Joint Cambodia-China ‘Golden Dragon’ Military Drills to Proceed, Despite Threat of Coronavirus

Cambodia and China have no plans to cancel their fourth annual joint “Golden Dragon” military exercise later this month, despite the threat of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Cambodia’s Minister of Defense Tea Banh said Monday. This year’s exercise, held under the theme “counter-terrorism and humanitarianism,” will take place from March 14 to April 1 at military training site in Chumkiri district, in Cambodia’s Kampot province, Agence Kampuchea Press (AKP) reported. Drills will involve 3,000 soldiers—including 265 members of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA)—and vehicles such as tanks, artillery, mortars, and…

South China Sea: US sends warning to Beijing – ‘You don’t want to play laser tag with us!’ | World | News

The US Navy used their Instagram account to issue a warning as they accused China of dangerously pointing a military grade laser in an “unsafe and unprofessional manner” at a US plane. In an apparent message to China, the US Navy captioned a photograph of the South China Sea with a stark warning. It said: “You don’t want to play laser tag with us. “The Chinese Navy recently pointed a laser in an unsafe and unprofessional manner at a US Navy P-8A flying in airspace above international waters. “These acts…

Coronavirus shock will cascade through the Indo-Pacific region

The Covid-19 crisis heralds a decade of strategic volatility. Now that the virus has emerged from China, societies, governments and international institutions must brace for contagion of all kinds—health, environmental, financial, cyber and the risk of conflict. The intense connectivity that has facilitated flows of trade, investment, resources, information and, above all, people now judders with vulnerability. This international health emergency is a black swan event, an improbable catastrophe obvious in retrospect. It’s perhaps better termed a black elephant: a discontinuity so big and so inevitable that nations and corporations…

New Southern Philippines Deployment Puts Brunei Security Engagements into Focus – The Diplomat

ASEAN Beat | Diplomacy | Security | Southeast Asia The development highlighted Brunei’s continued role in the southern Philippine peace process and its role in regional security issues. Advertisement Last week, Brunei confirmed its deployment of personnel to the southern Philippines as part of an independent decommissioning body tied to the ongoing peace process there. The development spotlighted an aspect of the Southeast Asian state’s regional security role. As I have observed before in these pages, Brunei, Southeast Asia’s smallest country by population, nonetheless continues to play an important role in the security realm, be it…

USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker: March 2, 2020

USNI News Graphic These are the approximate positions of the U.S. Navy’s deployed carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups throughout the world as of March 2, 2020, based on Navy and public data. In cases where a CSG or ARG is conducting disaggregated operations, the chart reflects the location of the capital ship. Total U.S. Navy Battle Force: Ships Underway Deployed Ships Underway Non-deployed Ships Underway Total Ships Underway 64 22 86 Ships Deployed by Fleet Fleet Forces 3rd Fleet 4th Fleet 5th Fleet 6th Fleet 7th Fleet Total…

China Is Grading the World’s Coronavirus Reactions – The Diplomat

Advertisement The COVID-19 pandemic, involving a novel strain of coronavirus, has claimed over 3,000 lives in China and worldwide. China, vulnerable and ever more attentive to its international prestige, has identified friends and adversaries in this time of crisis, as revealed by its official rhetoric and media narratives. China has shown an affinity for using diplomatic protocols to signal to other states where their official relations stand with China. In regards to the coronavirus, on February 5, China’s Foreign Ministry listed “ the governments of 21 countries” who had offered “friendly…

U.S. Won’t Gamble on ASEAN Summit in Las Vegas

The global escalation of a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has prompted U.S. officials to fold their diplomatic playing cards and postpone the scheduled Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit from the bright lights of 24-hour entertainment in Las Vegas. The Trump administration along with at least 8 of the 10 ASEAN nations, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, anticipated the venue could forge closer cooperation and chart an improved geopolitical course at a time when policy experts say that China continues to expand its influence in Southeast…

Envoy: Door not shut for saving US-Philippines defence pact

MANILA: A US-Philippines troop agreement recently scrapped by President Rodrigo Duterte could still be salvaged, a senior diplomat said on Monday (March 2), boosting hopes in both countries of retaining one of Asia’s oldest military alliances. Talks were taking place to find a solution, but the alliance would prevail, recognising the importance of the United States as a global power, said Jose Manuel Romualdez, Philippine ambassador to Washington. “From what I’m told, the door is not totally shut,” he told a forum. Romualdez said both countries were looking at how…

Japan, Vietnam to boost defense cooperation

The head of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces and Vietnam’s defense minister have agreed to step up bilateral security cooperation. SDF Chief of Staff Koji Yamazaki met Ngo Xuan Lich on Monday. Lich said Vietnam and Japan have a close cooperative relationship. He said Yamazaki’s visit will not only help boost defense ties, but also develop the friendship between the two nations. Yamazaki said Vietnam is a highly important partner for Japan. He said it is vital to strengthen bilateral ties for regional peace and stability. The meeting comes amid China’s growing…