U.S. House votes to set aside impeachment resolution against Trump

WASHINGTON, July 17 (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives voted Wednesday to table an impeachment resolution against President Donald Trump, effectively killing the measure for now but not burying the issue that has divided Democrats. The resolution’s sponsor, Democratic Representative Al Green, was seeking to capitalize on growing criticism of Trump after the president’s recent attacks on minority congresswomen. The House voted 332 to 95 to set aside the measure. Green had failed twice before to get an impeachment resolution passed, but Wednesday marked the first time the full…

South China Sea Standoff Likely Signals China’s ‘Push of Maritime Claims’ Amid Vietnam Backdown

(Anti-China protesters shout slogans decrying Chinese aggression in the South China Sea during a rally in downtown Ho Chi Minh City, in a file photo. AFP) An ongoing standoff between Chinese and Vietnamese vessels in disputed waters of the South China Sea likely indicates that Beijing is “prepared to push its maritime claims” after Hanoi cancelled oil exploration activities in the area in recent years, according to experts. On July 15, the Haiyang Dizhi 8, a ship operated by the China Geological Survey, completed a 12-day survey of waters near…

Rising maritime tension

Amid the Chinese calculus of geo-strategic manoeuvres, the most vulnerable ‘choke point’ lurks near Indian waters — the ultra narrow and practically unavoidable Malacca Straits The US-China vitriol has shifted back from the trade tables to its more familiar turf of the South China Sea, where China has provocatively tested anti-ship missiles from the man-made structures around the intensely contested Spratly Islands. This area has been hotly counter-claimed in parts by Vietnam, Philippines and Taiwan; whereas the Chinese have brazenly appropriated sovereignty over the entire 1.3 million square miles of…

Taiwan’s Tsai shoots down Xi’s unification road map

TOKYO — After spending many years as an official in China’s Fujian Province, across the waters from Taiwan, President Xi Jinping has strong personal feelings about the self-ruled island. It is, therefore, alarming that President Tsai Ing-wen rejected outright Xi’s views toward the future of Taiwan, doing so while stopping over in New York last week. “Hong Kong’s experience under ‘one country, two systems’ has shown the world, once and for all, that authoritarianism and democracy cannot coexist,” the 62-year-old Taiwanese leader declared during a speech at Columbia University on…

Renewed Tensions Between the Philippines and China in the South China Sea

Three days before the 121st Independence Day of the Philippines—June 12th, 2019—a Chinese-flagged vessel rammed a Filipino fishing boat in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the West Philippine Sea.  When news of the incident broke, Filipinos took to social media to express their outrage. According to a report published by Business Insider, “The Philippines has accused China of ramming a Philippine fishing vessel, sinking it, and then abandoning the crew to drown in open waters […] The crew of the sunken Philippine vessel was ultimately rescued by a…

China maintains pressure on Vietnam at Vanguard Bank

China’s deployment of coastguard vessels and survey ships at Vanguard Bank is intended to prevent Vietnam from advancing its interests in the region before a deal is reached on a code of conduct for the South China Sea, an observer has said. Hu Bo, director of the South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative, said that as negotiations on the code continued, the parties involved were taking “radical” steps to advance their claims to the oil and gas reserves in the area so as to establish a status quo for…

Defending China raw deal in SONA ‘will bind us to it’

President Rody Duterte’s fishing agreement with Xi Jinping not only is unlawful but also lopsided against us Filipinos, Supreme Court Senior Justice Antonio Carpio said. China will let us fish in our Scarborough Shoal, 150 sq. km, while it trawls our Reed Bank, 8,866 sq. km. China can even scour our whole West Philippine Sea, larger than our land territory. The deal is verbal so far. But if Duterte defends it in his State of the Nation on July 22, he would in effect officially affirm it. That will bind…

Adm. Davidson: China Assaults International Order « Breaking Defense

Adm. Phil Davidson, INDO-PACOM commander, being briefed in Singapore Adm. Philip Davidson displays a large model of Fiery Cross Reef — one of seven fake islands Beijing has built by destroying shallow reefs in the South China Sea — in the anteroom to his office at Indo-Pacific Command headquarters. Chinese President Xi Jinping publicly promised in 2015 not to “militarize” those “islands, which lie in an area an international tribunal ruled does not belong to China. But, as the model in Davidson’s office makes clear, Fiery Cross bristles with military facilities,…