As China feuds with the US, don’t expect it to encourage better behaviour from North Korea

Here’s a triangulation that’s rapidly getting more acute: China, North Korea and the United States. It’s not just that China is North Korea’s only real ally, its bulwark of defence since the Korean war. It’s also that China’s differences with the US are deepening with the indictment of its biggest smartphone maker for theft of US trade secrets, industrial espionage and money laundering. And it’s also that the US is looking for ways to make a deal with North Korea that would tone down the hostility dating from the Korean…

The Japan-South Korea Maritime Spat: Lessons Learned 

The confrontation has implications for the rest of Asia, and the United States. By Mark J. Valencia for The Diplomat February 06, 2019 Several maritime incidents between military assets of U.S. allies Japan and South Korea and their aftermath have disrupted and damaged the Japan-South Korea relationship and may have broader implications for the geopolitics of the region. How did such relatively minor incidents turn so serious so swiftly?  What lessons can be learned that are applicable to other nations that may find themselves in similar situations? In late December…

Lorenzana backs protest against China rescue centre

By Dempsey Reyes/Manila Times Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has backed the proposal of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to file a protest against China for building a rescue shelter in the contested Kagitingan (Fiery Cross) Reef.Lorenzana at first said he did not see anything wrong with the construction of a maritime rescue centre by Beijing in the disputed West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).“Anyway, that is for humanitarian purposes, maybe they could also help Filipinos who are stranded or in distress in the sea due to inclement weather,” he…

DND: PH won’t give up any territory

The Philippines, while it continues to maintain warm ties with China, is not surrendering nor compromising any part of its territory. This was stressed by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana during Monday’s forum at the National Defense College of the Philippines dubbed “The National Security Outlook for the Philippines in 2019”. “While we recognize China as a bilateral partner for joint ventures and other endeavors, it is worth emphasizing that our territorial sovereignty and integrity, maritime entitlements and rights should not be compromised. We are not compromising them; we are not…

The West is losing today’s infowars and must hit back hard

THERE IS a view that a fractured global order can be mended like a broken leg, and over time might emerge stronger for it. But this is probably a naive fantasy, argues Sean McFate.  Instead, the West needs to look opened-eyed at a new “durable disorder”—a period which, like the middle ages, is typified by a complex and occasionally violent interplay of state and non-state powers. Modern conflicts—be it Trump’s rise, the annexation of Crimea or even Brexit—don’t look like classic battlefields, he asserts. “When Russia wants to destabilize Europe,…

Canberra strands Beijing’s man offshore, denies passport

Senior government sources have confirmed that the Home Affairs Department denied Mr Huang a passport for a range of reasons, including character grounds. They were also concerned about the reliability of his answers in interviews and correspondence with authorities including ASIO. Huang Xiangmo with then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in 2016.Credit:Dominic Lorrimer Official sources say Mr Huang is now fighting to return to Australia from an overseas trip, but may never be able to return to Sydney, where he has lived with his wife and children since 2011, most recently…

A hill of beans: Soybeans upstage trade talks

WASHINGTON (AP) — Soybeans account for less than 1 percent of all the goods and services the United States sells the rest of the world. But somehow the humble legumes are upstaging weightier, thornier issues as the Trump administration tackles trade disputes with China, the European Union and other trading partners. Critics worry that focusing on getting foreigners to buy soybeans and other U.S. goods is a distraction from pushing them to make deeper economic reforms that would offer longer-lasting benefits to the United States. The outsize importance of soybeans…

May Chinese New Year signal a fresh start

While China’s importance as a customer for Australian iron ore and coal show up in the trade statistics, now is the one time of year when Australia’s economic reliance on China’s success is most obvious on Sydney’s streets. The Lunar New Year festival, which started on Tuesday, has become a significant part of Sydney’s life, not least because about 10 per cent of greater Sydney’s 5 million residents are of Chinese ancestry, more than any other non-English speaking ethnic group. No doubt hoping to win their votes, Prime Minister Scott Morrison…

Najib clashes with ‘Superman’ over MCBC appointment

Former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak traded barbs on social media today with former DAP man Hew Kuan Yau (above) over the latter’s appointment as a chief executive officer of the Malaysia-China Business Council (MCBC). Najib took the first shot by recounting Hew’s reputation of being crass and vulgar, citing his 2016 remark urging voters in Sarawak to vote DAP’s Abdul Aziz Isa and “use a Malay to screw the Malays.” “Until today, he has not apologised for this remark,” Najib said on Facebook. He then further claimed that Hew’s…

Review of US-PH defense treaty long overdue – Villarin

By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN Akbayan Party-list Rep. Tom Villarin has welcomed a proposal to amend the more than six decade-old Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) between the Philippines and the United States. According to Villarin, the planned review of the MDT was long overdue and a chance to cut the umbilical cord of subservience. Villarin said it was a historic opportunity to define what mutual interests serve both countries in an era where global power shifts to the Asia Pacific. “Our sovereignty and independence trumps other interests, nothing less,” he…