Russia Will Use Donald Trump’s Golan Heights Comments to Justify Crimea Annexation, Experts Say

Analysts have argued that President Donald Trump’s Thursday comments about the Golan Heights could set a dangerous precedent with regard to Russia’s stance on Crimea, even if Trump’s comments are not legally binding. Critics fear Trump’s call in the tweet on Thursday for the United States to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights—territory Israel seized from Syria during the Six-Day War of 1967 and annexed in 1981—could play into Russian President Vladimir Putin’s hands by undermining the international condemnation of Russia’s seizure and annexation of Crimea.   “Trump’s incompetence as a state leader…

U.S. Marines Get Ready For South China Sea Struggle – FITSNews

Tensions in the South China Sea got red hot a few years ago as the People’s Republic of China (PRC) pressed maritime claims involving a host of nations in the region – most notably The Philippines. Now that a trade war with the United States is in full swing, things are heating up once again … A hub of global commerce, the South China Sea sees an estimated $5 trillion worth of goods pass through its waters each year. And in addition to disputes over shipping lanes there are conflicting…

When a string of pearls becomes a noose

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — China has agreed to provide a loan of $989 million to Sri Lanka to build an expressway that will connect the island nation’s tea-growing central region to a China-run seaport on the southern coast, the island’s finance ministry said Friday. The Export-Import Bank of China has agreed to provide a loan covering 85 percent of the contract price for Central Expressway Project — Section 1, whose total cost is $1.16 billion. The loan is the single largest loan approved by the bank for Sri Lanka, according…

Implications for Africa from China’s One Belt One Road Strategy – Africa Center for Strategic Studies

China’s Belt and Road Initiative forges intertwining economic, political, and security ties between Africa and China, advancing Beijing’s geopolitical interests. The Chinese-built Addis Ababa–Djibouti Railway. (Photo: Skilla1st) Launched in 2014, One Belt One Road (一带一路), presented internationally as the Belt and Road Initiative, is China’s signature vision for reshaping its global engagements. It is strategic and comprehensive in scope and an essential component of the Communist Party of China’s (CPC’s) twin objectives of achieving national rejuvenation (zhonghua minzu weida fuxing, 中华民族伟大复兴) and restoring China as a Great Power (shi jie…

Strategic Strong Points and Chinese Naval Strategy

Introduction On August 1, 2017, China opened its first overseas military base, in the East African nation of Djibouti. This was a landmark event that raised a whole host of questions for Indo-Pacific states: Is Djibouti the first of other bases to come? If so, how many? Where will China build them? How will they be used? Where do they fit into Chinese military strategy? Chinese policymakers and analysts are pondering these same questions. However, they are employing concepts unique to Chinese strategic discourse, and it is essential to grasp…

China plans to build “national logistics base” in disputed waters – News

22 March 2019 | By GCR Staff China is planning to build an “island city” on three neighbouring islands in a disputed area of the South China Sea. The announcement, made by Zhang Jun, the Communist Party secretary of Sansha, said the development would be a “key national strategic service and logistics base” on Woody Island (Yongxing, in Chinese) and the two nearby islets of Tree and Drummond (Zhaoshu and Jinqing). He said in a press statement: “We need to carefully plan the overall development of the islands and reefs…

US-Philippine defense tensions weaken regional security

The United States-Philippines alliance has been under stress since the election of the vocally anti-American Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte in 2016, but Washington bears plenty of responsibility for the downturn in relations. Most frustrating for the Philippines was American inaction as China launched its march across the South China Sea earlier this decade, with the U.S. administration of President Barack Obama taking virtually no action to dissuade Beijing from its island-building campaign. When China reneged on a U.S.-brokered deal to end a standoff between Beijing and Manila over Scarborough Shoal…

China ‘can take’ gas-rich Reed Bank

If the Philippines can’t pay off its loans to China, Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio says ‘for sure, we will lose in all arbitrations’ Published 7:17 PM, March 22, 2019 Updated 8:57 PM, March 22, 2019 NO CHANCE OF WINNING. Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio says the Philippines will have no chance of winning in case of arbitrations over Chinese loan deals. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler MANILA, Philippines – Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio warned that the “expensive” Chico River Pump Irrigation…