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War Between Japan And China In The Next Year

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August 08, 2018, 02:38:10 am suzytr says: Hello, any good churches in the Sacto, CA area, also looking in Reno NV, thanks in advance and God Bless you Smiley
January 29, 2018, 01:21:57 am Christian40 says: It will be interesting to see what happens this year Israel being 70 years as a modern nation may 14 2018
October 17, 2017, 01:25:20 am Christian40 says: It is good to type Mark is here again!  Smiley
October 16, 2017, 03:28:18 am Christian40 says: anyone else thinking that time is accelerating now? it seems im doing days in shorter time now is time being affected in some way?
September 24, 2017, 10:45:16 pm Psalm 51:17 says: The specific rule pertaining to the national anthem is found on pages A62-63 of the league rulebook. It states: “The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem. “During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.”
September 20, 2017, 04:32:32 am Christian40 says: "The most popular Hepatitis B vaccine is nothing short of a witch’s brew including aluminum, formaldehyde, yeast, amino acids, and soy. Aluminum is a known neurotoxin that destroys cellular metabolism and function. Hundreds of studies link to the ravaging effects of aluminum. The other proteins and formaldehyde serve to activate the immune system and open up the blood-brain barrier. This is NOT a good thing."
http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-08-11-new-fda-approved-hepatitis-b-vaccine-found-to-increase-heart-attack-risk-by-700.html
September 19, 2017, 03:59:21 am Christian40 says: bbc international did a video about there street preaching they are good witnesses
September 14, 2017, 08:06:04 am Psalm 51:17 says: bro Mark Hunter on YT has some good, edifying stuff too.
September 14, 2017, 04:31:26 am Christian40 says: i have thought that i'm reaping from past sins then my life has been impacted in ways from having non believers in my ancestry.
September 11, 2017, 06:59:33 am Psalm 51:17 says: The law of reaping and sowing. It's amazing how God's mercy and longsuffering has hovered over America so long. (ie, the infrastructure is very bad here b/c for many years, they were grossly underspent on. 1st Tim 6:10, the god of materialism has its roots firmly in the West) And remember once upon a time ago when shacking up b/w straight couples drew shock awe?

Exodus 20:5  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
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« Reply #60 on: December 17, 2013, 07:22:29 am »

US Pledges $40 Million in Military Aid to Philippines

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has announced $40 million in new military aid to the Philippines, a longtime U.S. ally involved in a territorial dispute with China.
 
Kerry made the announcement Tuesday in Manila, where he is meeting with Philippines Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario and President Benigno Aquino.
 
http://www.voanews.com/content/us-pledges-40-million-in-military-aid-to-philippines/1811876.html


Japan Boosts Military Spending Amid Dispute with China

Japan has announced a large defense build-up and national security strategy aimed at countering China's increasingly assertive claims on disputed territory. The plan calls for increased air and maritime capabilities and comes just weeks after Beijing alarmed the region by unilaterally expanding its Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea.
 
Japan's Cabinet on Tuesday released details of its first defense spending increase in years, along with a national security plan designed with Chinese aggression in mind.
 
The five-year budget earmarks more than $230 billion for fighter jets, combat and amphibious vehicles, as well as surveillance drones and early warning aircraft.
 
The national security strategy is Japan's first since it formed a U.S.-style National Security Council to streamline defense policy.
 
http://www.voanews.com/content/amid-dispute-with-china-japan-boosts-military-spending/1811812.html
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« Reply #61 on: December 18, 2013, 08:24:05 am »

Big-Spending China Unhappy With Japanese Military Expansion Plans

China responded with expected frostiness to Japan’s announcement Tuesday of a new security strategy that includes a five percent increase in military spending over the next five years, although its own military spending dwarfs that of its neighbor and rival.
 
With an eye on an increasingly tense territorial dispute with China and threats from North Korea, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet approved a plan that includes the purchase of additional Aegis-equipped anti-missile destroyers, submarines, fighter jets and other aircraft.
 
The new strategy entails a total of $240 billion in military spending over the next five years.
 
In contrast, China last March announced a 10.7 percent increase in its military budget, to $114 billion – for one year alone.
 
The Department of Defense says that from 2003 to 2012, China’s military budget grew by an average of 9.7 percent per year in inflation-adjusted terms.
 
Those figures apply only to its disclosed budget: The Pentagon believes China’s actual military spending is considerably higher than the amount it declares, estimating in 2012 for example that while Beijing announced a budget of $106.7 billion its real military-related expenditure that year fell somewhere between $135 billion and $215 billion.
 
In its most recent annual report to Congress on China’s military power, the Pentagon once again pointed to “poor accounting transparency” and the fact China’s announced budget does not include some major categories of expenditure, such as the procurement of foreign weapons.
 
In its new strategy, Japan raised this as a concern, saying that “China has been rapidly advancing its military capabilities in a wide range of areas through its continued increase in its military budget without sufficient transparency.”
 
In an assessment of the regional security situation, the document said China was trying to change the status quo in the South and East China Seas “by coercion,” in ways that were incompatible with international law.
 
It pointed in particular to China’s expanded activity in the seas and airspace around a chain of islands controlled by Japan since the late 19th century but claimed by China, and its declaration last month of an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) over a large area including the contested territory.
 
Looking beyond China, the document described North Korea as a “grave destabilizing factor” in the region, and said that its “nuclear and missile development, coupled with its provocative rhetoric and behavior, poses a serious and imminent threat to Japan’s security.”
 
The strategy, which incorporates a recently-established U.S.-style National Security Council, sees Tokyo move closer towards transforming its “Self-Defense Forces” into a fully-fledged military.
 
Abe and several of his conservative predecessors have long had a goal of shifting the country away from the pacifism enshrined in its post-World War II constitution and towards a more assertive regional security role. The new document calls it a policy of  “proactive contribution to peace.”
 
Beijing criticized the plan, alluding to Imperial Japan’s expansionist aggression in the first half of the 20th century.
 
“Given all the negative moves taken by Japan on historical issues, Asian countries and the international community, including China, cannot but pay high attention and stay on high alert,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a briefing.
 
“We urge the Japanese side to earnestly face up to and seriously reflect upon history, follow the trend of the times featuring peace, development and win-win cooperation, respect the just and reasonable security concerns of countries in this region and pursue the path of peaceful development.”
 
China’s official Xinhua news agency in a commentary scoffed at the “proactive contribution to peace” phrase, saying it was designed to “conceal Japan’s wild ambition of becoming a military power.”
 
The state-run China Daily published an editorial accusing Abe of “steering his country along a dangerous path.”
 
“[The new strategy] spells a radical break with Japan’s post-World War II tradition of keeping a distance from international conflicts and trying to build peace through nonmilitary means, which has earned Japan the trust of the international community,” it said. “Pacifism is one of postwar Japan’s central values many Japanese have accepted.”
 
Secretary of State John Kerry said Japan’s new strategy was a long-planned move, and not “anything that anybody should get particularly upset about.”
 
“Our belief is that with respect to the participation in the overall challenges of this region, Japan has an ability to play an increasingly more modern and engaged role,” he said during a visit to the Philippines.
 
“It seems to me that we’re only talking about constructive efforts within internationally accepted frameworks, and for peaceful and appropriate purposes.”
 
China’s conduct in the East and South China Seas, including the ADIZ, featured during Kerry’s visit to Manila and his previous stop in Vietnam.
 
China has territorial and maritime disputes with those two countries and several others in the region, and while U.S. policy is not to take sides in individual disputes, it has criticized Chinese actions seen as threatening freedom of navigation and the rule of law in international waters.
 
“The U.S. is hardly qualified to be a peacekeeper in the South China Sea,” an op-ed writer wrote in the Chinese Communist Party-affiliated Global Times on Wednesday. “In fact, it is more like a troublemaker.”

 - See more at: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/patrick-goodenough/big-spending-china-unhappy-japanese-military-expansion-plans#sthash.xhATZ0so.dpuf
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« Reply #62 on: January 04, 2014, 06:07:03 am »

Military Tensions Between US, China And Japan Sharply Rising

Perhaps it is possible — and how nice it would be to believe this — that war between the greatest nations on earth has been abolished.
 
The cost and the threat of nuclear escalation is so horrendous that reason argues that nothing remotely resembling the 20th century’s vast global clashes can ever happen again.



Assuredly, there can be no more Dunkirks or D-Days, because no Western nation — even the United States — can deploy a mass army.
 
If conflict does come, it will be waged with the high-tech weapons of our own time: warplanes manned and unmanned, missiles, cyber-attack weapons and the many instruments of destruction guided from space satellites.
 
But this would not make a great power conflict any less catastrophic.
 
And this is why a shiver will have run through the leaderships of Asia and of the Western powers this week when China’s ambassador to London argued that Japan risks ‘a serious threat to global peace’ by ‘rekindling’ the bellicose attitude that hastened the expansion of World War II into a global conflict.
 
He even compared Japan today to Lord Voldemort, the arch villain in the Harry Potter novels.
 
This comes just a few weeks after China — with absolutely no warning — declared hundreds of thousands of square miles of airspace above the East China Sea as its own Air Defence Zone.
 
This includes the eight tiny uninhabited pimples, called the Senkaku Islands by Japan and Diaoyu by China. Taiwan also has a claim to the islands — nationalised by Japan from private sellers in 2012, much to the anger of China.
 
The United States responded to this bitter dispute between Tokyo and Beijing by dispatching two USAAF B-52s bombers to overfly the islands, emphasising its commitment to the right of free navigation.
 
Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, declared gravely that China had started ‘a whole new game’. His government threatened to shoot down any Chinese drones that appeared over the Senkakus. Beijing responded that this would be an act of war.

Nobody, including the Chinese, wants armed conflict. Indeed, an analyst for the International Institute Of Strategic Studies has said that China ‘aims to push rather than break limits’.
 
Yet the tensions between Tokyo, Washington and Beijing have been increasing for years.
 
For the moment, China, the U.S. and Japan still maintain courtesies between governments. Most crucially, Beijing holds trillions of dollars of U.S. debt.
 
But many of history’s wars have been triggered by miscalculations while nations have been testing each other’s strengths.
 
Indeed, there is a profound fear in Washington, in Tokyo, and maybe also in Beijing, that one day something unspeakably ghastly could happen by mistake.
 
Remember that in 1914 before the outbreak of World War I, Britain and Germany were each other’s largest trading partners. Professor Peter Dutton, of the U.S. Naval War College, has warned of the growing tensions, saying: ‘China’s challenge to existing maritime norms is creating hairline fractures in the global order.’
 
This comment followed an authoritative Washington defence guru who said that, whatever short-term bother terror groups such as Al Qaeda might cause, ‘in the middle-long term, there will only be one main concern of the U.S. armed forces, and that is China. China is reshaping the military order in Asia, and is doing so at our expense’.
 
China has an ever-growing fleet of missile-armed warships — thought to number around 80, as well as nearly 300 amphibious assault ships — including fast-attack craft specifically designed as ‘carrier-killers’, to engage the U.S. Navy’s behemoths.
 
In response, the huge U.S. Andersen air force base on the Pacific Ocean island of Guam has become host to a £10 billion reinforcement programme.
 
As a result, its hangars now hold B-2 and B-52 bombers, air-to-surface and cruise missiles, Global Hawk drones,  F-15 and F-22 fighters, the latter just a 20-minute flight from the Taiwan Strait.
 
Amitai Etzioni, professor of international relations at George Washington University, declares bleakly: ‘There are increasing signs that the United States and China are on a collision course.’
 
What is not disputed is that China is determined to assert its new status as a major regional power, while the U.S. is equally bent upon deterring or deflecting Chinese expansionism, and especially aggressiveness.
 
This was the reason behind President Obama’s 2010 decision to rebalance American strategic assets towards  the Pacific.
 
The American case is as readily made as was the British one, for resisting quite similar German posturing before 1914. Washington’s attitude is: ‘We and our allies are democracies, while China is an autocracy which denies respect for human rights or international law.’
 
I believe that unless the Washington administration makes plain its determination to support any country (such as Japan) that is threatened with aggression by Beijing, China will go ahead and impose its ruthless will upon the entire Pacific region.
 
As for the contrary view from Beijing itself, China’s leaders cherish a profound grievance about the Tokyo government’s persistent refusal to confront the reality of Japan’s mid-20th century war crimes in Asia.
 
For the Tokyo government asserts that the time has passed for any Japanese apologies or even discussion of its historical record.
 
An example of this defiance is the  military museum that is situated next door to Tokyo’s Yasakuni shrine, where so many Japanese war criminals’ ashes lie and to which many Japanese politicians visit to pay homage.
 
