Executed Scientist May Be Just One Hillary Victim

POLIZETTE — Although it may be impossible to know for certain if former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s lax handling of sensitive information played a role in the recent execution of an Iranian scientist, security experts said Tuesday it again highlights her recklessness.

Iran recently announced the execution of Shahram Amiri, an expert in radioactive isotopes at Tehran’s Malek Ashtar University, for “revealing the country’s top secrets to the enemy … the Great Satan.” An email forwarded to Clinton in July 2010 discussed Amiri, referred to as “our friend,” according to WikiLeaks.

“We’re never going to know whether they learned about him from the emails or not, but there were discussions about him in a classified email,” said Fred Fleitz, a former CIA official who now serves as senior vice president for policy and programs at the Center for Security Policy. “This sort of proves what the leaks might have caused.”

Amiri’s execution has resurrected concerns about the private email server that Clinton had set up in the basement of her home in Chappaqua, New York. FBI Director James Comey determined that Clinton’s conduct did not rise to the level of a criminal violation, but called her behavior “careless.”

Amiri reportedly provided crucial information to the United States and defected in 2009. But in summer 2010, he went to the Iranian Interests section of the Pakistani embassy in Washington and asked to be returned home. Initially treated as a hero by the Iranian government, he later mysteriously disappeared.

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China Steals FBI Surveillance Secrets Through Veteran Who Worked Inside as Spy

ASIA TIMES — Kun Shan Chun, who has been working with the FBI as an electronics technician for over 19 years, probably supplied Chinese intelligence with valuable counter-surveillance information that would assist the large numbers of Chinese agents operating in the United States in avoiding detection. The case is the latest black eye for the FBI.

A Chinese penetration agent operated secretly within the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and passed valuable intelligence to Beijing for at least 10 years without being detected.
Kun Shan Chun, an FBI employee who pleaded guilty in federal court to having acted as an agent of the Chinese government, is pictured in New York City

The case of Kun Shan Chun was disclosed by the Justice Department Aug. 1 as part of a plea agreement involving Chun admitting he acted illegally as a Chinese government agent.

Chun, a Chinese-born naturalized U.S. citizen, was arrested in March although authorities kept the case secret until the plea bargain was announced last week.

U.S. Assistant Attorney General John P. Carlin said Chun exploited his position as an FBI technician who had access to Top-Secret information by providing “restricted and sensitive FBI information to the Chinese Government.”

No details of the information supplied by Chun to China were provided by court papers made public in the case.

However, as an electronic technician, Chun likely supplied Chinese intelligence with valuable counter-surveillance information that would assist the large numbers of Chinese agents operating in the United States in avoiding detection.

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US Destroyer Visit Latest Twist in China-US Military Ties

AP — QINGDAO, China — The visit of the U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer USS Benfold to the northern Chinese port of Qingdao this week is the latest development in a long-term effort to build trust between the countries’ militaries amid tensions and a rivalry for dominance in Asia.

Though China resents the highly visible presence of the U.S. armed forces in Asia, especially the South China Sea, it has gradually overcome its reluctance and shown a willingness to engage that the sides hope will help avoid conflicts. Below is a look at the Benfold’s visit and some of the steps the sides have taken to build their relationship:

What’s the significance of the visit?

The Benfold’s visit is the first to China by an American warship since Beijing responded furiously to a Hague-based international arbitration tribunal’s ruling that its expansive South China Sea maritime claims had no basis in law. The fact the visit went ahead appears to show that Beijing now values the military-to-military relationship too much to allow it to be derailed by other events as was once the case. Qingdao is the base of China’s northern fleet and is thus less sensitive than ports to the south closer to hotspots, such as Taiwan and the South China Sea.

CHINA BACKLASH OVER US MISSILE SHIELD PUTS NORTH ASIA ON EDGE — S&S

CHINA’S PEOPLE’S LIBERATION ARMY GETS SMARTER — S&S

CHINA TO BATTLE ON TWO FRONTS AS NORTH ASIAN TENSIONS SPIKE — REUTERS

HOW CHINA REALLY SEES THE SOUTH CHINA SEA RULING: A RIGGED INTERNATIONAL ORDER? — TNI

IF CHINA DOESN’T LIKE THAAD, IT SHOULD SQUEEZE NORTH KOREA — TNI

US MAKES HOLLOW DEMAND FOR CHINA TO RELEASE CONVICTED HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS — DC

VIETNAM ‘MOVES NEW ROCKET LAUNCHERS’ INTO SOUTH CHINA SEA — ASIA TIMES

CHINA’S PERMANENT CONFLICT STRATEGY IS A STROKE OF GENIUS — TNI

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China Starts Combat Air Patrols in Disputed South China Sea Areas

WASHINGTON TIMES — China is still bristling at the arbitration case out of The Hague, which called its claims in the South China Sea baseless. The People’s Republic has especially chaffed at U.S. freedom of navigation sea patrols and flights in the disputed area. It seems the Chinese military has decided to increase tensions by starting combat air patrols over the territory it has claimed in violation of international law.

Air force spokesman Senior Col. Shen Jinke said in an online statement that the patrol was “to enhance combat capabilities to deal with various security threats” and to safeguard the country’s sovereignty and maritime rights and interests. Shen said bomber and fighter aircraft, early warning aircraft, reconnaissance planes and planes that can refuel in flight patrolled the airspace around the Spratly Islands, Scarborough Shoal and surrounding areas, reports Fox News.

The U.S. and its allies have no choice but to stand up to these bullying tactics no matter the cost. Otherwise, the world descends into totalitarianism and war. Strength is the only path to peace unfortunately. Hopefully, the next American president will understand this.

