‘Short of war’ with the U.S., China’s control of South China Sea is complete

A rare trip on a U.S. Navy surveillance flight over the South China Sea illustrates how profoundly China has reshaped the security landscape across the region. NEAR MISCHIEF REEF, South China Sea — As the U.S. Navy reconnaissance plane banked low near Mischief Reef in the South China Sea this month, a Chinese warning crackled on the radio. “U.S. military aircraft,” came the challenge, delivered in English in a harsh staccato. “You have violated our China sovereignty and infringed on our security and our rights. You need to leave immediately…

German migrant rescue ship renamed after tragic toddler Alan Kurdi

A German migrant rescue ship which operates in the Mediterranean was renamed Sunday after Alan Kurdi, a three-year-old Syrian refugee boy whose body washed up on a Turkish beach at the height of the migrant crisis, sparking global outrage. Alan’s father, Abdullah Kurdi, and aunt, Tima Kurdi, attended the renaming ceremony held in Palma on Spain’s Balearic Island of Mallorca. The event was organised by German charity Sea-Eye which operates the boat formerly known as the Professor Albrecht Penck. “We are happy that a German rescue ship will carry the…

Rebuilding new roads to peace, security, and human development » Manila Bulletin News

Published February 10, 2019, 12:15 AM PEACE-MAKER By FORMER SPEAKER JOSE C. DE VENECIA JR. Former Speaker Jose C. De Venecia Jr. (Remarks delivered at UPF World Summit in Seoul, Republic of Korea; February 7-11, 2019.) Two contrary impulses pull at every new state in the developing world. The first is the elite impulse to centralize political power, the better to achieve economic development and social modernization. The other impulse stems from ethnic nationalism—as people forcibly put together by colonialist powers seek to rally round some icon symbol of unique…

Refusing to learn from the past

The Dalai Lama is a religious leader revered by Indians who believe that a rishi resides in their midst. Tibetan Buddhism spread like wildfire in many parts of the Western world after their people and leaders came in contact with the simple monk, as he describes himself. The adulation that he received and continues to receive has benefited India enormously. Sadly, while governments of several countries spread out the red carpet Indian embassies were told to ignore him altogether. The Dalai Lama’s prestige outside India would not have been so…

Reviewing the US-Philippines Alliance: Between Risks and Opportunities

Last week, in the midst of a national security conference in the Philippines, Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana once again reinforced the need for review of the U.S.-Philippine alliance, a call which has been heard repeatedly from Manila in recent months. While such a review may seem warranted given strains recently seen on both sides of the alliance, Washington and Manila should carefully consider both the opportunities and risk of doing so at this time before serious progress is made alone these lines. The U.S.-Philippine alliance, as enshrined in the…

South China Sea: Navy aims to ramp up China fight | World | News

It follows a new report by the Henry Jackson Society think tank, backed by senior Admirals, which includes the move as part of a seven-point plan to ensure China holds no control over the vital trade route. More than twelve percent of British trade passes through the South China Sea each year, worth £92 billion. In September Britain was accused of “provocation” by Beijing after HMS Albion, an amphibious assault ship which usually carries Royal Marines, was deployed to the South China Sea on a ‘freedom of Navigation” exercise.  The…

Tapping new discoveries – Global Times

An oil field in Northwest China’s Qinghai Province in September, 2018. Photo: VCG China’s state energy giants are set to raise spending on domestic drilling this year to the highest levels since 2016, focusing on adding natural gas reserves in a concerted drive to boost local supplies. Responding to central government’s call last August to boost domestic energy security, China’s trio of oil majors – PetroChina, Sinopec Corp and CNOOC Ltd – are adding thousands of wells at oil basins in the remote deserts of Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous…

Pilgrims’ progress: a new mountain hotel in Vietnam | Travel

We’ve all done it: fetched up somewhere so idyllic on our travels that we hate the thought of going home to stress and normal life. More than 2,000 years ago, a Chinese wise man, An Ky Sinh, felt this way when he arrived at Yen Tu mountain in northern Vietnam. He had been sent by China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang (259-210BC), conqueror of six warring states and creator of the unified nation. Being such a splendid chap, he thought he deserved to live forever, so ordered his most learned…

This Week: Five Events You Need to Know (February 8)

There is a reason why Berlin has Germany’s greatest anti-Semitic problem. Germany’s capital city, Berlin, is plagued by growing anti-Semitism. Attacks on Jews in Berlin more than tripled in 2018 compared to the previous year. German anti-Semitism is again becoming popular, and the citizens of Berlin are no longer afraid to show it openly, even on camera. Despite various studies and reports, few understand where the hatred originates and where it is leading. This is not Berlin’s first time at the center of German anti-Semitism. Nationwide, Berlin has by far…

US Navy sails past contested islands in South China Sea amid U.S.-China tensions

Two US officials told CNN that the guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur sailed within 12 nautical miles of Gaven and Johnson reefs in the Spratly Islands as part of what the US Navy calls “freedom of navigation operations,” which are meant to enforce the right of free passage in international waters. “US Forces operate in the Indo-Pacific region on a daily basis, including the South China Sea. All operations are designed in accordance with international law and demonstrate that the United States will fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows,”…