Commentary: Was tough talk on South China Sea to boost US export of drones to Southeast Asia?

KUALA LUMPUR: The recent announcement by the United States that several Southeast Asian partner nations will receive unmanned surveillance drones has garnered some interest, particularly given the deterioration in relations between the US and China over security and trade issues.  The US Department of Defense (DoD) announced last week that Insitu Inc, a wholly-owned subsidiary of aerospace giant Boeing, had been awarded a US$47 million contract for 34 ScanEagle drones to Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam.  Advertisement Advertisement The US government Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract also provides for support to…

Growing vegetables against all odds on Spratly Islands | #AsiaNewsNetwork

But the young man soon realised the importance of self-sufficiency and learned how to cultivate vegetables after joining the navy soldier troop on Đá Thị (Petley) Reef, a coral rock 322 nautical miles from Cam Ranh Peninsula, which is part of Việt Nam’s Spratly Islands. “Planting vegetables here on the reef does not only provide me and my fellows with healthy food, which are an important part of daily Vietnamese meals, but also entertains me during leisure time and eases feelings of homesickness,” Cường said. Every day, Cường and his…

Palace concerned over China ships in Panatag

Palace concerned over China ships in Panatag MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang yesterday expressed concern over the presence of Chinese naval vessels near Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal, which is off Zambales and well within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone. Earlier this week, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) personnel reported seeing a Chinese warship, coast guard vessels and militia boats around Panatag Shoal in the West Philippine Sea. Three Filipino fishing boats were also seen near the traditional fishing ground, according to PCG spokesman Capt.Armand Balilo. Officials said no incidents of harassment of…

As China Looms, Australia’s Military Refocuses on Pacific Neighbors

SYDNEY, Australia — For years, the graduating classes of Australia’s military training programs studied Dari and Pashto, the languages of distant war-torn lands, eschewing the Bahasa and the Pijin of Asia-Pacific nations close to home. But as Australian forces wind down their presence in Afghanistan and Iraq, where they have served alongside American troops since the early 2000s, they are renewing their focus on Australia’s island neighbors, which have become a different kind of battleground as China seeks to expand its influence in the region. Australia has always tried to…

China’s Paramilitaries are Reportedly Using Lasers to Harass, Injure Pilots

The cockpit of a U.S. Air Force C-130 at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. Photo: SSgt Corban Lundborg (DVIDS) Foxtrot AlphaTech and news from the world of modern defense.   The latest weapon in the great power competition shaping up between the West and China is, inevitably, the laser. Over the past year American and Australian military personnel have reported being the target of lasers coming from the direction of Chinese forces, in some cases resulting in eye injuries. The lasers are another form of deniable harassment conducted by Chinese military personnel and…

Marianas Variety – Duterte says he questioned Xi over Chinese vessels

MANILA (The Philippine Star) — President Rodrigo Duterte says he questioned the swarming of Chinese ships around the Philippines’ Pag-asa Island in the South China Sea during a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Duterte said Chinese ships had surrounded Pag-asa despite his declaration that he would not allow Americans on the island, which is part of Kalayaan town in Palawan and inhabited by about 200 Filipinos. “I was not angry but I said, ‘Did I not tell you Mr. President that I will never allow the Americans to set…

China’s growing influence in Latin America is a threat to US

Chinese Cosco Shipping Rose container ship sails the newly inaugurated Cocoli locks, during the visit of China’s President Xi Jinping, in the Panama Canal, on December 3, 2018. Luis Acosta | AFP | Getty Images Last month I traveled to Panama, Colombia and Argentina. The purpose of my trip was to get an update on the fight for freedom and liberty in Venezuela, to highlight the important economic relationships between Latin America and my state of Florida and to continue building on the progress made to stop narco-trafficking. On all…