Mic Drop, Nuclear Submarine Style: The U.S. Navy Surfaced Three of These Subs To Warn China

Submarines seemed to fit the bill, as if Washington were saying to Beijing, “Sure, you might surprise us with your missiles. But we remember we have plenty of missiles of our own — and they’re not far from you.” Nuclear powers rarely go to war with each other, but that doesn’t mean they don’t threaten to do so. Indeed, military posturing is an integral part of what Forrest Morgan, an analyst for the RAND Corporation, called “crisis stability.” In other words, “building and posturing forces in ways that allow a…

The Indo-Pacific and Sri Lanka

  Even before US Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Thomas J. Vajda  arrived in Sri Lanka, policy circles were curious about the possible confluence of interest between USA’s Indo-Pacific concept and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s desire to position the island as the maritime hub of the Indian Ocean. Before we pass any value judgment on this claim, we should first try to analyse what exactly the Indo-Pacific concept entails. This article serves as a brief primer of the buzzword ‘Indo-Pacific’ to those new to geopolitics and international relations   By Shakthi De Silva  Is there…

Sports as antidote to armed conflict

For the last few weeks, we have been bombarded by statements from the United States and China, both telling us in effect how much they are concerned about our welfare and security. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared “We have your back,” in case of aggression citing the Mutual Defense Treaty between the two countries. No matter how spin doctors try to justify it, it is clearly a vague and dusty document from the past. On the other hand, Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua said that attacking anyone “is not…

US B-52 bomber flies close to contested islands in South China Sea

A US B-52 bomber flew near contested islands in the South China Sea this week, according to US Pacific Air Forces, which oversees air operations in the region. “Two B-52H Stratofortress bombers took off from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, and participated in routine training missions, March 4, 2019,” according to a statement from US Pacific Air Forces. “One bomber conducted training in the vicinity of the South China Sea before returning to Guam, while the other conducted training in the vicinity of Japan in coordination with the US Navy…

China trying to influence US, Australia: Trump adviser Bolton

US President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, says China’s attempts to use think tanks and non-profit organisations to influence opinion in the US and Australia “is far greater in magnitude than any other foreign effort we have seen in history”. Mr Bolton also offered blunt assessments on China’s island and military base building in the South China Sea and raised concerns “Manchurian” chips in Huawei technology could be activated for espionage. Trump ‘confident’ about getting a trade deal with China Share Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Mr…

Vietnam investigates S. China Sea sinking

Reuters HANOI (Reuters) — Vietnam is seeking clarification of how a fishing boat came to sink this week in the contested South China Sea, the Foreign Ministry said Saturday, days after a local rescue agency said it was rammed by a Chinese vessel. Vietnam and China have long been embroiled in maritime disputes in the potentially energy-rich stretch of water, called the East Sea by Vietnam. The boat sank on Wednesday near Da Loi island in the Paracel Archipelago, the ministry said in an emailed statement. It said all five…

HMS Montrose Sails Into Tokyo

The Type 23 Frigate seen sailing towards the Harumi pier and the skyline of Tokyo in the background (Picture: Royal Navy). HMS Montrose was welcomed by Japenese sailors as she pulled into visit Tokyo. The Plymouth-based frigate is enjoying six days at Harumi Wharf, after working with the US Navy on maritime security operations in the South China Sea. She is the fourth Royal Navy ship to visit the Japanese capital in the last 12-months. HMS Montrose follows HMS Sutherland, HMS Albion and, most recently, HMS Argyll, who have each visited the capital.…

Is Singapore’s purchase of F-35s targeted at China?

Trade and commercial disputes have consistently caused disruptions in China-U.S. relations in recent years, but geopolitical rivalry in the South China Sea is another bone of contention between the two big powers that’s never far from the surface. On March 1, the issue came to the fore after Singapore’s defense minister Dr Ng Eng Hen announced in Parliament that the country plans to buy up to 12 F-35 stealth jets from the U.S. Speculation soon followed that such a move is “indicative of growing concerns within Asia regarding China’s regional…

Robredo touts South China Sea arbitral win in Otso Diretso HK rally

Vice President Leni Robredo with Otso Diretso candidates at a campaign rally in Hong Kong. Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News HONG KONG — Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday made use of the Philippines’ arbitration win in the West Philippine Sea against China to emphasize the courage and nationalism of 2 Otso Diretso candidates during a public campaign rally in this special administrative region controlled by Beijing. Some Filipino migrant workers who gathered along Chater Road cheered as Robredo described former solicitor general and opposition senatorial bet Florin Hilbay as one…

F-35 fighter jet plan ‘not aimed at China’

An Australian Defence Force F-35 performs during the Australian International Airshow and Aerospace & Defence Exposition at the Avalon Airport, Melbourne, on Feb. 28, 2019. Photo: Xinhua Singapore’s decision to buy F-35 fighter jets from the US is unlikely aimed at China, and recent analyses by US media saying otherwise are ridiculous and wishful thinking, Chinese experts said. The experts’ remarks came after Singaporean Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen announced in early March that the country plans buy up to 12 F-35 warplanes, with US news outlet CNN saying the…