South China Sea used by Beijing ‘used to smuggle crude oil’ to avoid global sanctions | World | News

A huge 910,000 tonnes of crude oil was offloaded at Chinese ports during the month of September after it was transferred in the South China Sea, according to Bloomberg. This amount is three times as much as the month of August.  The US has warned that there will be repercussions for anyone who buys Iranian oil. It is believed that the oil comes from Iran or Venezuela. Michal Meidan, director of the China Energy Programme at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, said: “I think its highly likely that these…

Experts Call For Vietnam to Sue China in International Court Over South China Sea Incursions

Vietnam should sue China in an international court of law over recent violations of Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the South China Sea, a group of Vietnamese experts have concluded at a conference in Hanoi. In July, a Chinese survey ship named the Haiyang Dizhi 8 entered Vietnam’s EEZ to conduct seismic surveys off of the Spratly Islands’ westernmost reef, known as Vanguard Bank, triggering a tense standoff between military and coast guard vessels from Vietnam and China, as well as rare protests by Vietnamese citizens in front of…

American troops begin annual military exercise with Philippine, Japan forces

SUBIC, Philippines — More than 2,000 U.S. and Philippine military personnel, along with a small contingent of Japanese forces, began annual combat exercises on Wednesday aimed at responding rapidly to crises and natural disasters and underscoring their commitment to keep the region “free and open.” The 10-day drills, which include amphibious assault and live-fire exercises, opened at Subic Freeport, a former U.S. naval base northwest of Manila. They will also include humanitarian work in six northern Philippine provinces. China has often branded military exercises involving the U.S. and its allies,…

US, Philippine, Japan forces hold disaster-response drills

SUBIC, Philippines — More than 2,000 U.S. and Philippine military personnel, along with a small contingent of Japanese forces, began annual combat exercises on Wednesday aimed at responding rapidly to crises and natural disasters and underscoring their commitment to keep the region “free and open.” The 10-day drills, which include amphibious assault and live-fire exercises, opened at Subic Freeport, a former U.S. naval base northwest of Manila. They will also include humanitarian work in six northern Philippine provinces. China has often branded military exercises involving the U.S. and its allies,…

Joint Australian-French maritime patrols on the horizon

He said French warships and research vessels were the most frequent visitor from a foreign navy to Australian ports, with 12 arrivals a year. French aircraft carrier Charles-de-Gaulle sets sail from the southern French port of Toulon before taking part in military operations in the Persian Gulf. AFP “Since the signing of this contract our links have been tighter and tighter with the Australian navy, not only on submarines but every aspect of maritime warfare,” he said. Admiral Prazuck revealed this co-operation had gone as far as co-ordinating the deployment of…

Strong US-Taiwanese ties needed to counter rising Chinese influence in the Pacific

On Sept. 16, the Solomon Islands, which had enjoyed 36 years of diplomatic relations with Taiwan, broke off ties in favor of recognizing China. Four days later, Kiribati, another Pacific state, also announced it would be switching diplomatic relations to the People’s Republic of China (PRC). These are far from isolated cases. Over the past three years, China has induced – through outright bribery, false promises, and debt-trap diplomacy – the switch of six of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies. Taiwan has now been left with just 15 countries with formal diplomatic…

Ryukyu Shimpo – Okinawa, Japanese newspaper, local news » U.S. informs Russia of plans to deploy intermediate-range missiles to Okinawa in the next two years, worrying some that the base burden will increase significantly

U.S. informs Russia of plans to deploy intermediate-range missiles to Okinawa in the next two years, worrying some that the base burden will increase significantly Range of an intermediate ballistic missile from Okinawa October 3, 2019 Ryukyu ShimpoTsuyoshi Arakakai After withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) on August 2, the U.S. announced that it would be deploying a large quantity of intermediate-range ballistic missiles, which were banned under the treaty, to Japan at locations that include Okinawa and Hokkaido. Ryukyu Shimpo reporting has learned that the U.S.…

Transcript: Jake Sullivan and Kurt Campbell talk with Michael Morell on “Intelligence Matters”

INTELLIGENCE MATTERS –  INTERVIEW WITH JAKE SULLIVAN KURT CAMPBELLCORRESPONDENT: MICHAEL MORELLPRODUCER: OLIVIA GAZIS, JAMIE BENSON MICHAEL MORELL: “Intelligence Matters” podcast with Michael Morell More More in “Intelligence Matters” podcast with Michael Morell Kurt, Jake. I want to welcome you both to the show. Jake, this is your second time with us. It’s good to have you back. And Kurt, this is your first time, so welcome. And I hope to have you back sometime to talk in more detail about your career and the broader issues of East Asia.KURT CAMPBELL:Thanks,…

Philippines Morning News For October 9, 2019

PH slips in global competitiveness ranking, drops to 6th spot in ASEANThe Philippines fell eight notches to 64th from 56th last year out of 141 countries in the global competitiveness ranking pulled down by lower ICT (information/communications technology) adoption and macroeconomic stability, according to the 2019 Global Competitiveness Report of the World Economic Forum.— Manila Bulletin Duterte Reportedly Invited Rosneft to Conduct Oil Exploration in South China SeaPhilippine President Rodrigo Duterte reportedly invited Russian oil giant Rosneft to conduct oil exploration operations in the South China Sea during a visit…

Why Lightning Strikes Twice as Much Over Shipping Lanes

For all the progress humanity has made since Odysseus had a spot of trouble on a long voyage home, life on the high seas remains a largely joyless affair. Twenty-first-century sailors spend weeks away from home. The hours are long, the pay mediocre, the risk of calamity never quite over the horizon. And, researchers have recently learned, these men and women face a problem not even the King of Ithaca had to deal with: unnaturally large amounts of lightning. Turns out that along some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes,…