National Scientist Gomez, marine conservation advocate, 81

National Scientist Gomez, marine conservation advocate, 81 Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) – December 4, 2019 – 12:00am MANILA, Philippines — National Scientist Edgardo Gomez, a pioneer in marine conservation in the Philippines, died on Dec. 1. He was 81. Gomez was a researcher, scientist, conservation advocate and educator in various fields, including invertebrate biology and ecology; giant clam culture and restoration; and coral reef assessment and conservation. He was also recognized for his contributions and research on marine ecosystems, which became the basis for management of conservation programs…

Malaysia points to top concerns in first-ever defense whitepaper

MELBOURNE, Australia — Malaysia has unveiled its first-ever defense whitepaper, identifying its maritime claims in the South China Sea as a top concern, amid a stagnant budget that continues to dog attempts at modernizing its military. Tabling the document in Malaysia’s Parliament, Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu said the whitepaper is an opportunity to discuss the Southeast Asian nation’s strategic outlook. Unsurprisingly, ongoing tension between the U.S. and China received attention in the minister’s speech, where he noted that competition between both powers over technological, maritime and other issues were likely…

New Chinese envoy to PH assumes post, vows ‘best is yet to come’ – The Manila Times

SENIOR Chinese diplomat, Huang Xilian, arrived on Tuesday to begin his post as China’s ambassador to the Philippines. Huang was former envoy to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) based in Jakarta before he was assigned to serve as Beijing’s top diplomat in Manila. He replaced Zhao Jinhua who started his stint in Manila in 2014 at the height of a maritime dispute between the Philippines and China over overlapping claims in the Spratly islands in the South China Sea or West Philippine Sea. Huang said the “best is…

Imagery Suggests China Deployed Surveillance Aerostat to Mischief Reef in South China Sea – The Diplomat

Flashpoints | Security | East Asia The deployment would mark a first in the South China Sea. Advertisement Recently published satellite images indicate that China may have deployed a tethered aerostat to Mischief Reef, the site of one of its artificial island bases in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. In an image taken on November 18 by an Israeli satellite firm, ImageSat International, an apparent stationary aerostat appears visible on the northern side of Mischief Reef. Mischief Reef is China’s largest outpost in the Spratly Islands. In separate images taken by…

South China Sea crisis: How Beijing is using tracker airships to monitor US military | World | News

Satellite imagery obtained by ImageSat shows China, seemingly in an effort to defend the contested Spratly Islands from opposing militaries, has deployed light airships to monitor the surrounding waters. The airships were pictured floating above the Mischief reef, forming one of the central areas of political grappling in the Spratly Islands. The use of these ships has the capacity to provide numerous advantages to China in the region, as their low cost surveillance can alert Beijing’s People’s Liberation Army to foreign presence in the region. While the airship has been…

China’s strategic perspective on the South China Sea

In many ways, the American label of ‘great wall of sand’ that was applied to the artificial islands in the South China Sea encapsulates a key element of Chinese thinking. The same desire to protect China from external threats that produced the terrestrial Great Wall has been extended into the South China Sea. It’s significant that a Chinese senior officer once expressed surprise at the American label of ‘anti-access/area denial’ for China’s maritime strategy and remarked that the Chinese called what they were doing ‘coastal defence’. By creating facilities such…

Rising power China must be addressed by NATO

Soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army march during a parade to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China at Tiananmen Square on October 1, 2019 in Beijing, China. Fu Tian | China News Service | Visual China Group | Getty Images LONDON — NATO’s secretary general said the alliance needs to address the challenges and opportunities posed by an increasingly powerful China, but added that his 29-member defense organization does not want to make an enemy out of Beijing. “What we see is that the rising power…