China a threat to Pacific stability

China is threatening the sovereignty of small Pacific Islands and undermining the region’s stability, a top US military commander said yesterday, in comments likely to inflame tensions with Beijing. US-China relations last month improved with the signing of a “phase one” trade deal that defused an 18-month row that has hit global growth, but strains remain. US Navy Admiral Philip Davidson — commander of the US Indo-Pacific Command — said in Sydney that the US “was all in” to counter China in the Pacific, citing Beijing’s “excessive territorial claims, debt-trap…

WHO Effusively Praises China For ‘Setting A New Standard’ In Outbreak Response.’ Critics Beg To Differ.

Critics question WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus deferentially lauding China and calling on other countries not to cut off travel and trade. Some experts say that while praising China’s response so strongly, the WHO is compromising its own epidemic response standards and sending the wrong message to other countries that might face future epidemics. Meanwhile, an infectious disease expert says the outbreak is “just beginning” outside of China. The Wall Street Journal: The World Health Organization Draws Flak For Coronavirus Response When the World Health Organization declared a global public-health…

Banyan – Indonesia’s government wants to get on with China in private | Asia

Feb 15th 2020 WHEN CHINA’S president, Xi Jinping, launched the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2013, Indonesia was seen as essential to its success. So much so that he went to Jakarta, its capital, to launch the maritime dimension of his world-girdling programme of infrastructure investments. But then a funny thing happened: very little. Nearby Cambodia has been overrun by Chinese involvement in its economy and politics. In Pakistan BRI and its local iteration, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), are held up as proof of a relationship “as close…

ANALYSIS – China To Benefit Most From Dutertes Attempt To Outplay Trump By Scraping Military Pact

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – 13th February, 2020) OSCOW, February 13 (Sputnik), Valentina Shvartsman – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, by scrapping a security pact with the United States, is trying to outrun US President Donald Trump in getting better deals, but the fallout between the two nations will only play into the hands of China, which is currently boosting its regional influence, experts told Sputnik. Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said on Tuesday that his country had notified the United States of its intent to terminate the 1999…

Outside China, Coronavirus transmission ‘iceberg’ may not be as big as feared

“We’re not seeing a dramatic increase in transmission outside China,” Dr. Michael Ryan, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Health Emergencies Programme chief, said, while urging against making hasty assessments. As of 4pm on Thursday in Geneva, there were 46,550 infections from COVID-19, the overwhelming majority in China, WHO reported. With 1,820 laboratory-confirmed cases and 1,369 deaths, all but two have been in China. In Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak, 13,332 cases have been clinically confirmed. Outside China, there have been 447 cases from 24 other countries and two…

What to expect from the Munich Security Conference? | News

Berlin, Germany – The wars in Libya and Yemen, brewing tensions elsewhere in the Middle East and India’s lockdown of Kashmir are among the most pressing geopolitical concerns as world leaders and diplomats prepare to rub shoulders at the Munich Security Conference, often regarded as the Davos of security and foreign policy issues. Thirty-five heads of state are among more than 500 politicians, officials and spies scheduled to attend the winter summit. More: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, French President Emmanuel Macron, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Ukrainian President Volodymyr…

A treaty for a visa – The Philippines tears up a defence pact with America | Asia

SINCE HE BECAME president in 2016, Rodrigo Duterte has talked loudly and often about his disdain for America, which is a former colonial power in the Philippines. But never before have his grievances translated into action. On February 11th he cancelled the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), a military pact between the two countries that enabled American troops to participate in joint exercises in the Philippines. The American embassy in Manila declared the decision “a serious step with significant implications for the US-Philippines alliance”. It also has implications for the region’s…

Taiwan says U.S. flies B-52 bombers near island after Chinese drills

The U.S. military flew three Air Force planes — including two B-52 bombers — near Taiwan on Wednesday morning, the country’s Defense Ministry and the U.S. Pacific Air Forces said, after China sent its own bombers and fighter jets for exercises near the island on Sunday and Monday. The ministry said in a statement on its website Wednesday that a U.S. MC-130J special mission aircraft flew across the Taiwan Strait from north to south, while two B-52 bombers flew along Taiwan’s east coast, also from north to south. The ministry…

Measuring Challenges and Progress – The Diplomat

Advertisement In the realm of foreign and security policy, the maritime space is often overlooked. “Sea blindness” is real and it is often reflected in the amount of resources and policy attention paid to maritime security and governance around the world. However, as the maritime space gains attention as a theater for nontraditional security challenges and as space of increasingly important economic potential, so too does the need to empirically measure the scope of the challenges and the progress made in the maritime space. There are a plethora of indices,…