I have been to the place myself, and find it as repugnant as do the Chinese. Which is why they found such offence a few days ago when the Japanese premier arrived there to pay his respects. (Its choice of exhibits is intended to prove that during the middle of the last century, Japan entered China — where at least 15 million people fell victim to its occupation — and other Asian countries in order to ‘protect’ them from European exploitation.) In the same vein, Japan describes its half-century occupation of Korea as a ‘partnership’.

http://www.nowtheendbegins.com/blog/?p=15930
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« Reply #63 on: January 08, 2014, 06:25:58 am »

What would a U.S.-China war look like?

War-gaming an extremely unlikely conflict


Imagine this: In the early morning, a barrage of more than 1,000 Chinese ballistic and cruise missiles bombard Taiwanese civilian and military targets.
 
As the U.S. Air Force stationed in Okinawa prepares to rush to the aid of its sworn ally, Chinese cyber attacks wreak havoc on America's air defense and targeting systems. A second volley of ballistic missiles detonates in space, destroying critical military satellites, while a third rains down on the base, damaging jets and leaving runways unusable.
 
Meanwhile, a U.S. carrier strike group led by the USS George Washington has launched from Japan and is steaming towards the Taiwan Strait. Without the advanced warning and additional data supplied by satellites, the group's missile defense systems are at a disadvantage against the Chinese "carrier killer" missiles that are streaking towards them. Defense systems do their best, but a few missiles still hit their mark, leaving the USS George Washington's flight deck unusable. America's awesome air and sea power has been sidelined.
 
While far from a complete picture, this hypothetical scenario is the U.S. military's worst nightmare. Now, of course, despite recent shows of force over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands and the occasional blustery threat to Taiwan, war will almost certainly not break out between the U.S. and China. But it is this scenario's potential to be realized that helps keep war at bay.
 
To be clear: The United States military remains the world's most fearsome fighting force, unbeatable on a one-on-one basis. Yet it would find a protracted war that could end in nuclear Armageddon too costly. China is keenly aware of that fact. So rather than orienting itself towards a total war it cannot win, China's military strategy serves a smaller, but shrewder purpose — pushing the United States out of China's backyard.
 
Reclaiming Chinese pride
 
Provocations over Taiwan and the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands are not about the land itself per se, but rather a matter of national pride. Still fuming over its embarrassment in the 1996 Taiwan Strait Crisis, when President Bill Clinton made an overwhelming display of American power with the deployment of two aircraft carrier strike groups to the region, the Chinese government has sought to showcase its growing stature by taking control of the Pacific, a region long dominated by the U.S. Navy.
 
China's actions, especially of late, are a strong message to the United States that it wants to usurp America as the regional power, Hugh White, a professor of strategic studies at Australian National University, told Bloomberg. "They're saying to America that we're so serious about this that we're prepared to take the risks of being provocative, in order to persuade you to take seriously that we want to change the order."
 
To back up their actions, Chinese strategists have developed a large arsenal of conventional asymmetric weapon systems specifically designed to blunt American might, in effect creating a powerful deterrent that is forcing the U.S. military to walk softly in a region it once ruled supreme.
 
A2/AD
 
Aimed at preventing American forces from using their technological superiority to strike the heart of China, the Chinese military has pursued an anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) strategy. At its most basic, A2/AD is a layered defense strategy that incorporates land, sea, air, cyber, and space attacks to counter America's military advantages.
 
Rather than forcing an outright defeat, the strategy utilizes repeated waves of assaults using cyber attacks, anti-satellite weapons, ballistic missiles, stealth submarines, and other weapons to slow U.S. forces as they draw nearer the Chinese coast.
 
In a successful scenario, each successive wave of attacks would whittle down a superior force's advantage so by the time they reach their goal they have suffered too many casualties or are too spent to launch a significant offensive.
 
A key element of China's defenses is its growing stockpile of ballistic and cruise missiles that have enough range to blanket much of Asia. Most troubling is its DF-21D "carrier killer" missile, which has an estimated range of 2,700 km and is specially designed to target the U.S. military's greatest form of force projection — the aircraft carrier.
 
Additionally, China possesses a growing number of war planes, and is notably developing the fifth-generation J-20 and J-31 stealth fighter jets. At the same time, China has procured at least 12 stealthy diesel-electric Kilo-class subs from Russia, while the U.S. military has shifted its focus away from Cold War skills, like submarine hunting.
 
Countering A2/AD
 
In the theoretical war against China, the arms race is already on. As China develops asymmetrical weapons to minimize American advantages, the Pentagon is also at work on technologies to overcome those counter-technologies.
 
"Part of what keeps the probability of war so small is that the U.S. and Taiwan have taken steps to make sure it would be painful for China," David Shlapak, a senior international policy analyst at the Rand Corporation, told Popular Mechanics in 2010.
 
In reality, many of the weapons systems under development will never see actual combat, but the hypothetical arms race is critical as researchers on both sides seek to tip the scales in their favor and change the calculus for military strategists.
 
According to Admiral Patrick Walsh, the commander of the U.S. Navy's Pacific Fleet until last year, there is no reason to fear China's military buildup as long as U.S. capabilities keep pace.
 
"When we look at these sorts of developments, such as the ASBM [anti-ship ballistic missile], they are technological developments that we respect, but do not necessarily fear," Admiral Walsh told Popular Mechanics. "The key element in any sort of deterrent strategy is to make it clear to those who would use a given piece of technology that we have the means to counter it, and to maintain a technological edge."
 
Even with the U.S. military's technological advantages, China's explosive military growth has guaranteed that even a small conflict with the United States would prove deadlier than anything the nation has witnessed in decades — which is exactly why it won't happen.

http://theweek.com/article/index/254400/what-would-a-us-china-war-look-like
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« Reply #64 on: January 09, 2014, 08:20:30 am »

War’s darkening shadows: Japan girds for a showdown with China

The shadows of war hang more menacingly over Northeast Asia at the opening of a brave new year than they have at any time since, well, since the last time the region was edging into armed conflict.
 
That might be since the Korean mini-crisis of nearly a year ago when North Korea was emitting a torrent of threats. Or it could be since the sinking of the Cheonan or any number of standoffs since the Korean War.

Only this time the shadows are lengthening for reasons that don’t have a lot to do with North or South Korea. The latest cause for hand-wringing and teeth-gnashing was Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s decision, in full knowledge of the sentiments of Koreans and Chinese, to visit the Yasukuni Shrine memorializing Japan’s millions of war dead.
 
The visit was incontrovertible evidence of Abe’s inbred nationalist zeal, for which he has more support among his own people than foreigners might realize. Japanese to whom I have spoken ask why foreign powers have the right to condemn a visit to a Japanese memorial. They say foreign criticism amounts to interference in Japan’s internal affairs and any Japanese can go to the shrine any time.
 
Then the question is why the Yasukuni Shrine memorializes 14 Japanese who were tried as Class A war criminals after World War II and why should the shrine also honor several hundred others who were also war criminals?
 
It’s possible to claim, as journalist Henry Scott-Stokes does in a recent book, that many of these people were no more criminals than those who ran the war for the other side. They were victims of victors’ justice, according to this reasoning, but who outside Japan buys that argument?
 
The sense of crisis deepens, moreover, as the Chinese persist in flying reconnaissance aircraft near the cluster of islands in the East China Sea known as the Senkakus in Japan and the Diaoyu in China. While Chinese fishing boats dart in and out of waters around the islands, chances of an outbreak of war seem all too realistic. Given that fear, Abe’s Yasukuni Shrine visit was a reminder not only of the millions who died fighting for Japan but of those who would die in renewed conflict against historic enemies.
 
Under these circumstances, it was no coincidence that the governor of the southernmost Japanese prefecture of Okinawa agreed on construction of a U.S. marine air station on the day that Abe visited the shrine. The U.S. is committed to moving thousands of Marines from Okinawa to Guam and elsewhere, but foes of the large U.S. marine and air force presence on Okinawa are sure to turn up the pressure while dredging begins in earnest for the base extending into the sea off the village of Henoko.
 
Inexorable moves toward confrontation in the East China Sea go along with Abe’s decision to thumb his nose at outcries from China, Japan’s huge competitor for regional domination, and South Korea, which should be Japan’s friend and ally in common cause against North Korea. The visit to the shrine provides one more reason for leaders of South Korea not to want to cooperate with Japan.
 
Counting on a groundswell of conservatism, nationalism and ethnocentrism, Abe is courting populist Japanese sentiment. The Japanese say the islands are part of Okinawa prefecture and are gearing up to defend them against any challenge from Beijing, which includes them in its newly declared Air Defense Identification Zone.
 
Against this background, a U.S. Marine air station on Okinawa’s northeast coast makes more sense than ever to Japanese and American strategists. Japanese and Americans argue that the base won’t add to U.S. forces on Okinawa but rather will replace the Marine air station at Futenma in the urban sprawl north of the Okinawa capital of Naha,
 
Abe’s foray to the shrine, however, puts the U.S. in an extremely delicate position diplomatically. The State Department expression of ”disappointment” with the Yasukuni gambit was a weasel-worded attempt to mollify South Korea while wagging a remonstrative finger at Japan.
 
In fact, the U.S. can do not much to rein in Abe’s ambitions while worrying about China’s support of North Korea. Kim Jong-Un emits conflicting signals as to whether he’s going to get more aggressive or try to appear more conciliatory while purging friends and allies of the ill-fated Jang Song-Thaek.
 
Carefully, Abe might appear to be veering toward moves to revise the Japanese constitution, imposed during the post-war U.S. occupation, and do away with Article Nine, which forbids Japan from waging war overseas.
 
Abe, however, needs U.S. forces in the region if the quarreling over the Senkakus/Diaoyu turns into a shooting war and the U.S. is called upon to make good on its promise to stand by the U.S.-Japan security treaty.

http://www.worldtribune.com/2014/01/02/wars-darkening-shadows-japan-girds-for-a-showdown-with-china/
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« Reply #65 on: January 13, 2014, 11:14:34 am »

China Set to Seize South China Sea Island by Force
Beijing claims island “illegally occupied” by the Philippines


Reports out of Chinese state media indicate that Beijing is set to invade an island in the South China Sea “illegally occupied” by US ally the Philippines, stoking concerns that the tension filled region could explode.

The article originally appeared at qianzhan.com under the headline, ‘Sudden major move of Chinese troops this year to recover Zhongye Island by force’, and was translated by the China Daily Mail.
 

Relying on US support, the Philippines is so arrogant as to announce in the New Year that it will increase its navy and air force deployment at Zhongye Island, a Chinese island that it has illegally occupied for years.
 
It will be an intolerable insult to China
 
According to experts, the Chinese navy has drawn a detailed combat plan to seize the island and the battle will be restricted within the South China Sea.
 
The report goes on to state that the “battle” will not include a Chinese invasion of Filipino territories, although the Philippines will undoubtedly view Beijing’s attack on Zhongye Island as precisely that since it has been occupied by Filipino troops for over 40 years.
 
“Of course, claims that “battle will be restricted” are nothing but taunting and should China launch an offensive here, we suspect the already dry and brittle tinder box in the South (and East) China Sea could rapidly escalate,” reports Zero Hedge.
 
The report arrives hot on the heels of Japan’s announcement that it will “nationalize” around 280 islands in the disputed region, the latest shot across the bow in a tit-for-tat build up that experts have warned heralds the beginning of a new cold war.
 
China’s latest act of aggression arrives after months of military posturing and bellicose rhetoric.
 
In October, China sent a surveillance ship to Hawaiian waters for the very first time in an unprecedented move which was described as a provocative retaliation to the U.S. naval presence in the East China Sea.
 
A lengthy editorial which appeared in Chinese state media last month explained how the Chinese military’s current reformation process was part of a move by President Xi Jinping to prepare the People’s Liberation Army for war in response to US aggression in the Asia Pacific, developments which have prompted “major changes” in China’s national security situation.
 
Strident rhetoric about Beijing’s ability to attack US military bases in the Western Pacific, as well as the release of a map showing the locations of major U.S. cities and how they would be impacted by a nuclear strike launched from the PLA’s strategic submarine force also turned heads.
 
Following discussion in state media about plans to to turn the moon into a Star Wars-style “death star” from which the PLA could launch missiles against any target on Earth, a display to promote China’s Jade Rabbit Moon rover also included a background photograph of a mushroom cloud over Europe.

http://www.infowars.com/china-set-to-seize-south-china-sea-island-by-force/
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« Reply #66 on: January 14, 2014, 02:01:28 pm »

Japan holds military drill as S. China Sea islands dispute widens

Japanese paratroopers recaptured an island from an enemy in a wargame as its Defense Minister vowed to defend a disputed East China Sea territory. China’s ships sailed near the contested islets as Beijing reportedly expanded its air defense zone.
 
Tokyo’s military on Sunday held a military drill dubbed “Island Defense,” in which the country’s elite airborne troops simulated the retaking of a remote island from an enemy nation.
 
