Taiwan: concern grows over China’s invasion threat

There was a funfair atmosphere when Tainan Air Base in south Taiwan opened its doors to the public one Saturday morning in October. Multicoloured banners fluttered in the breeze, children pushed to get a front row spot and a “flying tigers” team of pilots looped their planes overhead. But the motivation behind the display is deadly serious. Concerns are building in both Taipei and in the US — the unofficial guarantor of the island’s security — that China could be moving closer to launching the attack which it has been…

Ahead of the pace >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News

(January 22, 2020; Day 4) – The 31.5m IDEC SPORT maxi trimaran passed through the famous Sunda Strait marking the entry into the Indian Ocean to the South of Malaysia shortly after three last night. Francis Joyon, Bertrand Delesne, Christophe Houdet, Antoine Blouet and Corentin Joyon took just under four days to cross the South China Sea after setting sail from Hong Kong on the 13,000 mile race to London. This morning they had a lead of more than 300 miles over the record pace set by the Tea Route…

More than 1,000 living corals seized in 2019

Customs officials last year seized more than 1,000 living corals illegally imported from the Philippines and Indonesia, the Ocean Conservation Administration (OCA) said yesterday. Thirteen illegal imports involving 1,369 marine animals, mostly living corals and some sea anemones, were reported by the Customs Administration last year, the agency said, without specifying the respective number of the species. Most of the illegally imported corals were of the Goniopora, Lobophyllia and Euphyllia species, mainly transported from the Philippines, with a few coming from Indonesia, OCA Deputy Director-General Wu Long-jing (吳龍靜) said. Some…

U.S. and China Sign “Phase One” Trade Deal but Leave Key Issues Unresolved

U.S. and China Sign “Phase One” Trade Deal but Leave Key Issues Unresolved  On Jan. 15, the United States and China signed a “phase one” trade deal that the Trump administration says will provide safeguards for intellectual property, boost sales of U.S. goods and services in China, and provide greater access to the Chinese market for U.S. companies. While the president praised the deal as a “momentous” step, critics have noted that the deal leaves largely untouched key issues concerning the structure of the Chinese economy. In a 2018 report, the Office of the United States…

Asia Times | Post-Brexit Britain eyes new forceful role in Asia

When Britain leaves the European Union (EU) later this month, it will be free to chart its own independent course in foreign affairs and fulfill years of promises to build a truly “global Britain.” That will likely entail a historic realignment of its foreign policy interests from the Middle East and Africa to the “Indo-Pacific,” one of the three “primary centers of the global economy and political influence”, after North America and Europe, according to the United Kingdom’s last National Security Capability Review published in March 2018. The Indo-Pacific is…

Saved at Sea, a Family of Nurses Reunite 4 Decades Later With Their Rescuers – Mother Jones

Thao Nguyen and Chip Reichert reunite almost 40 years after a rescue in the South China Sea.WGN-TV Welcome to Recharge, a weekly newsletter full of stories that will energize your inner hellraiser. See more editions and sign up here. In 1981, the USS John Young spotted a motorless fishing boat filled with people in the South China Sea—and saved their lives. They were without food, without water. That rescue was the first of hundreds for the Navy ship that year. Veterans carried those memories for decades, and recently, a group…

Wang Yi Co-chairs the Inaugural Meeting of the Joint Steering Committee between China and Brunei Darussalam with Bruneian Minister of Foreign Affairs II Dato Erywan Pehin Yusof

On 21 January 2020, the inaugural meeting of the Joint Steering Committee between China and Brunei Darussalam was co-chaired in Beijing by Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Minister of Foreign Affairs II Dato Erywan Pehin Yusof of Brunei Darussalam. Wang Yi said, China and Brunei Darussalam are close neighbors facing each other across the sea, partners of mutual trust and a model of equality between big and small countries. The historic exchange of visits by President Xi Jinping and His Majesty Sultan has elevated the China-Brunei…

Superpowers posturing in volatile Gulf

It was once conventional wisdom that the US had a near-vital interest in keeping open the strait of Hormuz, the slender shipping lane dividing Iran and Oman. Underpinning this belief was the US’s position – and that of allies like Japan, South Korea and Europe – as a substantial net importer of fossil fuels, and Washington’s military role in the Middle East. The picture is a little different at the start of 2020. This year the US becomes, for the first time since 1953, a net energy exporter. This makes…

America Versus China in the South China Sea: An Unwinnable Game

Key Point: Even now, the United States has not recognized the strategic significance of the changing balance of power in China’s favor. As long as China maintains its current momentum, no matter what the United States does, China will form a relatively balanced strategic posture with the United States in the South China Sea. As we all see, the situation in the South China Sea is cooling down, and the biggest variable is the emerging Sino-U.S. maritime strategic competition. There have been three major views, all of which stem from anxiety,…