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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 #90 on: May 18, 2014, 05:35:12 am »

China evacuates 3,000 nationals from Vietnam over unrest

China has evacuated more than 3,000 of its nationals from Vietnam following deadly anti-Chinese violence, state media said Sunday, as Vietnamese authorities clamped down to prevent any further unrest threatening vital foreign investment.

Xinhua news agency said the evacuees included 16 Chinese who were "critically injured" last week in unrest triggered by Beijing's deployment of an oil rig in contested South China Sea waters that has triggered rage in Vietnam.

The recent chaos, centred on foreign-owned enterprises, marked the worst anti-China unrest in Vietnam in decades and has stained the developing country's reputation as a stable, welcoming destination for foreign investment.

China said it was dispatching five ships to Vietnam to bring even more nationals to safety as Vietnamese activists sought to stage further demonstrations on Sunday against Chinese "aggression".

The attempted protests were thwarted, however, by a security crackdown that saw hundreds of uniformed and plainclothes security personnel restricting access to streets leading to the Chinese embassy in Hanoi and other suspected protest sites in the capital.

Blogs linked to activist groups said several protest bids in various other cities were thwarted by police who detained a number of activists. The government had earlier ordered authorities nationwide to ramp up security to nip any Sunday demonstrations in the bud.

China's positioning of the oil rig in waters claimed by both sides has inflamed long-simmering enmity between the two quarrelsome communist neighbours, who have fought territorial skirmishes in the past.

Worker demonstrations spread to 22 of Vietnam's 63 provinces in the last week, according to the Vietnamese government, with enraged mobs torching foreign-owned factories and enterprises believed to be linked to China or which employed Chinese personnel.

Hundreds of enterprises were hit, Vietnam's government has said.

The government has in the past occasionally allowed protesters to vent anger at the country's giant neighbour for domestic political gain.

- Vietnam in damage control -

But Vietnam depends heavily on foreign investment for development, and the anti-China violence Tuesday and Wednesday has sent the government scrambling to limit the damage.

"We will not allow any acts targeting foreign investors, businesses or individuals, to ensure that the regrettable incidents will not be repeated," Dang Minh Khoi, assistant to Vietnam's foreign minister, told reporters in a briefing Saturday.

"We ask countries to continue to encourage their investors and citizens to rest assured on doing business in Vietnam."

Officials told the briefing that the violence had left two Chinese nationals dead and 140 injured. More than 300 suspected perpetrators were being prosecuted, they said.

Vietnam attracted $21.6 billion in foreign direct investment in 2013, up from $16.3 billion the year earlier, according to government figures.

The events could have a potential long-term impact on the country's image as a safe place for business, said Edmund Malesky, an expert on Vietnam's investment-fuelled development at Duke University.

"The riots have called that safety into question. In the future, foreign investors will have to balance Vietnam?s advantageous labour costs and quality against this potential instability," he said.

More than 3,000 Chinese nationals had been evacuated as of Saturday afternoon, Xinhua reported early Sunday.

- 'Explosion of violence' -

China's foreign ministry also advised its nationals against travelling to Vietnam for now following what it called the "explosion of violence" and urged Chinese citizens to increase safety precautions.

Xinhua said Chinese security chief Guo Shengkun had spoken to his Vietnamese counterpart, urging steps to quell the violence.

There was no immediate response from the Vietnamese government on the Chinese evacuations or travel warning, but officials in recent days have stressed the safety of foreign nationals would be guaranteed.

China's deployment of the giant rig in early May is viewed in Vietnam as a provocative assertion of Beijing's hotly disputed claims to virtually all of the South China Sea, and has been criticised by Washington as exacerbating territorial tensions.

Chinese and Vietnamese vessels have engaged in repeated skirmishes near the rig, including collisions and the use of water cannon.

The violence in Vietnam has further inflamed the situation, with China blaming Hanoi for the unrest. Beijing has refused Vietnam's demands to remove the rig.

Enterprises targeted in the violence included Chinese, Taiwanese, Korean and Singaporean businesses.

It was not clear why non-Chinese businesses were hit, but there is growing resentment in Vietnam over a perceived rise in Chinese workers taking jobs from locals.

Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou has ordered commercial jets to be on standby to evacuate its nationals should further violence erupt.

Taiwan-based China Airlines and EVA Airways have already provided extra chartered flights to Vietnam.

The oil-rig confrontation is the latest to spark alarm among China's Southeast Asian neighbours, who have watched as Beijing's increasing insistence on its historic maritime territorial claims over the years has corresponded with a rapid build-up of the Chinese military.

https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/news/a/23615974/china-evacuates-its-nationals-from-vietnam-after-deadly-unrest/
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« Reply #91 on: May 18, 2014, 05:39:02 am »

Beijing’s actions in the South China Sea demand a U.S. response

The China National Overseas Oil Corporation (CNOOC) began drilling in Vietnamese-claimed waters last week, accompanied by more than 70 vessels, including armed Chinese warships. At first glance, this might look like merely another front in China’s quest for natural resources, which has taken Chinese companies to seemingly every corner of the earth.

Yet what is happening in the South China Sea is actually far more dangerous than what has come before — and the forces driving it go well beyond pursuit of energy riches. The United States needs to face up to the full magnitude of the Chinese challenge to have any hope of successfully confronting it. This means not only tough talk but also a willingness to take difficult action.

There has long been speculation that massive oil and gas deposits are locked beneath the South China Sea — 1.4 million square miles bordered by Brunei, China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam and claimed in part by all of them. According to the Chinese Ministry of Land and Resources, the area might contain as much as 400 billion barrels of oil, surpassing the bounties of the Middle East.

Most informed estimates, though, are much smaller. The U.S. Geological Survey estimated in 2010 that the region’s undiscovered oil (much of which will never be financially attractive to produce) totals a far smaller 11 billion barrels. It is difficult to believe that China would risk armed conflict for such modest stakes.

Two other forces are essential to understanding what is going on. One is nationalism: The drilling is taking place near the Paracel Islands, which sit within a disputed area of the South China Sea, roughly 120 miles from Vietnam’s coast and well within Vietnam’s 200-mile exclusive economic zone. But China claims the islands based on historical usage and effective exercise of sovereignty, having occupied them since 1974. Backing off from the Paracels would deal a blow to China’s prestige, while underlining Chinese control over the islands would strengthen the leadership’s legitimacy at home.

Chinese leaders are also motivated by a desire to control the sea lanes of the South China Sea. More than $5 trillion of trade passes through the increasingly crowded waters each year. That includes almost one-third of world seaborne oil trade and more than three-quarters of Chinese oil imports (as well as most of the oil destined for Japan, South Korea and Taiwan). The Chinese navy may be too weak to challenge U.S. dominance in key Middle East sea lanes, or even to exercise control over the critical Straits of Malacca, but by operating naval forces across the South China Sea it can gain greater confidence that the United States will not be able to disrupt its supplies.

Beyond these two motivations, it does not hurt that Chinese oil companies are eager to operate in the region. By cloaking its military excursion in commercial garb, Beijing might have hoped to defuse some of the inevitable opposition.

If so, that gambit has not paid off. China’s latest move, which came as a surprise to Vietnam and other nations, undermines Beijing’s insistence that strong relations within the region are its top foreign policy priority. It also calls into question China’s commitment to its current working-group talks with Vietnam on joint resource development in the South China Sea.

The United States has said it won’t take a stand on the sovereignty dispute and has called on the two parties to resolve their differences peacefully. This is not enough: The United States ought to call China’s bluff and make clear the real stakes. The United States and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) should present a unified front in refusing to recognize unilateral assertions of claims in disputed territories.

Even more important, the United States must be prepared to give life to its rhetorical position. Although it does not have a treaty obligation to defend Vietnam, its rebalancing to Asia is premised on its role as the primary guarantor of stability in the Pacific. Chinese actions challenge that.

Vietnam has reiterated its commitment to peacefully resolve the dispute. If China does not reciprocate, the United States should be prepared to offer support to Vietnam through an increased naval presence. This would give Washington the ability to assess Chinese capabilities and to help de-escalate the situation. Other options, such as restrictions on CNOOC’s activities in the United States, could also be considered. If the United States can’t back up its words with actions, its credibility in promising to uphold peace and stability in the region will be gutted.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/rein-in-china-in-its-dispute-with-vietnam-over-energy-resources/2014/05/15/b853bbf0-d7b7-11e3-8a78-8fe50322a72c_story.html
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« Reply #92 on: May 19, 2014, 08:30:02 am »

Japan to establish island military posts: Report

Japan is to establish new military outposts on remote islands, a report said Monday, as Tokyo looks to bolster its defence amid a territorial dispute with China.

Up to 350 troops each could be stationed on three islands in the far southwest, close to the Senkakus, which Beijing claims as its own under the name Diaoyus, the mass-selling Yomiuri Shimbun reported.

With the exception of the main Okinawa island, Japan's Ground Self-Defence Forces - its army - have no bases on the chain of islands that runs from the bottom of Kyushu to Taiwan. There are limited air force facilities in the area.

The lack of substantial military presence is a source of worry for some in Japan, who caution that it leaves Japan vulnerable to China's increasingly assertive stance.

- See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/asia/east-asia/story/japan-establish-island-military-posts-report-20140519#sthash.7a6Lrvfx.dpuf

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« Reply #93 on: May 19, 2014, 02:48:11 pm »

Large number of Chinese troops seen heading for China-Vietnam border

A large number of People’s Liberation Army troops have reportedly been spotted heading towards the China-Vietnam border as tensions between the two countries continue to escalate, reports Hong Kong’s Sing Tao Daily. Sing Tao Daily is generally considered to be aligned to Chinese state media.

Thousands of Chinese nationals living or on business in Vietnam have already fled the country amid anti-China riots, which were sparked by a tense standoff between Chinese and Vietnamese naval ships near a Chinese oil rig in disputed waters off the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea on May 4.

The Chinese foreign ministry confirmed Friday that at least two Chinese nationals have been killed and nearly a hundred were injured during violent protests last week that saw dozens of Chinese, Taiwanese and Hong Kong factories set on fire. The UK’s Guardian claims as many as 21 people have died.

As yet another large-scale anti-China protest was scheduled for Sunday, Chinese netizens reported seeing an “endless stream” of PLA soldiers in full combat gear at Chongzuo train station, apparently on their way to the 97-kilometre China-Vietnam border at Pingxiang city in southern China’s Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. The soldiers were said to have been accompanied by tanks, armoured vehicles, missile launchers and other heavy artillery.

Pingxiang was where the Sino-Vietnamese War of 1979 began, and locals are reportedly preparing to evacuate the area out of fears of an imminent military conflict.

Last week, Beijing denied that PLA troops had been sent to Guangxi and also denied reports that neighbouring Yunnan province had been put on high alert and escalated to combat readiness levels, but that has not stopped rumours of a military response to the Vietnam riots from continuing.
Update 19th May 2014 – Epoch Times reports:

Troops, tanks, trucks, artillery, and armored personnel carriers of China’s military were seen heading to the Vietnamese border on May 16 and 17, according to photographs taken by by residents near the border.

Chinese netizens have been posting photographs of the large movement of the People’s Liberation Army, many of them showing Chinese troops in full combat gear heading to the local train station in Chongzuo, along with military vehicles.

