Why is Malaysia so angry over this line that China drew?

It’s not the first time we’ve had an argument with our frenemy China, but our Minister of Foreign Affairs Saifuddin Abdullah has just fired some shots at them over a line on a map. Sounds minor, but it’s actually more serious than one might think: “For China to claim that the whole of South China Sea belongs to China (by drawing the line), I think that is ridiculous.” – Saifuddin Abdullah, Minister of Foreign Affairs Saifuddin Abdullah, Malaysia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. Image from: Andrea Verdelli/AFP This was in response to China’s protests against a new…

Why Old Friends China, Malaysia Suddenly Disagree over Tract of Sea | Voice of America

TAIPEI, TAIWAN – China and Malaysia, old friends with a complex trade and investment relationship, are disagreeing over Malaysia’s rights to extend sovereignty into part of a disputed sea that’s rich in fossil fuel reserves. On Dec. 12, the Southeast Asian nation submitted documentation to the U.N. Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf about plans to extend its rights over the South China Sea beyond 370 kilometers from its baselines. The documentation, linked to a related application that Malaysia and Vietnam made 10 years ago, met with opposition from…

Pragmatism, politics and the rise of China

It was a lively evening recently at Hurricane’s, the new Australian ribs joint in Beijing, with pin-up snowboarder Scotty James charming a large crowd of excited young Chinese as the snow swirled around outside—a seemingly good omen for the approaching 2022 Winter Olympics. Former South Australian Liberal senator Sean Edwards was also there, promoting his Kirrihill Wines at the Australian Chamber of Commerce event. The Chinese ambassador to Australia, Chen Jingye, meanwhile stressed at a rare press conference last week the value of the ‘pragmatic cooperation and exchange between the…

Air Force Planes – Tonopah Nevada

A dozen unusual blobs appeared earlier this month on imagery taken at a secret airfield in Nevada. The objects are roughly fighter-jet sized—or larger. The airfield, the Tonopah Test Range, was previously the home of the F-117A stealth fighter when it was a secret Air Force program. A private satellite network has apparently detected what could be a secret fleet of aircraft at a remote airfield in Nevada. An overflight of the Tonopah Test Range in Nevada captured unusual activity on the ground that could be up to a dozen…

American KIA in Afghanistan; ISIS on the rise again; Saudi disinformation; State lawmaker accused of terrorism; And a bit more.

American servicemember killed in Afghanistan. The combat death of the as-yet-publicly-unidentified servicemember brings the year’s total to 20, the highest since Pentagon officials announced the “end of combat operations” in 2014, the New York Times reports. A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for a roadside bombing in northern Kunduz that he said killed the American, AP adds. Why the Taliban keep attacking while negotiating for peace. “Compared to 10 years ago, yes, I believe the world sees us as more legitimate, and all of that is through our violence,” Saied, one…

Duterte’s Coast Guard Diplomacy – The Diplomat

Advertisement Recently, the Philippine budget secretary approved an increase of Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) personnel to 4,000 for this year. This increase is only intended for 2019, while the funds for an additional 6,000 personnel are also anticipated by the PCG to be appropriated in 2020. The increase of the PCG’s human resources to almost 23,000 surpasses the 14,000 active sailors of the Philippine Navy (PN) despite the rise of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) troop ceiling. Most maritime scholars find it puzzling why President Rodrigo Duterte has…

Abe says Xi’s visit to Japan “extremely” important for bilateral ties

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday that Chinese President Xi Jinping’s planned visit to Japan as a state guest next spring is “extremely” important, as the two leaders agreed to work to elevate bilateral relations to a new level. Abe and Xi also reaffirmed their cooperation in achieving North Korea’s complete denuclearization, a Japanese government source said, with a year-end deadline set by Pyongyang for progress in denuclearization negotiations with the United States looming. On Xi’s planned visit to Japan, Abe told the Chinese president at the outset of…

Abe, Xi agree to work to elevate Japan-China ties to new level

BEIJING (Kyodo) — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed Monday to work together to elevate relations between the two countries to a new level, as Tokyo has been preparing for the Chinese leader’s state visit to Japan next spring. “We put an extreme emphasis” on Xi’s planned visit to Japan, Abe told the Chinese president at the outset of their meeting in Beijing, adding, “We want to build a relationship that is suitable for a new era of Japan and China.” Xi told Abe, “I…

Opinion: If we can put partisan politics aside, we might find a smart China policy

Colin Robertson is a former Canadian diplomat and current vice-president and fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. With the appointment of the all-party parliamentary committee, our China relationship may get the attention it deserves. Our security and economic well-being depend on an astute understanding of the wider world and, after the U.S., that means China. The committee’s effectiveness depends on its members: Can the Tories resist demonizing China? Can the Liberals get over their opposition to the committee – welcome to minority government – and avoid wishful thinking on…