The plot for the annual drill, which took place at an exercise field east of Tokyo, stayed the same for the second year in a row as the dispute over the group of tiny islets in the East China Sea, claimed by China, Taiwan and Japan, showed no signs of resolution.

Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, who was overseeing the drills, vowed to protect the territory around the islands, which Japan considers to be its own.
 
“We can never overlook China’s repeated entries into our territorial waters. In addition to diplomatic efforts, we will cooperate with the Coast Guard to securely defend our territory and waters around the Senkaku islands,” Onodera said.
 
The islands, which are known as Diaoyu in China and as Senkaku in Japan, have again found themselves in the middle of regional tension less than two weeks into the New Year. Three Chinese patrol ships briefly entered the disputed waters early Sunday, the first time since controversial fishing rules approved by China’s southern Hainan province took effect January 1.
 
The fishing rules require foreign fishing vessels to obtain approval before entering the disputed waters in the South China Sea, as the local government maintains they are under its jurisdiction.

Both the boats’ venture and the reminder of the unilaterally imposed fishing law sparked angry official reactions from Japan and its ally the United States.
 
“Setting something like this unilaterally, as if you are treating them as your own territorial waters, and imposing certain restrictions on fishing boats, is not something that is internationally tolerated,” Onodera said, claiming that China is “threatening the existing international order.”
 
Washington earlier branded the fishing rules “provocative and potentially dangerous,” prompting a rebuttal from the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Friday.
 
Patrol ships from China and Japan have often shadowed each other in the disputed area, since Tokyo moved to nationalize its control over three of the islands, with the state buying them from a Japanese family for 2 billion yen in September 2012.

Beijing considered the move to be a breach of its territorial sovereignty, as it holds that the islands were returned to China in 1945, half a century after their annexation by Japan in an earlier Sino-Japanese War.
 
After World War II, the US took control of the islets, until the US Senate voted to return them to Tokyo in 1972. The decision followed a discovery of potential oil and gas reserves in the vicinity of the islands by a UN commission in 1969. Both Chinese and Taiwanese governments also declared their ownership of the territories in 1972.
 
Tensions over what are believed to be resource-rich territories have soared in recent months, particularly after China announced the creation of an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) covering a large swathe of the East China Sea, including the disputed isles.
 
Both Japan and its ally the US strongly condemned the creation of the Chinese air defense zone, which was announced in November, ostensibly sending their ships, jets and bombers to pass through the territory. China also scrambled its fighter jets to shadow the military aircraft passing through the area and kept patrolling the nearby waters.
 
A report Sunday by Japan’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper, however, suggested that Beijing was serious on taking a hard-line stance over the disputed territories, expanding its defense zone even farther toward Japan.
 
In response to an inquiry from the Japanese newspaper, China’s Defense Ministry confirmed the eastern tip of the zone is just 130 kilometers from the Japanese island of Kyushu. This makes it as close to Japan as Tokyo’s own declared air defense zone is to China. The report suggests the n

http://breakingdeception.com/news/japan-holds-military-drill-s-china-sea-islands-dispute-widens/
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« Reply #67 on: January 14, 2014, 02:02:34 pm »

China warns ‘firm response’ if Japan attacks its ships

Beijing says if Tokyo takes provocative action on Senkaku islands issue, China will make firm response


Beijing: Tension between China and Japan over the disputed islands in the East China Sea escalated as Beijing on Monday warned of “firm response” if Tokyo resorted to any provocative action against Chinese ships patrolling there.
 
“We urge Japan not to look down on Chinese government determination and resolve in defending China’s territorial sovereignty,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing. Hua was responding to questions on Japanese defence ministry’s reported remarks to use force against Chinese patrolling ships.
 
“If Japan takes further provocative action on the islands issue China will make firm response and Japanese side should be responsible for all the consequences arising there from,” Hua said.
 
Official media here quoted Japanese defence minister Itsunori Onodera as telling the media on Sunday that “We can never overlook repeated incursions into territorial waters.”
 
China and Japan are at loggerheads over the islands called Senkakus by Japan and Diaoyus by China, located in the East China Sea. The area, which till 2012 was controlled by Japan is believed to be rich with minerals and oil.
 
China accuses Japan of violating an earlier understanding not to nationalize the islands overlooking Beijing’s claims. China claims that islands as its inherent territory. Tensions escalated between the two countries after Shinzo Abe took over as Prime Minister last year and made efforts to modernize the self defence force, changing its pacifist nature adopted since the Japanese defeat in Second World War.
 
“How Japan stole the Diaoyu islands from China is very clear,” Hua said adding that Japan’s erroneous position and action on the islands issue is an attempt to deny the outcome of the Second World War and challenge the post war world order. “Japan’s attempts no way change the fact that Diaoyu islands belongs to China,” she said.
 
“The more some Japanese people deny and evade history more difficult it will be for them to get rid of the judgement of the history and the heavier historical burden on their shoulders,” she said.
 
Hua also attacked Japan for criticising its new fishing law in Hainan province, imposing restrictions on fishing by nationals other than Chinese in the South China Sea. “Relevant people before making remarks should do basic research. At least they should read Chinese laws and regulations,” Hua said. “We hope people will see through the nature of Japan’s purposes and stay on high alert,” she said. China claims all most all of South China Sea as its own which is strongly contested by Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei.

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« Reply #68 on: January 23, 2014, 06:25:01 am »

Japan tells world to stand up to China or face consequences

Japan on Wednesday told the world it must stand up to an increasingly assertive China or risk a regional conflict with catastrophic economic consequences.

In a landmark speech to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe issued what amounted to an appeal for international support in a potentially explosive dispute with its superpower neighbour over islands in the East China Sea.

"We must restrain military expansion in Asia ... which otherwise could go unchecked," Abe told the annual meeting of global business and political leaders, which Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is due to attend on Friday.

"If peace and stability were shaken in Asia, the knock-on effect for the entire world would be enormous," Abe added.

"The dividend of growth in Asia must not be wasted on military expansion."

Although Abe did not explicitly mention China, his speech had been flagged up in advance by Japanese officials as an alarm call to an influential audience over what Tokyo sees as bullying by Beijing.

The dispute over the uninhabited but potentially mineral-rich islands is being played out against a backdrop of Japanese fears that China is seeking to exert control over lifeline shipping lanes around its vast coastline and that the United States' commitment to guarantee Japan's security is waning.

Tensions over the islands, which Japan calls Senkaku and China refers to as the Diaoyus, have come perilously close to boiling over into armed clashes on several occasions in recent years.

They resurfaced last month when Abe visited the Yasukuni shrine, a memorial to Japan's war dead which is controversial because a handful of convicted war criminals are among those commemorated.

China and South Korea seized on the visit as fresh evidence of Japan's perceived failure to sincerely repent for its 20th-century record of military aggression, and the visit has also been criticised as unhelpful by Britain and the United States.

Asked about the visit here, Abe said his "praying for the souls of the departed" should be regarded as "something quite natural for a leader of any country in the world" while emphasising he had no intention of hurting Chinese or Korean feelings.

Much of Abe's speech was given over to a review of the progress of "Abenomics", his bid to end two decades of deflation which he said was on the verge of bearing fruit.

Describing Asia as a region of limitless potential and the engine driving world economic growth, Abe urged China to join a revitalised Japan in creating systems to prevent disputes from destroying their mutual prosperity.

"Trust, not tension, is crucial for peace and prosperity in Asia, and in the rest of the world," he said. "This can only be achieved through dialogue and the rule of law, and not through force or coercion."

Japan wants China to agree to share details of its military spending, help set up a mechanism for managing crises and establish channels of communication between the two countries' armed forces.

Abe's was the most significant speech on the first full day of a gathering which is expected to be dominated for the rest of the week by the volatile but potentially pivotal moment for the Middle East.

Syrian peace talks opened in another Swiss town, Montreux, on Wednesday; Iranian President Hassan Rouhani arrived in Davos on a mission to further his country's emergence from international isolation and both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State John Kerry are expected later in the week.

In a telling symbol of the Davos forum's ability to bring even the bitterest of foes to close proximity, the official jets of Israel and Iran were parked side by side at the Zurich airport on Wednesday.

The forum opened against a background of mounting optimism about the prospects for the global economy this year, although that was tempered by concern over the impact of the widening gulf between rich and poor.

Also emerging in conversations are fears of more monetary tightening in the United States that would hit emerging countries by triggering a wave of capital repatriation to the advanced economies.

India's Finance Minister P. Chidambaram played down such fears and predicted that the world's largest democracy would grow by six percent in the 2014-15 financial and gradually return to its potential expansion rate of eight percent.

"Fiscal consolidation has taken place, there's more foreign direct investment flowing into India," he told AFP.

The outlook depicted for Europe by some participants was not so positive, however.

Christophe de Margerie, head of French energy giant Total, said the Old Continent was still struggling to break free from stagnant growth and address an unemployment problem that has become chronic amongst youth.

"Don't take it as being provocative, (but) I think Europe should be reclassified as an emerging country," De Margerie said.

http://news.yahoo.com/japan-appeals-world-restrain-39-military-expansion-39-173227774.html;_ylt=A2KJ3CYvGuBSIDkAdwXQtDMD
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« Reply #69 on: January 23, 2014, 06:26:51 am »

Japan-China tensions take center-stage with Abe in Davos Reuters
http://news.yahoo.com/japan-pm-abe-urges-military-restraint-asia-swipe-172300974--business.html

The Dangerous China Japan Face-Off The Wall Street Journal
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304149404579322313632737716.html?ru=yahoo?mod=yahoo_itp

Japan urges 'hotline' with China, plays down shrine visit Reuters
http://news.yahoo.com/japan-urges-39-hotline-39-china-plays-down-153605125.html

China takes propaganda war with Japan to United Nations Reuters
http://news.yahoo.com/china-takes-propaganda-war-japan-united-nations-190023712.html

Davos to focus on global economy, conflicts Associated Press
http://news.yahoo.com/davos-focus-global-economy-conflicts-105714120.html

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« Reply #70 on: February 06, 2014, 05:37:02 am »

US presses Beijing on South China Sea claims

The United States on Wednesday urged Beijing to clarify or adjust its claims in the South China Sea, calling for a peaceful solution to one of Asia’s growing flashpoints. With tensions already high over Beijing’s imposition of an air zone above islands administered by Japan in the East China Sea, fears are growing of a fresh showdown in a separate row in the South China Sea where the Philippines is especially concerned.   

http://gulfnews.com/news/world/other-world/us-presses-beijing-on-south-china-sea-claims-1.1287301
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« Reply #71 on: February 24, 2014, 12:29:21 pm »

Chinese Military Trains for Short War With Japan

China has been training its military for a “short sharp war” with Japan, according to Capt. James Fannell, deputy chief of staff intelligence and information operations for the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

“[We] concluded that the PLA has been given the new task to be able to conduct a short sharp war to destroy Japanese forces in the East China Sea following with what can only be expected a seizure of the Senkakus or even a southern Ryukyu [island],” Fannell said, according to the U.S. Naval Institute.

Fannell spoke during the West 2014 conference on Feb. 13 in San Diego. The analysis he relayed is based partly on what was seen in China’s “Mission Action 2013” trainings in October 2013.

At the time, other military analysts had also concluded China was training to take the disputed Senkaku Islands from Japan. Chinese authorities released images of the trainings—which had a particular focus on island invasion and warfare.

The trainings were particularly large, which was to be expected since they were part of China’s trans-MAC mobile campaign. The Chinese military is divided into various Military Area Commands (MACs), and the trainings were supposed to demonstrate them working on a common campaign.
Focus on Attacking Islands

The trainings ended up turning heads, however, since what China demonstrated its military cooperating on was a massive island assault.

Around the same time the trainings were being held, also in October 2013, China and Japan were locked in a growing war of words over the disputed Senkaku Islands.

China was frequently teasing Japanese forces by having its ships and planes cross into Japanese territory around the islands. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe then gave orders to the Japanese military in late October to shoot down any foreign drones that ignore warnings to leave Japanese airspace.

Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng responded soon after, saying such a move “would be a severe provocation to China and an act of war, and China will take resolute measures to strike back.”

Soon after, on Nov. 23, 2013, Chinese authorities announced without warning an air defense zone in the East China Sea, which swallowed up the disputed Senkaku Islands.

The “Air Defense Identification Zone,” which is not being recognized by the United States or its allies, was accompanied by military threats from China against any who enter the zone and do not cooperate with Chinese authorities.

The Senkaku Islands, called the Diaoyu Islands by China, have been owned by Japan since 1895. After World War II, the United States took control of the islands—along with the full Ryukyu island chain—yet returned them to Japan in 1972. They later came under private ownership, but Japan purchased them in April 2012.
Pattern of Behavior

The Senkaku Islands are just a few of those claimed by China. It has similar conflicts with nearly all its neighbors in the South China Sea.

