Russia and China to Get New Ships, Train Together to Challenge U.S. Power at Sea

Russia and China have set out to revamp their naval forces and hold joint drills next month as the United States accused the two of destabilizing activities challenging its own global military dominance. The Russian Defense Ministry announced Wednesday that “the Russian Navy and People’s Liberation Army Navy are to hold the Joint Sea 2019 joint naval drills in late April-early May 2019.” The announcement came after Chinese Rear Admiral Yan Zhenming and Russian Rear Admiral Alexander Shuvanov met in St. Petersburg for a planning conference. “Since March 25, representatives of both countries have begun…

A ‘palpable air of calm’ along Korea’s DMZ but growing concerns about rising regional rivals

The U.S. military’s top officer in South Korea told lawmakers Wednesday that there’s a “palpable air of calm on the peninsula” but other officials warned that communist Pyongyang failed to follow through on efforts to make the peace permanent. Gen. Robert Abrams, head of U.S. Forces Korea, said today’s relative tranquility stands in stark contrast to a few years ago, at the height of North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests. “The tension has reduced significantly,” he told the House Armed Services Committee. “Along the demilitarized zone, on the West Sea,…

Jingoistic | Philstar.com

There is lively debate over the merits of that “communication” sent by former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales and former foreign secretary Albert del Rosario to the International Criminal Court (ICC). The two former senior officials alleges Chinese President Xi Jinping and even China’s ambassador to Manila committed “crimes against humanity” for causing environmental damage to contested reefs in the South China Sea and depriving small fishermen of their livelihood. The accusations do not fit into the mandate vested by the Rome Statute in the ICC. This tribunal is tasked to look…

The Philippines has left the ICC, but the ICC might not leave Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte may have avoided accounting of extra-judicial killings in the International Criminal Court, but he hasn’t quite escaped the consequences of his increasingly authoritarian rule. He may have yanked the Philippines out of the International Criminal Court, but President Rodrigo Duterte might yet have to account for runaway levels of extra-judicial killings (EJK) if the Hague-based tribunal finds cause.  The ICC began its probe into Duterte’s bloodbath before Manila hurriedly signalled it wanted out when the writing was on the wall. If ever there was a politically inspired…

Why has the BRT failed in Jakarta?

Why has the BRT failed in Jakarta? Cebu Pacific Air (CPA) held a media luncheon in Hai Shin Lou of Marco Polo Plaza Hotel last Monday to inform us that they have a new international route using the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) Terminal 2 to Shanghai City in China. Candice Iyog, (CPA) vice president for marketing and distribution of Cebu Pacific said, “We want to provide more international connections from other hubs in the Philippines and by connecting our Cebu hub to Shanghai, we offer travelers from the…

Growing number of subs in the Pacific fuels call for code of conduct

The increasing number of submarines various countries are deploying to the Indo-Pacific region has fuelled calls for an underwater code of conduct to reduce the risk of accidents in the busiest waterways. The warning comes as Asian Pacific countries are engaged in a submarine arms race, with an estimated 228 full-sized submarines operating in the East and South China Seas — a number that is expected to rise to 300 within a decade. Unlike other warships, submarines are by definition difficult to detect — increasing the chance of accidental collisions…

What’s in the New Philippines-Cambodia Defense Meeting?

Both countries finally held the inaugural iteration of a new defense meeting earlier this month. Earlier this month, the Philippines and Cambodia finally held the first iteration of a new defense cooperation meeting that both sides had formally agreed to back in 2017. Though few details were publicly issued about the nature of the meeting, it nonetheless highlighted the ongoing collaboration between the two countries in the security realm that has been more in the spotlight in recent years. While the Philippines and Cambodia have a contemporary diplomatic relationship that…

Don’t let Russia create a ‘Caribbean’ in the Arctic

Yogi Berra wisecracked that “it’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future,” but even the legendary baseball philosopher could have seen this one coming: Russia covets absolute control of events along its Arctic frontier. The ice retreats for longer each year, rendering polar waters increasingly navigable. Ice-free waters beckon to navies and merchant fleets, offering a convenient, shorter and cheaper pathway between ports of call. Moscow is pondering how to manage the new normal of heavy traffic along its northern periphery. Over at Eurasia Daily Monitor, Pavel Felgenhauer has…

Philippine military plane catches fire with 120 people on board

A Philippine military plane caught fire with more than 120 people on board Wednesday shortly before taking off for the disputed South China Sea, an air force spokesman said. No injuries were reported after emergency teams at the Clark Air Base in Pampanga province, 84 kilometres north of Manila, responded to the incident, according to air force spokesman Major Aristides Galang. The air force has suspended operations of its remaining C-130s pending inspection, he added. The aircraft was on its way to the western city of Puerto Princesa and then…

International naval review in Malaysia – News – NHK WORLD

A flotilla of naval ships from around the world has assembled in waters off Malaysia’s northern island of Langkawi for an international fleet review. The event is being held on the sidelines of a biennial maritime and aerospace exhibition. A total of 40 vessels from Japan, the US, China, and 10 other countries are taking part. Among them is the flagship of the US Navy’s 7th fleet, USS Blue Ridge, and Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer Asagiri. Japan is hoping to strengthen its ties with Malaysia. The Southeast Asian nation…