Duterte Seems Alarmingly Resigned to Beijing’s New Building in the South China Sea

Over the last couple of years it has been said several times that Asian nations can no longer consider the United States a reliable partner. Its military has been decimated by budget cuts, technical problems (think F-35) and politics. The Obama administration had thrown into doubt the protection of Taiwan and Japan should either or both go to war with China. Asian nations see this and they don’t want to take chances on dealing with a bi-polar United States that changes policy whenever and whichever direction the wind blows with every new administration.

So, simply put, President Duterte has confirmed and cemented the the continuous prediction:

You take a gamble on a shaky alliance with the United States, go to war and see what happens. Maybe you’ll be defended, maybe you won’t. Maybe you won’t be offered full protection of the U.S. forces.

or

You play it safe, abandon the old club and join the club, and guarantee yourself not to get crushed in 48 hours by the Asian juggernaut.

Because of this realization, the day is coming where an Asian bloc will form under a Chinese protectorate. The vacuum is already there and is starting to be filled.

For further information, see the following (handful of many) articles:

Japan needs to seek out regional allies, view U.S. as ‘second resort,’ says head of think tank

Duterte Aligns Philippines With China, Says U.S. ‘Has Lost’

Beijing strengthens police powers in South China Sea

New blocs emerging: China and Russia vs US and Japan

Is Vietnam tilting toward China?

 

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during a joint press conference with Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha at the government house in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, March 21, 2017.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during a joint press conference with Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha at the government house in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, March 21, 2017. [SAKCHAI LALIT/AP]

‘What will I do? Declare a war against China? I can, but we’ll all lose our military and policemen tomorrow,’ President Duterte said this week.

In the mid-1990s Beijing reassured Manila that structures it was building atop Mischief Reef, near the Philippines in the South China Sea, were merely fishermen’s shelters. Today China has a militarized island at that “shelter,” complete with a runway and large anti-aircraft guns.

A similar progression could begin this year at the currently undeveloped Scarborough Shoal, which China seized from the Philippines in 2012. For Beijing, an installation there would go a long way toward establishing effective control over the waterway, creating a strategic triangle in conjunction with other facilities it’s built in the sea in recent years. Continue reading

The New American Coup – Media Leading Charge to Topple Government

 

There is clearly a coup unfolding led by the Democrats and the media. They will not accept Trump and are determined to destroy the government as we have known it. Sally Yates obviously pulled a political move by declaring that she would not execute Trumps ban of the selected countries. First of all, that would only constitute deporting someone who tried to come in who was not a legal resident. So they would not be arrested or put in prison. What was she up to? Obviously what she did had no real legal meaning, it was a political stand and for that Trump rightly fired her. 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’s spies gain valuable US defense technology: report

US intelligence agencies have determined that China stole secrets relating to the F-35 jet fighter from a US contractor. Photo: Reuters

US intelligence agencies have determined that China stole secrets relating to the F-35 jet fighter from a US contractor. Photo: Reuters

 

According to the annual report of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, Chinese cyber espionage is a “major problem” for America

China has gained military benefits in recent years from stealing defense secrets through industrial and cyber espionage carried out by its intelligence services, according to a US congressional report.

“In recent years, Chinese agents have extracted data on some of the most advanced weapons and weapons systems in the US arsenal, such as jet fighters and unmanned submersible vehicles,” states the annual report of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, released on November 16.

“The loss of these and other sensitive defense technologies undermines US military superiority by accelerating China’s military modernization and giving China insight into the capabilities and operation of US weapons and weapons systems,” the report adds. Continue reading

US, Allies ‘Unprepared’ to Face New Global Threats

The US and The NATO flag flie in front of two US Air Force F-22 Raptor fighter aircrafts at the Air Base of the Lithuanian Armed Forces in Šiauliai, Lithuania, on April 27, 2016.

© AFP 2016/ Petras Malukas

 

Former Australian national-security adviser Andrew Shearer claims that the United States and its allies around the world remain unprepared to deal with a new era of emerging global threats.

Although the United States and its allies “face an unprecedented range of threats,” they are “neither psychologically nor materially prepared for these threats,” Shearer, who was an adviser to prime ministers John Howard and Tony Abbott, said Monday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Continue reading

Europe Hopes for Clinton Win for More Deals With Iran

Europe Hopes for Clinton Win for More Deals With Iran

Europe Hopes for Clinton Win for More Deals With Iran

 

After a year of disappointment, European businesses are hoping a victory for Hillary Clinton in the U.S. election next week may help break the logjam that has prevented large-scale Western investments in Iran since the opening of its economy.

