Has China reset military equations?

China’s military modernisation has been striking both for its pace and ambition. Getty Images The high point of the 70th anniversary celebrations of the establishment of the Peoples Republic of China was clearly the military parade at Tiananmen Square. The message was spelt out by the Chinese leader Xi Jinping, “No force can shake the status of this great nation.” During the three hour long parade, a number of new weapon systems were displayed accompanied by 15,000 goose stepping soldiers. The key difference was that the weapons were no longer…

Malaysia needs ‘naval boost to deal with possible S. China Sea conflict’, SE Asia News & Top Stories

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysia needs to boost its naval capabilities to prepare for possible conflict in the South China Sea, its foreign minister said yesterday, even as South-east Asia’s third-largest economy pursues non-militarisation of the disputed waterway. Tensions have escalated in recent weeks, especially after a US Navy destroyer last month sailed near islands claimed by China as a challenge to what the US Navy described as excessive Chinese territorial claims in the region. Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said Malaysia could issue protest notes if a major power were to…

US Coast Guard Plays Role in Contested Spratly Islands | Voice of America

KALAYAAN, PHILIPPINES — A U.S. fleet has begun the sea phase of a joint maritime training exercise near the contested waters of the Spratly Islands, along with naval assets from the Philippines and Japan. The U.S Coast Guard cutter Stratton sailed out the harbor of Puerto Princesa, Palawan, on Thursday, along with four U.S. Navy ships. Speaking from Puerto Princesa earlier this week, Navy Capt. Antoinette McCann told VOA that the Coast Guard has an important role in providing for the security and prosperity of the region. “The United States Navy and…

Malaysia looks to strengthen navy as sea tensions grow » Manila Bulletin News

Published October 17, 2019, 5:55 PM By Agence France-Presse Malaysia must strengthen its navy to better defend the country’s waters, a minister said Thursday, as tensions mount over Beijing’s growing assertiveness in the contested South China Sea. Last month a US Navy destroyer sailed close to Chinese-controlled islands in the South China Sea, to assert freedom of navigation rights (AFP / MANILA BULLETIN) China has laid claim to nearly all of the sea and has built numerous military outposts on small islands and atolls, angering other countries with competing claims…

US Navy admiral praises Chinese ‘professionalism’ in disputed South China Sea

United States Navy Rear Admiral George Wikoff praised the “professionalism” of the Chinese navy while encountering them in disputed regions of the South China Sea. Wikoff described encounters with the Chinese navy as “cordial” while the Aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan led the U.S. Navy’s Task Force 70 through the “nine-dash line” region of contested territories. The USS Ronald Reagan, one destroyer and two cruisers passed through the region China has claimed control of in a “freedom of navigation” exercise meant to contest the communist China’s encroachment, according to Bloomberg.…

Fears of military build-up as China secretly leases entire island in South China Seas

The government of the Solomon Islands has reached a secretive deal with a Chinese company with close ties to the Communist party that grants it exclusive rights to develop Tulagi, once the seat of British colonial rule in the Pacific archipelago.  The confidential arrangement has alarmed residents and raised fears that Beijing could be planning to use the tiny territory for future military rather than just commercial purposes.  Tulagi, which has a protected deepwater harbour, has long been viewed as a strategic outpost. Japan occupied the island during World War 2…