China military expanding reach into Arctic region, Pentagon says

By Tony CapaccioBloomberg News 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. Defense 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…

Duterte’s allies expected to win in Philippines midterm Senate race

The Philippines headed to the polls on Monday in a midterm election widely seen as a referendum on President Rodrigo Duterte, with voters expected to elect senators allied with the country’s leader.  Voters will choose 12 of the country’s 24 senators, as well as more than 18,000 other politicians in lower-level government positions. More than 61m Filipinos are registered to vote, with opinion polls predicting a strong result for senators allied with the president. Polls opened at 6am after reports overnight of two explosions in Maguindanao province in the south…

Australia struggles for clarity on the South China Sea

The Lowy Institute’s Richard McGregor has noted the absence of China discussion in Australia’s current election campaign, a state of affairs which prompted his colleague Sam Roggeveen to observe that “Bipartisanship on China is becoming a form of collusion”. Given that the Coalition seems to have decided against participating in a debate on foreign affairs, it is unlikely that the Australian electorate will learn anything more prior to Saturday 18 May when the polls open. However, this is not to say that the Coalition and Labor have identical policies on, or approaches towards, relations…

China, Japan, & South Korea Lie To Themselves (& Us) About Renewable Energy Intentions

Clean Power Published on May 13th, 2019 | by Steve Hanley May 13th, 2019 by Steve Hanley  Lip service. That’s what people call it when somebody supports an idea in public but works to undermine the very same idea in private. Others may call it hypocrisy or even out and out lying. Every major country in the world agreed to reduce its carbon emissions at the COP 21 climate summit in Paris in 2015. Yet somehow, world carbon emissions continue to rise. How can…

Japan Woos a Region Caught Between the U.S. and China

assessments May 13, 2019 | 09:00 GMT 9 mins read (TOMOHIRO OHSUMI – Pool/Getty Images) Highlights Japan is expected to take on greater responsibilities in U.S-led security, infrastructure and economic initiatives in the Indo-Pacific region, which will advance Tokyo’s goal of helping counterbalance China and its regional ambitions. Japan’s ample capital, expertise and benign image make Tokyo a favorable third force among countries in South Asia and Southeast Asia, many of which feel as if they have few options but to choose between one of the two great powers. Tokyo…

Japan’s largest destroyer arrives in Singapore – News – NHK WORLD

The Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force’s largest destroyer has made a port call in Singapore, where it was shown to the media. Izumo is among vessels from nations including the United States, China and South Korea that are taking part in an international maritime defense show to be held in Singapore this week. The destroyer is 248 meters long, and capable of carrying up to 14 helicopters. It is shaped like a typical aircraft carrier, with its bridge on one side. Izumo took part in multilateral drills from April 30 that…

American Shipping Is Dying. But We Can Bring It Back

While debates rage about how to restore America’s manufacturing, military, and even moral foundations to periods of perceived glory, little attention is being given to the crisis in shipping. This aspect of national decline is a grave issue for more than the pinch to patriotic pride that comes from the loss of the stars and stripes on the world’s oceans, but also for crucial geostrategic reasons. When 90% of international trade measured by volume is transported on ships, a healthy merchant marine is in the country’s vital economic interests and,…