  • While no one in Europe is predicting a flurry of new deals should Clinton defeat her Republican rival Donald Trump on Nov. 8
  • A win for the Democrat would remove some of the political clouds hanging over last year’s nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.
  • Business groups say this could help fuel a more aggressive push into the Iranian market in 2017, especially in the second half of the year, if a Clinton victory is followed by the re-election of moderate Iranian President Hassan Rouhani next May.

Continue reading

Is Chinese salvage ship searching for flight MH370 spying on Australia?

The Chinese embassy in Canberra has strongly denied accusations that a Chinese government ship involved in the international effort to find the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is spying on the Royal Australian Navy. The ship, the Dong Hai Jiu 101, is a salvage and rescue vessel built in Shanghai in 2012 and currently sailing under the Chinese flag. In April, the Chinese government contracted the Dong Hai Jiu 101 to join the international search effort for the wreckage of Flight MH370. The Boeing 777 aircraft disappeared over the South China Sea on March 8, 2014, while flying from Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia, to the Beijing Capital International Airport in China. Continue reading

Europe mulls a pivot to ASEAN

Most of EU businesses are ready to increase trade and investment in the ASEAN space over the next five years, with Malaysia and Indonesia to emerge as the most attractive markets. European manufacturers are also pushing for the conclusion of a free trade agreement between the EU and ASEAN to eliminate structural disadvantagesThe EU views ASEAN as a viable alternative to China.

The decline in investments flowing from the European Union (EU) member states to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) should not deceive. As witnessed by a recent survey, European companies look in prospect more favorably to the Southeast Asian market than to China’s. Continue reading

China aims for deeper regional military ties in bid for stability in South China Sea

Beijing vows closer defence cooperation with Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand ahead of court ruling that could drive wedge into Asean bloc

China has vowed to beef up military cooperation with several Southeast Asian nations after the US announced it was lifting a decades-old ban on the sale of lethal military equipment to Vietnam.

The pledges of a deeper partnership with Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand also came amid escalating regional tensions over territorial claims in the South China Sea and ahead of an international court ruling that could potentially drive a wedge among Asean members.

Continue reading

Putin Believes Creation of ASEAN-EEU Free Trade Zone Possible

SOCHI (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said the creation of an ASEAN-EEU free trade zone was not only possible, but “a preferred format.”

Continue reading

Russia and ASEAN on way toward strategic partnership – Thailand’s PM

Thailand’s PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says Thailand supports raising the level of cooperation between Russia and ASEAN

“I have no doubt that the jubilee Russia-ASEAN summit will facilitate multilateral cooperation between ASEAN and Russia and will lay a path toward strategic partnership between the two sides,” Prayut said.

Continue reading

China’s water hegemony

The severe drought now ravaging Southeast and South Asia has helped spotlight China’s emergence as the upstream water controller in Asia through a globally unparalleled hydro-engineering infrastructure centered on damming rivers. Indeed, Beijing itself has highlighted its water hegemony over downstream countries by releasing some dammed water for drought-hit nations in the lower Mekong River basin.

In releasing what it called “emergency water flows” to downstream states over several weeks from one of its six giant dams — located just before the Mekong flows out of Chinese territory — China brashly touted the utility of its upstream structures in fighting droughts and floods. Continue reading

China warns Soros against ‘declaring war’ on its currency

Soros is a man intimately familiar with currency crises

Not long after billionaire George Soros forecast a so-called hard landing for the Chinese economy, Beijing fired back by calling out the high-profile investor, warning him of betting against its currency, according to media reports Tuesday.

“Soros’ challenge against the renminbi and Hong Kong dollar is unlikely to succeed, there is no doubt about that,” said a government official in an opinion piece widely cited by several media outlets.

Continue reading

US Pacific Fleet smaller, even as China’s military grows

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) — The U.S. Pacific Fleet is shrinking even as the U.S. and its allies are facing challenges posed by China’s growing military power.

U.S. Navy officials say the more advanced ships of today make up for the decline in numbers. But the Navy has also had to lengthen deployments and postpone maintenance to maintain its presence with fewer ships.

Peter Jennings, an expert at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute think tank, said the issue in peacetime is whether there are enough American vessels to reassure friends and allies. Continue reading

Military to Military

Seymour M. Hersh on US intelligence sharing in the Syrian war

Barack Obama’s repeated insistence that Bashar al-Assad must leave office – and that there are ‘moderate’ rebel groups in Syria capable of defeating him – has in recent years provoked quiet dissent, and even overt opposition, among some of the most senior officers on the Pentagon’s Joint Staff. Their criticism has focused on what they see as the administration’s fixation on Assad’s primary ally, Vladimir Putin. In their view, Obama is captive to Cold War thinking about Russia and China, and hasn’t adjusted his stance on Syria to the fact both countries share Washington’s anxiety about the spread of terrorism in and beyond Syria; like Washington, they believe that Islamic State must be stopped. Continue reading