One netizen said the Chinese military was taking the train from the Chongzuo station to Pingxiang City, which shares a 60-mile border with Vietnam. The netizen said that the Huu Nghi Border Gate to Vietnam is also now closed.

One of the photos, taken from inside a passenger train, shows the Chinese military preparing artillery for transport on a train track. Others show Chinese troops and military vehicles traveling along dirt roads.

Another photograph shows troops walking under the red-colored entrance to the Longzhou International Building Materials Market, on Provincial Road in the city of Chongzuo.

A reverse image search of each of the photographs using Google indicated that the photographs had appeared on the Internet only recently. Most were indexed by Google on Saturday.

Collectively, the images and eyewitness reports from the ground show what Taiwanese media are calling an “endless stream” of Chinese troops.

One netizen, with the username Zhiyuan0703, echoed a common sentiment on the Chinese social media site, “Conflict between China and Vietnam is imminent.”

China is currently involved in territorial conflicts with nearly all its neighbours.

http://chinadailymail.com/2014/05/18/large-number-of-chinese-troops-seen-heading-for-china-vietnam-border/
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« Reply #94 on: May 19, 2014, 03:33:34 pm »

State Department expresses regret at China's announcement that they are suspending participation in the US-China Cyber Working Group; 'We expect the Chinese government to understand that today's announcement relates to law enforcement' - @NBCNews

Wonder if Obama is gonna sanction China now?
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« Reply #95 on: May 27, 2014, 09:10:22 am »

China Sinking Fishing Vessel Raises Tensions With Vietnam

Vietnam and China traded barbs over the sinking of a Vietnamese fishing boat, their most serious bilateral standoff since 2007 as China asserts its claims in the disputed South China Sea.

“It was rammed by a Chinese boat,” Vietnamese Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Hai Binh said by phone of the Vietnamese vessel, with the crew of 10 rescued after the scrap. The incident occurred after some 40 Chinese fishing vessels encircled a group of Vietnamese boats in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone, the government in Hanoi said in a statement on its website.

China said the Vietnamese vessel capsized after it rammed a Chinese fishing boat, having intruded into a “precautionary area” around an oil rig that China has located near islands claimed by both Vietnam and China.

“We once again urge the Vietnamese side to stop immediately all kinds of disruptive and damaging activities and avoid in particular dangerous actions on the sea,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters in Beijing.

China’s 2012 success in assuming control of the Scarborough Shoal, an area previously overseen by the Philippines, highlighted to nations from Vietnam to Japan the potential consequences of the Chinese push to assert claims in neighboring bodies of water. Yesterday’s incident came after Chinese aircraft flew close to Japanese planes on May 24 in disputed airspace in the East China Sea, and days before U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel visits Singapore for a regional meeting of defense officials.

‘Sending a Message’

“The message China is sending Vietnam is, this area of water is Chinese territory,” Ha Hoang Hop, visiting senior fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore, said by phone of the boat sinking. “Yesterday a spokesman for China said Vietnam’s claims are ‘ridiculous.’ They are escalating things at sea and with their language.”

China’s placement of the rig near the contested Paracel Islands sparked violent protests in Vietnam this month and led China to send ships to evacuate workers from the country after three Chinese nationals were killed. It spurred confrontations between coast guard vessels, including the use of water cannons and accusations of boats being rammed. China says the rig is in its territory and that it has long drilled in the area.

Vietnam has “insisted on disturbing the normal operation by the Chinese side and taken dangerous actions on the sea,” Qin said, adding that Vietnamese actions will hurt their own interests. Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry said it lodged a protestVietnam’s Foreign Ministry said it lodged a protest with the Chinese Embassy over the sinking.

China’s ‘Lifeline’

China is devoted to promoting peaceful settlement of disputes in the South China Sea through direct negotiation with the countries concerned, China’s Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin said in Beijing today, according to Xinhua News Agency.

“Being the lifeline for China at sea, the South China Sea is far more important to China than to other countries,” Xinhua cited Liu as saying.

The tensions come as China’s President Xi Jinping expands the country’s naval reach to back its claims in the South China Sea that are based on a “nine-dash line” map, first published in 1947. That map runs hundreds of miles south from China’s Hainan Island to equatorial waters off the coast of Borneo.

China’s dispute with Vietnam was one of the most popular political topics on China’s heavily censored social media platforms today, with users defending China’s actions during the incident over the fishing boat.

“Should we continue to swallow insult and humiliation silently?,” a commenter identified as Trivial Passenger said of Vietnam’s claims. “These are naked abuses and insults.”
Rig Relocated

The first phase of the drilling, which began May 2 off Zhongjian Island in the Xisha Islands, as the Paracels are known in Chinese, has been completed, China Oilfield Services Ltd. (2883), which is conducting the operation, said in a statement today. Exploration has moved to another place and is expected to end in mid-August, according to the statement.

China’s actions violate international law and threaten peace, security and freedom of navigation, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said on May 22 in Manila. Tensions in the South China Sea risk disrupting the flow of goods, Dung said, with the resource-rich waters taking in some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

China and Vietnam fought a border war in 1979, with China having forcibly taken the Paracel Islands from Vietnam five years earlier. In 1988, a Chinese naval attack in the Spratly Islands, which Vietnam also lays claims to, killed 64 Vietnamese border guards as China seized seven atolls. In 2007, Chinese naval patrol vessels fired on a Vietnamese fishing boat, killing one sailor.
China’s Determination

In March 2013, Vietnam’s government lodged a protest after it said a Chinese ship fired on a fishing vessel near the Paracels and caused a cabin fire.

Vietnam’s leaders will probably protest the latest incident, according to Xu Liping, a researcher at the National Institute of International Strategy at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing.

“But from China’s point of view it reflects China’s determination -- that there will be no compromise on the problem of the Xisha islands,” Xu said. “Vietnam will likely counter-attack, stir up domestic opinion or send fishing boats to disturb our drilling platforms. This will continue, but slowly it will get less, when they realize their disturbances have no use,” he said.

Vietnam’s benchmark VN Index (VNINDEX) of shares rose 1.6 percent today. The gauge has retreated about 9 percent from this year’s high on March 24. The dong was steady at 21,145 per dollar as of 3:47 p.m. local time.
Spratly Dispute

Philippine President Benigno Aquino, visiting a military base today on Palawan Island, the jumping-off point to the Spratly Islands, another contested part of the South China Sea, said he may raise Chinese reclamation of a disputed reef with Asean and a United Nations arbitration process already underway.

The situation on the shoals is volatile and the navy needs to upgrade its base in Ulugan Bay on Palawan, according to Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Jesus Millan.

“The menace of various threats to territorial integrity are real and present,” he told reporters.

Addressing the actual territorial claims will take a long time, Singapore’s Foreign Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam said yesterday in an interview.

“What’s achievable is to try and have a code of conduct that tries to work out how the countries, countries’ ships and so on interact with each other, what can be done, what cannot be done, what kind of conduct is acceptable, what kind of conduct is unacceptable,” he said.

Asean has called for progress on the code with China that would seek to preserve freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. Talks have made little headway since China agreed in July to start discussions.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-27/chinese-boat-attacks-sinks-vietnam-fishing-vessel-vietnam-says.html
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« Reply #96 on: May 28, 2014, 03:46:23 pm »


Three Chinese Nuclear Missile Submarines Photographed in South China Sea
China ups tensions after sinking Vietnam fishing boat


China has deployed three nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarines to a naval base in the South China Sea, according to a recent photo of the vessels that appeared on the Internet.

The three Type 094 missile submarines were photographed at the Yalong Bay naval base on Hainan Island, located at the northern end of the South China Sea.

The submarines appear to be part of China’s plan to begin the first regular sea patrols of nuclear missile submarines.

Adm. Samuel Locklear, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, voiced concerns about Chinese missile submarines in testimony to the House Armed Services Committee in March.

“China’s advance in submarine capabilities is significant,” Locklear said. “They possess a large and increasingly capable submarine force. China continues the production of ballistic missile submarines. … This will give China its first credible sea-based nuclear deterrent, probably before the end of 2014.”

Disclosure of the strategic submarine deployment comes as China sharply increased tensions over the weekend after one of its naval vessels rammed and sank a Vietnamese fishing boat in disputed waters claimed by both countries in the region.

Meanwhile, China on Tuesday called recent Japanese military aircraft incursions during joint Chinese-Russian war games in the East China Sea both dangerous and provocative, further escalating tensions between Beijing and Tokyo.

The photograph of the three missile submarines is the latest example of state-controlled media signaling new strategic nuclear capabilities by China.

The submarines, also called the Jin-class, are equipped with 12 multiple-warhead JL-2 submarine launched ballistic missiles that have a range of up to 4,900 miles.

Meanwhile, one of the U.S. Navy’s nuclear-powered attack submarines based in Guam last week deployed for missions in the Asia Pacific and likely will conduct surveillance of China’s submarine forces in the region.

The submarine was monitoring a large Chinese-Russian joint naval exercise in the northern East China Sea that ended this week.

The Air Force also has begun long-range Global Hawk drone flights over Asia as part of a summer deployment of two of the unmanned surveillance aircraft to Japan.

On Tuesday, a Chinese general called the intrusion into military exercises by Japanese warplanes “dangerous” and “provocative.”

“Japan unilaterally stirred up the military jets’ encounter over the East China Sea,” Sun Jianguo, deputy chief of general staff of the People’s Liberation Army, told Xinhua, referring to the Japanese jets’ confrontation by Chinese jets.

The jets flew in the unilaterally declared Chinese air defense identification zone that Tokyo, Washington and other Asia states do not recognize.

The incident occurred as Chinese and Russian warships were engaged in naval maneuvers.

“Japan’s move, like its decision to purchase the Diaoyu [Senkaku] Islands in 2012 so as to change the status quo, is very dangerous and provocative,” Sun said

The encounter between Japanese and Chinese jet fighters took place May 24 over open waters as the Japanese sought to monitor the military exercises.

The Vietnamese fishing boat sank Monday after colliding with a Chinese patrol vessel near the disputed Paracel Islands, in the South China Sea, where China raised tensions by beginning undersea oil drilling.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters the vessel sinking is troubling.

“We remain concerned about dangerous conduct and intimidation by vessels operating in this area by the Chinese,” she said. “We continue to call on all parties to exercise restraint and take steps to lower the tensions and conduct themselves in a safe and, of course, professional manner.”

Relations between Hanoi and Beijing remain tense over the maritime dispute. Protests were held recently in communist Vietnam against communist China.

There have been unconfirmed reports that Chinese military forces were massing near the Chinese border with Vietnam. The two nations fought a brief conflict early 1979, after Chinese forces invaded and captured several cities before retreating.

Regarding the missile submarines, Andrei Pinkov, a military analyst with Kanwa Defense who reported on the submarines May 1, said the three submarines at Hainan are a sign Beijing is speeding up the pace of deployments. Also, a review of the photo indicates that one of the three submarines could be a more advanced missile submarine called the Type 096, based on an analysis of the length of missile submarines, he stated in his journal Kanwa Defense Review.

The deployment is “intended to give the new SSBN better protection in the deep waters of the South China Sea,” Pinkov stated, using the military acronym for ballistic missile submarine.