Fannell said China’s interests in the South China Sea are a growing concern. He referenced an unnamed senior U.S. government official saying China’s pattern of behavior “reflects an incremental effort by China to assert control of the area contained in the so-called 9-dash line despite the objections of its neighbors, and despite the lack of any explanation or apparent basis under international law.”

The approach by Chinese authorities to assert control over disputed territory has been particularly underhanded.

In addition to its formation of the air-defense zone in the East China Sea, China formed a fishing zone in the South China Sea to deny access to other countries.

Chinese authorities have also been using so-called military drills to occupy territory or stir up tensions with its neighbors. They often call the drills a form of “protection of maritime rights,” which Fannell said is a “Chinese euphemism for coerce seizure of coastal rights of China’s neighbors.”

He noted that during one of China’s military drills in the East China Sea, “Japan said that a Chinese warship locked its fire-controlled radar onto a Japanese warship.”

“China denied it for a month, but then admitted that it occurred, but said that it was not in danger since the range between the two ships was too close for a weapons system,” he said.

The Chinese coast guard has also been going around disputed waters “playing the role of antagonist, harassing China’s neighbors while PLA Navy ships, their protectors, [make] port calls throughout the region promising friendship and cooperation.”

Fannell added, “Seriously, you just can’t make this stuff up.”

http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/518572-chinese-military-trains-for-short-war-with-japan/print.php
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« Reply #72 on: March 03, 2014, 12:52:54 pm »

China Fields New Intermediate-Range Nuclear Missile
DF-26C deployment confirmed


U.S. intelligence agencies recently confirmed China’s development of a new intermediate-range nuclear missile (IRBM) called the Dongfeng-26C (DF-26C), U.S. officials said.

The new missile is estimated to have a range of at least 2,200 miles—enough for Chinese military forces to conduct attacks on U.S. military facilities in Guam, a major hub for the Pentagon’s shift of U.S. forces to Asia Pacific.

As part of the force posture changes, several thousand Marines now based in Okinawa will be moved to Guam as part of the Asia pivot.

In April, the Pentagon announced it is deploying one of its newest anti-missile systems, the Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) to Guam because of growing missile threats to the U.S. island, located in the South Pacific some 1,600 miles southeast of Japan and 4,000 miles from Hawaii.

And on Feb. 10, the Navy announced the deployment of a fourth nuclear attack submarine to Guam, the USS Topeka.

Chinese military officials said the Topeka deployment is part of the Pentagon’s Air Sea Battle Concept and posed a threat to China.

Disclosure of the new Chinese IRBM follows the announcement this week by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that the U.S. military is sharply reducing its military forces.

“How can [U.S. policymakers] possibly justify such reductions in defense spending when American forces as far away as Guam, Korea, and Okinawa are targeted by these nuclear missiles,” said one official familiar with reports of the DF-26C.

It was the first official confirmation of China’s new IRBM, which officials believe is part of the People’s Liberation Army military buildup aimed at controlling the Asia Pacific waters and preventing the U.S. military entry to the two island chains along China’s coasts.

The first island chain extends from Japan’s southern Ryuku Islands southward and east of the Philippines and covers the entire South China Sea. The second island chain stretches more than a thousand miles into the Pacific in an arc from Japan westward and south to western New Guinea.

Few details could be learned about the new missile and a Pentagon spokesman declined to comment, citing a policy of not commenting on intelligence matters.

The missile is said to be on a road-mobile chassis and to use solid fuel. The fuel and mobility allow the missile to be hidden in underground facilities and fired on short notice, making it very difficult to counter in a conflict.

The DF-26C is expected to be mentioned in the Pentagon’s forthcoming annual report on China’s military power, which is due to Congress next month.

Adm. Cecil Haney, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, told a congressional hearing this week that missile and other nuclear threats from China and Russia continue to grow.

“The current security environment is more complex, dynamic, and uncertain than at any time in recent history,” Haney said in testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee. “Advances of significant nation state and non-state military capabilities continue across all air, sea, land, and space domains—as well as in cyberspace. This trend has the potential to adversely impact strategic stability.”

Russia and China in particular “are investing in long-term and wide-ranging military modernization programs to include extensive modernization of their strategic capabilities,” Haney said. “Nuclear weapons ambitions and the proliferation of weapon and nuclear technologies continue, increasing risk that countries will resort to nuclear coercion in regional crises or nuclear use in future conflicts.”

Richard Fisher, a China military affairs specialist, said Chinese reports have discussed a DF-26 missile as a medium-range or intermediate-range system. Medium-range is considered between 621 miles and 1,864 miles. Intermediate-range is between 1,864 and 3,418 miles

Online reports of three new types of medium- and intermediate-range missiles have said the weapons could be multi-role systems capable of firing nuclear or conventional warheads, along with maneuvering anti-ship and hypersonic warheads, Fisher said.

According to Fisher, two likely transporter erector launchers (TEL) for the new missiles were displayed last year on Chinese websites. They include two versions from missile TEL manufacturing companies called Sanjiang and Taian.

Three years ago, the state-run Global Times reported that the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp. (CASIC) was working on a new 2,400-mile range missile that would be deployed by 2015.

That Chinese manufacturer also produced the DF-21 missile, prompting speculation that the DF-26C is a follow-up version of that system.

“China is developing and will soon deploy new longer-range theater missiles as part of its anti-access, area denial strategies, to be part of a combined force of new long-range bombers armed with supersonic anti-ship missiles, plus space weapons and larger numbers of submarines,” Fisher said in an email.

These forces are being deployed to push U.S. forces out of the first island chain and to have the capability to reach the second chain, including Guam, he said.

“China also consistently refuses to consider formal dialogue about its future nuclear forces or to consider any near term limits on them,” Fisher said. “China is giving Washington and its Asian allies no other choice but to pursue an ‘armed peace’ in Asia.”

According to Fisher, the Chinese missile buildup has forced the Navy to redesign its first aircraft carrier-based unmanned combat vehicle into a larger and longer aircraft.

The new Chinese long-range missiles also highlight the urgent need for a new U.S. long-range bomber to replace an aging fleet of strategic bombers.

To counter the Chinese threats, the United States should field its force of anti-ship ballistic missiles on submarines to match Chinese capabilities and deter China from using its naval power against U.S. allies such as Japan and the Philippines, Fisher said.

Russian officials have cited China’s intermediate-range missiles as one reason Moscow is seeking to jettison the U.S.-Russia Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), which bans medium and intermediate ballistic and cruise missiles.

U.S. officials have said Russia is violating the INF treaty with a new cruise missile and testing its long-range missiles to INF ranges.

“It is time to retire the INF treaty because the United States now requires this class of missiles in order to deter China,” Fisher said.

“The bottom line: We are in an arms race with China and if America falters, so will our strategic position in Asia, which will surely increase the chances of conflict, nuclear proliferation and even nuclear war.”

The Pentagon’s latest report on China’s military forces, published last year, said the PLA is investing in “a series of advanced short- and medium-range conventional ballistic missiles, land-attack and anti-ship cruise missiles, counter-space weapons, and military cyberspace capabilities.”

The weapons “appear designed to enable anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) missions, what PLA strategists refer to as ‘counter-intervention operations,’” the report said.

The Washington Free Beacon first reported on March 7, 2012, that the Chinese military had revealed online photos of a new intermediate-range nuclear missile.

The new missile is believed by U.S. officials to be the DF-26C.

China’s military frequently uses the Internet to reveal the first photos of new weapons systems.

Analysts said the missile TEL shown in the photo is smaller in size than China’s DF-31 intercontinental missile and larger than the DF-21 missile.

http://freebeacon.com/china-fields-new-intermediate-range-nuclear-missile/
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« Reply #73 on: March 25, 2014, 01:59:20 pm »

Pacific Cmdr.: U.S. lacks ability to conduct successful amphibious assaults

The head of U.S. Pacific Command believes America does not possess the capacity to conduct amphibious assaults in the wake of a crisis, as it did during World War II.

Adm. Samuel Locklear III, commander of U.S. Pacific Command gave his assessment of the deficiency in readiness on Tuesday, Stars and Stripesreported.

“We have had a good return of our Marines back to the Asia-Pacific, particularly as the activities in the Middle East wind down in Afghanistan. … But the reality is, is that to get Marines around effectively, they require all types of lift. They require the big amphibious ships, but they also require connectors (meaning landing craft and other amphibious vehicles). The lift is the enabler that makes that happen, so we wouldn’t be able to [successfully carry out a contested amphibious assault without additional resources],” Adm. Locklear said, Stars and Stripes reported.

The admiral’s comments come only weeks after Capt. James Fannell, the chief of intelligence of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, said that he believes China is training for war with Japan.

“[We] concluded that the PLA has been given the new task to be able to conduct a short sharp war to destroy Japanese forces in the East China Sea following with what can only be expected a seizure of the Senkakus or even a southern Ryukyu [islands] — as some of their academics say,” the captain said in February after witnessing “massive” Chinese military exercises in the Pacific.

During the congressional hearing on Tuesday, Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, the commander of U.N. and U.S. forces in Korea, also questioned whether U.S. forces would be able to quickly counter a sudden large-scale offensive by North Korea, Stars and Stripes reported.

“I am concerned about the readiness of the follow-on forces in our theater,” Gen. Scaparrotti said. “Given the indications and warnings and the nature of this theater and the threat that we face, I rely on rapid and ready forces to flow into the peninsula in crisis.”

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/mar/25/pacific-commander-us-lacks-resources-conduct-succe/#ixzz2x0De582i
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« Reply #74 on: March 28, 2014, 05:55:25 am »

Pentagon: China’s ‘Three Warfares’ Seek to Drive US From Asia

March 27, 2014 – China is battling the United States in three non-military areas in hopes of driving U.S. troops out of Asia and tightening its grip on the seas near its coasts, says a Pentagon study.

The “Three Warfares” described in the report are on psychological, media, and legal fronts, the Washington Free Beacon reports. The report was developed for the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment, which examines issues related to future warfare scenarios.

“The Three Warfares is a dynamic three-dimensional war-fighting process that constitutes war by other means,” Cambridge University professor Stefan Halper, who directed the study, told the Free Beacon. “It is China’s weapon of choice in the South China Sea.”

Halper was among eight China experts who contributed to the 566-page, unclassified report. Others included Michael Pillsbury, who served at the Pentagon during the Reagan administration, the Free Beacon reports.

Though the Pentagon’s report was completed in May 2013, news of it comes on the heels of moves announced last month by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to slash the size of the U.S. military to its smallest levels since before World War II and to scrap a class of Air Force attack jets.

Hagel’s efforts would cut military spending to meet government austerity objectives resulting from President Barack Obama’s promise to end U.S. involvement in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The reductions would leave the military capable of defeating any enemy but too small for long foreign occupations, news reports said, and would involve greater risk if U.S. forces were asked to carry out two large-scale military actions at the same time.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon said China’s Three Warfares are broadly guided by the idea that modern technology has rendered nuclear weapons unusable — and conventional conflict too problematic — to achieve political objectives.

Beijing wants to acquire resources, influence, and territory and to project national will, the Free Beacon reports.

“China’s Three Warfares [are] designed to counter U.S. power projection,” the report says. “The United States is one of four key audiences targeted by the campaign, as part of China’s broader military strategy of ‘anti-access/area denial’ in the South China Sea.”

The assessment warns that the U.S. government and its military lack effective tools for countering these warfare methods — and that military academies lack instruction on  Chinese use of such unconventional warfare techniques.

It called for a White House office to develop efforts to better understand the Chinese threat and coordinate countermeasures to its techniques, the Free Beacon reports.

Further, the Three Warfares seek to reduce the image of U.S. power and readiness in Asia among such critical allies as Japan and South Korea, and to assure China’s ability to navigate its nearby seas freely by attempting to set terms for allowing U.S. access to the region, the Free Beacon reports.

More specifically, the use of psychological, media, and legal attacks by China seeks to raise “doubts about the legitimacy of the U.S. presence,” the report says.

The assessment cites several disputes in which China employed the Three Warfares strategy, the Free Beacon reports. They include encounters between U.S. and Chinese warships; the crisis over the 2001 mid-air collision between a U.S. EP-3E surveillance plane and a Chinese jet; and China’s increasing combativeness in several maritime disputes in the South China and East China seas.

“If the Three Warfares is not a ‘game changer,’ it certainly has the capacity to modify the game in substantial ways,” the report says.

http://breakingdeception.com/pentagon-chinas-three-warfares-seek-drive-us-asia/
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« Reply #75 on: April 05, 2014, 05:49:41 am »

Japan orders military to strike any new North Korea missile launches

Japan has ordered a destroyer in the Sea of Japan to strike any ballistic missiles that may be launched by North Korea in the coming weeks after Pyongyang fired a Rodong medium-range missile over the sea, a government source said on Saturday.

 Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera issued the order on Thursday, but did not make it public in order to avoid putting a chill on renewed talks between Tokyo and Pyongyang, the first in more than a year, local media reported earlier.

"The defense minister made the order from April 3rd through to the 25th to prepare for any additional missile launches," the source said.

Onodera, the source said, did not deploy Patriot missile batteries that would be the last line of defense against incoming warheads.

Media reports said the North Korean-Japanese talks in Beijing this week broke no new ground, but ended with an agreement for further meetings.

The firing of the Rodong coincided with a meeting in The Hague between U.S. President Barack Obama and the leaders of South Korea and Japan and followed a series of short-range rocket launches.

The launch appeared to be a show of defiance by North Korea.

The missile fell into the sea after flying 650 km (400 miles), short of a maximum range thought to be some 1,300 km.

Japanese Aegis destroyers in the Sea of Japan are equipped with advanced radar equipment able to track multiple targets and carry missiles designed to take out targets at the edge of space.

http://news.yahoo.com/japan-orders-military-strike-north-korea-missile-launches-035401914--sector.html;_ylt=AwrBJSCofj9TaTQAkX_QtDMD
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« Reply #76 on: April 08, 2014, 09:50:39 am »

U.S. defense chief gets earful as China visit exposes tension

Tensions between China and the United States were on full display on Tuesday as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel faced questions in Beijing about America's position in bitter territorial disputes with regional U.S. allies.

Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan, standing side-by-side with Hagel, called on the United States to restrain ally Japan and chided another U.S. ally, the Philippines.

Then, Hagel was sharply questioned by Chinese officers at the National Defense University. One of them told Hagel he was concerned that the United States was stirring up trouble in the East and South China Sea because it feared someday "China will be too big a challenge for the United States to cope with."

"Therefore you are using such issues ... to make trouble to hamper (China's) development," the officer said.

Hagel assured the audience that America had no interest in trying to "contain China" and that it took no position in such disputes. But he also cautioned repeatedly during the day that the United States would stand by its allies.

"We have mutual self defense treaties with each of those two countries," Hagel said, referring to Japan and the Philippines. "And we are fully committed to those treaty obligations."

The questioning came just a day after Hagel toured China's sole aircraft carrier, in a rare opening by Beijing to a potent symbol of its military ambitions. Chinese Defense Minister Chang called Hagel, the top civilian at the Pentagon, the first foreign military official to be allowed on board the Liaoning.

Chang and Hagel spoke positively about improving military ties and announced steps to deepen them further. But the effort could do little to mask long-standing tension over of a range of issues, from cyber spying and U.S. arms sales to Taiwan to China's military buildup itself.

Beyond developing an aircraft carrier program, China's People's Liberation Army is building submarines, surface ships and anti-ship ballistic missiles, and has tested emerging technology aimed at destroying missiles in mid-air.

That expansion carries risks as Chinese forces come into greater contact with U.S. forces the Pacific, Hagel said.

"As the PLA modernizes its capabilities and expands its presence in Asia and beyond, American and Chinese forces will be drawn into closer proximity - which increases the risk of an incident, an accident, or a miscalculation," Hagel said in a speech at the National Defense University.

"But this reality also presents new opportunities for cooperation."

The risks of a mishap were highlighted in December when the American guided missile cruiser USS Cowpens had to take evasive action in the South China Sea to avoid hitting a Chinese warship operating in support of the Liaoning.

China's military modernization has also been accompanied by a more assertive posture in its territorial disputes.

China claims 90 percent of the 3.5 million sq km (1.35 million sq mile) South China Sea, where the Philippines, along with other countries, stake claims. China has a separate dispute with Japan in the East China Sea over uninhabited islets that are administered by Japan.

Chang asked the United States to "keep (Japan) within bounds and not to be permissive and supportive", and railed against the government of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who Hagel met in Tokyo last weekend.

"It is Japan who is being provocative against China," Chang told a news conference after talks with Hagel.

"If you come to the conclusion that China is going to resort to force against Japan, that is wrong ... we will not take the initiative to stir up troubles."

Chang called the Philippines a nation "disguising itself as a victim" and renewed its opposition to Manila's pursuit of international arbitration in its territorial dispute.

Hagel, who met the defense minister from the Philippines last week, said he raised U.S. concerns in Beijing over the tension in the South and East China Sea.

He cautioned that no countries should resort to "intimidation, coercion, or aggression to advance their claims."

The U.S. State Department has accused China's coastguard of harassment of Philippine vessels and called an attempt to block a Philippine resupply mission to the Second Thomas Shoal, a disputed atoll, provocative and destabilizing.

http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSBREA370N020140408?feedType=RSS&irpc=932
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« Reply #77 on: April 21, 2014, 05:35:30 am »

China seizes Japanese cargo ship over pre-war debt

China's seizure of a Japanese cargo ship over a pre-war debt could hit business ties, Japan's top government spokesman has warned.

Shanghai Maritime Court said it had seized the Baosteel Emotion, owned by Mitsui OSK Lines, on Saturday.

It said the seizure related to unpaid compensation for two Chinese ships leased in 1936.

The Chinese ships were later used by the Japanese army and sank at sea, Japan's Kyodo news agency said.

"The Japanese government considers the sudden seizure of this company's ship extremely regrettable," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Monday.

"This is likely to have, in general, a detrimental effect on Japanese businesses working in China."
Shrine row

The owners of the shipping company, identified by Kyodo as Zhongwei Shipping, sought compensation after World War Two and the case was reopened at a Shanghai court in 1988, China's Global Times said.

The court ruled in 2007 that Mitsui had to pay 190 million yuan ($30.5m, £18m) as compensation for the two ships leased to Daido, a firm later part of Mitsui, Global Times and Kyodo said.

Mitsui appealed against the decision, but it was upheld in 2012, Kyodo said.

Kyodo said this appeared to be the first time that a Japanese company asset had been confiscated as war-linked compensation.

The seizure comes with ties between Tokyo and Beijing severely strained amid rows over East China Sea islands that both claim and rumbling historical issues.

Earlier this year, a court in China for the first time accepted a case filed by Chinese citizens seeking compensation from Japanese firms over forced labour during World War Two.

Japan has always held that the issue of war-related compensation was settled by a 1972 agreement between the two sides when ties were normalised.

But now for the first time, a Chinese court has ignored that agreement - and the Chinese government appears to be giving full support, says the BBC's Rupert Wingfield-Hayes in Tokyo.

It is another sign of just how low relations between China and Japan have sunk, our correspondent adds.

On Monday, meanwhile, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a ritual offering to the Yasukuni Shrine to mark the spring festival.

Yasukuni is where the souls of Japan's war dead are enshrined, including war criminals - and it is seen by regional neighbours as a symbol of Japan's past militarism.

China filed a protest with Japan on Saturday after a Japanese minister visited the shrine.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-27068466
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« Reply #78 on: April 21, 2014, 10:47:28 am »

Japan expands army footprint for first time in 40 years, risks angering China

Japan began its first military expansion at the western end of its island chain in more than 40 years on Saturday, breaking ground on a radar station on a tropical island off Taiwan.

The move risks angering China, locked in a dispute with Japan over nearby islands which they both claim.

Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, who attended a ceremony on Yonaguni island to mark the start of construction, suggested the military presence could be enlarged to other islands in the seas southwest of Japan's main islands.

"This is the first deployment since the U.S. returned Okinawa (1972) and calls for us to be more on guard are growing," Onodera told reporters. "I want to build an operation able to properly defend islands that are part of Japan's territory."

The military radar station on Yonaguni, part of a longstanding plan to improve defense and surveillance, gives Japan a lookout just 150 km (93 miles) from the Japanese-held islands claimed by China.

Building the base could extend Japanese monitoring to the Chinese mainland and track Chinese ships and aircraft circling the disputed crags, called the Senkaku by Japan and the Diaoyu by China.

CHINA THREAT

The 30 sq km (11 sq mile) Yonanguni is home to 1,500 people and known for strong rice liquor, cattle, sugar cane and scuba diving. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's decision to put troops there shows Japan's concerns about the vulnerability of its thousands of islands and the perceived threat from China.

The new base "should give Japan the ability to expand surveillance to near the Chinese mainland," said Heigo Sato, a professor at Takushoku University and a former researcher at the Defense Ministry's National Institute for Defense Studies.

"It will allow early warning of missiles and supplement the monitoring of Chinese military movements."

Japan does not specify an exact enemy when discussing its defense strategy but it makes no secret it perceives China generally as a threat as it becomes an Asian power that could one day rival Japan's ally in the region, the United States.

Japan, in its National Defense Programme Guidelines issued in December, expressed "great concern" over China's military buildup and "attempts to change the status quo by coercion" in the sea and air.

China's decision last year to establish an air-defence identification zone in the East China Sea, including the skies above the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islets, further rattled Tokyo.

Japanese and Chinese navy and coastguard ships have played cat-and-mouse around the uninhabited islands since Japan nationalized the territory in 2012. Japanese warplanes scrambled against Chinese planes a record 415 times in the year through to March, the Defence Ministry said last week.

Tapping concern about China, Abe raised military spending last fiscal year for the first time in 11 years to help bolster Japan's capability to fight for islands with a new marine unit, more longer-range aircraft, amphibious assault vehicles and helicopter carriers. Japan's thousands of islands give it nearly 30,000 km (18,600 miles) of coastline to defend.

MIXED FEELINGS

Onodera's groundbreaking ceremony on Yonaguni took place s four days before President Barack Obama lands in Tokyo for a summit with Abe, the first state visit by a U.S. president in 18 years.

The United States, which under its security pact with Tokyo has pledged to defend Japanese territory, has warned China about taking any action over the disputed islets, but has not formally recognized Japan's claim of sovereignty over the territory.

Many of the islanders on nearby Yonaguni are looking forward to hosting the radar base and the 100 troops who will man it because of the economic boost it will bring.

Others on the island, however, fear becoming a target should Japan end up in a fight.

"Opinion is split down the middle," Tetsuo Funamichi, the head of the Japan Agricultural Association's local branch, told Reuters. "It's good for the economy if they come, but some people worry that we could be attacked in an emergency."

Onodera was also greeted on Saturday by about 50 protesters who tried to block him from entering the construction site.

"Becoming a target is frightening, they won't talk to us about it, we haven't discussed it," a protestor, who declined to be identified said.

Takenori Komine, who works in an island government office, said it was a risk worth taking if it meant reviving an outpost of Japan that has been in decline since a brief postwar boom.

At that time, U.S.-occupied Yonaguni's proximity to Taiwan made it an entry point into Japan for smuggled food and clothing from Hong Kong. Since the end of World War Two, the island's population has withered by some 90 percent. Average income of about $22,500 a year is a fifth below the national average.

"We are hopeful that the arrival of the young troops will bolster local consumption," Komine said.

http://news.yahoo.com/japan-expands-army-footprint-first-time-40-years-115916042--sector.html
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« Reply #79 on: April 23, 2014, 06:53:09 am »

China Challenges Obama’s Asia Pivot With Rapid Military Buildup

President Barack Obama’s trip to Asia this week will be dominated by a country he’s not even visiting: China.

Each of the four nations on the president’s itinerary is involved in territorial disputes with an increasingly assertive China. And years of military spending gains have boosted the capabilities of the People’s Liberation Army faster than many defense analysts expected, casting a shadow over relations between China and its neighbors and sparking doubts about long-term prospects for the U.S. presence in the Pacific.

“There are growing concerns about what China is up to in the maritime space,” said Bonnie Glaser, a China expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “There’s a widely held view in the region that the U.S.-China relationship is tipping toward being much more confrontational.”

Obama arrives today in Japan, the start of a weeklong journey that also will take him to South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines. On display throughout will be the challenge of managing the uneasy relationship with China, the U.S.’s No. 2 trading partner and an emerging rival for global influence.

For almost three years, Obama has sought to reorient U.S. foreign policy toward the Asia-Pacific region after more than a decade consumed by war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Though the president says the change isn’t aimed at containing China -- Sino-U.S. trade last year topped $562 billion, a 38 percent jump from five years earlier -- administration officials recently toughened their response to China’s muscular foreign policy.
‘Aggressive Growth’

Danny Russel, assistant secretary of state for East Asia, in February labeled China’s claim to almost all of the South China Sea, hundreds of miles from its shoreline, as “inconsistent with international law.”

Admiral Harry Harris, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, told an Australian audience on April 9: “I am concerned by the aggressive growth of the Chinese military, their lack of transparency, and a pattern of increasingly assertive behavior in the region.”

