China Courts Malaysia in Bid to Control Strait of Malacca

The world is focused, rightly, on the Middle East right now. But another shift, just to the east, could be equally significant. A new pipeline has set in motion a shift in alliances that has major implications for Europe and the world. On January 2, Israel, Cyprus and Greece signed a deal to build a new natural gas pipeline, connecting gas reserves in Israeli and Cypriot waters to Greece. A later project is planned to connect Italy. It’s a big deal. The $7 billion pipeline would supply 10 percent of…

Taiwan Is About To Have An Election That Will Change The World

2020 is the year of elections. One of the most pivotal elections will take place on January 11, when Taiwan will have its general election, and the Taiwanese will cast votes for president, vice president, and their legislature. This election is pivotal, as it will take place as the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong is ongoing, and the election outcome will have a profound effect on foreign policy strategies and relationships between Washington, Beijing, and Taipei throughout 2020 and beyond. Leading the poll is Taiwan’s fourth democratically elected and first female president,…

China’s South China Sea Military Bases Are More Than They Seem

Key point: In any military confrontation with the United States, China’s at-sea outposts would almost certainly be quickly rolled back by waves of airstrikes and cruise missile attacks, devastating People’s Liberation Army facilities and stranding the personnel manning them. In recent years the People’s Republic of China has laid claim to ninety percent of the South China Sea, buttressing this claim by creating artificial islands with dredging equipment. These claims run roughshod over Beijing’s neighbors, which have competing claims. The discovery in 2016 that China had militarized these artificial islands was…

U.S. Army Plans to Expand Asian Security Efforts to Counter China

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Army plans to deploy two specialized task forces to the Pacific capable of conducting information, electronic, cyber and missile operations against Beijing, a Pentagon official said on Friday. The task forces were slated to deploy over the next two years, U.S. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said at an event in Washington. “The Army is reinvigorating our presence and disposition in the Pacific,” McCarty said, because “China will emerge as America’s strategic threat.” The units, called Multi-Domain Task Forces, would help neutralize some capabilities China and Russia already possess. The units would…

These 5 Armies, Air Forces, And Navies Are Kings Of The Land, Air, and Sea

Key point: America dominates these categories. The world, thanks to the march and diffusion of technology, is getting smaller. Travel by airplane at high rates of speed, modern maritime transport and faster and faster transit on the ground thanks to high-speed rail and highways that cover almost every part of the globe mean people can get to points a,b and c faster than ever before. Modern telecommunications mean we can communicate with any willing participant in almost any part of the globe, in real time, anytime. When we combine these…

Indonesia sets new tone in dealing with China – The Manila Times

AT the very start of the new year and the new decade on Jan. 1, 2020, the government of Indonesia made a declaration that has profound and far-reaching implications for the festering disputes between China and its Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) neighbors over China’s extravagant claims in the South China Sea. Indonesia said on Wednesday it rejected China’s claims over a disputed part of the South China Sea as “having no legal basis.” This came after it lodged a protest two days earlier with Beijing over the presence…

Why instinct and ideology tell Trump to get out of the Middle East | US news

The crisis triggered by Donald Trump’s assassination of General Qassem Suleimani has crystallised Iran’s official thinking around a single, overriding demand: that American military forces should pack up their weapons, close their bases, and leave the Middle East for ever. The odd thing is, Trump seems to agree. Referring to last week’s retaliatory strikes on US targets, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s leader, declared: “Military action like this is not sufficient. What is important is ending the corrupting presence of America.” Hassan Rouhani, the country’s president, said the only answer was…

Indonesia mobilises fishermen in stand-off with China, Asia News

JAKARTA – Indonesia will mobilise fishermen to join warships in the South China Sea to help defend against Chinese vessels, the government said on Monday (Jan 6), as the biggest stand-off with China for years escalated off South-east Asia’s largest country. In an unusually strong statement, President Joko Widodo told reporters: “There is no negotiation when it comes to our sovereignty.” The stand-off since last month in the northern Natuna islands, where a Chinese coastguard vessel has accompanied Chinese fishing vessels, has soured the generally friendly relationship between Jakarta and Beijing.…

China objects to Malaysia’s UN submission on South China Sea claim

China objects to Malaysia’s UN submission on South China Sea claim Patricia Lourdes Viray (Philstar.com) – December 17, 2019 – 5:05pm MANILA, Philippines — China urged the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (UNCLCS) not to consider Malaysia’s submission over its territorial waters in the South China Sea. Last week, Malaysia submitted a request to the committee to extend its continental shelf beyond the 200-nautical mile limit, in accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. “(T)his is a partial submission for…

China Needs To Up Its Public Diplomacy Game Regarding The South China Sea – Analysis

In 1954 while representing the new China to the world, Zhou Enlai famously reaffirmed Clausewizt’s dictum that “All diplomacy is a continuation of war by other means.“ Given that China is engaged in a long term struggle with others for control of the South China Sea, it needs to greatly improve its relevant public diplomacy in both tenor and tone.  Many of China’s often severely criticized positions vis a vis its rival claimants are defensible.  But China’s public relations spokespersons are nebulous both in stating China’s claims and in their defense.  This needs…