Hans M. Kristensen, an analyst with the Federation of American Scientists, said China now has three or four Type-094s.

China over the past decade has built an extensive naval infrastructure for its underwater forces, including upgraded naval bases, submarine hull demagnetization facilities, underground facilities and high-bay buildings for missile storage and handling, and covered tunnels and railways to conceal the activities from prying eyes in the sky.

It is not known if the Chinese will deploy actual nuclear warheads with the submarines or continue the past Chinese practice of keeping warheads in central storage sites for deployment in a crisis.

“The South Sea Fleet naval facilities on Hainan Island are under significant expansion,” Kristensen stated in a recent blog post. “The nuclear submarine base at Longpo has been upgraded to serve as the first nuclear submarine base in the South China Sea.”

The base also includes a submarine tunnel that is part of an underwater complex of nuclear facilities on Hainan.

The Washington Free Beacon first reported in July that China would begin the first sea patrols of the Type 094 some time this year.

China conducted a test flight of the JL-2 missile, the system to be deployed on the Type 094, in August 2012.

A report by the National Air and Space Intelligence Center last year stated that the JL-2 “will, for the first time, allow Chinese SSBNs to target portions of the United States from operating areas located near the Chinese coast.”

China’s jingoistic Global Times on Oct. 28 published an unprecedented report that revealed a nuclear missile strike on the western United States with JL-2 missiles could kill up to 12 million Americans.

The Obama administration and senior Navy officials were silent regarding the nuclear attack threat, which included graphics showing nuclear plumes and collateral damage caused by radiation.

The congressional U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission stated in a report several years ago that China is planning to deploy an anti-satellite missile on its missile submarines.

Anti-satellite missiles are key elements of China’s anti-access, area denial capabilities designed to drive the U.S. Navy out of Asia.

China only recently began publicizing its nuclear missile submarine forces, mainly through semi-official disclosures on so-called military enthusiast websites.

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/three-chinese-nuclear-missile-submarines-photographed-in-south-china-sea/
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« Reply #97 on: May 29, 2014, 08:39:20 am »

China-Vietnam rig dispute 'very tense,' U.S. says

China should work to calm the row over a drilling rig deployed in waters disputed by Vietnam rather than acting provocatively, a visiting U.S. senator said.

The U.S. government this week expressed concern on word a Vietnamese boat capsized this week after it was allegedly rammed by a Chinese vessel near a Chinese oil rig deployed in disputed waters.

The row erupted in early May when China National Offshore Oil Co. sent a rig to an area about 120 miles off the coast of Vietnam.

Visiting U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Chinese action in the region was unacceptable.

"We think the situation is very tense and we have urged China to take actions to de-escalate rather than to provoke through the presence of their military vessels, and their interference with maritime activities," he said during a Wednesday press conference in Hanoi.

Cardin said a resolution on the issue is expected soon on the Senate floor. He reiterated the U.S. position that, while it has no stance on territorial claims, aggression is no way to settle the issue.

Vietnamese officials have said they have a right to defend their national interests. Beijing says it's operating within its territorial waters and has called on Vietnam to stop interfering with its legitimate work in the region.

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Energy-Resources/2014/05/29/China-Vietnam-rig-dispute-very-tense-US-says/7861401364194/#ixzz336zIp6Sl
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« Reply #98 on: June 07, 2014, 06:00:34 pm »

China plans artificial island in disputed Spratlys chain in South China Sea

The move indicates a shift from defence to offence in the East and South China seas


China is looking to expand its biggest installation in the Spratly Islands into a fully formed artificial island, complete with airstrip and sea port, to better project its military strength in the South China Sea, a Chinese scholar and a Chinese navy expert have said.

The planned expansion on the disputed Fiery Cross Reef, if approved, would be a further indication of China's change of tack in handling long-running sovereignty disputes from a defensive stance to an offensive one, analysts said. They said it was seen as a step to the declaration of an air defence identification zone.

The Philippines last month protested against China's reclamation activities at nearby Johnson South Reef, site of a 1988 skirmish between the Chinese and Vietnamese navies that was triggered by China's occupation of Fiery Cross Reef.

With recent developments in the South China Sea having again focused the international spotlight on China, the analysts warned reclamation at the Fiery Cross atoll - which China, the Philippines and Vietnam all claim - would further strain Beijing's relations with neighbours.

The proposal to build an artificial island there had been submitted to the central government, said Jin Canrong , a professor of international relations at Renmin University in Beijing. The artificial island would be at least double the size of the US military base of Diego Garcia, a remote coral atoll occupying an area of 44 square kilometres in the middle of the Indian Ocean, Jin added.

The reef currently houses Chinese-built facilities including an observation post commissioned by Unesco's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission.

Li Jie, a naval expert from the Chinese Naval Research Institute, said the expanded island would include the airstrip and port. After the expansion the island would continue to house the observation post and to provide military supplies and assistance, he said.

A retired People's Liberation Army senior colonel, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the construction of a landing strip on Fiery Cross Reef would allow China to better prepare for the establishment of an air defence identification zone over the South China Sea.

Beijing's declaration of such a zone over the East China Sea in December prompted concerns among Southeast Asian countries that a similar arrangement could be imposed in the South China Sea.

Fiery Cross Reef, known as Yongshu in China, Kagitingan in the Philippines and Da Chu Thap in Vietnam, is close to sea lanes and could serve as a strategic naval staging post, said Alexander Neill, a Shangri-La Dialogue senior fellow.

Jin said consideration of whether and how to go ahead with the Fiery Cross Reef proposal would depend on progress on reclamation at Johnson South Reef.

"It's a very complicated oceanic engineering project, so we need to learn from the experience" on Johnson South, Jin said.

Late last month, renditions of a proposed artificial island were circulated among Chinese media. Citing a report posted on the website of the Shanghai-based China Shipbuilding NDRI Engineering, the Global Times said the unidentified artificial island could include a landing strip and a 5,000-tonne berth.

Zhang Jie, an expert on regional security with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said China had long been researching island reclamation. Institutes and companies had drafted various designs over the past decade, said Zhang, adding that she had attended deliberation of one proposal years ago.
Building an artificial island ... would cause very severe negative impacts
Zhang Jie, security expert

"We had the ability to build artificial islands years ago, but we had refrained because we didn't want to cause too much controversy," she said.

However, this year had seen a "turning point" in which Beijing appeared to be making more offensive moves in the area, said Zhang, citing the recent deployment of an oil rig to disputed waters near Vietnam.

"Building an artificial island can no doubt provide supplies to ships and oil rigs nearby, but this would also cause very severe negative impacts in the region."

Such moves, she added, would further deepen mistrust among China's neighbours and cause instability in the region.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defence in Beijing did not respond to requests for comment.

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1527059/china-plans-artificial-island-disputed-spratlys-chain-south-china-sea
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« Reply #99 on: June 09, 2014, 09:24:00 am »

China ships 'rammed 1,400 times by Vietnamese vessels'

Chinese officials have accused vessels from Vietnam of launching more than 1,400 ramming raids on its ships near a drilling rig in the South China Sea. The foreign ministry said in a statement the actions were illegal and called on Hanoi to stop "provocations". China moved the drilling rig on 2 May, helping to spark anti-Chinese riots in Vietnam in which four people died. 

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-27758685


China Plans to Establish an Artificial Island in South China Sea

China is planning is planning to build an artificial island in the disputed South China Sea (SCS) rejecting the authority of International Court over the dispute. It has plans to expand its largest installation in the Spratly Islands into a completely formed artificial island with a sea port and an airstrip to better plan its military power in the SCS, a Chinese navy expert and a Chinese scholar have told.

Beijing-based Renmin University’s professor of international relations, Jin Canrong revealed that the bid to establish an artificial island at the spot had been proposed to the central government. He added that the proposed island would be minimum two times Diego Garcia US military base’s size

Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ regional security expert, Zhang Jie stated – “We had the ability to build artificial islands years ago, but we had refrained because we didn’t want to cause too much controversy.”

Chinese Naval Research Institute’s naval expert, Li Jie told the island would continue to accommodate the observation post after expansion and also give military assistance and supplies.

A senior colonel, who wanted to stay anonymous, told that the development of a landing band on Fiery Cross Reef would allow China to prepare better for the setting up of an air defense identification zone over SCS.

The tribunal, established under UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), does not have any jurisdiction over the maritime and territorial disputes in the area, according to Xinhua news agency that is run by a state of China.

Vietnam is presently facing challenges from the Chinese naval ships over an oil rig deployment by Beijing in the disputed SCS waters and is hence planning to join the Hague court arbitration. Apart from Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan and Brunei hotly contend the claims of China over almost the whole SCS.

Zhang Jie further stated – “Building an artificial island can no doubt provide supplies to ships and oil rigs nearby, but this would also cause very severe negative impacts in the region.” She added that such measures would further increase the mistrust among the neighbors of China and lead to instability in the area.

The Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Foreign Affair in Beijing didn’t react to press requests for their comments on the matter.

http://stixs.in/china-plans-to-establish-an-artificial-island-in-south-china-sea/
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« Reply #100 on: June 15, 2014, 08:01:39 am »

China to build school in contested Paracel Islands

China says it will build a school in the disputed Paracel Islands, boosting its presence in waters also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam. China calls the island Yongxing and has been building up a settlement there for the last two years. The school is expected to serve just 40 children, whose parents all work on the tiny island. 

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-27856082
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« Reply #101 on: June 20, 2014, 09:32:25 am »

China says moving 2nd oil rig closer to Vietnam

China said Thursday it is moving a second oil rig closer to Vietnam's coast, showing its determination to press its territorial claims and continue searching for resources in disputed waters despite a tense confrontation with Vietnam over another oil rig to the south. The...long rig is being towed southeast of its current position south of Hainan Island and will be in its new location closer to Vietnam by Friday...   

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20140619/as--china-vietnam-bf0c5a2e02.html
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« Reply #102 on: June 29, 2014, 09:18:17 am »

China's New Map Roils Diplomatic Waters in Region

China has roiled the diplomatic waters in the region by publishing a new map that lays claim to swaths of the South China Sea that encompass almost all of Southeast Asia.
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The map reinforces China's claim to islands that are disputed by Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan and Malaysia. The disputes have escalated in recent months to confrontations between Chinese and Vietnamese ships, water cannons and at least one ramming.

The new map is bound to court controversy because it is seen as an official statement that asserts the internationally disputed waters and islets are inherently part of China’s national territory. The provincial level Hunan Map Press, the publisher of the new map, said in an online article this week that the new map more clearly portrays the disputed area as under Chinese sovereignty.

Professor Lee Yunglung at the South China Sea Institute of Xiamen University said that the map raises the South China Sea issue to a level of prominence equal to China’s decades-long disputes with Japan over the East China Sea and the Senkaku Island.

He said the publication of the map serves a two-layered purpose. Domestically, the map “enhances Chinese citizens’ understanding of China’s sovereignty" over the South China Sea. On the international stage, the map gives a “more comprehensive narrative of the historical justification for China’s claims of sovereignty” over the disputed area.

The map's creator is calling it a "vertical" map. Unlike old horizontal maps, which focus on China’s huge landmass and show the South China Sea in a separate corner box, the new map features the South China Sea on the same scale in one complete map. The English website of People’s Daily, the Chinese government’s official newspaper, shows the new map.