The statements signaled mounting U.S. alarm following China’s establishment in November of an “air defense identification zone” in the East China Sea, which overlapped with Japanese and South Korean airspace.

China’s growing strength in recent years has spawned a welter of territorial conflicts. The most serious involve uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, which Japan controls as the Senkakus and China calls Diaoyu.
Expansive Claims

Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia are among the countries disputing China’s expansive claim to the South China Sea and its energy resources, while the Philippines last month filed a complaint against China with an international arbitration panel.

China and South Korea also have tussled over rights to a submerged formation that China calls the Suyan Rock and South Korea knows as the Ieodo.

Even as tensions in East Asia remain high, U.S. officials insist they can toggle between cooperation and confrontation in their dealings with the world’s second-largest economy.

“There doesn’t need to be tension and conflict,” said Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser. “An emerging power like China does not inherently have to come into conflict with an established power like the United States.”

Still, during his visit to Manila, Obama is scheduled to give a speech to an audience of American and Filipino service members and veterans intended to showcase “our security cooperation in the current environment in the Asia Pacific,” Rhodes said.
New Agreement

Earlier this month, the U.S. and the Philippines agreed on the draft of a new accord that would give American forces their broadest access to Filipino bases in more than 20 years. The deal, which doesn’t involve the permanent stationing of U.S. troops in the Philippines, is likely to be announced when Obama reaches Manila on April 28.

Ely Ratner, a former State Department China analyst, said the deal is “significant as a symbol of the degree to which the Chinese have scared the region.”

As China has prospered, it has lavished resources on the military in a manner exceeded only by the U.S., which will spend $572 billion on defense this year. In March, China said it plans to increase the PLA’s budget by 12.2 percent this year to 808.2 billion yuan, about $130 billion.

“China’s military modernization has moved more quickly than most experts had predicted,” says Ratner, now a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security.
Rising Outlays

While China spends on its military less than one-quarter what the U.S. will devote to the Pentagon this year, China’s outlays are rising as the U.S. cuts back. This year’s Pentagon budget is less than in fiscal 2007 and is probably headed lower as Congress seeks to curb federal deficits.

Rising spending over more than a decade has transformed China’s once-primitive military into a more capable, though still limited, force. And even as China’s economic growth slows, the military expansion is likely to continue.

State-owned Xinhua News Agency reported last month that Yin Zhuo, director of the Chinese navy’s expert-consultation committee, said China’s military spending remained “far from the level it needs to be as the country faces increasingly severe security challenges.”

Though China’s rearmament has stretched from ballistic missiles to new jet fighters, the defense buildup may be having the most immediate impact at sea. The PLA navy is being transformed from a coastal defense force into a fleet increasingly able to operate in distant waters.
Modern Vessels

China is replacing older ships with modern vessels capable of more ambitious operations, the U.S. Navy’s top China intelligence specialist told the U.S-China Economic and Security Review Commission on Jan. 30.

The U.S. Navy now regards about 65 percent of China’s destroyers and frigates as “modern” and expects that figure to increase to 85 percent by 2020, said Jesse Karotkin, senior intelligence officer for China in the Office of Naval Intelligence.

Earlier this month, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel toured China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, the first foreign military boss to board the warship. The invitation, a nod to U.S. demands for greater transparency about the Chinese buildup, may have provided limited intelligence gains.

“The Chinese did not allow the Americans to take any photos at all,” said Glaser, a former consultant for the U.S. departments of Defense and State.

Though the refurbished Ukrainian-made vessel is a visible symbol of China’s modernization, the carrier won’t be fully operational for several years, Karotkin said.

Even then, the Liaoning will be no match for the American Nimitz-class carriers, which are longer, bigger and carry more warplanes.
Peaceful Settlement

For now, U.S. officials aren’t emphasizing such comparisons. The U.S. hasn’t taken sides in the disputes between China and its neighbors, saying only that conflicts should be settled peacefully. Some in China worry that Obama may use the trip to endorse the stern language his aides have used and deal a blow to Chinese hopes for a stable relationship, Glaser said.

Jeff Bader, former head of Asian affairs for Obama’s National Security Council, told reporters at an April 17 briefing that the tougher administration statements reflect a “tactical” adjustment rather than a fundamental rethinking.

For now, both the U.S. and China appear determined to keep the relationship from deteriorating. Since October, Chinese naval patrols around the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands have dropped from an average of a little more than one per week to one every couple of weeks, according to an analysis of Japanese Coast Guard data.

And this summer, the Chinese for the first time are scheduled to participate in a U.S. Navy-led exercise. The PLA navy is expected to send three ships to RIMPAC 2014, the Rim of the Pacific Exercise, which occurs every two years off the Hawaiian Islands and is billed as the world’s largest naval warfare demonstration.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-23/china-defies-obama-s-slow-asia-pivot-with-rapid-military-buildup.html
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« Reply #80 on: April 23, 2014, 07:22:33 am »

Obama: U.S. will defend Japan if China seizes Senkaku Islands

Source: Japan News
http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0001227627?utm_content=buffer0a0ff&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

President Barack Obama—for the first time as an incumbent U.S. president—clearly stated the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture are subject to Article 5 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, in a written reply to questions submitted by The Yomiuri Shimbun.

“The policy of the United States is clear—the Senkaku Islands are administered by Japan and therefore fall within the scope of Article 5 of the U.S.-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security. And we oppose any unilateral attempts to undermine Japan’s administration of these islands,” the U.S leader stated ahead of his visit to Japan starting Wednesday.

Article 5 stipulates U.S. defense obligations to Japan, which apply to territories under the administration of Japan. Obama’s comment therefore means the United States will defend Japan in the event of a Chinese incursion on the islets, over which China also claims sovereignty.

Mentioning “mutual interest” between the United States and China, Obama said his country will “deal directly and candidly” with China over differences on such issues. He also stressed that maritime issues should be handled constructively. “Disputes need to be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy, not intimidation and coercion,” the president said.

The administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe aims to revise the government’s interpretation of the Constitution, which prohibits the nation from exercising the right to collective self-defense. Obama said he has “enthusiastically welcomed Japan’s desire to play a greater role in upholding international security.”

“I commend Prime Minister Abe for his efforts to strengthen Japan’s defense forces and to deepen the coordination between our militaries, including by reviewing existing limits on the exercise of collective self-defense,” the president said, requesting the Self-Defense Forces “do more within the framework of our alliance.”

Obama’s four-nation Asia tour aims to reassure the countries involved of his continuous commitment to and U.S. presence in the region. Describing the alliance as “stronger than ever,” Obama hailed Japan’s role as he said, “The world is better off because of Japan’s long-standing commitment to international peace and security.”

In regard to North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs, the U.S. leader also clarified his position and declared, “We’re going to stand firm in our insistence that a nuclear North Korea is unacceptable.”

Describing the reclusive country’s repeated missile launches and nuclear development program as “a threat to our allies Japan and South Korea, a threat to the region, and increasingly a direct threat to the security of the United States,” the president said, “The commitment of the United States to the security of Japan and South Korea will remain unwavering.”

Regarding the planned relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture, Obama said the United States has been working on transferring the Futenma base to “a new facility,” likely referring to the Henoko district.

The president also said the U.S. Marine Corps’ presence in the prefecture is “absolutely critical” to mutual security, reiterating his determination to further strengthen the unity of the Japan-U.S. alliance.

Regarding the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, the progress of which is a major focus in the upcoming Japan-U.S. summit meeting, the president said he is “absolutely convinced” that TPP as a whole will provide benefits for all countries involved.

“By reducing tariffs and other barriers, it would open more markets to our goods, boost our exports, and help make our businesses more competitive in the global economy,” the president added.

On Sunday, The Yomiuri Shimbun, citing government sources, reported that Japan and the United States had agreed the tariff on imported U.S. beef will be “9 percent or more.” As of Tuesday, the two-sides are continuing further discussions on the issue in detail at working-level negotiations.

Obama went on to hail Japan’s participation in the TPP talks, in which the 12 participating countries failed to meet an initial goal to conclude the negotiations by the end of last year.

“All our nations will have to live up to our commitment to reaching a high-standard agreement and make important decisions, some of them difficult. It won’t be easy,” Obama said, reaffirming his determination to achieve results at an early stage.
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« Reply #81 on: April 25, 2014, 05:57:36 am »

China splurging on military as US pulls back

 China's navy commissioned 17 new warships last year, the most of any nation. In a little more than a decade, it's expected to have three aircraft carriers, giving it more clout than ever in a region of contested seas and festering territorial disputes.

Those numbers testify to huge increases in defense spending that have endowed China with the largest military budget behind the United States and fueled an increasingly large and sophisticated defense industry. While Beijing still lags far behind the U.S. in both funding and technology, its spending boom is attracting new scrutiny at a time of severe cuts in U.S. defense budgets that have some questioning Washington's commitments to its Asian allies, including some who have lingering disputes with China.

Beijing's newfound military clout is one of many issues confronting President Barack Obama as he visits the region this week. Washington is faced with the daunting task of fulfilling its treaty obligations to allies such as Japan and the Philippines, while also maintaining cordial relation with key economic partner and rising regional power China.

China's boosted defense spending this year grew 12.2 percent to $132 billion, continuing more than two decades of nearly unbroken double-digit percentage increases that have afforded Beijing the means to potentially alter the balance of power in the Asia-Pacific. Outside observers put China's actual defense spending significantly higher, although estimates vary widely.

Increases in spending signal "strength and resolve to China's neighbors," requiring other countries to pay close attention to where Beijing is assigning its resources, said China defense expert Abraham Denmark, vice president for political and security affairs at the U.S-based National Bureau of Asian Research.

At the same time, the U.S. military is seeking to redirect resources to the Asia-Pacific as it draws down its defense commitment in Afghanistan, although officers warn that budget cuts could potentially threaten plans to base 60 percent of U.S. naval assets to the region. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert recently warned that U.S. capabilities to project power "would not stay ahead" of those of potential adversaries, given the fiscal restraints.

Meanwhile, China's navy is rapidly developing into a force to contend with the U.S., long the dominant military player in the Asia-Pacific region.

China commissioned its first aircraft carrier — a refurbished Ukrainian hull — in 2012, and another two indigenous carriers are expected to enter service by 2025, significantly increasing Beijing's ability to project power into the South China Sea that it claims virtually in its entirety.

Analysts say China will have as many as 78 submarines by 2020, part of an expansion that has seen it leap past the U.S. and Russia in numbers of warships delivered annually, according to experts and available figures.

"That's very much in line with the leadership's call for China to become a major military-industrial power," said Tai Ming Cheung, director of the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation at the University of California, San Diego.

By comparison, the U.S. Navy takes on about 10 major vessels per year, while Russia averages slightly less.

Despite the impressive hardware, uncertainty still surrounds the capabilities of China's armed forces, which haven't seen significant combat since the end of the Korean War in 1953. Home-grown technologies have yet to be tested in battle, and training and organization are hampered by a risk-adverse attitude and overemphasis on political indoctrination that reflects the People's Liberation Army's essential role as the defender of the ruling Communist Party.

"Being the world leader is all about software and networking," said Denny Roy, an expert on the Chinese military at the East-West Center in Hawaii, referring to problems with China's command structure and communications.

Concerns about Chinese aggression focus on three scenarios: An attack on self-governing island democracy Taiwan that China claims as its own territory; an attempt to seize uninhabited East China Sea islands controlled by Japan but claimed by China; and a move to drive off claimants to waters and islands claimed by China in the South China Sea.

All those situations pose considerable risks for Beijing, ranging from a lack of transport and resupply capabilities, to the near certainty of the formidable U.S. military responding in defense of its allies. Japan and the Philippines are U.S. treaty partners, while American law requires Washington to respond to threats against Taiwan.

Although tensions with Japan have grown sharper over the islands dispute, Beijing takes great pains to play down the impact its military may have on the region. Its explanations about its military buildup, however, mix a proclaimed desire for closer cooperation with prickly nationalism.

Addressing navy chiefs from two dozen nations gathered at a forum in the eastern Chinese port city of Qingdao on Wednesday, one of China's most powerful generals said China is committed to maintain peace and stability but would never compromise its national interests.

"No country should expect China to swallow the bitter pill of compromising our sovereignty rights, national security and development interests," said Fan Changlong, vice chairman of the Communist Party's Central Military Commission.

http://news.yahoo.com/china-splurging-military-us-pulls-back-092026097.html
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« Reply #82 on: April 30, 2014, 06:22:37 am »

Obama’s pivot to Asia will lack firepower

President Obama’s pivot to Asia will lack a crucial military underpinning next year, when for four months, the Navy will not have an aircraft carrier in the region.

Defense cuts have helped shrink the number of available carriers, alarming GOP lawmakers who are fighting the Pentagon’s plan to permanently cut the number of U.S. carriers to 10.