JAPAN WARNS CHINA OF WORSENING TIES OVER EAST CHINA SEA ROW — REUTERS

NEW IMAGES SUGGEST CHINA HAS BUILT ‘REINFORCED HANGARS’ ON SPRATLYS — REUTERS

CHINA’S LONGER TERM STRATEGY: COOPERATION, COMPETITION AND AVOIDING CONFLICT — TNI

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South China Sea Danger Zone: Why Pushing China Into a Corner Is Dangerous

THE NATIONAL INTEREST — The Permanent Court of Arbitration’s (PCA) ruling in the South China Sea case filed by the Philippines has been labeled a “sweeping victory” against China. It concluded that China has no legal basis to claim historic rights within the nine-dash line in the South China Sea and that none of the land features in the Spratlys meet the criteria for an island that China — or any other country — can use to claim a 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Many countries — including the United States, Australia and Japan — welcomed the arbitration outcome and pressured China to comply with the ruling. Unsurprisingly, China rejected the tribunal’s ruling, and reasserted its ‘indisputable sovereignty’ over the South China Sea. The Chinese Foreign Ministry stated that the tribunal’s ruling is invalid and China does not “accept or recognize it.” Although the original purpose of the arbitration was to resolve maritime disputes in the South China Sea, this ruling will have unintended negative consequences for regional security.

The Tribunal’s ruling breaks the ‘balance of ambiguity’ in the South China Sea disputes. One major cause of competing claims is the inherently ambiguous terms of the 1982 UN Conventions of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Different claimants have interpreted the law to make claims in their own favor. No country has unchallenged claims in the South China Sea.

CHINA CONDUCTS ‘COMBAT PATROLS’ OVER CONTESTED ISLANDS — REUTERS

JAPAN PROTESTS AS CHINA COASTGUARD, FISHING VESSELS SAIL NEAR DISPUTED ISLETS — REUTERS

5 CHINESE WEAPONS OF WAR AMERICA WISHES IT HAD — TNI

JAPAN URGES CHINA NOT TO ESCALATE EAST CHINA SEA TENSION — REUTERS

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Seoul’s Tilt Towards Tokyo Could Lead to Worst-Case Scenario for Beijing

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST — China is finding itself falling into a strategic nightmare with the first sign of a Washington-Tokyo­-Seoul military alliance at its ­doorstep after South Korea hinted it would share missile intelligence with Japan, analysts say.

South Korea’s Ministry of ­Defence only said it could share with Japan the information on North Korean missiles gathered via a US-supplied ­anti-missile system. But that is a dangerous step in the eyes of ­Beijing, as it could knit Tokyo and Seoul closer in military cooperation down the road.

Both Japan and South Korea are military allies of the United States, but Seoul is always reluctant to engage in bilateral military cooperation with Tokyo because of territorial disputes and wartime atrocities suffered by Koreans.

However, Seoul’s stance changed on Thursday.

In his regular press conference, the South Korean defence ministry spokesman said information sharing with Japan would be possible, citing a memorandum signed in 2014 by the US, South Korea and Japan regarding Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programmes, Japan’s Kyodo News Agency reported.

This modest start could lead to wider information-sharing ­between South Korea and Japan, and remotely, a military alliance, said Song Zhongping, a Beijing-based military analyst who previously worked as an instructor for the PLA’s Second Artillery Corps, the former strategic missile force.

“This could mean a three-party alliance, rather than two-sided alliances [of the US and Japan, and the US and South Korea], and this would pose a damaging threat to the stability of Northeast Asia,” Song said.

If South Korea drifts into the orbit of the US and Japan, China’s influence on the Korean peninsula could be badly compromised.

CHINA MUST RESPECT FILIPINO FISHERMEN’S RIGHT TO LIVELIHOOD AFTER HAGUE RULING

JAPAN’S DEFENSE MINISTER WARNS ON N. KOREA, CHINA ON FIRST DAY — AFP

CHINESE CHRISTIAN ACTIVIST IN RIGHTS CRACKDOWN GETS SUSPENDED JAIL TERM FOR SUBVERTING STATE POWER — SCMP

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China Rejects Accusations in Japan Defense Report

AP — BEIJING — China’s Defense Ministry has angrily rejected accusations from Japan that the Chinese military is destabilizing the regional military balance by seeking to change the status-quo in the East and South China Seas, accusing Japan of seeking to deceive the international community and sow discord between China and its neighbors.

A ministry statement issued late Tuesday Japan’s annual defense report was “full of lousy clichés, makes irresponsible remarks on China’s normal and legal national defense and military development (and) hypes up the East and South China Sea issues.”

“The ultimate objective of Japan is to cook (up) excuses for adjusting by leaps and bounds its military and security policies and accelerating its arms expansion, even rewriting the pacifist constitution,” the statement said, referring to legislation passed last year that loosened post-World War II constraints on the Japanese military.

CHINESE STATE MEDIA FRETS: ‘RELIGION HAS COME BACK IN A BIG WAY’ — BREITBART

CHINA THINKS LAUNCHING A WEBSITE MAKES ITS SOUTH CHINA SEA CLAIM LEGIT — DC

TAIWAN’S TSAI GIVING UP CLAIMS IN CHINA SEA? — ASIA TIMES

CHINA SHOULD PUSH FOR AMERICAN-STYLE HEGEMONY — TNI

UNCLOS WON’T HELP AMERICA IN THE SOUTH CHINA SEA — TNI

IS THE REST OF THE WORLD DITCHING AMERICA TO TRADE WITH CHINA? — TNI

AMERICA AND JAPAN MUST TEAM UP TO STOP CHINA — TNI

SIX LITTLE WORDS THAT KEEP THE SOUTH CHINA SEA HANGING IN THE BALANCE — TNI

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China Wants to ‘Bloody Nose’ of U.S. in South China Sea

WASHINGTON TIMES — Elements of the People’s Liberation Army of China pressed Chinese President Xi Xinping for a stronger, military response to the ruling of The Hague tribunal on the South China Sea which said that China’s claims to the islands were baseless.