Lee said that by letting a provincial level publisher put out the map, the central government in Beijing is “testing waters.” This gives the government the opportunity to see how other countries would respond and, where necessary, make amendments to mitigate the consequences of its actions. Given the recent upheavals in the South China Sea, “publishing the map directly by the central government could lead to clashes,” he said.

The demarcation line marks out the South China Sea and includes two prominent clusters of islands, the Paracels and the Spratlys, within the line. China, Vietnam, and Taiwan have all voiced claims to the Paracels. Six governments, including China, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam, claim the Spratlys.

Lee said Vietnam has also published maps that “include the entire Spratly and Paracel Islands” and has been using them in textbooks. In contrast, some maps published in the Yunnan and Guangxi provinces in China in the 1970s and 1980s exclude these islands. Vietnam has “used the maps produced back then to undermine China’s claims over the islands.”

The publication of the map follows a series of actions China has undertaken to assert its sovereignty over the South China Sea and the disputed islands. Last month, China positioned an oil rig in waters claimed by Hanoi as well as Beijing. This has led to rammings between vessels from the two countries.

Since January, China has also been moving sand onto three or four reefs and rocks in the Spratlys in an attempt to turn them into bigger islands that can support large buildings and human habitation. These actions have set off anti-China riots in Vietnam factories owned by Taiwanese, Singaporean, and Chinese companies last month. Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency, reported that at least five Chinese citizens were killed in the riots and 20 foreign-owned factories were burned down, affecting over 1,000 foreign companies.

http://news.yahoo.com/chinas-map-roils-diplomatic-waters-region-153746353--abc-news-topstories.html 
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« Reply #103 on: June 29, 2014, 09:19:18 am »

Japan set for landmark easing of constitutional limits on military

Japan is poised for a historic shift in its defense policy by ending a ban that has kept the military from fighting abroad since World War Two, a major step away from post-war pacifism and a big political victory for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The change will significantly widen Japan's military options by ending the ban on exercising "collective self-defense", or aiding a friendly country under attack. It will also relax limits on activities in U.N.-led peace-keeping operations and "grey zone" incidents short of full-scale war, according to a draft government proposal made available to reporters.

For now, however, Japan is likely to remain wary of putting boots on the ground in future multilateral operations such as the 1990-1991 Gulf War or the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, activities Abe himself has ruled out.

The change will likely rile an increasingly assertive China, whose ties with Japan have chilled due to a maritime row, mutual mistrust and the legacy of Japan's past military aggression, but will be welcomed by Tokyo's ally Washington, which has long urged Japan to become a more equal partner in the alliance.

Abe's cabinet is expected to adopt as early as Tuesday a resolution revising a long-standing interpretation of the U.S.-drafted constitution to lift the ban after his ruling party finalizes an agreement with its junior partner.

Legal revisions to implement the change must be approved by parliament and restrictions could be imposed in the process.

"If this gets through the Japanese political system it would be the most significant change in Japan's defense policy since the Self-Defense Forces were established in 1954," said Alan Dupont, a professor of international security at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.

Since its defeat in 1945, Japan's military has not engaged in combat. While successive governments have stretched the limits of the U.S.-drafted pacifist charter not only to allow the existence of a standing military but also to permit non-combat missions abroad, its armed forces are still far more constrained legally than those in other countries.

Conservatives say the charter's war-renouncing Article 9 has excessively restricted Japan's ability to defend itself and that a changing regional power balance including a rising China means Japan's security policies must be more flexible.

Abe, whose first term as premier ended when he abruptly quit in 2007, returned in triumph in December 2012 pledging to revive Japan's stagnant economy and bolster its global security clout. He has pushed for the change despite surveys showing voters are divided and wary.

"In my view, Japan is finally catching up with the global standard of security," said former Japanese diplomat Kunihiko Miyake. "Japan can now do as every other United Nations member under the U.N. charter."

EXISTENTIAL THREAT, CLEAR DANGER

According to the draft cabinet resolution, Japan could exercise force to the minimum degree necessary in cases where a country with which it has close ties is attacked and the following conditions are met: there is a threat to the existence of the Japanese state, a clear danger exists that the Japanese people's right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness could be subverted, and there is no appropriate alternative.

Precisely how the change might work in practice remains unclear. Junior coalition partner New Komeito is stressing that the scope of revision is limited, and Japanese voters are still wary of entanglements in conflicts far from home.

"Symbolically, it is a big step. The fundamental change to post-war Japanese security and defense policies which basically said we would defend ourselves but not help others by using force - philosophically this will be a fundamental change," said Narushige Michishita, a security expert at the National Graduate School for Policy Studies (GRIPS) in Tokyo.

But he added: "The Japanese people are not going to support a significant military commitment of Japan to foreign contingencies and wars, quite apart from how you could interpret the words."

Examples floated by the government of what the change could allow Japan's military to do range from defending a U.S. ship evacuating Japanese nationals and aiding a U.S. ship under attack near Japan to shooting down a ballistic missile headed for U.S. territory and taking part in international mine-sweeping operations when a conflict has closed vital sea lanes.

WELCOME SIGN FOR SOME IN SOUTHEAST ASIA

Some of the scenarios, however, have been dismissed by experts as a public relations exercise to persuade wary voters of the need for the change, rather than realistic possibilities.

Japan might, for example, be too busy coping with North Korean missiles headed for its territory to shoot down ones headed for America, some experts said.

Unforeseen contingencies, meanwhile, could also well arise.

"The idea of identifying specific cases is a red herring, because we never really know," said Richard Samuels, director of the Center for International Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "What we need to know is whether an ally will help us."

The change will make it easier for Japan to take part in bilateral and multilateral military exercises with countries other than the United States, including Southeast Asian nations such as the Philippines that have maritime disputes with China and are welcoming Japan's expanded security role, GRIPS' Michishita said.

"It is not for joint war fighting, but for capacity building. It would be a very difficult step if we were to fight together," Michishita said.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino said after meeting Abe this week that Manila welcomed Japan's more assertive policy.

Critics say revising the interpretation of the constitution will gut pacifist Article 9 and make a mockery of formal amendment procedures, which are politically much tougher.

"Cabinets can change often. If we change the interpretation of the constitution each time the cabinet changes, the stability of law will be fundamentally overturned and we will be unable to exist as a constitutional state," Seiichiro Murakami, a ruling Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker who is a rare, outspoken critic of Abe, told a news conference.

Still, experts say the impact of Article 9 remains strong.

"They are still genuflecting to the constitution," said MIT's Samuels. "I think there is a lot left of Article 9. The Japanese public has made it clear that it is 'not so fast' in getting rid of it."

http://news.yahoo.com/japan-set-landmark-easing-constitutional-limits-military-100536412.html
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« Reply #104 on: August 24, 2014, 10:24:52 am »

U.S. Sends Second Carrier to Asia Amid Tensions with China
China demands end to U.S. surveillance flights


The Navy is sending a second aircraft carrier strike group to the Asia Pacific region amid new tensions with China over a dangerous aerial encounter between a Chinese interceptor and Navy P-8 surveillance craft.

The strike group led by the USS Carl Vinson departed San Diego for the Pacific on Friday, the Navy said in an announcement of what it terms a “planned” deployment.

China’s military on Saturday, meanwhile, demanded an end to all U.S. monitoring flights and called U.S. criticism of  dangerous Chinese jet maneuvers false.

Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said in a statement that a Chinese fighter jet made a “regular identification and verification” of the Navy P-8 anti-submarine warfare jet during an encounter in an area 135 miles east of Hainan Island.

Yang called Pentagon criticism of the incident “totally groundless” and insisted the Chinese pilot operated professionally and kept a safe distance.

The Chinese spokesman’s account, published in the state-run Xinhua news agency, is at odds with Pentagon officials who called the encounter both dangerous and aggressive. A White House official also said the dangerous intercept was a Chinese “provocation.”

Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby on Friday called the maneuvers by the Chinese J-11—a Russian design Su-27—a dangerous and unprofessional encounter and said the military has protested the incident to the Chinese military.

“We have registered our strong concerns to the Chinese about the unsafe and unprofessional intercept, which posed a risk to the safety and the well-being of the air crew and was inconsistent with customary international law,” Kirby said, adding that the pilot of the J-11 was “very, very close; very dangerous.”

Asked Saturday about Yang’s assertion, Kirby told the Free Beacon: “We stand by our account of this dangerous and unprofessional incident.”

The Carl Vinson strike group will patrol “both 5th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility,” the Navy statement said The 7th fleet covers the Pacific and the 5th Fleet is responsible for operations in the Middle East.

The guided missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill and three guided missile destroyers, the USS Gridley, USS Sterett, and USS Dewey also deployed with the Vinson.

The Vinson will join the Japan-based USS George Washington strike group.

Earlier, Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Jeff Pool said in a statement that the aerial incident took place 135 miles east of Hainan Island when the J-11 came within 20 feet of a U.S. Navy P-8 anti-submarine warfare aircraft.

“The intercept was aggressive and demonstrated a lack of due regard for the safety and well-being of the U.S. and Chinese aircrews and aircraft,” Pool said, adding that the incident was of the most dangerous aerial encounters with the Chinese since the April 2001 EP-3 mid-air collision with a Chinese J-8.

The P-8 was on a routine mission in international airspace when the Chinese jet sought to intimidate the crew with several dangerous maneuvers, including a barrel roll over the top of the militarized Boeing 737 jet.

“On three different occasions, the Chinese J-11 crossed directly under the U.S. aircraft with one pass having only 50 to 100 feet separation between the two aircraft,” Pool said. “The Chinese jet also passed the nose of the P-8 at 90 degrees with its belly toward the P-8 to show its weapons loadout.”

“In doing so, the pilot was unable to see the P-8, further increasing the potential for a collision,” Pool said. “The Chinese pilot then flew directly under and alongside the P-8 bringing their wingtips within 20 feet and then before he stabilized his fighter he conducted a roll over the P-8 passing within 45 feet.”

The latest incident followed earlier intercepts that the Pentagon said were “nonstandard, unprofessional and unsafe intercepts of U.S. aircraft.”

Additionally, the aggressive interceptor was based at the same unit on Hainan Island that conducted similar aggressive intercepts in March, April, and May.

“We are concerned that the intercepting crews from that unit are acting aggressively and demonstrating a lack of regard for the regard for the safety of our aircrews,” Pool said. “We have raised our concerns over this unsafe behavior to the PRC.”

Deputy White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters the Chinese aerial encounter was “a deeply concerning provocation.”

Both the Pentagon and White House comments were unusually harsh for the Obama administration, which has sought to play down dangerous and threatening military developments by the Chinese.

Yang stated that “massive and frequent close-in surveillance of China” endangers air and maritime security and is at the root of accidents.

China is urging the United States to abide by international law and international practices and to respect the concerns of coastal countries, Yang said, adding that Washington should properly deal with the differences between the two nations on air and maritime security issues.

Yang said the United States should abide by the principle of “non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, take concrete actions, reduce and finally stop close-in surveillance of China, so as to create a sound atmosphere for bilateral military ties.”

Pool, the Pentagon spokesman, said in his statement Friday that U.S. monitoring is legal.

