Gen. Tony Sotelo on defense and VFA

When I retired from the military service in 1986, Lt. Gen. Antonio Sotelo succeeded me as commanding general of the Philippine Air Force and later went on to serve as Armed Forces of the Philippines vice chief of staff. People will remember him as one of the heroes of the Edsa revolution when he led a flight of helicopters that defected to the Enrile-Ramos forces at Camp Crame during the early stages of the revolt. It was a major tipping point in the struggle that led to the ouster of…

Rerouting Clipper Race to avoid China >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News

The timing couldn’t have been much worse for the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. The 2019-20 edition is divided into 8 legs that include 15 individual races, and with a third of the races involving Chinese ports, the 11 teams were arriving during the region’s outbreak for coronavirus. As the fleet was enroute from Australia, their race courses in China were to include Sanya, Zhuhai, and Qindao. But with health concerns, the teams have found safe haven at Subic Bay Yacht Club in the Philippines, where revised routes are…

The US wants to get out of Afghanistan so it can deal with China

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT The US launched an airstrike against the Taliban in Afghanistan on Wednesday, days after the Donald Trump administration signed a peace deal with the military group. Although the US-Taliban conditional peace agreement marks the beginning of a substantial withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and the potential for ending 18 years of war, uncertainties remain in the war-torn region. The agreement demonstrates the unprecedented political determination of the Trump administration to leave Afghanistan. The agreement signed by the Trump administration has acknowledged the legitimacy of the Taliban…

Make No Mistake, China Really Does Want to Dominate the Pacific

In this decade, the United States Navy may be displaced as the most formidable maritime presence in the Pacific Ocean. China is determined to challenge America’s ability to project military power forward into the Western Pacific. It seeks to undermine the U.S. capability of standing with its allies and deterring China from using military force to coerce small nations into making concessions on their sovereignty and the enforcement of binding treaty commitments. Denying Beijing’s quest to become the region’s dominant land and sea power will require more than traditional naval…

Media owners mold their journalists’ minds – The Manila Times

THE Philippine Star last March 5 ran a front-page story titled, “SWS: 62% of Pinoys believe AFP can’t defend WPS.” The Social Weather Stations (SWS) angrily wrote the newspaper’s editors, pointing out that this was the opposite of what its report said, that its survey found that “62 percent of adult Filipinos have much confidence in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in defending the territories of the Philippines in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).” The Star didn’t even apologize for its mistake, and simply ran a shorter piece…

The need for pushback on sovereignty

Retired Supreme Court Justice Antonio T. Carpio has been patiently explaining the West Philippine Sea sovereignty issues over the past five years. Such heroic advocacy has drawn resounding agreement and admiration from Filipinos not beholden to the so-called DDS cult. On Feb. 27, Justice Carpio treated yet another receptive audience at the Ateneo’s Leung Hall Auditorium to a cogent presentation, titled “Defending Philippine Rights in the West Philippine Sea” — as the honored speaker for the 10th Adrian E. Cristobal Lecture organized by Adrian’s family with the support of UMPIL…

US Navy stands by earlier policy to sail anywhere int’l law allows » Manila Bulletin News

Published March 8, 2020, 2:58 PM By Roy Mabasa A high-ranking United States Navy official has reiterated Washington’s policy to continue to “sail, steam, or fly anywhere international law allows” amid the latest accusation that a Chinese navy destroyer directed lasers to a U.S. military aircraft while conducting a regular patrolling in the Philippine Sea last month. US Admiral John C. Aquilino (REUTERS/Panu Wongcha-um/MANILA BULLETIN/ FILE) “As a previous secretary of defense has stated and the policy is – the U.S. will sail, steam, or fly anywhere international law allows,…

Opinion/Commentary: Knowledge of history essential to understand world we live in | Opinion

“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it” is a phrase used by statesmen, among them Winston Churchill, to urge a study of history to better understand our complicated world. For example, to understand China’s current expansive policies in East Asia, one should read Henry Kissinger’s seminal work “On China.” This scholar and former secretary of state describes humiliations China suffered during the European colonial occupation in the 19th century. The Communist regime, which came to power in 1949, is determined to recoup China’s territories and…

Is China’s multi-billion dollar project in Pakistan facing a crisis?

HONG KONG: Almost seven years ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping had shared the planning of a massive China Pakistan Economic Corridor Projects (CPEC) linking its landlocked western region of Xinjiang to the Arabian Sea in a bid to venture into the West. But, even today, the vision seems far from reality. Plans originally called for a seaport, roads, railways, pipelines, dozens of factories and the largest airport in Pakistan. In Gwadar, a remote scratch of land on Pakistan’s southwest coast a new airport was supposed to have been completed with…

To Stop China, Taiwan Must Overcome Its Submarine Deficit

Key point: Taipei appears to be coming around to the wisdom of asymmetric submarine warfare Taipei and Beijing are seemingly sliding into an escalatory spiral amid a flurry of veiled threats and accusations. Just last week, China’s defense minister invoked Abraham Lincoln to justify the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) increasingly aggressive reunification policy:  “American friends told me that Abraham Lincoln was the greatest American president because he led the country to victory in the Civil War and prevented the secession of the U.S. The U.S. is indivisible, so is China. China…