“Some elements within China’s increasingly confident military are pushing for a stronger – potentially armed – response aimed at the United States and its regional allies,” according to interviews with four sources with close military and leadership ties. “The People’s Liberation Army is ready. We should go in and give them a bloody nose like Deng Xiaoping did to Vietnam in 1979,” a source said, referring to China’s brief invasion of Vietnam to punish Hanoi for forcing Beijing’s ally the Khmer Rouge from power in Cambodia,” reports Reuters.

“The United States will do what it has to do. We will do what we have to do,” the source said. “The entire military side has been hardened. It was a huge loss of face,” he said, declining further comment.

“The Chinese military will step up and fight hard and China will never submit to any country on matters of sovereignty, Liang Fang, a professor at the military-run National Defence University, wrote on his Weibo microblog about the ruling.

It seems the last six months of the Obama presidency will be very dangerous indeed as elements within dictatorships worldwide will see the opportunity to take advantage of American weakness slipping away with the arrival of a new administration.

FBI TECH PLEADS GUILTY TO ACTING AS AGENT OF CHINA — FOX

COUNTERING BEIJING’S SOUTH CHINA SEA DEFIANCE — WASHINGTON TIMES

CHINA HOLDS LIVE-FIRE NAVY DRILLS IN EAST CHINA SEA — AP

JAPAN SELF DEFENSE FORCE CAN DO THE BALANCING ACT IN EAST ASIA — ASIA TIMES

CHINA COURT WARNS AGAINST ILLEGAL FISHING IN RIPOSTE TO SOUTH CHINA SEA RULING — ASIA TIMES

CHINA TO JAIL FOREIGN FISHERMEN WHO PLY TRADE IN SOVEREIGN WATERS — SCMP

BEIJING NEEDS THE SOUTH CHINA SEA TO STAY ON TOP — TNI

CAN CHINA REALLY IGNORE INTERNATIONAL LAW? — TNI

US NAVY FACES ‘GREAT POWER’ (THINK RUSSIA AND CHINA) THREATS AT SEA — TNI

CHINA’S NUCLEAR POWER AMBITIONS SAILING INTO TROUBLED WATERS — S&S

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US Would Suffer More in War With China

GLOBAL TIMES — A report released by the Rand Corporation Friday illuminates four hypothetical scenarios for a US-China war.

According to the report, across a time frame from 2015 to 2025, as Chinese military capabilities improve, the US can no longer be certain a war would develop as it expects, nor can it achieve a decisive victory once a war breaks out with China. The closer to 2025, the more difficulties the US will have in defeating China, but yet it does not mean China is bound to succeed.

The report holds that no matter what type of war, China will suffer a heavier loss than the US, not only militarily, but also economically and politically.

For instance, if the US suffers a 5 to 10 percent decrease in GDP, China will suffer 25 to 35 percent. War will lead to intensified partisan squabbling in the US, but China will be plagued by chaos and ethnic division. The report also believes that if a war erupts in 2015, the US losses of surface naval and air forces, aircraft carriers, and regional air bases will be significant, but Chinese losses would be much greater.

Rand is an influential think tank that has close links with US political and military circles and its research on Chinese politics and military receives wide attention from the US and the West. Obviously, certain institutions in both China and the US are studying the worst-case scenario of a military conflict. Keeping the study confidential differs greatly from making it public. Such a report, if published, will poison the atmosphere and the way the two societies view each other and inevitably cause negative influences.

The frequent release of such reports indicates the US careless mindset that provoking China is nothing serious.

China’s military and economic strength is still weaker than that of the US. The Chinese know clearly that China will probably suffer more losses than the US once a war breaks out, but our thinking over a Sino-US war is far more than this.

China doesn’t want wars, a war with the US in particular. The only possible scenario for a Sino-US war is that the US corners China on its doorstep with unacceptable provocations and China has to fight back.

We will be very prudent about going to war, but if a war is triggered, we will have greater determination than the US to fight it to the end and we can endure more losses than the US.

Rand claimed that a long conflict could expose China to an economic recession, turbulence, and even internal break-up. But in our opinion, the US will suffer disturbance sooner from a war.

The contiguous US can only avoid being stricken under the condition that China’s land is not attacked. The island disputes in the West Pacific are unlikely to lead to war.

The biggest risks that countries such as Japan and the Philippines will be embroiled into war come from their alliances with the US, which will tie them to the chariot of the US.

The Rand report shows how important it is for China to further boost its military strength. China must keep building up its deterrence capabilities against the contiguous US.

JAPAN REINFORCES MARITIME SECURITY TIES WITH SRI LANKA TO COUNTER CHINA — ASIA TIMES

TROUBLE IN TAIWAN: HAGUE RULING ON TAIPING ISLAND GIVES TSAI HER BIGGEST HEADACHE — SCMP

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China, Russia Throw Down Gauntlet in South China Sea

WASHINGTON TIMES — China and Russia will hold “routine” naval exercises in the South China Sea in September, China’s Defense Ministry said on Thursday, adding that the drills were aimed at strengthening their cooperation and were not aimed at any other country, reports Reuters. These drills come after recent joint exercises between the two nations in the Mediterranean.

I have long written that the last six months of Barack Obama’s presidency would see our adversaries taking advantage of the weakness of the Obama presidency before the new sheriff is in town, that sheriff being most likely a President Trump who has made it known his desire to rebuild the American military and power-projection capability worldwide. This prediction has now come to pass. The fact that Russia and China feel they can jointly challenge the U.S. Navy and claim vast international areas of the South China Sea, which are actually very far from China, is simply shocking and a testament to how far the reputation of the U.S. has fallen with Obama, Kerry, and yes, Clinton, at the helm.