“Under international law, as reflected in the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention, military activities may be conducted within the Exclusive Economic Zone of another nation as an exercise of the freedoms of navigation and overflight,” he said. “Coastal states, including China, shall have due regard for the rights and duties of other States, including in the exercise of these freedoms.”

The aerial encounter comes amid a toughening posture by China in the South China Sea.

U.S. officials said Chinese official statements related to the ASEAN Regional Forum in early August revealed that China had no plans to back off aggressive claims in the South China Sea and is pushing hard to block U.S. involvement in the regional dispute.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi rejected a U.S. proposal to voluntarily freeze destabilizing action in disputed waters, such as China’s placement of an oil-drilling rig in the South China Sea.

China also announced it was stepping up activities in disputed areas of the sea, challenging claims by Vietnam, Philippines and other nations.

Until the Defense Ministry statement Saturday, China’s government had remained silent on the Su-27 encounter with the P-8.

Most state-run news outlets in China did not cover the affair, with major newspapers and wire services ignoring the story. Only CCTV, the state television network, reported on the Aug. 19 incident.

CCTV’s report from the network’s Washington correspondent quoted unspecified “Chinese experts” as saying the P-8 “posed a threat to their country’s military security over the South China Sea.”

The White House said Friday through Ben Rhodes, deputy national security advisers, that the Chinese jet, which conducted a barrel roll over the P-8 some 135 miles east of Hainan Island was a “provocation.”

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/u-s-sends-second-carrier-to-asia-amid-tensions-with-china/
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« Reply #105 on: November 24, 2014, 05:50:23 am »

Why is China building an artificial island large enough for an airfield in disputed south sea waters?

    Chinese officials have created a 3,000m-long reef in the Spratly Islands
    Archipelago has been source of dispute between south Asian countries
    Vietnamese, Malaysian and Filipino forces all have airfields in the water
    The developing Fiery Cross Reef may become China's first airbase
    Air force colonel said the military needed facilities in South China Sea


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2846176/China-building-island-large-airfield-disputed-south-sea-waters-satellite-images-workers-expanding-archipelago-military-bases.html#ixzz3JzBrXEff

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« Reply #106 on: April 09, 2015, 05:38:52 am »

China urges caution from U.S. on dispute with Japan

China's Foreign Ministry urged the United States on Thursday to act and speak cautiously after the U.S. defense chief repeated Washington's opposition to any "coercive unilateral" actions by China over a group of islets disputed with Japan. Visiting Tokyo, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter expressed opposition to any moves by China to undermine Japan's administrative control of uninhabited islands...   

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/09/us-china-japan-usa-idUSKBN0N00XO20150409
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« Reply #107 on: April 17, 2015, 10:29:07 am »

Images show rapid Chinese progress on new South China Sea airstrip

 Recent satellite images published on Thursday show China has made rapid progress in building an airstrip suitable for military use in contested territory in the South China Sea's Spratly Islands and may be planning another, moves that have been greeted with concern in the United States and Asia.

IHS Jane's Defense Weekly said March 23 images from Airbus Defence and Space showed work on the runway on reclaimed parts of Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly archipelago, which China contests with the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.

It said images from earlier in March showed reclamation work on Subu Reef in the Spratlys creating landmasses that, if joined together, could create space for another 3,000-meter airstrip.

The report said other images suggested China was working to extend another airstrip to that length in the Paracel Islands further north in the potentially energy-rich South China Sea, a vital shipping route through which $5 trillion of trade passes every year.

The report comes a day after the U.S. military commander for Asia, Admiral Samuel Locklear, said China, which claims most of the South China Sea, could eventually deploy radar and missile systems on outposts it is building that could be used to enforce an exclusion zone should it move to declare one.

Senator John McCain, chairman of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, called the Chinese moves "aggressive" and said they showed the need for the Obama administration to act on plans to move more military resources into the economically important Asian region and boost cooperation with Asian countries worried by China.

McCain referred to a U.S. intelligence assessment from February that China's military modernization was designed to counteract U.S. strength and said Washington had a lot of work ahead to maintain its military advantage in the Asia-Pacific.

"When any nation fills in 600 acres of land and builds runways and most likely is putting in other kinds of military capabilities in what is international waters, it is clearly a threat to where the world's economy is going, has gone, and will remain for the foreseeable future," he told a public briefing in Congress.

U.S. WARNS AGAINST MILITARIZATION

A spokesperson for the U.S. State Department said the scale of China’s land reclamation and construction was fueling concerns within the region that China intends to militarize its outposts and stressed the importance of freedom of navigation.

"The United States has a strong interest in preservation of peace and security in the South China Sea. We do not believe that large-scale land reclamation with the intent to militarize outposts on disputed land features is consistent with the region’s desire for peace and stability."

The issue was discussed in a meeting in Washington between U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his Japanese and South Korean counterparts.

Japan's Vice Foreign Minister Akitaka Saiki told reporters afterwards that China had a duty to address regional concerns, while his Korean counterpart, Cho Tae-yong, stressed the importance of stability in the South China Sea for trading nations like his.

The United States warned last week against militarization of contested territory in Asia, and President Barack Obama accused China of using its "sheer size and muscle" to push around smaller nations, after Beijing sketched out plans to use the Spratlys for military defense as well as to provide civilian services that would benefit other countries.

IHS Jane's said images of Fiery Cross Reef showed a paved section of runway 505 meters by 53 meters on the northeastern side of the reef, which China began turning into an island with extensive dredging last year.

IHS Jane's said its photos showed further dredging work on the southwestern side of the island and floating cranes consolidating a harbor.

Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank said satellite photographs from April 11 showed the runway about one-third complete, with a projected total length at 3,110 meters, large enough for heavy military transport planes and fighters.

CSIS said the reclamation work could help China press its territorial claims, many of which are more than 1,000 miles from its shores, by allowing it to sustain long-distance sea and air patrols.

However, its artificial islands were too small and vulnerable, both to weather and wartime targeting, to support major forward deployment of military forces, it said.

CHINA DEFENDS ITS MOVES

At a seminar in Washington on Thursday, China's ambassador to the United States, Cui Tiankai, said it was "natural" that its reclamation work would include military defense facilities.

He said there "should be no illusion that anyone could impose on China a unilateral status quo" or "repeatedly violate China's sovereignty without consequences."

In an apparent reference to U.S. air activity, Cui added that the U.N. Convention on Law of the Sea, to which the United States is not a signatory, did not give anyone the right to "conduct intensive and close-range reconnaissance in other countries' exclusive economic zone."

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/17/us-southchinasea-china-runway-idUSKBN0N723Y20150417
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« Reply #108 on: April 22, 2015, 06:44:12 am »

Japan PM Abe meets China's Xi in Indonesia

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of a summit in Indonesia on Wednesday, the latest sign of a thaw in relations between the Asian rivals.

The meeting took place despite an awkward diplomatic backdrop.

Speaking at the conference earlier, Abe warned powerful nations against imposing on the weak, an implicit reference to China. He also made an allusion to Tokyo's remorse in the past over World War Two without issuing a fresh apology.

Also on Wednesday, lawmakers from Abe's ruling party and the opposition visited a Japanese war shrine in Tokyo that is seen in China as a symbol of Tokyo's past militarism.

But Xi and Abe held talks in the early evening in a meeting room at the Jakarta Convention Centre, the venue of the Asian-African summit. "It is ongoing," a Japanese foreign ministry spokesman said after the talks started.

Abe and Xi left the room about half an hour later.

Tensions between Asia's two biggest economies have flared in recent years due to feuds over wartime history as well as territorial rows and regional rivalry. Memories of Japan's past military aggression run deep in China and Beijing has repeatedly urged Japan to face up to history.

But the meeting on Wednesday could promote a cautious rapprochement that began when Abe and Xi met at a summit in Beijing late last year.

"The country (China) is shifting to a policy of stressing that it hopes for stable relations with its neighbors," said Hiroko Maeda, a research fellow at the PHP Institute in Tokyo.

Earlier in the day, Abe said: "We should never allow to go unchecked the use of force by the mightier to twist the weaker around.

"The wisdom of our forefathers in Bandung was that the rule of law should protect the dignity of sovereign nations, be they large or small," he said at the summit marking the 60th anniversary of the Bandung Conference, a meeting of Asian and African leaders opposed to colonialism.

Xi had spoken at the conference earlier but did not make any reference to relations with Japan.

RECONCILIATION AND TRUST

China is locked in territorial rows with several smaller countries in the South China Sea while Japan has a separate feud over islets in the East China Sea.

Abe often warns against the use of force to change the status quo and says the rule of law should prevail - both seen as implicit criticism of China's assertiveness.

Abe's stance on Japan's wartime past is especially sensitive this year, when he plans to issue a statement marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two.

He has said that while he will uphold past apologies including a 1995 landmark statement by then-premier Tomiichi Murayama, he wants to issue forward-looking remarks in his own words, sparking concern he wants to water down past apologies.

Abe said in his Jakarta speech that Japan had, "with feelings of deep remorse over the past war", pledged to adhere to principles affirmed at the first Bandung Conference, including refraining from the use of force and settling international disputes by peaceful means.

In Beijing, China's foreign ministry protested against the visit to the Yasukuni shrine by the Japanese lawmakers.

"In this sensitive year, Japanese politicians should adhere to correct historical views and do more to promote reconciliation and mutual trust with Asian neighbors, and not the opposite," said China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in Beijing.

Abe's speech in Jakarta will be followed by a speech to the U.S. Congress next week and a statement in August marking the anniversary of the end of World War Two.

http://news.yahoo.com/japan-china-leaders-set-meet-summit-mps-visit-023041774.html
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« Reply #109 on: April 28, 2015, 01:39:23 pm »

'Historic Transition' In US-Japan Defense Cooperation Signals Global Role For Asian Nation

Japan and the United States unveiled a “historic transition” in defense ties on Monday during Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to Washington. The new revisions, which are the first in 18 years to the rules that govern defense ties between the two nations, come at a time of heightened Chinese belligerence in the South China Sea region, and a growing threat from North Korea.

“The guidelines that we have worked on that have been announced today will enhance Japan's security, deter threats and contribution to regional peace and stability,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said, at a press conference on Monday. The revised guidelines strengthen Japan’s role in global military cooperation, ranging from defense against ballistic missiles, cyber and space attacks, as well as maritime security, in both the Asia-Pacific region as well as across the globe.

The amended guidelines, which also allow Japan to come to the aid of U.S. forces and respond to attacks on any other country, come a year after Abe's government approved a reinterpretation of the country’s constitution. Under Article 9 of Japan’s constitution, which came into effect after World War II, Japan renounced war “as a sovereign right of the nation.” However, in July last year, in a dramatic policy shift from its post-war pacifism, Japan ended the ban on exercising “collective self-defense” and aiding an ally under attack. Under its revised constitution, Japan can shoot down a missile headed toward the U.S. even if Japan itself is not under attack, something that was previously prohibited.

“The new guidelines reflect both the enhancement of solidarity and the expansion of cooperation between Japan and the United States,” Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, said, at the press conference. “Japan, in close cooperation with the United States, will continue to contribute even more proactively to ensuring peace, stability and prosperity of not only Japan but the Asia-Pacific region and the international community.”

