United States to continue on the defensive a leave their Asian partners in the cold in these situations.

China’s recent announcement that foreign fishing vessels traveling in disputed areas of the South China sea need to seek permission from China first has been dismissed as “provocative and potentially dangerous” by the US, “threatening the existing international order” by Japan and dangerous to “peace and stability” by the Philippines.

The marine zone which China says it controls ”appears to enclose an area covering roughly 80%” of the South China Sea, a  US Congressional report notes (pdf). The controversial claim, which China claims dates back to the 1940s, is receiving heightened attention due to China’s latest push. It does not respect international agreements on water rights and and violates the claims of its neighbors under UN Convention on the Law of the Sea guidelines. The BBC mapped the overlapping claims to the region:
_67616829_south_china-sea_1_464 Continue reading

Why is China entering a nuclear security pact with Ukraine?

Xinhua News Agency on Dec. 10 reported that China and Ukraine on Dec. 5 signed a cooperative agreement which included this article: China, according to the UN Security Council Resolution 984 and the Chinese government statement on providing security guarantees to Ukraine on Dec. 4, 1994, promises unconditionally not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear Ukraine, and to provide security guarantees to Ukraine if Ukraine is attacked by nuclear weapons or threatened by such aggression.

Clearly, this is a guarantee for strategic alliance and an unusual nuclear protection umbrella. Ukraine is far from China and in no way affects the latter’s national security. What ,then, is the need for such an agreement? Continue reading

China Will Soon Face Arc Of US F-35s, Other Fighters, Bombers

WASHINGTON: The American who leads the leading edge of our sword in the Pacific — the Air Force — worries that China‘s sometimes “aggressive approach” in using its fighters, bombers and ships to signal its territorial claims across the Pacific creates “the potential” for a serious incident in the region.

But the United States and its allies are clearly working well together to remind China that it faces enormous power and cannot act unilaterally without cost. The latest American fighters and bombers will be deployed in an arc from Japan to India, lacing across all of China’s maritime regions, Carlisle made clear. Continue reading

China in $5 bn drive to develop disputed East China Sea gas

These Chinese ‘geologists’ could also very likely be understating the true significance and size of the deposits. The state-run oil companies do the bidding of the CCP. Today’s CCP is still rooted in ancient Chinese history and follows the philosophy of Sun Tzu, therefore appearing weak when strong, and applying this method to any given situation. The territory dispute is another story. However, in hindsight, the Chinese wouldn’t be trying so hard to acquire this field given the fact that the deposit size will only contribute a fraction of the gas output they need.

BEIJING: Chinese state-run oil companies hope to develop seven new gas fields in the East China Sea, possibly siphoning gas from the seabed beneath waters claimed by Japan, a move that could further inflame tensions with Tokyo over the disputed area.

Beijing had slowed exploration in the energy-rich East China Sea, one of Asia’s biggest security risks due to competing territorial claims, but is now rapidly expanding its hunt for gas, a cheaper and cleaner energy to coal and oil imports. Continue reading