“This is a routine exercise between the two armed forces, aimed at strengthening the developing China-Russia strategic cooperative partnership,” China’s defense ministry spokesman Yang Yujun told a regular monthly news conference. “The exercise is not directed against third parties.”

“These drills deepen mutual trust and expand cooperation, raise the ability to jointly deal with security threats, and benefit the maintenance of regional and global peace and stability,” he said.

The only question now is how much more damage will be caused to American power before President Obama leaves office. The world cannot accept closure of this area to international traffic. The sea lanes are too important. Russia and China know this but they feel they are powerful enough together to do it anyway, simply astounding.

WHY THE SHOWDOWN IN THE SOUTH CHINA SEA IS FAR FROM OVER — TNI

WHY CHINA WILL HOLD ITS FIRE IN THE SOUTH CHINA SEA — UNTIL SEPTEMBER — ASIA TIMES

RUSSIA’S SECRET SUPER SUBMARINE FLEET COULD BE UNSTOPPABLE IN WORLD WAR III SCENARIO — THE SUN (UK)

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Media Silent on Bill Clinton Double Rape Bombshell

BREITBART — PHILADELPHIA – The U.S. news media has entirely ignored the newsworthy confirmation from Juanita Broaddrick that she was allegedly raped not once but twice by Bill Clinton during the same infamous encounter in 1978.

The story was splashed as the main banner of the Drudge Report for much of the day on Wednesday, after Bill Clinton brandished Hillary’s purported credentials as a champion of women on Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention here.

In addition to its massive general readership, the Drudge Report is read widely throughout the day as a tip sheet of sorts by many in the news industry.

The Drudge-linked Breitbart News story documenting Broaddrick’s revelation actually was published on July 10, meaning the news media had 18 days to investigate the issue.

Yet as of this writing, Broaddrick told this reporter that she has not been contacted by a single journalist about the story. And the double rape report has not been picked up by any other media outlet.

This silence ensues as reporters repeatedly grill Donald Trump and his family members about the billionaire’s treatment of women.

At issue is Broaddrick’s confirmation of the alleged double rape.

Broaddrick has rarely discussed the actual details of the alleged incident due to the graphic and traumatic nature of the event.

In August 2000, Connecticut Rep. Chris Shays told a local talk show that based on evidence to which he was privy from the Clinton impeachment trial, he found that Broaddrick had “disclosed that she had been raped, not once, but twice” to Senate Judiciary Committee investigators.

“I believed that he had done it,” Shays continued. “I believed her that she had been raped 20 years ago. And it was vicious rapes, it was twice at the same event.”

Two weeks ago, Broaddrick had for the first time publicly confirmed to this reporter her account that Clinton raped her twice.

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Why Did China Release Rare Videos of Its Successful Anti-Missile System Tests?

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST — Strategic and political goals are likely to be behind China’s unusual disclosure this week of advances in one of its antiballistic missile systems, analysts say.

On Sunday and Monday, China National Radio, CCTV and the PLA Daily’s TV.81.cn website carried reports touting four consecutive successful tests of a “ground-based midcourse defence” (GMD) system at the Korla Missile Test Complex in Xinjiang.

GMD systems plot, target and destroy ballistic missiles in space.

A clip of the first two of the tests was aired for the first time on the TV.81.cn website.

RUSSIA DISRESPECTS OBAMA ONCE AGAIN, JOINS CHINESE NAVY IN SOUTH CHINA SEA FOR JOINT TRAINING — TOWNHALL

CHINA HARBORING MAJOR DRUG LORDS — ASIA TIMES

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US Strategy on South China Sea Appears to Fail

REUTERS — WASHINGTON – In the lead-up to an international court ruling on China’s claims in the South China Sea early this month, United States officials had talked about rallying a coalition to impose “terrible” costs to Beijing’s international reputation if it flouted the court’s decision.

But just two weeks after the July 12 announcement by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague – which at least on paper, appeared to be a humiliating defeat for China – the U.S. strategy appears to be unravelling and the court’s ruling is in danger of becoming irrelevant.

Earlier this year, U.S. officials spoke repeatedly of the need for countries in the Asia-Pacific region and elsewhere, including the European Union, to make it clear that the decision of the court should be binding.

“We need to be ready to be very loud and vocal, in harmony together … to say that this is international law, this is incredibly important, it is binding on all parties,” Amy Searight, the then-U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for South and Southeast Asia, said in February.

Then in April, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken said China risked “terrible” damage to its reputation if it ignored The Hague’s ruling.

U.S., JAPAN, AUSTRALIA URGE CHINA NOT TO BUILD MILITARY OUTPOSTS IN SOUTH CHINA SEA — BREITBART

TAIWAN, A BYSTANDER VICTIM IN THE SOUTH CHINA SEA DISPUTE — ASIA TIMES

LAND AND AIR VIOLATION BY CHINESE TROOPS IN INDIA’S UTTARAKHAND STATE — PTI

DOES CHINA THINK AMERICA IS USING A ‘WEDGE STRATEGY’? — TNI

CHINA’S HUGE ‘ONE BELT, ONE ROAD’ INITIATIVE IS SWEEPING CENTRAL ASIA — TNI

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China Talks About Harmony, but Feeds Global Disorder

THE NATIONAL INTEREST — Anyone familiar with the foreign policy rhetoric emanating from Beijing for the past three decades or more has heard talk of China’s “good neighbor policy,” its “peaceful rise” and its aspirations to contribute to a “harmonious world,” by way of “a new type of great power relations.” China pledged under Deng Xiaoping to pursue a “good neighbor policy,” and China arguably followed through on that for the next three decades. China’s modus operandi during this era was what Deng called a policy of “taoguang yanghui,” literally “avoiding the [spot]light, nurturing obscurity,” or more colloquially, “biding one’s time and lying low.” Under Hu Jintao, the foreign policy mantra was “peaceful rise”—later changed to “peaceful development,” perhaps so as to avoid associations realists might make with rising powers and the complications this might bring).

