South China Sea: Beijing builds new ‘ILLEGAL’ island city risking infuriating Trump | World | News

The Beijing regime will plough ahead with turning sites near the city of Sansha into a “national key strategic service and logistics base”, the South China Morning Post reports.  US experts fear the move could flare up tensions as China expands its military influence in the South China Sea. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hit out at Beijing’s ”illegal island-building in international waterways” over the development at Woody Island, Tree and Drummond. Jeffrey Engstrom, a senior policy analyst with US think tank Rand Corp, told Newsweek: “It seems that the proposed infrastructure…

CNN – Philippines

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 19) — Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the Philippines and Vietnam will refrain from detaining fishermen from both sides caught poaching and crossing territorial boundaries. Lorenzana told reporters Vietnam’s Minister of Defence General Ngo Xuan Lich agreed with the proposal to refrain from arresting and detaining fishermen illegally fishing in contested waters. “Just tell them to go back to their area. ‘Wag na natin silang hulihin. Sakit ng ulo e. [Let’s no longer detain them. It’s just another headache],” Lorenzana said Wednesday. Lorenzana was in…

Beijing Plans to Build ‘City’ on ‘Blueprint’ Island in South China Sea

The Chinese government has plans for a large military settlement on a reclaimed reef in the contested Paracel Islands, where adversaries such as the US strongly oppose Chinese expansion. The plan for an “island city” on “Woody Island” or “Yongxing” in the Paracels, 185 miles from China’s Hainan Island (of which Beijing’s ownership is not in dispute), was announced by a Communist Party official for Sansha prefecture on Friday. The development would turn Woody Island, along with nearby Tree Island and Drummond Island — known by the Chinese as Zhaoshu and Jinqing — into a “national key strategic service and logistics base,” the…

China pursuing buildup of islets in SCS, says report

China will push through with its plan to build an island city on Woody Island and two smaller neighboring islets in the contested South China Sea waters, South China Morning Post said in a report. ISLAND CITY. China is shifting gear to build an island city on Woody Island and two smaller nearby islets in the disputed South China waters, the island contested by Beijing, Taipei and Hanoi. Diplomatic observers say the developments on the island raises China’s blueprint for future military projects in other Chinese-occupied islands in the South…

Air Force B-52s deploy to England for NATO exercises – News

Air Force B-52s deploy to England for NATO exercises RAF MILDENHALL, England — The six B-52 Stratofortresses deployed to RAF Fairford will spend an undetermined amount of time at the base for training with U.S. forces and NATO allies, Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian said Tuesday. The long-range strategic bombers with the 2nd Bomb Wing out of Barksdale Air Force Base, La., arrived at the British base last week along with about 600 airmen and their equipment. The B-52s will operate out of Fairford, U.S. Air Forces in…

Things to Do in Taiwan: Why the Island is Worth a Visit

Yes, Taiwan is a wallet-friendly destination, but so is Southeast Asia at large. And while most travelers crowd into Thailand and Bali, this island sitting just off China’s eastern coast remains seriously overlooked. Amateur move, frankly. If you’re looking to boost your travel street cred, you need to put Taiwan on your hitlist. Think: A culinary scene defined by Michelin Stars and street food in equal measure. A geographical profile that ranges from mountainous to beachy with a whopping nine national parks. Locals who haven’t yet been burned out by…

Report: China to fortify South China Sea island with ‘logistics base’

SEOUL, March 19 (UPI) — China is adding more facilities to Woody Island, the largest of the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea. The construction of a “strategic service and logistics base” on Woody Island, composed of two islets, will be undertaken by Sansha city on China’s Hainan Island, the South China Morning Post reported. Sansha was established in 2012. President Xi Jinping had said in 2018 he wants to establish an international free-trade zone on Hainan, which would require a “special free-trade zone port.” China has expressed support…

Rendering the Mutual Defense Treaty into ‘scrap paper’

In December 2018, Philippine Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana declared that he wanted a review of the 1951 Philippine-US Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT). He stated that it is high time for the two allies to examine the treaty’s provision in light of the growing tension in the South China Sea. According to him, the DND wanted Washington’s definitive stance on whether or not Manila could depend on its ally to come to its assistance in case of a confrontation with outside powers in the nine land features…

Coral Reefugees: Certain Corals Could “Outrun” Climate Change

As the planet and oceans continue to heat up, sites where coral has recently thrived are becoming less and less habitable. For instance, thanks to extreme ocean temperatures, much of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef suffered mass bleaching in 2016 and 2017 that turned parades of colorful coral into dull, white masses. But paleontologists have now discovered a haven to which one region’s reefs might relocate—via oceanic currents when corals are still in their free-floating larval stage—to escape overheating. By studying fossils in Daya Bay, just northeast of Hong Kong in…