Cambodia Not a Chinese Vassal: Hun Sen

PHNOM PENH —  Prime Minister Hun Sen has dismissed concerns that Cambodia is becoming a Chinese vassal state after criticism over the country’s pivot to Beijing amid souring relations with the west over human rights and democratic decline. Speaking at the opening of a $50 million China-funded hospital in Tbong Khmum province late last month, Hun Sen said China had no intention of trying to control countries in the region. “I want to make it clear … I will not permit Chinese control and I know clearly about Chinese policy,…

China’s chequebook diplomacy in Cambodia a double-edged sword creating resentment

SIHANOUKVILLE, Cambodia: Billions of dollars have been flowing from China into Cambodia, turning parts of the once war-stricken country into modern cities. The economy is booming, jobs have been created and the market values of land have gone up. All of these should make tuk-tuk driver Ngieb Rem a happy man. Instead, he finds himself working harder than before in port city Sihanoukville, as an influx of Chinese tourists has driven out many local and Western holidaymakers. Advertisement “We can earn about the same amount, but we’d spend longer hours,”…

China trade deal looking more and more like a ‘sell the news’ opportunity for stock investors

If tariffs are retained, some strategists say that would be a negative for the market since uncertainty would remain, and so would the impact on businesses. “Removing the uncertainty of escalating tariffs should be enough to stimulate capex, but a cut to existing tariffs should provide a significant boost to US capex,” Clifton notes. “As such, a China deal is the most important ‘stimulus’ Trump could provide in 2019,” he wrote. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer last week said the provisions to protect intellectual property are a big part of…

Security researchers identify Chinese hacking group

A team of cybersecurity researchers said Monday that they have identified a state-sponsored Chinese hacking group that has launched cyberattacks to try to bolster China’s navy. Security firm FireEye said in a blog post that the group, which they are calling APT40, has been carrying out cyberattacks since at least 2013 that targeted the engineering, transportation and defense industries. The researchers said that the group is also going after traditional targets for China, including groups tied to elections in Southeast Asia, to try to gain intelligence about the organizations. FireEye noted that those actions…

China Accuses Two Canadians of Spying, Widening a Political Rift

BEIJING — The Chinese authorities announced sweeping espionage accusations against two Canadians — a former diplomat and a businessman — on Monday, days after Canada approved an extradition hearing for an executive of a Chinese technology giant, whose arrest in Vancouver has incensed Beijing. The spying accusations, made on an official news website for the Chinese legal administration, focused on the former diplomat, Michael Kovrig, while the businessman, Michael Spavor, was described as his “important source.” The allegations appear likely to deepen a political rift between Canada and China that…

In Philippines, Pompeo Offers Major Alliance Assurance on South China Sea

The U.S. assurance clarifies long standing Philippine concerns about the scope of the alliance. Following the disappointing U.S.-North Korea summit meeting in Hanoi, which ended without any notable result, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo jetted off to Manila, where he offered a long-sought assurance to a U.S. treaty ally. On Friday, Pompeo met with his Filipino counterpart Foreign Secretary Teddy Locsin and offered an assurance on the conditions under which the U.S.-Philippine Mutual Defense Treaty of 1951’s provisions on collective defense would apply. “China’s island building and military activities…

Look Beyond the Fleet: Finding the Capability for Distributed Maritime Operations

Distributed Maritime Operations Topic Week By Walker D. Mills The United States is becoming increasingly challenged at sea. Last year the Admiral Philip Davidson, current commander of Indo-Pacific Command, told The New York Times that “In short, China is now capable of controlling the South China Sea in all scenarios short of war with the United States.”1 This increasing anxiety is echoed in the 2016 Surface Forces Strategy (SFS), which identifies a “new era” of threats and challenges.2 In response the United States Navy has been at work on new concepts…

Analysis: China’s Congress and relations with the US – Editor’s Picks – News – NHK WORLD

*You will leave the NHK website. The Chinese National People’s Congress is set to get underway on Tuesday. The annual event gives a glimpse of what to expect from the world’s second-largest economy in the year to come. Part of this year’s focus will no doubt be on US-China relations. For some insight, we spoke to Doctor Wu Junhua, Research Director of the Japan Research Institute. Q) When it comes to trade negotiations and Beijing’s policy towards the US, what can we expect to hear from the National People’s Congress?…

Head of Japan’s ground forces discusses defense concerns with Philippine counterpart

MANILA – The chief of staff of the Ground Self-Defense Force met with his Philippine counterpart on Monday and discussed defense cooperation and regional security. Gen. Koji Yamazaki held talks with Maj. Gen. Macairog Alberto at the Philippine Army headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, one of two military forts in Manila. Army spokesman Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said they discussed regional security, including the South China Sea situation, and other issues of mutual concern. “It encompasses all, not just disputes, but also terrorism,” Zagala said. He said they also discussed such…

Duterte welcomes US guarantee to protect Philippines if attacked in South China Sea

Duterte welcomes US guarantee to protect Philippines if attacked in South China Sea Alexis Romero (philstar.com) – March 4, 2019 – 8:09pm MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte hailed the United States’ assurance that it would defend the Philippines from attacks but expressed qualms about the processes that require the approval of American lawmakers.  US State Secretary Mike Pompeo assured Philippine officials that Washington would protect Manila if its forces are attacked in the disputed West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).  Pompeo, who met with Duterte in Manila last…