Groups launch Otso Diretso online campaign fund-raising drive

MANILA, Philippines — Various civil society groups launched yesterday an online fundraising drive to support the campaign of opposition senatorial candidates under the Otso Diretso banner. The Para sa Laban ng Otso Diretso (PASALODi) is a crowdsourcing effort that aims to fund the house-to-house persuasion campaign for Otso Diretso bets. As this developed, an official of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) bared yesterday that several priests are supporting the opposition senatorial candidates. The Otso Diretso bets are former senator Mar Roxas, ex-Quezon Rep. Erin Tañada, Marawi civic leader…

US Navy won’t alter sail-bys at sea despite China maneuver

U.S. Vice Adm. Phillip Sawyer, commander of the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet, gestures during an interview with a select group of journalists aboard the USS Blue Ridge, the U.S. 7th Fleet Flagship, while docked at Manila South Harbor in Manila, Philippines Monday, March 18, 2019. Sawyer told reporters in Manila Monday that Washington protested that “unprofessional behavior” by the Chinese ship, which maneuvered very close to the USS Decatur as the latter sailed closely by a Chinese-occupied island in the Spratlys in late September. (Bullit Marquez/Associated Press) MANILA, Philippines —…

Can the Darwin Port’s 99-year lease to China be reversed? And what role, if any, did Andrew Robb play? – Curious Darwin

Posted March 19, 2019 06:21:06 Photo: Darwin Port’s cruise ship terminal, which falls under Landbridge’s purview. (ABC News) Ninety-six years is a long time by any standard. Darwin was a different place back in 1923, a young city almost 20 years away from being bombed by Japan and more than 50 years away from the devastation of Cyclone Tracy. It’s been built and rebuilt in the near-century since. And 96 years from now is long enough for a lot more to happen. The $506 million the Northern Territory Government was…

China Pushes Ahead With New South China Sea Base Despite Trump Administration’s Accusations of ‘Illegal Island-Building’

China plans to push forward with the development of a new “island city” in the disputed waters of the South China Sea, despite growing international concern and harsh criticism from the administration of President Donald Trump last week. Sansha, which China claims as its southernmost territory located in the disputed waterway, has announced plans to transform Woody Island (Yongxing in Chinese) and two smaller islets – Tree and Drummond (Zhaoshu and Jinqing) – into a “national key strategic service and logistics base,” the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported Monday.…

The USAF Shouldn’t Narrow Competition for Its Satellite Launches

The service’s plan to reduce launch-contract eligibility from three providers to two would reduce incentives to innovate and keep costs down. Reusable rockets are the disruptive technology that will keep U.S. military capabilities ahead of China and Russia — if the Pentagon can tap the breakneck pace of innovation in the commercial space launch market. But instead, the U.S. Air Force may restrict future contracts to two companies, mimicking today’s launch duopoly of United Launch Alliance and SpaceX. This would sap military space efforts of competition that would lower prices,…

Where progress with China is most likely—and where it isn’t

The beginning of China’s rise as a global power can be dated to the country’s accession to the World Trade Organization in 2001. Throughout the next 16 years of the Bush and Obama administrations, the United States engaged in intensive bilateral diplomacy with China with the aim of getting ever-greater Chinese support on issues ranging from security to the economy to the environment. The Bush administration launched a Strategic Economic Dialogue with China, and a separate Security Dialogue. President Obama combined these into a single Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED).…

New US Military Budget Focused on China

WASHINGTON—Chinese bombers. Chinese hypersonic missiles. Chinese cyberattacks. Chinese anti-satellite weapons. To a remarkable degree, the 2020 Pentagon budget proposal is shaped by national security threats that acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has summarized in three words: “China, China, China.” The United States is still fighting small wars against Islamic extremists, and Russia remains a serious concern, but Shanahan seeks to shift the military’s main focus to what he considers the more pressing security problem of a rapidly growing Chinese military. This theme, which Shanahan outlined on March 14 in presenting…

China says it will build ‘island city’ in the disputed South China Sea

The southernmost Chinese territory in the South China Sea, Sansha, will press ahead with a plan to build an “island city” on Woody Island and two smaller neighbouring islets in the contested waters. Zhang Jun, the Communist Party secretary of Sansha, which is located on the island in the Paracels, led a meeting on the development plan there on Friday, according to a statement on the city government’s website. Sansha, part of Hainan province, was established by the Chinese government in 2012. The party chief said it aimed to turn…

US-Singapore-Thailand Trilateral Defense Cooperation in Focus with Air Exercise

The silver anniversary of the Cope Tiger exercise reinforced the ongoing trilateral collaboration between the three countries. Last week, the United States, Singapore, and Thailand held the 25th iteration of a trilateral air force exercise between the three sides. The silver anniversary of the drills highlighted the ongoing defense activity ongoing between the three countries in the wider Asia-Pacific region amid wider domestic and foreign policy developments therein. As I have noted before in these pages, Thailand, a U.S. treaty ally, and Singapore, a longtime U.S. strategic partner, have long…

Japan Challenges China With Submarine Exercise

TOKYO—Japan sent a submarine to join three destroyers in an exercise in anti-submarine warfare in the South China Sea, strengthening the resistance by U.S. allies to China’s military expansion. The submarine, the Kuroshio, joined the warships on Thursday before heading for a port call at the Vietnamese naval base in Cam Ranh Bay, the first such visit by a Japanese submarine, Japan’s Defense Ministry said. The… Source link