They argue not having a carrier in the region for months at a time will send a signal of U.S. weakness, as China seeks to make territorial claims against several U.S. allies over the South China Sea.

“Symbolically, the worst thing we could do around the globe is to take one of those carriers out,” Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) told defense reporters on Tuesday. “We really need two or three carriers there.”

According to Forbes and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), there will not be a carrier in the region for about 130 days next year, between when the USS George Washington leaves its base in Japan, and when its replacement, the USS Ronald Reagan, arrives there.

They argue this would leave the U.S. with fewer options to respond to flare-ups.

Navy spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Nicholas Sherrouse said the Navy’s presence in the region would not be diminished. He said that, at “at any given time, there are 80 ships and submarines, 140 aircraft, and approximately 40,000 sailors and Marines in the region.”

Still, the U.S. would not be able to use a carrier if a show of force is needed against China or North Korea, or if a natural disaster strikes, which lawmakers say is a concern for U.S. Pacific Command chief Navy Adm. Samuel Locklear III.

“He can’t do what he needs to do with 11 carriers. He sure couldn’t do it with 10 carriers,” Forbes said.

“He said whenever things flare up, he likes to send an aircraft carrier, and that sends a strong message. If you don’t have an aircraft carrier to send, you know, what do you do?” McKeon said earlier this month.

Although there have been gaps in the past, they have been worsened by defense cuts under sequestration, which have slowed maintenance for ships and caused more to be sidelined for greater lengths of time, experts say.

“You want that delay to be as short as possible,” said Bryan Clark, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments and a retired nuclear submariner.

The situation would get worse if the Navy goes through with the plan to retire an aircraft carrier, bringing the permanent fleet down to 10, Clark said.

Lawmakers alarmed by the situation are fighting to scrap the Navy’s plan. The Navy says the Congress should agree to a 10-carrier fleet, if it does not lift budget ceilings that were put in place by the 2011 budget deal, by 2016.

Current law requires 11 carriers, but right now, the U.S. has 10. This is legal under a temporary exception approved by Congress that allowed for the retirement of the USS Enterprise in 2012.

To keep the Navy at 11 carriers, Armed Services Committee members are working to prevent another carrier from being retired in 2016.

On Tuesday, the panel’s Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittee released their markup of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act, which would provide money in 2015 for the refueling and overhaul of the George Washington, which would extend its life for 25 years.

Although it does not guarantee that the carrier would keep operating in 2016 and beyond, it would ensure that it receives necessary maintenance in order to remain in the fleet.

Cutting carriers down to 10 would be a huge mistake, said retired Vice Adm. Peter Daly, CEO of the U.S. Naval Institute.

“If you lose the George Washington, its air wing and those pilots, we will never get that back,” he said. “The permanent reduction is a very big step that we should not back into.”

Lawmakers are particularly concerned about a carrier shortage in the Asia-Pacific, given an increasingly assertive China.

China is rapidly modernizing its naval forces, spending 12.2 percent more on its military this year than last year.

China is also locked in a territorial dispute over a group of islands in the South China Sea with Japan, a U.S. defense treaty ally.

In November, it unilaterally declared an air defense identification zone that prohibited other nations from flying aircraft through without prior notification.

And South Korea, another U.S. defense treaty ally, is technically still at war with North Korea, and U.S. officials worry that provocative acts by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un could lead to a miscalculation and all-out war between the two countries.

Lawmakers have also argued that reducing the number of U.S. carriers would be odd given the administration’s policy of “pivoting” its policies to Asia to counter China. The so-called Asian pivot is intended to beef up the U.S. military and economic presence in the region.

“Our presence is critical to ensure our allies that we can be relied on as a partner to protect our interest and theirs,” said retired Navy Cmdr. Kirk Lippold.

But Defense budget experts say the Navy has little choice but to retire a carrier if the budget cuts persist.

“Sixty percent of every Navy budget dollar supports something to do with an aircraft carrier,” said Mackenzie Eaglen, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. “It goes to show the limited number of choices confronting the Department.”

Refueling the George Washington would cost about $6 billion, said Todd Harrison, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. 

“It takes a lot of money up front to do that refueling and overhaul, and they need to find savings,” Harrison said. “The cost of refueling the Washington is about the cost of buying two or three Virginia-class subs, so there’s a real trade-off in capability.”

Harrison said the Navy is looking at doing things in the future to improve the mix of aircraft on carriers to make them more effective and relevant in a future threat environment, which could require fewer carriers.

But Daly said there would be no way to make up for the lack of a carrier.

“There will be more gaps and less bench strength. Your ability to deal with the things that come up as emergencies and unforeseen situations will be less than what you want,” Daly said.

Read more: http://thehill.com/policy/defense/204767-obamas-pivot-to-asia-will-lack-firepower-with-carrier-shortage#ixzz30MrZKnCZ
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« Reply #83 on: April 30, 2014, 02:29:00 pm »

China to conduct naval drills with Russia in East China Sea

China said on Wednesday it would conduct joint naval drills with Russia in the East China Sea off Shanghai in late May, in what it called a bid to deepen military cooperation.

China's defense ministry did not give an exact location in the East China Sea, where Beijing is locked in an increasingly bitter dispute with Japan over the ownership of a group of uninhabited islets.

"These drills are regular exercises held by China and Russia's navies, and the purpose is to deepen practical cooperation between the two militaries, to raise the ability to jointly deal with maritime security threats," the ministry said on its website.

It provided no other details.

China alarmed Japan, South Korea and the United States last year when it announced an air defense identification zone for the East China Sea, covering the islands.

The Beijing government, which is swiftly ramping up military spending, has regularly dispatched patrols to the East China Sea since it established the defense zone.

China was angered last week after U.S. President Barack Obama assured ally Japan that Washington was committed to its defense, including the disputed isles.

Earlier this month, Tokyo announced it would break ground on a new radar base in the area, on a tropical Japanese island close to Taiwan.

The radar station on Yonaguni Island, just 150 km (93 miles) from the disputed islands in the East China Sea, marks Japan's first military expansion at the western end of its island chain in more than 40 years.

China and Russia have close diplomatic, security and economic ties, and regularly carry out military exercises together.

http://news.yahoo.com/china-conduct-naval-drills-russia-east-china-sea-182415119.html;_ylt=AwrBJR5_QGFTlk8AUU7QtDMD
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« Reply #84 on: May 04, 2014, 04:57:48 am »

Japan split over revision to pacifist constitution

Japan marked the 67th anniversary of its postwar constitution Saturday with growing debate over whether to revise the war-renouncing charter in line with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's push for an expanded role for the military.

The ruling conservative party has long advocated revision but been unable to sway public opinion. Now Abe is proposing that the government reinterpret the constitution to give the military more prominence without having to win public approval for the revisions.

His push, backed by the U.S. which wants Japan to bear a greater burden of its own defense, has upset the liberals who see it as undermining the constitution and democratic processes.

Hundreds of people gathered at a Tokyo rally commemorating Constitution Day, a national holiday.

Japan's pacifist charter is at stake, organizer Ken Takada said: "We citizens must stand up, take action and raise our voice to stop Abe, or this country could return to a Japan that wages war with Asia as it has done before."

Written under U.S. direction after World War II, the 1947 constitution says the Japanese people "forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation" and that "land, sea and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained."

That ban has been relaxed over the years, with U.S. encouragement as the Cold War unfolded and America sought allies in Asia, allowing Japan to have a military to defend itself, dubbed a Self-Defense Force.

The ruling Liberal-Democratic Party has long denounced the postwar constitution as one imposed by the U.S., which occupied Japan from the end of World War II until 1952. Abe's grandfather and role model Nobusuke Kishi — who was arrested as a suspected war criminal but never charged and later became prime minister — was among vocal opponents of the constitution.

Abe advocates a "breakaway from the postwar regime" as a way to overcome the humiliation — symbolically, the constitution — as well as education system, social values and historical views set by the occupation.

A 2012 draft revision proposed by the Liberal Democratic Party promotes a conformist Japan and traditional patriarchal values, placing family units above individuals and elevates the emperor to head of state from the current "symbol." Civil liberties such as freedom of speech and expression can be restricted if considered harmful to public interest.

Official visits to Yasukuni Shrine, which enshrines war victims including convicted war criminals, would be legalized, and the war renouncing Article 9 of the constitution reduced to a mere policy, allowing a full-fledged military.

"Our goal is to write a new constitution of our own that envisions a new era and serves a new role," Yasuhiro Nakasone, a 96-year-old former prime minister who heads a group of lawmakers campaigning for a revision, said Thursday at a Tokyo gathering attended by hundreds of lawmakers, their supporters and business lobbies.

With potential military threats coming from China and North Korea, Abe wants to raise Japan's defense posture further, as well as allow the country to play a greater role in international peacekeeping.

Amending the constitution is a challenge, requiring two-thirds approval in both houses of parliament before they are put to a national referendum. Surveys show mixed opinions among Japanese to revising the constitution, with a majority disapproving and opposition growing amid escalating debate over what is seen as the Abe government's attempt to force through change by simply reinterpreting it.

Abe and other supporters of the change believe that Japan's current policy is inadequate. They say U.S. warships may come under attack while in or near Japan, or there may be instances in which Japanese troops have to fight for allies during international peacekeeping missions, even when Japan is not attacked directly.

To do that, Japan would have to exercise a right known as collective self-defense.

That would help strengthen deterrence in the Asia-Pacific and align with the direction of the U.S. strategy, Shigeru Ishiba, Liberal Democratic Party secretary-general and a defense expert, said in a speech in Washington this week.

"The lifting of the ban on the collective defense is basically taking any remaining meaning out of Article 9, so in that sense it's really going to be undermining the Constitution itself," said Koichi Nakano, a political science professor at Sophia University in Tokyo and an opponent of revision.

But Takeshi Iwaya, a senior lawmaker in charge of the ruling party's defense policy, said: "If we stick to this position, Japan won't be able to secure the necessary deterrence to defend our own national security or keep peace and stability in the region."

An Abe-appointed panel of defense experts is currently finalizing a recommendation to allow collective self-defense, expected in mid-May, which would pave the way for a Cabinet approval.

Whatever the reason, reinterpreting the constitution to change policies is inappropriate, because it could lead to abuse of power, says Tokyo company employee Rie Sato, 36. She said she hasn't seriously thought about the constitution, as it doesn't seem to directly affect her life.

"But I don't have any problem with the constitution either," Sato said while taking a lunch break outside an office building. "Perhaps I should give it a credit for my relatively peaceful life."

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20140503/japan-constitution-959355b9b2.html
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« Reply #85 on: May 05, 2014, 07:07:29 am »

US and Philippines begin annual military exercises

About 5,500 troops from the United States and the Philippines have begun a military exercise, amid tensions between Manila and China. The drills, called Balikatan (Shoulder to Shoulder), take place every year. These exercises come a week after a military pact to increase the US troop presence in the country was signed.   

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-27281100
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« Reply #86 on: May 08, 2014, 04:35:01 am »

Vietnam: Chinese ships ram vessels near oil rig

Chinese ships have been ramming into and firing water cannons at Vietnamese vessels trying to stop Beijing from putting an oil rig in the South China Sea, according to officials and video footage Wednesday, in a dangerous escalation of tensions over waters considered a global flashpoint.

Several boats have been damaged and at least six Vietnamese on board them have been injured, officials said. The United States said it was concerned and accused China of ramping up tensions in the area.

"China's decision to introduce an oil rig accompanied by numerous government vessels for the first time in waters disputed with Vietnam is provocative and raises tensions," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement. "This unilateral action appears to be part of a broader pattern of Chinese behavior to advance its claims over disputed territory in a manner that undermines peace and stability in the region."

Elsewhere in the sea, the Philippines arrested 11 Chinese fishermen for catching endangering turtles, angering Beijing and further exposing regional strains.

China recently has been harassing Vietnam and Philippine vessels and fishermen in the potentially oil- and gas-rich waters it claims almost entirety — a shaky stance to many international law experts.

But China's deployment of the oil rig on May 1 and the flotilla of escort ships, some armed, is seen as one of its most provocative steps in a gradual campaign of asserting its sovereignty in the South China Sea. With neither country showing any sign of stepping down, the standoff raises the possibility of more serious clashes.

Hanoi, which has no hope of competing with China militarily, said it wants a peaceful solution and — unlike China — hadn't sent any navy ships to areas close to the $1 billion deep sea rig near the Paracel Islands. But a top official warned that "all restraint had a limit."

"Our maritime police and fishing protection forces have practiced extreme restraint, we will continue to hold on there," Ngo Ngoc Thu, vice commander of Vietnam's coast guard, told a specially arranged news conference in Hanoi. "But if (the Chinese ships) continue to ram into us, we will respond with similar self-defense."

