Esper to visit S. Korea to discuss expiring intel pact with Japan

In this Aug. 28, 2019, file photo, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper speaks to reporters during a briefing at the Pentagon. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) WASHINGTON (Kyodo) — U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper will leave next Wednesday for South Korea and other Asian countries to enhance defense cooperation amid the growing influence of China in the region, according to the Pentagon. Esper’s trip to Seoul comes ahead of the expiration of a military intelligence-sharing pact between South Korea and Japan later in the…

Snow and Glacier Themed Animated Film ‘Abominable’ Fuels Geopolitical Controversy

A half second blip in the newly released animated kids film “Abominable,” was all it took to aggravate a decades-old geopolitical controversy in Southeast Asia in October. The film—about a lovable yeti and his child companions’ journey to the Himalayas—has been banned in Vietnam and Malaysia, and boycotted in the Philippines, because of a map shown in the film that depicts China’s disputed territorial claims in the South China Sea. To some, the film also glosses over the yeti’s physical and cultural connection to Tibet and Nepal.  DreamWorks Animation and…

NASA-NOAA satellite finds Tropical Storm Nakri affecting Kalayaan

IMAGE: NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite passed over Tropical Storm Nakri on Nov. 7 and captured a visible image of the storm in the South China Sea. Although the bulk of the… view more  Credit: Credit: NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite passed over Tropical Storm Nakri and captured a visible image of the storm in the South China Sea. Although the bulk of the storm was not over any land areas, Nakri’s southwestern quadrant was over the island of Kalayaan, Palawan. Kalayaan is…

Vietnam warned Nakri could be strongest storm of the year

As of 7 a.m. Thursday, Nakri was located about 380 km northeast from the Southwest Cay islet in Vietnam’s Spratly Islands, with a maximum wind speed of 100 kph, said the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting. In the next 48 hours, the storm is likely to move west at 10-15 kph, getting stronger on the way. As of 7 a.m. Saturday, Nakri’s center is expected to be 190 km north-northwest of Southwest Cay, with a maximum wind speeds of 135 kph, the center said. By 1 p.m. on Sunday, the…

Carpio blasts Order of Sikatuna honors given to Chinese envoy

Retired Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua. ABS-CBN News/file Carpio: Our national heroes must now be turning in their graves PASAY CITY – Outgoing Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua may have received praises from Malacañang and the House of Representatives but not from retired Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, who criticized the awards given to him Thursday. “Our national heroes who died defending our territory against foreign invaders, must now be turning in their graves,” he told a gathering of lawyers…

India’s Great Geoeconomic Misstep – The Diplomat

Advertising India’s decision on Monday to stay away from the Regional Economic Comprehensive Partnership (RCEP) was in many ways unsurprising, given the stiff opposition that emerged against the deal over the past few months. In an extremely polarized political atmosphere, it is a rarity that endangered Indian communists as well as the enfeebled mainstream center-left find something to agree on with the Hindu far-right – which was precisely the case when it came to their opposition to the mega trade agreement. As China, ASEAN members, as well as others, including…

Resist And Reward: Vietnam’s Naval Expansion – Analysis

By Felix K. Chang* (FPRI) — Without a doubt, the Southeast Asian country most willing to challenge Chinese claims in the South China Sea has been Vietnam. Its government and people have long resisted China. Vietnam famously fought its most recent war against China in 1979. But what is often forgotten is that the two sides continued to intermittently fight pitched battles over the next 12 years. Though Vietnam fared well on land, it did not at sea. In 1988, China and Vietnam skirmished over then-Vietnamese-occupied Johnston South Reef in…

PH to maintain ‘beneficial relations’ with US, China; independent foreign policy means not to take sides – SFA Locsin » Manila Bulletin News

Published November 7, 2019, 5:41 PM By Roy Mabasa The Philippines wants to maintain “beneficial relations” with the United States and China instead of taking sides between the world’s two colliding powers. Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit / MANILA BULLETIN) This was the message conveyed by Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. as he explains the country’s strategy on how to navigate the geopolitical tension in the South China Sea without the risk of becoming “everyone’s enemy.” Speaking at a forum organized by the Institute of Strategic and…

Quang Ngai proposes Philippines contact for fishing boats to anchor during storm | Weather

According to a brief report of the Border Guard Command of Quang Ngai province, six vessels of Quang Ngai carrying a total of 260 fishermen were fishing near the tropical storm. So the province suggested permission for them to enter Luzon Island of the Philippines to avoid the natural disaster.  According to the National Hydrology Meteorology Forecast Center, the eye of typhoon Nakri was located at around 13.5 degrees north latitude and 116.4 degrees east longitude, at about 320 kilometers from the northeastern part of the Southwest Cay islet of…

United States wants code of conduct in West Philippine Sea

WASHINGTON D.C.— The United States wants a code of conduct in the West Philippine Sea, commonly known as South China Sea, that does not take away its right and the right of other countries to exercise freedom of navigation and overflight.  Speaking to a group of Filipino journalists, Mark Clark, director of the US State Department’s Office of Maritime Southeast Asia of the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said that while the US is not a party to negotiations nor a claimant state, it has a “vested interest”…