US Ramps Up Presence In Taiwan Strait

For the fifth time in eight months, the US has sent two navy ships through the Taiwan Strait. Earlier this week, the US sent the destroyer USS Stethem and the cargo and ammunition carrier USNS Cesar Chavez through the 80-mile-wide waterway that separates Taiwan from mainland China. The two vessels were shadowed closely by Chinese warships as they passed through. The Taiwan Strait physically separates the democratic island of Taiwan from communist mainland China. Although Taiwan is not recognized as an independent state by the United Nations, it operates independently…

Is the Quad Dead (Again)?

The head of U.S. Indo-Pacific command hints that the quad grouping may be shelved. By Annabelle Liang for The Diplomat March 08, 2019 A U.S. military commander suggested Thursday during a visit to Singapore that a loose security grouping of his country, Japan, Australia, and India, also known as the Quad, may be shelved for now. Admiral Phil Davidson, who heads the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, said he was on a panel with the other navy chiefs at the Raisina Dialogue, a multilateral conference in New Delhi in January. Davidson said…

China calls US-North Korea summit an ‘important step’

BEIJING (AP) — The U.S.-North Korea summit in Vietnam last week was an “important step” toward denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, China’s foreign minister said Friday, despite criticism that the meeting ended early without leading to an agreement. The Hanoi talks between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un were “worthy of full recognition,” Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at a news conference on the sidelines of the annual meeting of China’s ceremonial legislature. “We feel like this meeting was an important step in finding a political…

Protests Over, China Seen More Empowered to Militarize a Disputed Sea

TAIPEI —  Beijing weathered only light protests against its reported missile installations in the Spratly Islands, making it easier to strengthen its military outposts in the disputed South China Sea, analysts say. Vietnam demanded May 8 that China remove any missiles but did not push further. The Philippines has “active mechanisms” to discuss militarization of the South China Sea but does not see Beijing as a threat, a presidential office spokesman in Manila said last week. Both countries, along with Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan, claim waters where China reportedly deployed…

40th Anniversary Of MCC Refugee Program Remembered By Southern MB Family

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the Mennonite Central Committee becoming the first agency to set up the private sponsorship of refugees into Canada. And a family from Steinbach says it is most grateful. Hanh Trinh Rempel says MCC and the work it did through this program was life-changing for them. “They affected our family in a very significant way because they were responsible for bringing our family from Vietnam to this country. Our family actually came to Canada on February 28th, 39 years ago. Through MCC, Grace Mennonite Church…

South China Sea expert expelled from Vietnam’s Communist Party

HANOI: Vietnam’s Communist Party has purged a prominent researcher whose work on his country’s claims to the disputed South China Sea had threatened to ruffle feathers in Beijing, which says it owns most of the resource-rich waterway. Tran Duc Anh Son, deputy head of a state-run research institute in central Danang City, was expelled from the party this week after being accused of eroding its prestige, state media reported. “The violations by Tran Duc Anh Son are very serious, creating negative public opinion among cadres, party members and the people,”…

Battleships, Aircraft Carriers and More: How the Royal Navy Helped Crush Japan During World War II

British naval operations in the Far East in World War II started badly and went downhill from there. Years of underfunding in defense meant that Britain simply did not have the means to defend its huge empire, and for 18 months prior to the Japanese attack on the American naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, it had stood alone against Nazi Germany. The Royal Navy was primarily committed to the Battle of the Atlantic, keeping open the all important sea lanes upon which the island nation’s survival depended. In the…

Duterte Could Turn Philippines Into The Land Of Easy Money And Build, Build, Build

Share to facebook Share to twitter Share to linkedin Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg© 2018 Bloomberg Finance LP President Rodrigo Dutere could turn the Philippines into the land of easy money that will end up financing his ambitious Build, Build, Build agenda. That’s a massive construction plan that is expected to drive the country’s growth for years to come , and create jobs for the Philippines labor force. Early this week, President Duterte appointed political ally Benjamin Diokno to head of the country’s central bank, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).   That’s…