At the press conference, Kerry also reaffirmed America’s “ironclad” commitment to Japan’s security, including over the issue of a disputed cluster of islands -- known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.

“We reject any suggestion that freedom of navigation, overflight and other unlawful uses of the sea and airspace are privileges granted by big states to small ones subject to the whim and fancy of a big state,” Kerry said, in an apparent reference to China’s claims over these islands.

The announcements came at the beginning of Abe's week-long visit to the U.S.

http://www.ibtimes.com/historic-transition-us-japan-defense-cooperation-signals-global-role-asian-nation-1899227
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« Reply #110 on: May 21, 2015, 05:17:16 am »

China warns U.S. surveillance plane

Above the South China Sea (CNN)The Chinese navy issued warnings eight times as a U.S. surveillance plane on Wednesday swooped over islands that Beijing is using to extend its zone of influence.

The series of man-made islands and the massive Chinese military build-up on them have alarmed the Pentagon, which is carrying out the surveillance flights in order to make clear the U.S. does not recognize China's territorial claims. The militarized islands have also alarmed America's regional allies.

Former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell told CNN's Erin Burnett Wednesday night that the confrontation indicates there is "absolutely" a risk of the U.S. and China going to war sometime in the future.

READ: China cautions U.S. Navy on patrols

A CNN team was given exclusive access to join in the surveillance flights over the contested waters, which the Pentagon allowed for the first time in order to raise awareness about the challenge posed by the islands and the growing U.S. response.

CNN was aboard the P8-A Poseidon, America's most advanced surveillance and submarine-hunting aircraft, and quickly learned that the Chinese are themselves displeased by the U.S. pushback.

"This is the Chinese navy ... This is the Chinese navy ... Please go away ... to avoid misunderstanding," a voice in English crackled through the radio of the aircraft in which CNN was present.

This is the first time the Pentagon has declassified video of China's building activity and audio of Chinese challenges of a U.S. aircraft.
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The aircraft flew at 15,000 feet in the air at its lowest point, but the U.S. is considering flying such surveillance missions even closer over the islands, as well as sailing U.S. warships within miles of them, as part of the new, more robust U.S. military posture in the area.

Soon after the Chinese communication was heard, its source appeared on the horizon seemingly out of nowhere: an island made by China some 600 miles from its coastline.

The South China Sea is the subject of numerous rival -- often messy -- territorial claims over an area that includes fertile fishing grounds and potentially rich reserves of undersea natural resources. China is increasingly showing that even far from its mainland, it sees itself as having jurisdiction over the body of water.

Wednesday's mission was specifically aimed at monitoring Chinese activities on three islands that months ago were reefs barely peaking above the waves. Now they are massive construction projects that the U.S. fears will soon be fully functioning military installations.

READ: What is a littoral combat ship?

China's alarming creation of entirely new territory in the South China Sea is one part of a broader military push that some fear is intended to challenge U.S. dominance in the region. Beijing is sailing its first aircraft carrier; equipping its nuclear missiles with multiple warheads; developing missiles to destroy us warships; and, now, building military bases far from its shores.

That's exactly what Morell warned may be coming if China continues down its current path. He warned on CNN that "there's a real risk, when you have this kind of confrontation, for something bad happening."

He added that China's aggressive growth hints at a broader trend as the Asian economic superpower continues to expand its influence and strength -- one that Morell said could "absolutely" lead to war between the U.S. and China.

"China is a rising power. We're a status quo power. We're the big dog on the block ... They want more influence," he said. "Are we going to move a little bit? Are they going to push? How is that dance going to work out? This is a significant issue for the next President of the United States."

War is "not in their interests, (and) it's not in our interests," Morell acknowledged.

"But absolutely, it's a risk," he said.

"I'm scratching my head like everyone else as to what's the (Chinese) end game here. We have seen increased activity even recently on what appears to be the building of military infrastructure," Capt. Mike Parker, commander of the fleet of P8 and P3 surveillance aircraft deployed to Asia, told CNN aboard the P8.

"We were just challenged 30 minutes ago and the challenge came from the Chinese navy, and I'm highly confident it came from ashore, this facility here," Parker said of the Chinese message for the U.S. plane to move away, as he pointed to an early warning radar station on an expanded Fiery Cross Reef.

In just two years, China has expanded these islands by 2,000 acres -- the equivalent of 1,500 football fields -- and counting, an engineering marvel in waters as deep as 300 feet.
The Convair B-36 Peacemaker was a bomber used by the United States Air Force during the 1950s. Before 1955, it was used primarily for nuclear weapons delivery for the Strategic Air Command.
The evolution of American surveillance planes 7 photos
EXPAND GALLERY

In video filmed by the P8's surveillance cameras, we see that in addition to early warning radar, Fiery Cross Reef is now home to military barracks, a lofty lookout tower and a runway long enough to handle every aircraft in the Chinese military. Some call it China's "unsinkable aircraft carrier."

In a sign of just how valuable China views these islands to be, the new islands are already well protected.

From the cockpit, Lt. Cmdr Matt Newman told CNN, "There's obviously a lot of surface traffic down there: Chinese warships, Chinese coast guard ships. They have air search radars, so there's a pretty good bet they're tracking us."

The proof was loud and clear. The Chinese navy ordered the P8 out of the airspace eight times on this mission alone.

Each time, the American pilots told them calmly and uniformly that the P8 was flying through international airspace.

That answer sometimes frustrated the Chinese radio operator on the other end.

Once he responds with exasperation: "This is the Chinese navy ... You go!"

READ: World wary of China's 'great wall of sand

This is a military-to-military stand-off in the skies, but civilian aircraft can find themselves in the middle.

As was heard on the first of several Chinese warning on the radio, the pilot of a Delta flight in the area spoke on the same frequency, quickly identifying himself as commercial. The voice on the radio then identified himself as "the Chinese Navy" and the Delta flight went on its way.

The more China builds, U.S. commanders told CNN, the more frequently and aggressively the Chinese navy warns away U.S. military aircraft.

Over Fiery Cross Reef and, later, Mischief Reef, fleets of dozens of dredgers could be seen hard at work, sucking sand off the bottom of the sea and blowing it in huge plumes to create new land above the surface, while digging deep harbors below.

"We see this every day," Parker said. "I think they work weekends on this because we see it all the time."

http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/20/politics/south-china-sea-navy-flight/index.html
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« Reply #111 on: May 24, 2015, 06:24:16 am »

Chinese Military Using Jamming Against U.S. Drones

China tried to electronically jam U.S. drone flights over the South China Sea in a bid to thwart spying on disputed island military construction, U.S. officials said. Global Hawk long-range surveillance drones were targeted by the jamming in at least one incident near the disputed Spratly Islands, where China is building military facilities on Fiery Cross Reef.   

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/chinese-military-using-jamming-against-u-s-drones/
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« Reply #112 on: May 26, 2015, 08:28:22 am »

Chinese State Paper Warns "War Will Be Inevitable" Unless U.S. Stops Meddling In Territorial Dispute

Whereas over the past year, ever since the outbreak of the hostilities over the fate of Ukraine following the Victoria Nuland orchestrated presidential coup, relations between Russia and NATO have devolved to a Cold War 2.0 state as manifested by countless interceptions of Russian warplanes by NATO jets and vice versa as depicted in the following infographic...

... at least China was mercifully allowed to stay out of the fray between the Cold War enemies.

This all changed this month when first the Pentagon's annual report to Congress this month cast China as a threat to regional and international peace and stability, followed several weeks ago when, with China aggressively encroaching into territories in the South China Sea claimed by US allies in the region such as Philippines, Vietnam and Japan, the US decided to get involved in yet another regional spat that does not directly involve it, and started making loud noises about China's territorial expansion over the commodity-reach area.

China promptly relatiated by threatening a US spy plane during a routine overflight, while immediately thereafter the US retaliated at China's escalation, and warned that building sea "sandcastles" could "lead to conflict."

Far from shutting China up, earlier today China said it had lodged a complaint with the United States over a U.S. spy plane that flew over parts of the disputed South China Sea in a diplomatic row that has fuelled tension between the world's two largest economies.

Quoted by Reuters, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Monday China had lodged a complaint and that it opposed "provocative behaviour" by the United States.

"We urge the U.S. to correct its error, remain rational and stop all irresponsible words and deeds," she said. "Freedom of navigation and overflight by no means mean that foreign countries' warships and military aircraft can ignore the legitimate rights of other countries as well as the safety of aviation and navigation."

China had noted “ear-piercing voices” from many in the U.S. about China’s construction on the islands and reefs.

In other words, China just imposed an effective "no fly zone" for US spy planes, a dramatic shift from its recent posture when it tolerated and turned a blind eye to US spy plane overflights. Going forward, the US has been explicitly warned not to fly over China or risk the consequences.

This handout photo taken on March 16, 2015 by satellite imagery provider Digital Globe shows a satellite image of vessels purportedly dredging sand at Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands in the disputed South China Sea

And just to confirm that if the US had hoped it could threaten Beijing into submission and force the Politburo into curbing its expanionist appetit, it was dead wrong, the nationalist Global Times, a paper owned by the ruling Communist Party’s official newspaper, the People’s Daily, said in a Monday editorial that war was “inevitable” between China and the United States unless Washington stopped demanding Beijing halt the building of artificial islands in the disputed waterway.

PressTV has more details:

    A war between the United States and China is “inevitable” unless Washington stops demanding Beijing halt its construction projects in the South China Sea, a Chinese state-owned newspaper warns.

    “If the United States’ bottom line is that China has to halt its activities, then a US-China war is inevitable in the South China Sea,” The Global Times, an influential newspaper owned by the ruling Communist Party’s official newspaper the People’s Daily, said in an editorial Monday.

    “We do not want a military conflict with the United States, but if it were to come, we have to accept it,” said The Global Times, which is among China’s most nationalist newspapers.

    Beijing last week said it was “strongly dissatisfied” after a US spy plane defied multiple warnings by the Chinese navy and flew over the Fiery Cross Reef, where China is reportedly building an airfield and other installations.   

    “The intensity of the conflict will be higher than what people usually think of as ‘friction’,” it warned.

    The paper also asserted that China was determined to finish its construction work in the South China Sea, calling it Beijing’s “most important bottom line.”

Such commentaries are not official policy statements, but are sometimes read as a reflection of government thinking.

More importantly, they serve as populism-timestamped warnings that US demands for a Chinese retreat over what the world's most populous nation considers' its own national interest, will backfire dramatically and the next time a US spy plane flies over the Spratly Islands, or Beijing's smog for that matter, a very serious diplomatic incident may ensue.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-05-25/war-will-be-inevitable-unless-us-stops-meddling-terrotorial-dispute-chinese-state-ne
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« Reply #113 on: May 26, 2015, 08:29:15 am »

China to extend military reach, build lighthouses in disputed waters

China outlined a strategy to boost its naval reach on Tuesday and held a groundbreaking ceremony for two lighthouses in disputed waters, developments likely to escalate tensions in a region already jittery about Beijing's maritime ambitions.

In a policy document issued by the State Council, the Communist-ruled country's cabinet, China vowed to increase its "open seas protection", switching from air defence to both offence and defence, and criticised neighbours who take "provocative actions" on its reefs and islands.

