Ships patrol Diaoyu Islands in advance of anniversary

China and Japan entered into a fresh round of bitter exchanges over their territorial row in the East China Sea yesterday – one day ahead of the anniversary of Japan’s purchase of the disputed Diaoyu Islands.

Beijing sent seven coastguard ships to patrol around the islands, which are known as the Senkakus in Japan, prompting Tokyo to lodge a formal protest and raise the possibility of stationing Japanese government workers on the island. Continue reading

China Pres Urges Military To Expand, Strengthen

As China becomes a superpower, so with it comes the need for a stronger military.

President Xi Jinping told the Navy this weekend that he wants his military to train harder, strengthen their defense capabilities and protect the country’s “sovereignty, security and development.”

Last week, President Xi was at the Shenyang military theater of operations where he visited a training session aboard China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning. Continue reading

British nuclear submarine ‘surfaces off Gibraltar’ as row with Spain heats up

  • Witnesses said they saw the submarine surface on Saturday
  • Believe sub is HMS Tireless but officials refuse to confirm sighting
  • Comes days after Royal Navy warship HMS Westminster arrived

Witnesses said they saw the vessel surface on Saturday as tensions between Spain and Britain continue to rise over fishing rights around the Mediterranean enclave. 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

PHL plans air, naval bases in Subic with access for US forces

The Philippine military has revived plans to build new air and naval bases at Subic Bay, a former U.S. naval base that American forces could use to counter China’s creeping presence in the disputed South China Sea, senior navy officials said.

The proposed bases in the Philippines, a close US ally, coincides with a resurgence of US warships, planes and personnel in the region as Washington turns its attention to a newly assertive China and shifts its foreign, economic and security policy towards Asia. Continue reading

New Asia, Old Europe

As the United States pivots away from the Western world to face the burgeoning Pacific Rim, what wisdom can it carry over from its former stomping grounds to the new cockpit of geopolitics? Perhaps Washington can take a page out of Leopold Kohr’s book. The obscure Austrian philosopher once popularized the slogan “Small is Beautiful” — which has clearly never caught on in the States. Yet his theories on the importance of size in international relations might help Washington manage its decidedly outsized geopolitical challenges in Asia. That’s because, following Kohr’s quantitative logic, New Asia shows some remarkable resemblance to Old Europe.

Which is strange, I’ll admit. In demographics as in economics, Europe is the incredible shrinking continent. Asia, on the other hand, is the geopolitical equivalent of a magic beanstalk. Continue reading

China’s Drone Swarms Rise to Challenge US Power

Being that China produces and controls more than 95% of the world’s rare earth materials, it’s not unthinkable that they would be able to crank out thousands of drones.

China is building one of the world’s largest drone fleets aimed at expanding its military reach in the Pacific and swarming U.S. Navy carriers in the unlikely event of a war, according to a new report.

The Chinese military — known as the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) — envisions its drone swarms scouting out battlefields, guiding missile strikes and overwhelming opponents through sheer numbers. China’s military-industrial complex has created a wide array of homegrown drones to accomplish those goals over the past decade, according to the report released by the Project 2049 Institute on March 11.

“The PLA now fields one of the world’s most expansive UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle] fleets,” said Ian Easton and L.C. Russell Hsiao, researchers at the Project 2049 Institute and authors of the new report. Continue reading

China navy seeks to “wear out” Japanese ships in disputed waters

China’s naval and paramilitary ships are churning up the ocean around islands it disputes with Tokyo in what experts say is a strategy to overwhelm the numerically inferior Japanese forces that must sail out to detect and track the flotillas.

It wasn’t until China became embroiled in the high stakes territorial dispute with Japan late last year that its secretive military opened up.

Now, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is routinely telegraphing its moves around the disputed islands, known as Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese. Continue reading

Russian fighter jets ‘breach Japan airspace’

From a larger picture perspective, it seems that the Soviets are sending Japan a message for their strategic partner China. This also seems to be Shanghai Cooperation Organization sabre rattling. If Japan can hold its own against the CCP, a partner needs to step in and test the resolve a little more.

Two Russian fighter jets have violated Japanese airspace, prompting Tokyo to scramble its own aircraft, reports say.

Japan lodged a protest after the planes were detected off the northern island of Hokkaido for just over a minute.

The incident happened after Japanese PM Shinzo Abe said he was seeking a solution to a territorial dispute with Russia over a Pacific island chain. Continue reading

China flexes muscles with drills amid island row

AFP – China was set to dispatch naval vessels and aircraft to the East China Sea on Friday, flexing its muscles in exercises likely to further stoke a bristling territorial dispute with Japan. Continue reading

Chinese Patrol Ships Reach Senkaku Islands

The Chinese military deployed its warships to the disputed Senkaku islands, a chain of uninhabited rocks in the East China Sea, amid a weeks-long diplomatic row with Japan over who has sovereignty over them.

Two patrol ships from the China Marine Surveillance, a maritime law-enforcement agency, were deployed and have reached waters near the islands on Tuesday “to assert the country’s sovereignty,” Chinese state-run media said.

The tiny islets are located approximately 125 miles from Taiwan and more than 1,200 miles from Tokyo, and are said to give the rights to reserves of natural gas, oil, and prime fishing spots in the adjoining sea. Japan has governed them since the 1970s when the United States transferred them.

The move comes after Chinese Communist Party head Hu Jintao told Japanese Prime Minister Noda Yoshihiko on Sept. 9 that “Japan must fully consider the seriousness of this situation and not make the wrong decision” while the two were attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

A day later, Premier Wen Jiabao said the Chinese regime “will absolutely make no concession on issues concerning its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” according to state media.

Full article: Chinese Patrol Ships Reach Senkaku Islands (Epoch Times)

China launches naval war games

“According to our annual plan for exercises, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s navy will in the coming days hold exercise activities in the waters near the Zhoushan islands,” the ministry said in a statement on Monday.

The ministry provided no other details on the war games.

But the China Daily said the live fire naval exercises would start on Tuesday and last for six days.

The exercises come after Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Saturday that Japan was considering buying a chain of islands at the centre of its bitter territorial dispute with China and Taiwan.

Those islands in the East China Sea are called Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese, and are further to the east than the area where the imminent naval exercises are being planned.

China claims essentially all of the South China Sea, home to vital shipping lanes and believed to be rich in oil and gas deposits. Taiwan and Brunei and Malaysia also have claims in the waters.

Full article: China launches naval war games (Defence Talk)