Xi Jinping has ushered in a new initiative, suggesting “a new type of great power relations,” which could be read to say: Don’t worry—we won’t rise like 1930s Germany! Or, put another way, today’s China does not seek to repeat the past in terms of the “normal” historical pattern of great-power rise as leading to great-power conflict. In 2007, perhaps the high tide of “the peaceful rise” strategy, China was quite successful, for as David Kang and others pointed out, China’s neighbors did not appear to be balancing against a rising China, but seemed quite optimistic about China’s role in the region. China had then perhaps the best security environment it has ever enjoyed.

WHY VIETNAM MIGHT NEED TO EMBRACE ‘SHAMEFARE’ IN THE SOUTH CHINA SEA — ASIA TIMES

TIME TO TURN NEW PAGE ON SOUTH CHINA SEA, SAYS JOHN KERRY — SCMP

AMERICA’S LETHAL IOWA-CLASS BATTLESHIPS VS. CHINA’S MISSILES: WHO WINS? — TNI

COULD LAW SAVE THE SOUTH CHINA SEA FROM DISASTER? — TNI

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South China Sea Ruling Has Fueled Tensions

MILCOM — It’s a ruling that China cannot accept, and one that the Philippines must.

An international arbitration panel’s decision on the contested waters of the South China Sea so far is fueling regional tensions rather than tamping them down.

In the ensuing 11 days, China has responded to the sweeping victory for the Philippines by flexing its military might. The Philippines faces pressure both at home and abroad not to cede an inch to China after the July 12 decision by a tribunal at The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration.

The South China Sea is dotted with reefs and rocky outcroppings that several governments claim, including China and the Philippines. The arbitration panel didn’t take a position on who owns the disputed territories. It did conclude that many of them are legally rocks, even if they’ve been built into islands, and therefore do not include the rights to develop the surrounding waters. That and other findings invalidated much of what China’s called its historic claims to the resource-rich sea.

In order to ease tensions, China, the Philippines and possibly other claimants must define what the ruling means for fishing, offshore oil and gas exploration, and military and other activities in the vast body of water that lies between the southern Chinese coast and the Philippine archipelago.

A major diplomatic test starts Sunday in Laos at a three-day meeting of Southeast Asian foreign ministers that will include sessions with their Chinese and U.S. counterparts. Past ASEAN meetings have broken down over disagreements between those taking China’s side and those opposing it. The U.S., whose Navy patrols the waters, has called on China to abide by the ruling while also urging calm.

Longer-term, there are compelling reasons for China and the Philippines to talk, but also significant obstacles to that happening. Unless the two sides can find a way around their impasse, the ruling may simply prolong the South China Sea’s long-running territorial disputes, which also involve Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei in a mesh of overlapping claims.

CHINA HAS NO PLAN TO FIGHT EXPLODING ISIS THREAT IN WEST — DC

PHILIPPINES’ OIL STILL IN TROUBLED WATERS AFTER SOUTH CHINA SEA RULING — ASIA TIMES

TOP OBAMA AIDE TO TAKE CALL FOR SOUTH CHINA SEA CALM TO BEIJING — ASIA TIMES

CHINA WITHDREW MISSILES FROM SOUTH CHINA SEA ISLAND AHEAD OF HAGUE RULING: REPORT — SCMP

ASEAN SPLIT ON HOW TO DEAL WITH CHINA IN SOUTH CHINA SEA ROW — STARS & STRIPES

— S&S

CHINA ROLLS OUT WORLD’S LARGEST AMPHIBIOUS AIRCRAFT — S&S

SOUTHEAST ASIA DEADLOCKED AS SOUTH CHINA SEA SPLIT DEEPENS — ASIA TIMES

SOUTH CHINA SEA AIR STRIPS’ MAIN ROLE IS ‘TO DEFEND HAINAN NUCLEAR SUBMARINE BASE’ — SCMP

SOUTH CHINA SEA CLAIMANTS COULD SPLIT THE SPOILS AND KEEP THE PEACE — SCMP

CHINA STOLE THIS FIGHTER FROM RUSSIA—AND IT’S COMING TO THE SOUTH CHINA SEA — TNI

CHINA’S BIG SOUTH CHINA SEA DILEMMA — TNI

HOW THE GOP STOPPED LOVING CHINA — TNI

EUROPE CAN’T SAVE THE SOUTH CHINA SEA — TNI

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China Unveils New Weapons for Air and Sea Combat Following Hague Tribunal Ruling

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST — The Southern Theatre Command of the People’s Liberation Army unveiled a series of new weapons for sea and air combat during a visit by top military officers.

In a rare revelation, the weapons were shown on state television in the wake of a landmark international tribunal rejecting Beijing’s claims to almost all of the South China Sea.

Military experts said the disclosure was intended to show that the newly formed Southern Theatre Command, which covers the South China Sea, was well-prepared for any potential military confrontation with the US.

In an inspection tour after the ruling, General Fan Changlong, vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission, which oversees the PLA, called on troops to train hard to meet any challenges, Xinhua reported on Tuesday.

“Air and sea patrols should be tightly organised to handle all kinds of emergencies to ensure security of sea and air borders,” said Fan, who was accompanied by General Ma Xiaotian, commander of the PLA Air Force, and General Wei Fenghe, chief of the army’s Rocket Force, which operates the country’s missile arsenal.

Beijing-based naval expert Li Jie said Fan’s visit indicated that the southern command could carry out joint combat operations of land, rocket, naval and air forces as well as other strategic support forces.

“All the weapons showed on state media are defensive arms of short to medium range within 1,500km, meaning China so far is using restrained deterrence to warn the US not to challenge Beijing’s bottom line in the South China Sea,” Li said.

