US sails through South China Sea; Trump set to sign executive order on AI; Shutdown looms again; US-DPRK talk ahead of summit; And a bit more.

China accused the U.S. of “tricks” after the U.S. Navy’s latest South China Sea sailthru. Two U.S. Navy warships just “conducted a freedom of navigation operation within 12 nautical miles of the Spratly Islands” this weekend, U.S. officials told Reuters early this morning. (FWIW: The last known FONOP occurred Jan. 7 near the Paracels. USNI has that review, here.) Beijing was quick to complain about this latest FONOP, too, since U.S.-China trade talks resume tomorrow in Beijing. Said China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying this morning, via Bloomberg: “You have…

South China Sea emerging as a dangerous flashpoint

China’s outright rejection of 2016 UNCLOS judgement and blatant disregard of rules and norms of maritime engagement, militarization of the artificial islands, and the exercise of might over its much smaller and weaker neighbours has turned the South China Sea a dangerous flashpoint. Two years have passed since the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) gave its landmark ruling on the South China Sea dispute that could have been the template for a rule-based maritime order and a basis for determining a country’s claim to the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and…

Marijuana Stocks: Aurora Cannabis Earnings Due After Market Close

Canadian marijuana producer Aurora Cannabis (ACB) reports fiscal second-quarter earnings after the market close today. Check back here for updates. Aurora Cannabis stock and other marijuana stocks were mostly lower on Monday. X Aurora Cannabis Earnings Estimates: No estimates were available from Zacks Investment Research. Last month, the company forecast net sales of 50 million to 55 million Canadian dollars. The forecast fell short of some estimates. But those results would represent a nearly 330% gain from a year ago and more than 68% above the prior quarter. Results: Coming…

Two Navy warships sailed through disputed South China Sea waters on Monday

Two U.S. destroyers steamed near islands in the increasingly contested South China Sea Monday as part of a continuing effort to counter Beijing’s claim over those waters, officials confirmed. The guided-missile destroyers Spruance and Preble sailed within 12 nautical miles of the Spratly Islands “in order to challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways as governed by international law,” Cmdr. Clayton Doss, spokesman for the Japan-based U.S. 7th Fleet, said in a statement. These freedom of navigation operations, or FONOPs, are designed to challenge China’s increasingly strident…

South China Sea To Be Stage For U.S., U.K. F-35s For HMS Queen Elizabeth Deployment

American Lockheed Martin (LMT) F-35s will embed on the maiden mission of the U.K.’s HMS Queen Elizabeth to disputed waters in the South China Sea. X At London’s Royal United Services Institute think tank Monday, Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson announced the U.K.’s new carrier will be sent to the Mediterranean, Middle East and Pacific for its first operational mission after extensive tests with F-35s in the U.S. late last year. Williamson didn’t give a time frame for the deployment, but the HMS Queen Elizabeth is expected to enter service by 2020.…

US warships infuriate Beijing with South China Sea sail-by operation

The US Navy sent two guided-missile destroyers to challenge China in the South China Sea, and Beijing is outraged. Two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers — the USS Spruance and the USS Preble — conducted a freedom-of-navigation operation on Monday, sailing within 12 nautical miles of Chinese outposts in the contested Spratly Islands. The purpose was “to challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways,” as well as to show that the US “will fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows,” Cmdr. Clay Doss, a US Navy 7th Fleet…

A prudent approach – Manila Standard

posted February 12, 2019 at 12:00 am Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana says he remains unfazed by reports that China has deployed a large fleet of ships near the Spratly Islands in response to the Philippines’ construction of a new beaching ramp on Pag-asa (Thitu) Island. “The presence of militia… is no surprise to us as they have been there since 2012. We expect other countries to respect Philippine sovereignty, and to conduct themselves in a civilized manner befitting members of the global community,” Lorenzana said in a statement released Friday. On…

Two U.S. ships sail near disputed island in South China Sea

Feb. 11 (UPI) — Two U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyers sailed within 12 nautical miles of a disputed artificial island in the South China Sea on Monday, prompting “strong dissatisfaction” from China. The USS Spruance and USS Preble — both Arleigh Burke-class destroyers — participated in what the U.S. Navy calls a “freedom of navigation operation,” according to a statement by Cmdr. Clay Doss, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet, obtained by ABC News. “Spruance and Preble sailed within 12 nautical miles of the Spratly Islands in order to…

China strikes upbeat tone on U.S. trade talks, but South China Sea tensions weigh

China struck an upbeat note on Monday as trade talks resumed with the United States, but also expressed anger at a U.S. Navy mission through the disputed South China Sea, casting a shadow over the prospect for improved Beijing-Washington ties. White House senior counsellor Kellyanne Conway on Monday also expressed confidence in a possible deal. Asked if the two countries were getting close to a trade agreement, she told Fox News in an interview, “It looks that way, absolutely.” The United States is expected to keep pressing China on long-standing…

British navy’s HMS Albion warned over South China Sea ‘provocation’

Image copyright Royal Navy Image caption The HMS Albion was conducting a freedom of navigation exercise China has accused the UK of “provocative actions”, after a British warship sailed close to the disputed Paracel islands in the South China Sea. The Chinese told HMS Albion to leave in “an aggressive manner”, taking position “irresponsibly close” to the ship, the BBC’s Jonathan Beale has been told. The Royal Navy said it was conducting a freedom of navigation exercise “in full compliance with international law”. But China said the UK had entered…