Japan and Vietnam defense ministers agree to peacefully tackle Beijing’s South China Sea expansion

HANOI – Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya and his Vietnamese counterpart, Ngo Xuan Lich, confirmed Thursday that the two countries will work together to peacefully resolve the issue of China’s rapid expansion in the South China Sea. Meeting with Vietnam’s minister of defense in Hanoi, Iwaya also stressed the importance of steadily implementing U.N. Security Council sanctions resolutions against North Korea to realize the country’s denuclearization. Iwaya asked for Vietnam’s support in resolving North Korea’s abductions of Japanese nationals decades ago. Lich indicated Vietnam’s readiness to cooperate on the denuclearization issue.…

Chinese military expanding reach into Arctic region; Pentagon fears it will deploy nuclear-armed submarines

(Bloomberg) — China is accelerating activities in the Arctic as part of its “Polar Silk Road” and trying to promote itself as a “near-Arctic state,” the U.S. Defence Department said. A growing fleet of icebreakers and civilian research stations in Iceland and Norway could support a strengthened People’s Liberation Army presence in the polar region, the Pentagon said Thursday in its annual report on China’s military. The department cited the potential deployment of nuclear-armed China submarines to the region as one area of U.S. concern. The report described a Chinese…

South China Sea: Top Philippine court orders government to protect region against Beijing | World | News

China has territorial claims in the South China Sea, which spans the breadth of the strategic waters. The Supreme Court ruling was in response to fisherman’s complaints of inaction against illegal Chinese activity. The court issued a decree instructing government ministries, the coastguard, navy and police to enforce international conventions and domestic laws to protect reefs and marine life. This protection is over the Philippines’ 200 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone. Fishing communities from two provinces created a petition that alleged island-building by the Chinese state and Chinese fishing practices…

Report: China Can’t Execute Major Amphibious Operations, Direct Assault on Taiwan

Landing craft deploy PLA Marines during Joint Sea 2015 II. Chinese MoD Photo THE PENTAGON – The Chinese military is reorganizing its land forces, but its moves do not increase its ability to mount a large-scale beach assault across the Taiwan Strait, according to a new Department of Defense report. Taiwan is the primary focus of amphibious assault and sea-based missile launch capability improvements made in 2018 by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the PLA Navy and PLA Marine Corps, according to the Pentagon’s Annual Report to Congress: Military and…

The Birth of Chinese Nationalism – Foreign Policy

In China, May 4 is Youth Day, a holiday established by the Communist Party in 1949 and celebrated on and off ever since. On this day in 1989, more than 100,000 students demonstrated in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, a key milestone on road to the tragic events of June 4, when Chinese troops opened fire on the civilians amassed there. This year, China’s president and Communist Party leader, Xi Jinping, has called on students to commemorate a very special Youth Day. But it’s not the 30th anniversary of 1989’s pro-democracy protests…

Might China Withdraw From the UN Law Of The Sea Treaty?

The move would come with serious costs – but Beijing might come to think the gains are worth it. By Mark J. Valencia for The Diplomat May 03, 2019 The early April passage of the French frigate Vendémiaire through the Taiwan Strait, amid a significant increase of such passages by U.S. warships despite China’s objections, gives Beijing one more reason to consider withdrawing from the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) altogether. Withdrawing would have serious costs as well as benefits and both need to be considered.…

Pacific News Minute: U.S. To Unveil New Indo-Pacific Strategy At Shangri-La Dialogue

USNI News reports that Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan will unveil a new Indo-Pacific Strategy at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore later this month. Randall Schriver, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Indo-Pacific dropped some hints at a round-table with journalists in Kuala Lumpur.  According to USNI News, Schriver noted that the Indo-Pacific has been identified as the priority theater, and that he expected Secretary Shanahan to describe what that means in terms of increased resources. In response to a question about Freedom of Navigation patrols, Schriver said that China’s…

‘China building capability for offensive operations in Indian Ocean’ | submarine | Pentagon | Indian Ocean | bomber

The US Department of Defense on Thursday released its annual report to the Congress on the progress of China’s military. The Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2019 is over 120 pages long and provides details on China’s military strategy, state of modernisation and disputes with neighbours. Of particular interest to India would be the Pentagon’s assessment of China building capabilities for the Indian Ocean. The report notes the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) “is additionally developing power projection capabilities and concepts of operation in order to…