New guard takes charge of the West Philippine Sea

Rear Admiral Rene Medina used to be the commander of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao based in Zamboanga City Published 2:58 PM, March 02, 2019 Updated 3:00 PM, March 02, 2019 CHANGE OF COMMAND. Rear Admiral Rene Medina assumes as commander of Western Command on March 2, 2019. Sourced photo MANILA, Philippines — Rear Admiral Rene Medina assumed the post as new commander of Western Command (Wescom) in Palawan, the military unit responsible for protecting the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). Armed Forces chief of staff General Benjamin Madrigal…

AFP unit in charge of West Philippine Sea gets new commander

Vice Admiral Rene Medina. Photo from AFP MANILA, Philippines — The unit of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) which is directly in charge of securing the country’s claims in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) now has a new commander. Vice Admiral Rene Medina assumed his new post in a ceremony presided by Armed Forces chief Gen. Benjamin Madrigal Jr. on Saturday at the Western Command (Wescom) headquarters in Palawan, Wescom Cpt. Cheryl Tindog said in a statement. Medina replaced Commodore Dorvin Jose Lagspi, who served as…

MH370: Five years on, will we ever know the truth about missing airliner?

On 8 March, 2014, 227 passengers and a dozen crew members boarded a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 at Kuala Lumpur airport. Their routine overnight departure to Beijing was known as flight MH370. That code has come to represent the biggest mystery in aviation history. The relatives of the victims have endured five agonising years of not knowing what happened to their loved ones. Air traffic controllers lost contact with the jet while it was over the South China Sea. Who was at the controls when the jet veered off course, flew over…

The critical yet overlooked part of Trump’s trip to Vietnam was … Vietnam

The cornerstone of President Trump’s trip to Hanoi may have been his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, but bilateral talks with Vietnamese leaders that occurred while Trump was there emphasize the administration’s commitment to combating an increasingly influential China. “I think [the administration’s] view is that Vietnam and the U.S. have a lot of security interests in common, and the top of that of course is concern about China’s maritime activities,” said Zack Cooper, an American Enterprise Institute research fellow who focuses on U.S. alliances in Asia.…

New cross-strait crisis possible around 2020: U.S. expert | Politics | FOCUS TAIWAN

Taipei, March 2 (CNA) A U.S. scholar warned of a possible cross-Taiwan Strait crisis around 2020 as he believes China’s pressure campaign against Taiwan could intensify in the lead-up to and immediately following Taiwan’s 2020 presidential election. Michael S. Chase, a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation, made the comment in an article titled “Averting a Cross-Strait Crisis” published on the website of the Council on Foreign Relations, a U.S. think tank, on Feb. 26. China responded to Tsai’s refusal to endorse its approach to the 1992 Consensus by…

In Pompeo visit, Philippines gets timely assurance from oldest ally

The US assurance that Philippine vessels in the South China Sea are protected by the Mutual Defense Treaty sends a ‘strong and clear’ signal to Beijing Published 6:35 PM, March 02, 2019 Updated 6:43 PM, March 02, 2019 MANILA, Philippines – It was one sentence many Filipinos have long wanted to hear. Would the United States back the Philippines militarily if China attacks its vessels or aircraft in the South China Sea? US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo replied in the affirmative on Friday, March 1, and his words were…

On calls to review PH-US pact: Be careful what you wish for

RUSTING OUTPOST In 1999, the Philippine Navy deliberately grounded the BRP Sierra Madre on Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal to mark the country’s claim to the reef in the Spratly archipelago. The 100-meter-long World War II-era tank landing ship hosts a small contingent of Philippine Marines. Ayungin, which China also claims, lies 195 kilometers southwest of Palawan, well within the country’s 370-km exclusive economic zone. —GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE Amid the tumult surrounding Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana’s pledge to review the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT), it is useful to look at the…

New cross-strait crisis possible around 2020: U.S. expert | Politics | FocusTaiwan Mobile

Taipei, March 2 (CNA) A U.S. scholar warned of a possible cross-Taiwan Strait crisis around 2020 as he believes China’s pressure campaign against Taiwan could intensify in the lead-up to and immediately following Taiwan’s 2020 presidential election. Michael S. Chase, a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation, made the comment in an article titled “Averting a Cross-Strait Crisis” published on the website of the Council on Foreign Relations, a U.S. think tank, on Feb. 26. China responded to Tsai’s refusal to endorse its approach to the 1992 Consensus…

The future relations between the U.S. and North Korea after the failure of the Hanoi Summit

 The meeting between the leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Kim Jong-Un, and the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, will be held in Hanoi, Vietnam, on February 27-28, 2019.  The primary aim, as stated by both Heads of State, is the solution of the North Korean and US nuclear issue in South Korea.  The news of the meeting had initially been delivered by President Trump, in his speech on the State of the Union, but also in a long series of now inevitable Twitter messages.…