China has been taking an increasingly assertive posture over recent years in the disputed waters of the South China Sea, where Beijing has engaged in land reclamation in the Spratly archipelago.

China, which claims most of the South China Sea, criticised Washington after a U.S. spy plane flew over areas near the reefs last week, with both sides accusing each other of stoking instability.

It has overlapping claims with the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei in the South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year.

Defence Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said China's reclamation in the Spratlys was comparable with construction of homes and roads on the mainland.

"From the perspective of sovereignty, there is absolutely no difference," he told reporters.

Some countries with "ulterior motives" had unfairly characterized China's military presence and sensationalised the issue, he said. Surveillance in the region was increasingly common and China would continue to take "necessary measures" to respond.

"Some external countries are also busy meddling in South China Sea affairs. A tiny few maintain constant close-in air and sea surveillance and reconnaissance against China," the strategy paper said in a thinly veiled reference to the United States.

OFFENCE AND DEFENCE

It said China's air force would shift its focus from territorial air defence to both offence and defence, and building airspace defences with stronger military capabilities.

China also hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the building of two lighthouses in the South China Sea, broadcast on state television, defying calls from the United States and the Philippines for a freeze on such activity.

The construction was to help maritime search and rescue, disaster relief, environmental protection and navigational security, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.

Wu Shicun, president of the government-affiliated National Institute for South China Sea Studies, said the lighthouses were among the first of planned civilian-use facilities in the region.

"The reefs are located near an important commercial shipping route, so there will be continued development to maintain the security of those shipping lanes," he said in an interview with Reuters.

The People's Liberation Army's nuclear force, known as the Second Artillery Corps, would also strengthen its capabilities for deterrence and nuclear counterattack as well as medium- and long-range precision strikes, the paper said.

"China faces many complex maritime security threats and challenges and requires a navy that can carry out multifaceted missions and protect its sovereignty," Wang Jin, a senior colonel, told reporters.

The paper also cited "grave threats" to China's cyber infrastructure, adding that China would hasten development of a cyber military force.

Self-ruled Taiwan, which China considers a renegade province, called on all South China Sea claimants to shelve their disagreements to enable talks on sharing resources before a conflict breaks out.

Japan meanwhile will join a major U.S.-Australian military exercise for the first time in a sign of growing security links between the three countries as tensions fester over China's moves.

All three nations have said they are concerned about freedom of movement through the South China Sea and air space.

China's Ministry of Defence said on Tuesday it had carried out military training for party cadres from border and coastal areas on border defence, among other topics.

The trainees, who visited military combat units, developed a better understanding of the "national security situation", said a statement on the ministry's website.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/26/china-defence-idUSKBN0OB0C520150526
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« Reply #114 on: May 26, 2015, 11:22:50 am »

George Soros Warns “No Exaggeration” That China-US On “Threshold Of World War 3″

While admitting that reaching agreement between the two countries will be difficult to achieve, George Soros - speaking at The World Bank’s Bretton Woods conference this week - warned that unless the U.S. makes ‘major concessions’ and allows China’s currency to join the IMF’s basket of currencies, “there is a real danger China will align itself with Russia politically and militarily, and then the threat of world war becomes real.”

Much in global geopolitics depends on the health and trajectory of the Chinese economy, was the undertone of George Soros’ comments as he spoke this week, but as MarketWatch reports,

    Billionaire investor George Soros said flatly that he’s concerned about the possibility of another world war.

    If China’s efforts to transition to a domestic-demand led economy from an export engine falter, there is a “likelihood” that China’s rulers would foster an external conflict to keep the country together and hold on to power.

    …

    To avoid this scenario, Soros called on the U.S. to make a “major concession” and allow China’s currency to join the International Monetary Fund’s basket of currencies. This would make the yuan a potential rival to the dollar as a global reserve currency.

    In return, China would have to make similar major concessions to reform its economy, such as accepting the rule of law, Soros said.

    Allowing China’s yuan to be a market currency would create “a binding connection” between the two systems.

    An agreement along these lines will be difficult to achieve, Soros said, but the alternative is so unpleasant.

    “Without it, there is a real danger that China will align itself with Russia politically and militarily, and then the threat of third world war becomes real, so it is worth trying.”

And while on the topic, Soros also spoke recently, as ValueWalk notes, on the situation in Europe…

    “The European Union was a very inspiring idea to people like me,” he commented, reflecting back to when EU economies were more balanced. “It was the embodiment of the idea of an open society, like minded countries getting together and sacrificing part of their sovereignty for the common good.  It was meant to be a voluntary association of equals.”

    Soros continued to say: “Because of the Euro crisis, [the E.U.] has been transformed into something radically different.” He also emphasized that over time two different classes of countries have evolved: creditors and debtors. “The debtors had difficulty meeting their obligations and this put the creditors in charge. They (the creditors) set the rules and made it very difficult for the debtors to exit their inferior status. A voluntary association of equals turned into an involuntary association of un-equals.”

rest: http://etfdailynews.com/2015/05/26/george-soros-warns-no-exaggeration-that-china-us-on-threshold-of-world-war-3/
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« Reply #115 on: May 26, 2015, 11:33:31 am »

Japan to join U.S., Australia war games amid growing China tensions

Japan will join a major U.S.-Australian military exercise for the first time in a sign of growing security links between the three countries as tensions fester over China's island building in the South China Sea.

While only 40 Japanese officers and soldiers will take part in drills involving 30,000 U.S. and Australian troops in early July, experts said the move showed how Washington wanted to foster cooperation among its security allies in Asia.

The Talisman Sabre biennial exercises, to be held in locations around Australia, will encompass maritime operations, amphibious landings, special forces tactics and urban warfare.

"I think the U.S. is trying to get its allies to do more," said Euan Graham, director of the International Security Program at the Lowy Institute in Sydney.

"There is an obvious symmetry between Japan as the upper anchor of the Western Pacific alliance and ... Australia as the southern anchor."

All three nations have said they were concerned about freedom of movement through the seas and air in the disputed South China Sea, where China is creating seven artificial islands in the Spratly archipelago, a vital shipping corridor.

Some security experts say China might impose air and sea restrictions in the Spratlys once it completes construction work that includes at least one military airstrip. China has said it had every right to set up an Air Defence Identification Zone but that current conditions did not warrant one.

China claims most of the South China Sea. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei also have overlapping claims.

The Japanese personnel will embed with U.S. forces while 500 New Zealand troops will join Australian contingents, according to the Australian Defence Force website.

Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani rebuffed suggestions the exercises were aimed at China, telling Reuters that Japan simply wanted to improve military cooperation with the United States and Australia.

China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, asked if Beijing was concerned the exercises appeared to be targeted toward China, said it was "not worried".

"We believe the relevant countries should all play a proactive and constructive role to strengthen mutual trust and cooperation between countries in the region," she said at a regular news briefing.

"UNPRECEDENTED TRILATERAL COOPERATION"

Security cooperation between Canberra and Tokyo has already flourished under Prime Ministers Tony Abbott and Shinzo Abe, with Japan seen as the frontrunner to win a contract to supply next generation submarines to the Australian navy. U.S. commanders have publicly supported such a tie-up.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense David Shear highlighted Washington's goal of boosting cooperation between its allies in testimony to the U.S. Senate this month.

"To expand the reach of these alliances, we are embarking on unprecedented trilateral cooperation," he said.

"In some cases this cooperation directly benefits our work on maritime security. For example, we're cooperating trilaterally with Japan and Australia to strengthen maritime security in Southeast Asia and explore defense technology cooperation."

Winning the submarine deal would be a big boost for Japan's defense industry and potentially pave the way for the sale of advanced Japanese weapons to countries such as the Philippines and Vietnam, which are at loggerheads with Beijing over the South China Sea, experts have said.

Australia also hopes to sign a deal with Japan this year that would smooth the passage of military personnel into one another's country for joint exercises, the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper reported over the weekend.

Deals such as this would likely become more common as Abbott and Abe push to cement the security ties they have fostered before they leave office, said the Lowy Institute's Graham.

"There will be more of this, and it's important in the next couple of years that the relationship beds in because otherwise ... you could quickly find it isn't a self-sustaining relationship," he said.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/26/us-australia-usa-japan-idUSKBN0OA1GE20150526
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« Reply #116 on: May 27, 2015, 08:32:35 am »

PLA Navy will have 415 warships in near future: US expert

James Fanell, the former director of the US Pacific Fleet's intelligence and information, predicted China will eventually have about 415 warships including four aircraft carriers and 100 submarines in the near future while attending a two-day conference held by the US Naval War College's China Maritime Studies Institute in Newport, Rhode Island last week, reports the Defense News.

The event was held to discuss the PLA Navy's shipbuilding progress and challenges. It concluded that the PLA Navy is making achievements and will continue to grow. Most experts and scholars attending the conference agreed that the PLA Navy has devoted more resources to develop new vessels including destroyers, frigates and submarines armed with with the capability to hit and destroy enemy warships.

"Both surface vessels and subs seem to be largely focused on anti-surface warfare," said Andrew Erickson, one of the experts attending the event. "That doesn't mean they're not working to progress in new directions, but it doesn't seem to have borne as much fruit that we can easily see." A lot of the anti-ship missiles equipped by the Chinese warships or submarines have ranges far in excess of similar missiles in service with the US Navy.

With such a large number of long-range surface-to-surface missiles in hand, the PLA Navy is altering politics and strategies throughout the Asian theater. "The PLA Navy will continue to expand for the next 15 years," said Fanell. He added that the PLA Navy's active defense in the near seas are going to grow while far seas operations will increase. At the same time, Fanell believes that more goodwill deployments will take place.

Along with continued improvements in modular construction, the use of robotics and virtual 3D manufacturing, and a growing preference for indigenous designs of improving quality, Fanell said that the PLA Navy can certainly increase the number of surge deployments and ballistic missile submarine patrols. More carrier strike groups will be established as well. To accomplish this task, China needs about 415 warships by year of 2030.

Fanell said those 415 warships include 99 submarines, four aircraft carriers, 26 corvettes, 73 amphibious ships, three missile craft, and 102 destroyers and frigates. China's Type 052D guided-missile destroyer may not be as good as the US Navy's Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, but Fanell believes that it is good enough for the PLA Navy since it is fitted with a vertical launch system, the YJ-18 anti-ship missile and an active array radar system.

http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-subclass-cnt.aspx?id=20150526000161&cid=1101&MainCatID=0
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« Reply #117 on: May 28, 2015, 06:33:53 am »

China puts weapons on its new artificial islands

China has moved weaponry onto artificial islands that it is building in contested areas of the South China Sea, adding to the risks of a confrontation with the United States and its regional security partners including Australia.

Australian officials are concerned that China could also introduce long-range radar, anti-aircraft guns and regular surveillance flights that will enable it to project military power across a maritime expanse which include some of Australia's busiest trading lanes.

Fairfax understands that these concerns are prompting discussions in senior military circles that could lead to Australian naval officers and air force pilots embarking on "freedom of navigation" missions to demonstrate that Canberra does not accept Beijing's hardening claims.

The options, which include fly-throughs, sail-throughs and exercises involving various regional partners, are expected to crystallise after officials deliver a personal briefing to Prime Minister Tony Abbott during the next fortnight.