HOW THE US SHOULD RESPOND IN THE SOUTH CHINA SEA: BUILD ITS OWN ISLANDS — ASIA TIMES

AMERICA DOESN’T OWE CHINA ANYTHING AFTER THE VERDICT — TNI

IT’S TIME TO IGNORE CHINA’S NINE-DASH LINE — TNI

MORE THAN 100 CHINESE CITIZENS HAVE JOINED ISIS — WFB

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US Won’t Back Down on South China Sea

MILCOM — Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson used a visit to the port city of Qingdao on Wednesday to push back against Chinese bluster and deliver a message that the U.S. will continue to oppose China’s artificial islands and military buildup in the region.

“This will not change,” said Richardson, who visited the Chinese North Sea Fleet headquarters in Qingdao and met with fleet commander Vice Adm. Yuan Yubai, the Navy said.

“The U.S. Navy will continue to conduct routine and lawful operations around the world, including in the South China Sea, in order to protect the rights, freedoms and lawful uses of sea and airspace guaranteed to all,” he said.

Richardson appealed to the Chinese to “take advantage of our common culture as sailors” to avoid confrontation, while calling on the government to stop the intimidation of regional allies and settle territorial disputes through negotiation.

JAPAN ORDERS HUNDREDS OF MISSILES, HELICOPTERS, AS CHINA FLEXES MUSCLES — DC

NO OFF RAMPS, ONLY DEAD ENDS IN THE SOUTH CHINA SEA — ASIA TIMES

US WARNS AT WTO OF CHINA BACKSLIDING ON ECONOMIC OPENNESS — ASIA TIMES

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Only America Can Keep a China-India War From Erupting

THE NATIONAL INTEREST — India and China are on a collision course. They boast the world’s two largest populations, two of the fastest growing economies on the globe and aspirations to lead the way into a new Asian century. The two nations’ fates will be intertwined for decades to come. Troublingly, China’s move last week to block Indian membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is merely the latest sign of tension to emerge between the two Asian giants. Further competition and even confrontation await.

Competition between rising powers is hardly new or surprising. This particular case, however, shows China’s intent to remain the sole Asian power stretching from Siberia to the Arabian Sea. This was most recently demonstrated last week when China led the push to exclude India from the NSG. Membership in the prestigious group, which controls the trade of nuclear material and related technologies, would facilitate India’s nuclear power production. While legitimate concerns remain about India’s status as a nuclear state, Prime Minister Modi’s bid was backed by the United States, Britain, France and many others. These advocates could not overcome resistance spearheaded by the Chinese delegation, in a move that many Indians saw as purely political.

China’s NSG position could been seen as warranted given India’s failure to ratify the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, but Beijing routinely blocks Delhi’s efforts to play a larger role on the international stage. India’s push for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council and China’s opposition to that move highlight this fact. Of the five current permanent members, only China has yet to offer even token support for the second-largest country in the world joining the exclusive group.

TAIWAN LAWMAKERS AND FISHERMEN HEAD TO SOUTH CHINA SEA’S TAIPING ISLAND TO DECLARE SOVEREIGNTY AND FISHING RIGHTS — SCMP

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China Announces South China Sea Military Exercises

MILCOM — BEIJING — China said Monday that it is closing off a part of the South China Sea for military exercises this week, days after an international tribunal ruled against Beijing’s claim to ownership of virtually the entire strategic waterway.

Hainan’s maritime administration said an area southeast of the island province would be closed from Monday to Thursday, but gave no details about the nature of the exercises. The navy and Defense Ministry had no immediate comment.

Six governments claim territory in the South China Sea, although the area where the Chinese naval exercises are being held is not considered a particular hotspot. China’s navy and coast guard operate extensively throughout the South China Sea and regularly stage live firing exercises in the area.

The announcement of the military exercises came in the middle of a three-day visit to China by the U.S. Navy’s top admiral to discuss the South China Sea dispute and ways to increase interactions between the two militaries.

PHILIPPINES REJECTS CHINA OFFER OF CONDITIONAL DIALOGUE ON SEA DISPUTE — ASIA TIMES

AMERICA CAN ENFORCE THE SOUTH CHINA SEA DECISION WITHOUT HUMILIATING CHINA — TNI

LOOK OUT, ASIA: CHINA’S PEACEFUL RISE IS OVER — TNI

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$5 Trillion Meltdown: What if China Shuts Down the South China Sea?

THE NATIONAL INTEREST — China has fired off a music video, editorials and plenty of other propaganda, along with a few volleys from PLA Navy ships, in response to the international court ruling on the South China Sea, which it denounced as “null and void.” But after threatening to set up an air defense identification zone, what might the economic impact be if Beijing went one step further and closed off the entire area inside its so-called “nine-dash line”?

Based on a 1947 map by the then Kuomintang government, the vaguely defined nine-dash line encompasses around 90 percent of the South China Sea. It spans an area the size of Mexico extending more than one thousand kilometers from China, and which encompasses territory claimed by Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

While China is the major beneficiary of freedom of movement in the region, a number of other countries rely upon shipping routes through the disputed area, namely Japan, South Korea and Australia.

An estimated $5 trillion worth of goods are transported through South China Sea shipping lanes each year, including more than half the world’s annual merchant fleet tonnage and a third of all maritime traffic worldwide.

Oil transported through the Malacca Strait from the Indian Ocean, en route to East Asia via the South China Sea, is triple the amount that passes through the Suez Canal and fifteen times the volume that transits the Panama Canal.

