U.S. lawmakers introduce bill to boost Taiwan ties, amid China tensions

FILE PHOTO: Flags of Taiwan and U.S. are placed for a meeting between U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce speaks and with Su Chia-chyuan, President of the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, Taiwan March 27, 2018. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu/File Photo WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican and Democratic U.S. lawmakers introduced legislation seeking to boost Washington’s relations with Taiwan and raise the island’s international profile on Tuesday, which could heighten tensions with China. Senator Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the influential Foreign Relations Committee, along with Republican Senators Tom Cotton and…

To Israel, Golan Heights decision a no-brainer: Occupying territory gained in a defensive war is justifiable – Middle East

Analysis To Israel, Golan Heights decision a no-brainer: Occupying territory gained in a defensive war is justifiable Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had to cut short his visit to Washington after a barrage of rockets from Gaza prompted Israeli airstrikes in response on Monday. But on the flight back to Jerusalem, officials were optimistic about the state of U.S.-Israel relations. One senior Israeli official on the plane, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to freely discuss bilateral relations, pointed to the Trump administration’s recognition of the occupied…

Japan gives initial OK for use of textbooks that outline country’s position on island disputes with China and South Korea

The use of elementary school textbooks that describe Japan’s position on two island groups disputed with China and South Korea passed initial screening Tuesday based on guidelines adopted in 2017, drawing protests from the neighboring nations. The education ministry approved for the academic year beginning April 1, 2020, the social studies textbooks, which reflect the position of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government on territorial issues. Seoul reacted sharply to the move the same day, releasing a statement saying it “strongly condemns the Japanese government’s approval” of the textbooks and summoning…

It’s time for China to become a normal country

When I testified against allowing China into the World Trade Organization in 2000, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jesse Helms asked me this question: Would WTO accession change China, as many experts predicted? I said I was more worried about how it would change us. There was already reason for concern. In the 1970s, Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter accommodated the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) by throwing Taiwan under the bus. Congress passed the Taiwan Relations Act mandating defensive arms sales to Taiwan. In 1982, Ronald Reagan, under Chinese pressure,…

China Destroys 30,000 World Maps Showing ‘Problematic’ Borders of Taiwan and India

China has destroyed tens of thousands of maps depicting borders not recognized by Beijing, which maintains a tight grip on how international boundaries are portrayed within the country. At a press conference held jointly by the Chinese Ministry of Natural Resources, customs officials and the province of Shandong’s Ministry of Natural Resources, Anti-Vice Working Group and Provincial Press and Publication Bureau, authorities announced last week that 803 boxes containing 28,908 “problematic” maps were confiscated and destroyed. Among the reasons for their disposal were “problems such as border marking errors,” according to the ministry. The ministry’s…

Palace: China controls West Philippine Sea

Palace: China controls West Philippine Sea Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) – March 25, 2019 – 3:42pm MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government can only do so much as protest China’s actions in the West Philippine Sea as Beijing has control over the area, Malacañang said Monday. According to reports, the Chinese coast guard has been driving away Filipino fishermen in Scarborough or Panatag Shoal, a traditional fishing ground off the coast of Zambales. Earlier this month, it has also been reported that the Chinese have been denying access to…

US B-52H Bombers Train With Japan Air Self Defense Force Over East China Sea

The U.S. Air Force has been stepping up its bomber missions over Asian waters in recent months. Two U.S. Air Force (USAF) B-52H Stratofortress strategic bombers conducted a training mission with the U.S. Navy and Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) over the East China Sea on March 20, according to the U.S. military. “Two B-52H Stratofortress bombers took off from Andersen Air Force Base [AFB], Guam, and conducted integration training with the U.S. Navy, Koku Jieitai [Japan Air Self-Defense Force] and F-15C Eagles assigned to the 18th Wing, Kadena…

Pakistan owes $10bn to friend China for Gwadar port, others: Top US general

Pakistan owes its “all weather friend” China at least $10 billion debt for the construction of the Gwadar port and other projects, the top US general has said, as he underlined Beijing’s “predatory economics” to expand its global influence. The strategic Gwadar Port in Balochistan province on the Arabian Sea is being built by China under the multi-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and is considered to be a link between Beijing’s ambitious One Belt, One Road (OBOR) and Maritime Silk Road projects. …

Why did a Coast Guard cutter take a jab at China?

A U.S. Navy destroyer and a Coast Guard cutter have transited the Taiwan Strait, the latest demonstration of American resolve to portray it as an international thoroughfare instead of a Beijing backwater. The guided-missile destroyer Curtis Wilbur and the maritime security cutter Bertholf made the trip on Sunday and Monday local time “in accordance with international law,” according to Navy 7th Fleet spokesman Cmdr. Clayton Doss. “The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Doss said in a prepared statement. “The…