After China stationed the oil rig, Vietnam immediately dispatched marine police and fishery protection vessels but they were harassed as they approached, Thu said.

Video was shown at the news conference of Chinese ships ramming into Vietnamese vessels and firing high-powered water cannons at them. Thu said the Chinese vessels have done so "dozens" of times over the last three days. He said Vietnam had not carried out any offensive actions of its own close to the rig, about 220 kilometers (140 miles) off the Vietnamese coast.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular news briefing that the oil rig was in China's territorial waters and therefore drilling is "normal and legal." The country previously said foreign ships would be banned within a 3-mile (4.8-kilometer) radius of the rig.

"The disruptive activities by the Vietnamese side are in violation of China's sovereign rights," she said.

A Vietnamese official who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the issue's sensitivity said earlier that Vietnam's ships were outnumbered by the Chinese flotilla. He said the Vietnamese ships were trying to stop the rig from "establishing a fixed position" at the spot where it wanted to drill.

In this May 7, 2012 file photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, CNOOC 981, the first deep-wat …

China's assertiveness, along with its growing military and economic might, is alarming many smaller neighbors even as they are aware they need to keep relations open with a vital trading partner.

Hua said the U.S. has no right to make unwarranted remarks on China's sovereign rights.

Vietnam has limited leverage in dealing with its giant neighbor. While it is no longer as isolated as it once was, the country can't expect much diplomatic or other help from powerful friends. It appears likely to try to rally regional support against China's actions.

"China seems intent on putting down its footprint squarely in contested waters and force Hanoi's hand. It appears a critical juncture has occurred and one would expect Hanoi to be weighing its options," said Jonathan London, a Vietnam expert at the City University of Hong Kong.

The Philippines has filed a legal challenge to China's territorial claims at a U.N. tribunal, against the wishes of China. Vietnam and other claimant states haven't done that yet.

Tran Duy Hai, vice chairman of Vietnam's national borders committee, didn't rule it out.

"Vietnam will have to use all measures stipulated in the U.N. Charter to defend its interests," he said.

The arrests of the 11 fisherman Wednesday by the Philippines took place near territory known as Half Moon Shoal in waters claimed by Beijing and Manila. China demanded that the Philippines release the boat, and Hua urged Manila to "stop taking further provocative actions."

Philippine maritime police Chief Superintendent Noel Vargas said the fishermen will face charges of violating Philippine laws protecting endangered green sea turtles.

China occupied the Paracel Islands 40 years ago, and 74 U.S.-backed South Vietnamese forces died in a subsequent military clash. The Vietnamese and Chinese navies clashed again in 1988 in the disputed Spratly Islands, leaving 64 Vietnamese sailors dead.

In 1992, China awarded a contract to U.S. energy company Crestone to explore for oil and gas in the Spratly Islands. Vietnam protested the move. Two years later, Vietnam's navy forced the company's oil rigs to leave.

http://news.yahoo.com/vietnam-chinese-ships-ram-vessels-near-oil-rig-134607409.html;_ylt=AwrBJR7GdmpT6SwAQMnQtDMD
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« Reply #87 on: May 08, 2014, 04:37:36 am »

Vietnam, Philippines Incidents Raise Sea Tensions
Vessels Clash Over Chinese Oil Rig; Philippines Detains Fishermen Near Spratly Islands


Strains between China and its neighbors burst to the surface in two parts of the South China Sea, taking the high-stakes struggle for control over the waters to new levels of friction.

Off Vietnam, dozens of Chinese military and civilian ships clashed with the Vietnamese coast guard, with Vietnamese officials complaining its vessels were repeatedly rammed. On the same day, Philippine police apprehended Chinese fishing vessels loaded with hundreds of sea turtles in disputed waters.

About 80 Chinese vessels moved into an area near the disputed Paracel Islands, where Hanoi has sought to prevent China from deploying a massive oil rig, said Rear Adm. Ngo Ngoc Thu, vice commander of the Vietnamese coast guard. He said the flotilla included seven military ships and that it was supported by aircraft.

He said the situation, which started brewing over the weekend, was "very tense" and said six Vietnamese officers had been injured in the standoff.

The confrontation—by far the most serious in recent years between the two neighbors—marked a significant escalation in Beijing's willingness to press its natural-resource claims, analysts said.

 Theresa Fallon, a senior associate at the European Institute for Asian Studies, a Brussels-based think tank, said China's move represented the regional energy sector's "worst nightmare" and was bound to provoke Vietnam's anger.

"This is a huge rig—it's the size of a couple of football fields," Ms. Fallon said.

A senior administration official said the White House views the latest escalation as part of a pattern of behavior as China continues to try to advance its territorial claims. "We're obviously very concerned about it," the official said. "We have conveyed our concerns to the Chinese."

The standoff is "an unprecedented situation," said Ian Storey, a senior fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore. The sheer number of Chinese vessels that appeared to be involved was a clear indication of China's "resolve to make sure this rig can operate in these waters."

Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi described the move as part of a Chinese business's normal operations and asked Vietnam to stop interfering, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said at a daily briefing.

China's Defense Ministry didn't respond to a request to comment.



The U.S., which has a vital interest in maintaining open sea lanes for trade in the South China Sea, has encouraged a multilateral approach to resolve the disputes—though China insists on negotiating with one country at a time.

The State Department said on Wednesday said China's decision to move the oil rig into contested waters was "provocative and unhelpful."

"We are strongly concerned about dangerous conduct and intimidation by vessels in the disputed area," said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

President Barack Obama toured the region last month, stressing U.S. security cooperation. The latest escalation of tensions in the South China Sea reinforces that the disputes "are not going to be solved with one trip or one speech," said Michael Green, senior vice president for Asia at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. "And it shows that the Chinese side is not fazed by the negative reaction in the region," Mr. Green said.

China and Vietnam fought a brief but bloody border war in 1979. Today, China's military far outguns Vietnam's, but that doesn't mean Vietnam will quickly back down. "Vietnam has a record of not pulling back from military confrontations," said James Hardy, Asia-Pacific editor at IHS Jane's Defence Weekly.

Security scholars said the latest escalation in tensions is the cumulative result of deep-seated mistrust over China's intentions among smaller regional players combined with Beijing's increased assertiveness as well as a lack of mechanisms to prevent and manage crises.

The confrontation also illuminated the role of China's state-owned energy companies in helping advance China's territorial ambitions, despite frequent assertions by executives that they are driven by profit and not politics.

The company controlling the oil rig, China National Offshore Oil Corp., or Cnooc, has previously figured as a controversial actor in the South China Sea, by offering up for foreign cooperation oil blocks in contested waters.

The deep-water rig launched with much fanfare in 2012, at which time the company chairman described it as a "strategic weapon" for China's oil industry. The company didn't respond to requests to comment Wednesday.

The administration of President Xi Jinping, who took over as China's Communist Party leader in November 2012, has pledged to bolster ties with regional neighbors. At the same time, China has stepped up its assertiveness in territorial disputes, which has undermined regional trust-building.

The Philippines on Wednesday apprehended a Chinese fishing vessel "carrying large numbers of endangered species" near Half Moon Shoal, a sandbar in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea and a hotbed for illegal sea-turtle poaching. Philippines police senior inspector Dante Padilla said an inspection of the boat yielded around 500 sea turtles, some of them dead.

He said the police had arrested the captain of the Chinese vessel and its 10 crew members.

The Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement it seized the Chinese fishing boat "to enforce maritime laws and to uphold Philippine sovereign rights over its [exclusive economic zone]."

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying urged the Philippines to release the fishermen and to refrain from taking further provocative actions. Ms. Hua said the Chinese Embassy in Manila had complained to the Philippine government.

The Philippines and China have overlapping maritime claims in several areas in the South China Sea. Amid China's recent aggressive assertions of its claims in the dispute areas, the Philippines had brought its case before an international tribunal to rally international support for its territorial claim.

On his visit to the region last month, President Obama assured the Philippines that American military support is "ironclad," though he left vague whether the U.S. would come to the aid of the Philippines in its island disputes.

The territorial disputes aren't part of the agenda of this weekend's meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Myanmar this weekend. The summit is aimed at regional integration and participation in the G-20 summit in November. Tensions flared at an Asean summit in 2012 after Philippine President Benigno Aquino III disputed a statement by Cambodia, then the summit's chairman, about an agreement in the bloc "not to internationalize the South China Sea from now on."

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304431104579547241211054588?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories&mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702304431104579547241211054588.html%3Fmod%3DWSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories
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« Reply #88 on: May 15, 2014, 01:15:48 pm »

Philippines releases photos of Chinese reclamation

The Philippine government on Thursday released military surveillance photos of Chinese land reclamation on a reef claimed by Manila in the South China Sea that it said showed Beijing violated a regional agreement not to escalate territorial disputes.

Foreign Affairs Department spokesman Charles Jose said the pictures show Chinese aggressiveness in asserting its claims over the entire South China Sea.

The aerial photographs were accompanied by a caption stating that they were obtained from "Philippine intelligence sources." The caption said the "extensive reclamation" by China on the Johnson South Reef, called Mabini by Manila and Chigua by Beijing, was "destabilizing."

The Chinese Embassy in Manila had no immediate comment, but a Foreign Ministry spokesman in Beijing has said that the area is part of China's territory, and that any Chinese activities at the reef should be of no concern to Manila.

The United States said it was aware of the reports that China is reclaiming land on a disputed reef in the South China Sea. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf urged self-restraint in activities that could escalate or complicate disputes.

"Major upgrades or the militarization of disputed land features in the South China Sea by any claimant has the potential to raise tensions," she said.
View gallery
In this photo taken Feb. 28, 2013 by a surveillance …
In this photo taken Feb. 28, 2013 by a surveillance plane, and released Thursday, May 15, 2014, by t …

Jose noted that a 2002 nonbinding agreement between China and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations calls for restraint in conducting activities in the region that would "complicate or escalate disputes" and to not inhabit uninhabited areas

"We want to show people that (China's) actions are part of its aggressive behavior to assert its claim in violation of the DOC," or Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, which was signed by China, Philippines and nine other ASEAN members, Jose said.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III said a stronger accord and international arbitration would offer more lasting solutions to the territorial conflicts. A proposed legally binding "code of conduct" between China and Southeast Asian countries is seen as a mechanism to prevent a major armed conflict in the disputed waters. Manila sought international arbitration against Beijing in January 2013 after Chinese government ships took control of a shoal claimed by the Philippines off its main island of Luzon.

Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said Wednesday that it was not clear what China would build on the reclaimed land, but that an airstrip was a possibility.

A senior government official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk about the issue, said it could also be used as a military base and a resupply and refueling hub. The official said the reclamation was first detected by air force planes six months ago.
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In this photo taken March 13, 2012 by surveillance …
In this photo taken March 13, 2012 by surveillance planes and released Thursday, May 15, 2014, by th …

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said the Philippine military has been monitoring Chinese activities at the reef for several months. "For whatever purpose (the reclamation was done) we still do not know, but we are almost sure that there will be a base," he told reporters Thursday.

An airstrip or a military base on the reef would boost the mobility of Beijing's naval and air forces in the South China Sea region, far from the Chinese mainland.

The pictures showed "before-and-after" images — from an untouched reef in 2012, followed by another showing a concrete building jutting out of the water, and the reclaimed land two years later. Philippine aircraft helping search for the missing Malaysian Airlines plane in March reported reclamation work was continuing, Jose said.

Del Rosario said Manila lodged a protest against China last month, but that Beijing has ignored it.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in Beijing on Wednesday that the reef was part of China's territory and any construction there is covered by its "sovereignty rights."

The Philippine government estimates that the Chinese have reclaimed a land mass of at least 30 hectares (74 acres) from the reef, which Manila says is part of its western Palawan province. What has emerged from the coral outcrop appears like a vast tree-less island of white sand in the middle of turquoise blue waters.

One of the released pictures shows a long pipe connected to a large dredging vessel on the northwestern edge of the reef. A concrete building, likely to be China's outpost on the reef, stands on the southern edge of the emerging islet. A ship is anchored close by.

The reef, part of the Spratly Islands chain, is also claimed by Vietnam, which fought a deadly naval battle against China in the area in 1988.

http://news.yahoo.com/philippines-releases-photos-chinese-reclamation-053311309.html
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« Reply #89 on: May 16, 2014, 07:15:09 am »

Abe Takes 1st Step in Allowing Japan to Go to War Again

The Japanese government will take steps to exercise its right to so-called collective self-defense, allowing it to attack a third country when an ally is in some way under threat. The move is at odds with Japan' pacifist postwar constitution and has alarmed neighbors who recall the country's wartime aggression.

http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2014/05/16/2014051600722.html
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