Already, diplomats have dropped "talking points" about Australia not taking sides in the multi-layered territorial contest, which Chinese officials have used as evidence of Australian support.

More substantially, Australia's intelligence agencies are upgrading the strategic threat assessments which will inform the Abbott government's first Defence White Paper, according to government sources. Late on Wednesday, Australia's top defence official, Dennis Richardson, brought Canberra's growing concerns into public view by telling a Sydney forum that China's "unprecedented" land reclamations raise questions of "intent" and risks of "miscalculation".

"It is legitimate to ask the purpose of the land reclamation – tourism appears unlikely," said Mr Richardson, delivering the annual Blamey Oration at the New South Wales state Parliament.

"Given the size and modernisation of China's military, the use by China of land reclamation for military purposes would be of particular concern," he said.

The Defence Secretary's comments were the most detailed and forthright from a senior Australian official since China began building its audacious network of airstrips, deep-water ports and other military-capable infrastructure on previously submerged reefs in the Spratly Islands last year.

China says the new sand islands will be used for humanitarian, environmental, fishing and other internationally-minded purposes.
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But it warned this week in its own Defence White Paper that it would gradually expand "offshore waters defence" to include "open seas protection", adding that it would not tolerate other countries "meddling".

In Canberra, Fairfax understands that China's frenetic building activity has prompted the Defence Intelligence Organisation and Office of National Assessments to adopt a more hawkish tone since they each delivered major strategic threat assessments to the National Security Committee of Committee (NSC) mid-last year.

Their revised strategic assessments, due to be submitted to the NSC in coming weeks, will show how the reclamations could enable China to greatly amplify threats of coercive force in order to play a gate-keeping role across hotly-contested maritime areas, if left unchecked.

What Australia should do about the challenge is a more difficult question.

Australian military officers and officials have discussed a need to demonstrate that they do not recognise any 12-mile territorial zone or more expansive economic zone that China may unilaterally claim around its freshly-minted islands. But they are grappling with the need to avoid inflaming a potential confrontation Australia's largest trading partner.

Last week the United States demonstrated its position with a flyover by a P-8 surveillance plane, which carried a CNN journalist.

The voice of an Australian can be heard over the aircraft's radio.

Senior officers and officials have speculated that Australia could join a humanitarian or military exercise with the United States or one of several regional partners including Japan, Malaysia and Singapore.

Such a move has been discussed in Washington and key capitals in the region but no proposal has yet been put to Canberra, it is understood.

It could also dispatch naval vessels or air force planes through a contested area on route to a routine destination.

Officials say that any such "demonstration" is likely to be conducted with minimal publicity, to avoid inflaming China's reaction.

Mr Richardson, in his Sydney address to the Royal United Services Institute, said the area of previously-submerged atolls that China has reclaimed in the past year is nearly four times as large as that which the five other claimant states have achieved over several decades.

And he critiqued the nebulous nature of China's claims which, on some readings, cover more than 80 per cent of the entire South China Sea.

"It is not constructive to give the appearance of seeking to change facts on the ground without any clarification of actual claims," he said.

"It is legitimate to raise such questions and express such concerns because tensions and potential miscalculations are not in anyone's interest."

http://www.smh.com.au/national/china-puts-weapons-on-its-new-artificial-islands-20150527-ghaxa8.html
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« Reply #118 on: September 15, 2015, 05:54:47 am »

China appears to be working on third airstrip on disputed South China Sea islets

China appears to be carrying out preparatory work for a third airstrip in contested territory in the South China Sea, a U.S. expert said on Monday, citing satellite photographs taken last week. The photographs taken for Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) think tank on Sept. 8 show construction on Mischief Reef, one of seven artificial islands China has created in the Spratly archipelago.   

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/15/us-china-southchinasea-airstrips-idUSKCN0RE28220150915
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« Reply #119 on: September 18, 2015, 04:24:43 pm »


Obama Blocks Navy from Sailing Near Disputed Chinese islands
Failure to assert passage rights in South China Sea bolsters Beijing’s illegal maritime claims


The Obama administration has restricted the U.S. Pacific Command from sending ships and aircraft within 12 miles of disputed Chinese-built islands in the South China Sea, bolstering Beijing’s illegal claims over the vital seaway, Pentagon leaders revealed to Congress on Thursday.

“The administration has continued to restrict our Navy ships from operating within 12 nautical miles of China’s reclaimed islands,” Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) said in opening remarks criticizing the failure to guarantee safe passage for international commercial ships in Asia.

“This is a dangerous mistake that grants de facto recognition of China’s man-made sovereignty claims,” he said.

The South China Sea is a strategic waterway used to transport $5 trillion annually in goods, including $1.2 trillion in trade to the United States.

David Shear, assistant defense secretary for Asian and Pacific affairs, sought to play down the restrictions on Navy ship transits close to the islands. According to Shear, a regional freedom of navigation exercise took place in April and the tactic is “one tool in a larger tool box … and we’re in the process of putting together that tool box.”

Shear acknowledged that “we have not recently gone within 12 miles of a reclaimed area,” noting the last time a Navy ship sailed that close to a Chinese-built island was 2012.

The disclosure undermines statements made Wednesday by Defense Secretary Ash Carter who said the United States would not be coerced by China into not operating ships or aircraft in Asia. Carter said the United States “will continue to protect freedom of navigation and overflight.”

Shear insisted that in recent years the U.S. military has challenged “every category of Chinese claim in the South China Sea, as recently as this year.”

Blocking China from militarizing the new islands could include a range of options, including freedom of navigation operations, he said.

McCain, however, noted that the U.S. restrictions on close-in island military flights and ship visits were continuing despite the provocative dispatch of five Chinese warships in an unprecedented deployment to waters within 12 miles of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands—at the same time President Obama was concluding a recent visit to the state earlier this month.

A visibly angered McCain told Shear the best way to assert that international waters around the islands do not belong to China would be for American ships to make 12-mile passages by the disputed islands. “And we haven’t done that since 2012. I don’t find that acceptable, Mr. Secretary,” he said.

Adm. Harry Harris, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, was asked if he is authorized to order ships to travel within 12 miles of any of the man-made islands and answered, no. Harris also said no U.S. surveillance aircraft have flown directly over any of the islands.

Asked why not, Harris stated: “I’ll just [say] that Pacom presents options, military options to the secretary. And those options come with a full range of opportunities in the South China Sea, and we’re ready to execute those options when directed.”

The restrictions appear to be an element of the Obama administration’s conciliatory policies toward China that have increased in the months leading up to the planned visit to Washington next week by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The administration also has not taken steps to penalize China for large-scale hacking of U.S. government and private sector databases, although sanctions are planned.

China has been building islands on several reefs within the South China Sea for the past several years near the Paracels, in the northwestern sea, and near the Spratlys, near the Philippines. Several nations, including Vietnam, Philippines, and Malaysia have challenged Chinese claims to maritime sovereignty.

After ignoring the island building for several years, the Obama administration earlier this year began pressing the Chinese to halt the construction. The U.S. appeals were ignored.

A Chinese admiral recently declared that the entire South China Sea is China’s maritime territory.

“The South China Sea is no more China’s than the Gulf of Mexico is Mexico’s,” said Harris, who described himself as critic of China’s maritime behavior and large-scale military buildup.

Harris made clear implicitly during the hearing he did not agree with the restrictions on transit near the disputed islands but has been overruled by the president and secretary of defense.

“I think that we must exercise our freedom of navigation throughout the region …,” Harris said.

Pressed for his views on whether close passage of U.S. ships in the sea should be permitted, Harris said: “I believe that we should [be] allow[ed] to exercise freedom of navigation and flight—maritime and flight in the South China Sea against those islands that are not islands.”

Asked if he has requested permission for close-in island transits, Harris would not say, stating only that he has provided policy options for doing so to civilian leaders.

Harris said Pacific command surface ship commanders and crews, as well as Air Force pilots and crews, have orders when operating near China to “insist on our right to operate in international airspace and maritime space” and to respond professionally when challenged by Chinese warships or interceptor jets.

The four-star admiral warned that more incidents, such as the dangerous aerial intercept of a P-8 surveillance jet by a Chinese jet in 2014, are possible after China finishes building runways on Fiery Cross Reef and two other reefs.

With missiles, jet fighters, and warships stationed on the islands, “it creates a mechanism by which China would have de facto control over the South China Sea in any scenario short of war,” he said.

In a conflict the sites could be easily targeted, but “short of that, militarization of these features pose a threat, and certainly it poses a threat against all other countries in the region,” he said.

Shear also said the island militarization is a concern.

“The Chinese have not yet placed advanced weaponry on those features and we are going to do everything we can to ensure that they don’t,” Shear said. “This is going to be a long-term effort. There are no silver bullets in this effort. But we’re certainly complicating Chinese calculations already.”

Shear said U.S. forces are continuing to operate freely in the region and have deterred Chinese coercion of regional states.

“That we freely operate in the South China Sea is a success? It’s a pretty low bar, Mr. Secretary,” McCain said.

China’s dispatch of five warships to waters near the Bering Strait followed recent joint exercises with the Russians, after which the Chinese ships sailed near Alaska to demonstrated the ships’ ability to operate in the far north, Harris said, noting that he viewed the timing to the president’s Alaska visit as “coincidental.”

Sen. Dan Sullivan, (R., Alaska) said the Chinese action was a “provocation” and criticized the administration’s weak response. The Pentagon dismissed the Chinese ship transit as legal under international law.

“I thought it was more of a provocation and a demonstration of their interest in the Arctic,” Sullivan said. “I’m not sure that this White House would recognize a provocation if it was slapped in the face, and we need to be aware of that.”

Harris also said he is concerned by China deploying submarines, including nuclear missile submarines, further from its shores.

“We’re seeing Chinese submarine deployments extend further and further, almost with every deployment,” he said. “It has become routine for Chinese submarines to travel to the Horn of Africa region and North Arabian Sea in conjunction with their counter piracy task force operations. We’re seeing their ballistic missiles submarines travel in the Pacific at further ranges and of course all of those are of concern.”

China’s claims to have halted island construction and militarization on some 3,000 acres are false, McCain said.

“Recently released satellite images show clearly this is not true,” the senator said. “What’s more, China is rapidly militarizing this reclaimed land, building garrisons, harbors, intelligence, and surveillance infrastructure, and at least three air strips that could support military aircraft.”

Surface-to-air missiles and radars also could be added enabling China “to declare and enforce an air defense identification zone in the South China Sea, and to hold that vital region at risk,” McCain added.

Shear said the island building is nearly completed.

Meanwhile in the House, Rep. J. Randy Forbes (R., Va.), chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee on seapower, led a group of 29 members of Congress in writing to President Obama and Carter, the defense secretary, urging the lifting of the restrictions on naval and air operations near the disputed islands.

“The longer the United States goes without challenging China’s unfounded claims to sovereignty over these artificial formations—and to territorial waters and exclusive economic rights in the surrounding water—the greater the consequences will be for regional security,” the lawmakers stated in the Sept. 17 letter.

“It is our belief that the Defense Department should act immediately to reaffirm the United States’ commitment to freedom of navigation and the rule of law.”

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/obama-blocks-navy-from-sailing-near-disputed-chinese-islands/
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