Philippine Leader Lays Down Challenge to US Over South China Sea

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte challenged the United States to send a naval fleet to the archipelago under a mutual defense treaty, amid pressure to act more forcefully toward Chinese incursions in Filipino territory in the South China Sea. The outburst-prone president made the comment during off-hand remarks to a pastor in southern Davao City on Tuesday, while facing domestic criticism over his handling of Beijing’s expansionism in the disputed sea. Duterte has been under pressure particularly after a recent incident when a Chinese trawler sank a smaller Philippine fishing boat…

The Abyss Is Opening Under China-U.S. Relations – Foreign Policy

A strange sort of calm has descended over the U.S.-China relationship. Officially, Washington and Beijing have agreed to a truce in their escalating trade war and are searching for the outlines of a possible agreement. But it’s looking increasingly likely that the cease-fire won’t hold—and a conflict far greater than the trade war itself looms. Last week, Beijing announced that it would sanction U.S. companies involved in selling arms to Taiwan. On Monday, meanwhile, the government statistics agency announced that China’s GDP growth in the first half of 2019 was the lowest since 1992.…

China can’t ignore multilateral resistance — US

MANILA, Philippines — “Multilateral resistance” from the United States and its allies against China’s militarization in the South China Sea is something Beijing cannot ignore, said a State Department official. “We’re strongest when we coordinate with like-minded allies and others,” said US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Stilwell in an interview with NHK in Tokyo before he flew to Manila for the 8th US-Philippine Bilateral Strategic Dialogue. The two-day dialogue concluded on Tuesday. “And when more than one country pushes back and resists these…

Russia’s Turn to the East – Seen From the West — Valdai Club

In an interview for valdaiclub.com as part of its Eastern Perspective project, Hans-Joachim Spanger, Head of Research Department at the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt, shares his vision of Russia’s “Turn to the East.” For Russia, turning – or rather opening up – to Asia in general and to China specifically is the most natural thing to do – as this is currently the powerhouse of the world economy. Everybody is eying China in an effort to find new market outlays. In this respect, Russia still has much room…

U.S. and Allied Forces Conduct Major Military Exercise off Northeast Australia

ABOARD THE USS RONALD REAGAN—American forces took part in a major amphibious landing and practice assault off Australia’s northeast coast on Wednesday in stepped-up drills as China modernizes its military to project power far from its shores. In a combined exercise due to run through early August, the U.S. and its allies are simulating scenarios including war at sea, attacking ships and land invasions on the northeast Australian coastline, officials on board the exercise’s lead aircraft carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan, said. Talisman Sabre is a biennial combat-training exercise for…

What to Take From the South China Sea Flare-Up

snapshots Jul 16, 2019 | 21:43 GMT 4 mins read (Stratfor) The Big Picture Due to territorial disputes, energy exploration in the South China Sea has been a key source of conflict between China and the claimant states in the region. Beijing has worked to limit or block other states from pursuing drilling and exploration projects in areas it considers disputed. Some countries, such as the Philippines, have responded amiably by choosing to work with Beijing. But others, such as Vietnam, have decided to double down on their energy partnerships with…

Beijing Done, for Now, Acquiring Land in South China Sea | Voice of America

TAIPEI, TAIWAN – Two American B-52 bombers flew over the South China Sea on a training mission Wednesday for the second time in 10 days, acts that Beijing considers provocative. Chinese officials resent any challenge to their hold over hundreds of the sea’s tiny islets, which other countries claim, too. But China appears, at least for now, to be done adding positions in the sea that’s claimed in whole or in part by five other governments, maritime scholars agree. They say a seven-year effort to reclaim land for building on…

This Simulated War Game Shows How China Would Win in the South China Sea

Our scenario takes place in the South China Sea at a cluster of reefs and rocks called the Scarborough Shoal, roughly 137 miles west of the Philippines. In real life, China and The Philippines both claim the shoal as part of their territory, and tensions between the two nations have been growing. The year is 2016, and two of the U.S. Navy’s latest ships are backing a key ally in the tinderbox of the South China Sea. They’re facing down the Chinese navy halfway across the world with the latest…