CHINA AND PHILIPPINES TIPPED TO CHART COURSE FOR TALKS AFTER TRIBUNAL RULING — SCMP

COULD CHINA’S BANKS TAKE DOWN THE GLOBAL ECONOMY? — TNI

PHILIPPINES VS. CHINA IN THE SOUTH CHINA SEA: BEIJING AT A GEOPOLITICAL CROSSROADS — TNI

THE PHILIPPINES STOOD UP TO CHINA—AND WON — TNI

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Is South China Sea FON Issue Prelude to Another Gulf of Tonkin Resolution?

ASIA TIMES — When the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in Hague announced its findings on the dispute in South China Sea in favor of the Philippines over China, the most jubilant party was the United States.

State Department spokesperson immediately announced that the ruling is legal and binding on all parties henceforth and forever more. Strange because when a PCA ruling did not suit Washington in the past, it was simply ignored.

China’s immediate response was rejection of the ruling as illegal and furthermore meaningless. Meaningless, because in any arbitration, both parties must agree to submit to arbitration, and China did not agree to participate.

Illegal, because both countries are signatories of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and as signatories, the legally binding agreement is that the parties would negotiate on any matters of dispute.

The US has never ratified UNCLOS, so they were uninvited gatecrashers to the dispute.

This does not mean Uncle Sam does not have any skin in the game. The US has been deliberately raising the tension in South China Sea and putting former Philippine president Aquino up to unilaterally submitting the issue to PCA for arbitration.

CHINA VOWS ‘DECISIVE RESPONSE’ TO SEA PROVOCATIONS — ASIA TIMES

CHINA’S LEGAL SETBACK COULD SPUR MORE SOUTH CHINA SEA CLAIMS — ASIA TIMES

INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNAL’S SOUTH CHINA SEA RULING AGAINST BEIJING ‘COMPLICATES SITUATION’ AND COULD LEAD TO POLITICAL CRISIS — SCMP

CHINA LANDS AIRCRAFT ON DISPUTED SOUTH CHINA SEA REEFS AND COASTGUARD BLOCKS PHILIPPINE FISHING BOAT AS BEIJING DEFIES RULING — SCMP

3 MYTHS ABOUT CHINA AND THE SOUTH SEA TRIBUNAL VERDICT — TNI

BEIJING MAY IGNORE THE SOUTH SEA RULING—BUT WE MUST NOT — TNI

SOUTH CHINA SEA: IS CHINA WILLING TO MAKE A DEAL? — TNI

SOUTH CHINA SEA: DID CHINA JUST CLARIFY THE NINE-DASH LINE? — TNI

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China Loses Big in Court, but Enforcement Is Another Matter

MILCOM — Now that a world court has definitively ruled China’s aggressive actions in the South China Sea illegal, here comes the hard part: Getting China to abide by the ruling.

Multiple analysts agreed Wednesday that expanded U.S. freedom-of-navigation operations in the South China Sea could play a part, but that diplomatic resolve within the Asia-Pacific region is critical to change Beijing’s behavior.

China has stated since the case began in 2013 that it would not recognize the verdict delivered Tuesday by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, which found in favor of the Philippines on 14 claims, and said it lacked jurisdiction on one other claim.

The 479-page decision backs up what the U.S. and most of the world’s legal analysts outside of China have long stated:

    • China has no right to build artificial islands with military outposts on underwater reefs inside the exclusive economic zone, or EEZ, of other nations.

    • Beijing can’t use an ambiguous map feature covering 90 percent of the sea, known as the “nine-dash line,” to claim other countries’ EEZs as its national waters.

    • China’s argument that it holds “historical rights” to the sea carry no weight under law, and if they could have, China ceded them when it ratified the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The ruling theoretically shuts down China’s claim to control a body of water where $5 trillion in seaborne trade transits annually, including $1.2 trillion in estimated U.S. trade.

TAIWAN DEPLOYS WARSHIP TO S. CHINA SEA: HAGUE RULING ‘SERIOUSLY HURT OUR RIGHTS’ — BREITBART

CHINA WILL AGGRESSIVELY FIGHT RULING — BREITBART

CHINA THREATENS AIR DEFENSE ZONE IN SOUTH CHINA SEA — WASHINGTON TIMES

PHILIPPINES URGES BEIJING TO RESPECT TRIBUNAL’S SEA RULING — ASIA TIMES

SCORCHED EARTH RULING ON S CHINA SEA — ASIA TIMES

US LAUNCHES QUIET DIPLOMACY TO EASE SOUTH CHINA SEA TENSIONS — ASIA TIMES

CHINA’S STEALTH FIGHTER FLEET GROWS AGAIN — ASIA TIMES

WHY THE SOUTH CHINA SEA VERDICT IS LIKELY TO BACKFIRE — TNI

HAS THE SOUTH CHINA SEA RULING PUSHED CHINA CLOSER TO A FUTURE WAR WITH THE US? — SCMP

SOUTH CHINA SEA: BEIJING’S CASE AGAINST FORCED ARBITRATION — SCMP

HOW THE HAGUE RULING AGAINST CHINA COULD SPELL TROUBLE FOR JAPAN — SCMP

THE OBAMA-CLINTON LEGACY: A MORE AGGRESSIVE CHINA — TNI

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US Calls for Calm After Ruling Against China’s South China Sea Claims

MILCOM — The U.S. called for calm and renewed diplomacy Tuesday following China’s angry rejection of an international tribunal’s ruling against its artificial islands and military buildup on disputed shoals and islets in the South China Sea.

The Pentagon had no immediate comment, but the State Department issued a non-confrontational statement expressing the vague hope that the tribunal’s action could now serve as a catalyst for negotiations among the various claimants in the region, including the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan.

“This decision can and should serve as a new opportunity to renew efforts to address maritime disputes peacefully,” the State Department said. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest later said that “this tribunal ruling is final and binding on both parties” — China and the Philippines, which filed the case.

