‘Fire the first shot’: Duterte dares US to declare war against China

As he faces increasing pressure from critics to protect the Philippines’ territories from China’s aggression, President Rodrigo Duterte dared the United States on Friday to declare war against the Asian superpower and said that he would follow their lead if they do so. Duterte said this in a public speech delivered during the opening of a rice processing plant in Alangalang, Leyte. The president started his diatribe against the U.S. by accusing its government of allegedly encouraging the Philippines to declare war against China. “There’s always America pushing us, egging…

Why Did Two Chinese SU-30 Fighters Fly Within 150 Feet of a Nuclear ‘Sniffer’ Plane in 2017?

A U.S. official told CNN the two Chinese jets came within 150 feet of the U.S. plane, with one flying upside-down directly above it. As reported by CNN a U.S. Air Force (USAF) WC-135 was intercepted by two Chinese Sukhoi Su-30 fighters on May 17, 2017 while flying in international airspace over the East China Sea. According to the statement from Air Force Lt. Col. Hodge, the American flight crew described the encounter as “unprofessional.” “While we are still investigating the incident, initial reports from the U.S. aircrew characterized the intercept as unprofessional. The issue is…

Vietnam’s Longest Serving Female Prisoner of Conscience Released from Prison.

Authorities in Vietnam released an activist who had been one of the country’s longest serving political prisoners Friday, after she had endured eight years detention for documenting peaceful demonstrations. According to a statement by local pro-democracy group Viet Tan, Nguyen Dang Minh Man was subjected to “arbitrary detention and harsh prison conditions” after she was arrested in a July 2011 crackdown on bloggers and citizen journalists. After returning to her home in Tra Vinh province in the south of the country, Nguyen told RFA’s Vietnamese Service that she was happy…

Why China’s Latest Military Exercises Aren’t Scaring the Rest of Asia | Voice of America

TAIPEI – Chinese military drills in the East and South China seas this week failed to rattle militarily weaker neighbors because, defense experts say, most have grown used to the exercises and fear them less than they did a decade ago.  One neighbor, Taiwan, even test-fired missiles in response. Media outlets in Asia reported this week that the Chinese Maritime Safety Administration said it would use airspace and waters off the coast near Shanghai as well as farther south, closer to Hong Kong, for military exercises.  Those waters adjoin areas that…

Wang Yi Responds to Four Questions on the Consultations on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC)

On July 31, 2019 local time, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Chinese and foreign media after attending the China-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand. When answering the questions on the South China Sea, Wang Yi said, all the parties are now concerned about the ongoing consultations on the Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea. Some of the countries outside the region have a number of questions, and I would like to elaborate the Chinese side’s position. First,…

Head-To-Head: Russia, Japan, South Korea, and China Face-Off in the Skies over the Pacific

The South China Sea cauldron has been at a full boil now for nearly a dozen years, chiefly over the significance of various obscure reefs and rocks. But, thankfully, the occurrence of shooting among the claimants and external powers has been extremely rare, underlying the obvious risks that such a course would entail. Thus, it came as a surprise to many that South Korean interceptors fired warning shots at a Russian military aircraft over the Sea of Japan on the morning of 22 July. With four major powers suddenly appearing…

Asian Insider Aug 2: US-China tariff wars, Japan-S.Korea spat, China’s media ban , Asia News & Top Stories

In today’s bulletin: Hopes for US-China trade deal dashed, Seoul threatens retaliation against Japan in trade spat, Asean to navigate its own way, China’s media ban ahead of founding anniversary and more. Reading this on the web or know someone who might enjoy receiving Asian Insider? Our sign-up page is here. US-CHINA TRADE TRUCE OVER? There was some optimism in the air just before the Osaka G-20 meet in June about the two countries coming to a negotiated settlement on their trade spat. But US President Donald Trump’s announcement today seems…

Australia ramps up pressure on China with backing of US and Japan

Australia and the US have also expressed alarm at reports of a deal between Beijing and Cambodia to to station Chinese troops, store weapons and berth warships at the Ream Naval Base on the Gulf of Thailand. Loading The trio of ministers discussed the developments during a summit in Bangkok this week ahead of a meeting in Sydney on Sunday between Senator Payne, Mr Pompeo, Defence Minister Linda Reynolds and her US counterpart, Mark Esper. “The ministers reiterated their commitment to international law and its importance in maintaining peace and…