Coronavirus Worsens U.S.-China Ties and Bolsters Hawks in Washington

BEIJING — Tariffs and the trade war. Espionage and Huawei. Hong Kong, Taiwan and the South China Sea. Now a spiraling epidemic has become the latest and potentially most divisive issue driving apart the United States and China. For the fiercest critics of China within the Trump administration, the global panic over the new coronavirus has provided a new opening to denounce the rule of the Chinese Communist Party, which they say cannot be trusted to disclose what it knows or properly manage the outbreak. But if the hard-liners were…

First casualty of VFA abrogation: Scarborough

In early 1995, less than three years after the departure of US forces from Subic and Clark following the termination of the Military Bases Agreement, China seized Mischief Reef from the Philippines. The sudden departure of US forces created a power vacuum in the West Philippine Sea that was naturally filled by the next power in waiting — China. The Philippines, however, failed to prepare for what was obvious to many security analysts — that China would expand its territorial and maritime presence once US forces leave Subic and Clark.…

Australia needs to consider the nuclear option for its new submarines

Australia needs to seriously consider moving to a nuclear-powered submarine force because, in the rapidly changing circumstances of the region, it is the best solution to meet the Royal Australian Navy’s demanding strategic and operational requirements. The very long timescales and extraordinarily high and escalating cost of the Attack-class submarine program make this imperative. The program, with a current price tag of more than $50 billion, won’t produce a single operational submarine until 2036, by which time the threat or the technology may have changed dramatically. The program is still…

Philip Cox’s epic China museum project

Philip Cox says his firm’s latest Chinese project is big. And on a 150,000-square-metre site, the 80,000-square-metre building with 39,000-square-metre of exhibition space makes the National Maritime Museum of China big indeed. “It’s really a museum on steroids when it comes to the type of museum compared with an Australian version,” the veteran Australian architect tells The Australian Financial Review. But rather than its size, the museum in Tianjin, the port city closest to China’s capital Beijing, is significant for what it says about the story China is telling its…

Political advantage through aid or trade: India’s knee jerk on Malaysia and Turkey

For years, China, Brunei, Taiwan, Malaysia, Philippines, and Vietnam have contested overlapping claims to hundreds of coral reefs, features, and islets in the South China Sea. China’s man-made islands fortified with airstrips, anti cruise missiles, control towers, naval bases has allowed it to assert its sovereignty vigorously and poised it to seize greater control of the sea. As it’s economic and military position bolstered, it resorted to bullying its small neighbors by illicitly entering their territorial waters or by hindering their oil and gas explorations in the disputed waters. China…

Marine Corps commandant: We need to be unpredictable, and we need the ‘Lightning Carrier’ to do it

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider. The Marine Corps wants to overhaul its force to prepare to be more dispersed and more flexible to deter and, if need be, take on China’s growing military in the Pacific. “China has moved out to sea, and they have long-range weapons and a lot of them,” Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger said February 11 at an Amphibious Warship Industrial Base Coalition event on Capitol Hill. “Those two things have changed the game,” Berger added. “Take those away, in other…

Duterte Does the Right Thing for a Change

U.S. Army 1st Lt. Alex Donahue discusses the importance of proper knots and rigging with Philippine soldiers at Fort Ramon Magsaysay, Philippines on May 4, 2017. US Army Photo Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s termination of a key military pact with the United States, the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), which governed the deployment of US troops in the country, has evoked varied responses. In some liberal and progressive circles, the move provoked trepidation owing to Duterte’s perceived closeness to Chinese President Xi Jinping. Others were disoriented by the fact that the…

the mounting competition for ocean resources

Rising demand for fresh drinking and irrigation water, for example, means there are now 16,000 desalination plants worldwide, which transform 65 million cubic metres of seawater per day, with rapid growth predicted for floating plants. They suck in and kill small marine life and discharge warm, highly salty water that can disrupt coastal ecosystems. Meanwhile, there are more than 1.3 million km of undersea telecommunications cables and more than 100,000km of seabed pipelines carrying gas, oil, water or sewage. These are innocuous unless they leak after damage from anchors or…

Understanding Total Competition and China’s Challenge in the South China Sea – The Diplomat

Advertisement China’s behavior in the South China Sea and its ambitions in Southeast Asia continue to be scrutinized today amid wider trends, including intensifying U.S.-China competition, rising conversations about an Indo-Pacific regional architecture, and the ongoing effort by Beijing and Southeast Asian states to work toward a binding code of conduct in the South China Sea. To get at these issues, The Diplomat’s senior editor Prashanth Parameswaran spoke to Patrick Cronin, the Asia-Pacific Security Chair at the Hudson institute, and Ryan Neuhard, a research associate there. Cronin and Neuhard are…

Coronavirus latest: China’s death toll exceeds 2,000

Drop in visitors to Hong Kong highlights growing economic woes Hong Kong has reported a sharp drop in the number of people arriving from mainland China and abroad, underscoring the heavy toll the coronavirus outbreak has had on the territory’s economy. The number of visitors from mainland China tumbled to just 643 on Monday, compared with almost 37,000 on January 24, the earliest day in which data are available on the Hong Kong Immigration Department website. Hong Kong’s decision, effective February 8, to force all people entering from mainland China…