INTERNATIONAL COURT RULES AGAINST CHINA IN TERRITORIAL DISPUTE OVER SOUTH CHINA SEA — WASHINGTON TIMES

‘THE FARCE SHOULD COME TO AN END’: CHINA REACTS TO LOSING SOUTH CHINA SEA CASE — BREITBART

TRIBUNAL RULING: VICTORY FOR PHILIPPINES, OTHER SOUTH CHINA SEA CLAIMANTS — ASIA TIMES

CHINA IGNORED RULES, NEIGHBORS AND ECOSYSTEM: HAGUE TRIBUNAL — ASIA TIMES

ANGRY CHINA WARNS AGAINST TURNING SEA INTO CRADLE OF WAR — ASIA TIMES

CHINA SAYS HAGUE TRIBUNAL’S RULING IS NULL AND VOID — ASIA TIMES

CHINA’S SOUTH SEA CLAIMS WERE ALWAYS ABOUT EMOTION, NOT HISTORY — TNI

NOW FOR THE HARD PART: CONVERTING LAW INTO ORDER IN THE SOUTH CHINA SEA — TNI

THE HAGUE HAS RULED AGAINST CHINA. TIME TO ENFORCE IT — TNI

TSAI ING-WEN TELLS WARSHIP CREW TO DEFEND TAIWAN’S INTERESTS AS THEY SET OFF FOR ISLAND IN SOUTH CHINA SEA — SCMP

70 YEARS OF CONSTRUCTION, CONFLICT AND COMBAT ON THE SOUTH CHINA SEA — SCMP

CHINA’S XI JINPING REJECTS ANY ACTION BASED ON INTERNATIONAL COURT’S SOUTH CHINA SEA RULING — SCMP

SOUTH CHINA SEA RULING ‘THREATENS TO DEEPEN TENSIONS BETWEEN CHINA AND US’ — SCMP

DEMS URGE TREATY RATIFICATION AFTER SOUTH CHINA SEA RULING — THE HILL

S. CHINA SEA ARBITRATION: A US-LED CONSPIRACY BEHIND THE FARCE — CN

FEDS FUMBLE SOUTH CHINA SEA RESPONSE — WASHINGHTON EXAMINER

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South China Sea Ruling Has All Sides Bracing for Fallout — China Plans to Reject Negative Decision

WASHINGTON TIMES — Washington, Beijing and nervous capitals around the Asia-Pacific region are bracing for the fallout from a highly anticipated ruling by an international tribunal on China’s territorial claims in the hotly contested South China Sea, a decision that could set a key precedent in efforts to curb Chinese expansion in the region.

Members of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, based in The Hague, are slated to issue their decision Tuesday over a legal challenge filed by the Philippines against Beijing’s efforts to build up military installations on rocky outcroppings in the Spratly Islands, the Scarborough Shoal, the Fiery Cross Reef and other strategic points in the South China Sea.

U.S. diplomatic and military leaders are hoping a decision against China could establish and reinforce new diplomatic norms in addressing territorial disputes in the South China Sea and elsewhere in the Pacific, but Beijing has boycotted the case and already signaled it does not respect the tribunal’s authority and will not be bound by an adverse decision.

The tribunal’s decision “does have the potential to crack the door open to new [opportunities] among the parties that would help manage tensions in those disputed spaces,” Colin Willett, deputy assistant secretary of state for strategy in East Asian and Pacific affairs, told a congressional hearing late last week.

The decision will be watched closely by Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan and Japan, all of whom have clashed with China as its expanding and assertive navy has aggressively pressed sovereignty claims in the waters of China’s long Pacific coastline.

US, CHINA WAGE LEGAL WARFARE OVER CONTROL OF THE SOUTH CHINA SEA — ASIA TIMES

HIGH STAKES LEGAL RULING LOOMS IN SOUTH CHINA SEA DISPUTE — ASIA TIMES

WHAT’S CHINA’S ‘NINE-DASH LINE’ AND WHY HAS IT CREATED SO MUCH TENSION IN THE SOUTH CHINA SEA? — SCMP

THE 46 HECTARES IN THE SOUTH CHINA SEA THAT COULD CHANGE CROSS-STRAIT TIES — SCMP

HOW WILL PHILIPPINES AND CHINA MOVE ON AFTER SOUTH CHINA SEA RULING? — SCMP

CHINA VS. PHILIPPINES: WHAT’S AT STAKE AS THE VERDICT IN THE HAGUE LOOMS — TNI

SOUTH CHINA SEA SHOWDOWN: PART OF A MUCH BIGGER NIGHTMARE — TNI

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PLA Warships Carry Out Biggest Live-Fire Drills Yet in South China Sea

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST — The PLA Navy has carried out its largest live-fire drill yet in the South China Sea, ahead of a ruling by an international tribunal on a dispute with the Philippines over claims to the strategic waters.

Warships from the north and east fleets joined the south fleet in the drills, the army mouthpiece PLA Daily said on its website.

They focused on “air control operations, sea battles and anti-submarine warfare”, it said.

The exercise was also significant because it brought together top generals in a joint command scenario. Navy chief General Wu Shengli joined leaders from the powerful Central Military Commission’s Joint Staff Department, Training Management and the South Theatre Command for the for the exercise.

END OF MARITIME ‘INNOCENCE’ — THE CHINA VS. PHILIPPINES ARBITRATION SAGA — ASIA TIMES

BEIJING HOLDS S CHINA SEA WAR GAMES BEFORE RULING — ASIA TIMES

AMERICA AND CHINA’S ARMED FORCES ARE TRAINING TOGETHER IN THE PACIFIC RIGHT NOW — TNI

QUESTIONS OF NEUTRALITY: CHINA TAKES AIM AT JUDGES IN SOUTH CHINA SEA CASE — SCMP

THE U.S.-CHINA ‘THUCYDIDES TRAP’: A VIEW FROM BEIJING — TNI

CHINA’S OLD-SCHOOL SPIES — TNI

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