ASEAN Makes Little Progress on Security Issues, Analysts Say

Analysts say the 34th ASEAN summit this weekend made little progress on two key security issues facing the region: Chinese expansionism in the South China Sea and stalled repatriation of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar who are languishing in Bangladesh. Leaders from ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations gathered in Bangkok to tackle regional issues including trade, terrorism, and ongoing wrangling over the potentially mineral-rich South China Sea. But with its traditional emphasis on enhancing “trust and confidence” among nations, the summit refrained from criticizing China’s military installations…

Why Trump Has Gotten Extra Tough in Monitoring China at Sea | Voice of America

TAIPEI, TAIWAN – U.S. President Donald Trump is getting more aggressive toward Chinese activity in a disputed Asian sea compared to his predecessors, because the U.S. government fears China has expanded too far to overlook, analysts in the region believe. The U.S. government has stepped up military support over the past two years for countries that contest Chinese claims to the South China Sea. In one recent case, on May 23, officials in the Philippines said they planned to acquire U.S.-made P-3 “Orion” surveillance and anti-submarine aircraft after the United…

Australians’ trust of China drops, but even fewer trust Trump

The 2019 Lowy Institute Poll, which measures Australians’ attitude to other countries, found that only 32% of those surveyed said they trusted China either a “great deal” or “somewhat” to act responsibly in the world. It was a massive 20-point drop on the results of the 2018 survey, as a trade war ratchets up between China and the US, a close Australian ally. Lowy Institute research fellow Natasha Kassam said the survey showed a “rapidly declining trust in China and Xi Jinping,” which she attributed to cooling relations between Beijing…

SC clears Enrile, other Marcos allies on behest loan case – UNTV News

Former Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile The Supreme Court has cleared former Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile and several other allies of late President Ferdinand Marcos of criminal liabilities, over the alleged behest loans granted to a sugar milling company in 1968 by the Philippine National Bank (PNB). In a 15-page ruling written by Associate Justice Jose Reyes Jr., the SC’s Second Division denied the petition for certiorari filed by the  Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) that sought to set aside the resolution issued by the Office of the Ombudsman on…

ASEAN, China must hasten conclusion of code of conduct in South China Sea—President Duterte

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte joins other leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states during the 34th ASEAN Summit plenary session at The Athenee Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand on June 22, 2019. SIMEON CELI JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO MANILA, June 24 — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Sunday reiterated his call for immediate conclusion of a binding code of conduct in the South China Sea to build trust and confidence, as well as to ensure regional peace and stability. The President returned to Manila Sunday night from his successful…

USS Ronald Reagan, JS Izumo Conduct Bilateral Exercises in South China Sea

For the second time this month, the two flattops conducted naval drills in the contested waters. The U.S. Navy Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force’s (JMSDF’s) largest flattop, the first-of-class JS Izumo, along with the Murasame-class destroyers, JS Murasame and JS Akebone, conducted bilateral exercises in the South China Sea on June 20. “Reagan, Akebono, Izumo and Murasame practiced communication methods, tactical maneuvering drills and liaison officer exchanges designed to address mutual maritime security priorities and enhance cooperation efforts at sea,” the U.S. Navy said in a statement. The USS…

Poll: A third of Americans favor nuclear strike in North Korea scenario

June 25 (UPI) — A new survey has shown about a third of Americans would support a preemptive nuclear strike on North Korea, if it resumes long-range missile testing. The research by YouGov and the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists was based on a fictional news article showing North Korea resuming the tests and gave respondents a choice on how the United States should respond, including the probability each response might provoke retaliation from Pyongyang. In all of the scenarios, the majority of Americans preferred not to strike. Thirty-three percent,…