Natural Gas Discoveries Could Add to Chinese Claims in South China Sea

China has reportedly discovered a rare form of natural gas in the South China Sea. The substance is known as flammable ice. It is a frozen mixture of gas and water that comes from under the sea floor. China’s Xinhua News Agency reported last week that China had removed at least 861,400 cubic meters of flammable ice as part of operations that began in February. International observers say the discovery could give China a new source of energy for its 1.4 billion people and another reason to support its claims…

85% of Canadian troops ordered into isolation to prepare for COVID-19 operations – National

Nearly 60,000 of Canada’s 68,000 troops are now in isolation in advance of COVID-19 operations, Canada’s top soldier says. Many of them have been ordered to do so to be ready to deploy across Canada to assist civil authorities to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, said Gen. Jon Vance said in an interview Thursday with Global News. Others are on alert for critical operations such as the NORAD mission to defend North America with fighter jets or to prepare to assist governments with natural disasters such as springtime floods. “The…

Warm weather set to continue, but expect short thundery showers: NEA, Environment News & Top Stories

The warmer-than-usual weather last month is expected to continue this month, but there could be some relief as more rain is also forecast for the next two weeks. The weatherman said on Wednesday that April is typically one of the hottest months of the year with high lightning activity, and that the first half of the month is likely to see short thundery showers across many parts of Singapore on most afternoons. On one or two days, thundery showers could extend into the evening. In its fortnightly forecast, the National…

The U.S.-China Propaganda War Over the Coronavirus

Fierce competing rhetorical barrages from Washington and Beijing about the coronavirus outbreak threaten to turn an already tense bilateral relationship utterly toxic. In a new Aspenia Online article, I discuss how both sides have acted in an irresponsible, inflammatory fashion. An increasingly prominent narrative in the United States is that not only did the pandemic originate in China, but that Chinese officials withheld key information for weeks that could have enabled other countries to adopt measures impeding the spread of the deadly virus. Key conservative opinion leaders, such as Fox News host…

How WHO Became China’s Accomplice in the Coronavirus Pandemic

While the novel coronavirus is changing the world, China is trying to do the same. Already a serious strategic rival of the United States with considerable international clout, it’s now moving into a new field—health. After initial denials and cover-ups, China successfully contained the COVID-19 outbreak—but not before it had exported many cases to the rest of the world. Today, despite the falsehoods it initially passed on, which played a critical role in delaying global response, it’s trying to leverage its reputed success story into a stronger position on international…

US Navy’s carrier evacuation; Marines’ get-lighter plan; Air Force’s new cadet-isolation policy; 100K ‘human remains pouches’; And a bit more.

More than 1,000 sailors have moved off USS Theodore Roosevelt and into isolation on Guam, with some 2,700 more slated to move in coming days as accommodations can be found or created to house them, Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said Wednesday. Defense One’s Bradley Peniston has the story. 90 sailors had tested positive for COVID-19 and 593 negative with several hundred tests still pending, Modly told reporters around 1:30 p.m. Washington time. About one-quarter of the crew had been tested at that point; none had yet required hospitalization. About 1,000…

Ex-Envoy Bildt Questions Serbia And Hungary’s Use Of ‘China Card’ Amid COVID-19 Crisis

BELGRADE — Influential former UN and European envoy to the Balkans Carl Bildt has unloaded a torrent of concern over Serbian political signals amid the coronavirus pandemic. In a far-ranging interview with RFE/RL’s Balkan Service on March 30, the former Swedish foreign minister acknowledged European failures in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic but warned that Serbian leaders’ reliance on “the China card” could prove “counterproductive from the Serbian point of view.” He has seen a similar “political pattern” in EU member Hungary, he said, whose government has sought to…

PLA exercises cause for concern

Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force Shaanxi KJ-500 airborne early-warning aircraft and Shenyang J-11 fighters on March 16 conducted a nighttime exercise in the waters southwest of Taiwan and, in doing so, came close to the nation’s air defense identification zone. Three days later, the PLA Navy’s fleet for Gulf of Aden escort mission sailed north in the Pacific off Taiwan’s east coast via the Miyako Strait on its way home. Meanwhile, the US carried out freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea and assembled the USS…

Japanese Destroyer Is Damaged by Chinese Fishing Boat After Collision in East China Sea

News Analysis A Chinese fishing boat and a Japanese guided-missile destroyer reportedly collided in the East China Sea, causing a three-foot long gash that could have sunk the $646 million warship. The JS Shimakaze guided-missile destroyer was on regular patrol on Monday night in the East China Sea, about 350 nautical miles west of Japan’s Yakushima Island, when the collision with the Chinese fishing boat occurred, according to Japan Defense Minister Taro Kono. Kono confirmed the collision left a hole of about three feet long by three-quarters of an inch…

COMMENTARY: How the coronavirus crisis is bad news for Canada’s military budget – National

After COVID-19, will Canada ever buy new fighter jets, new warships or new submarines? Probably not in your lifetime. Will Canada ever pay its multi-billion-dollar share for new northern warning radars or continental ballistic missile defence? Highly unlikely for a very long time. Will Canada ever come close to honouring its longstanding commitment to NATO and Washington to spend two per cent of its GDP on defence? Fat chance. Such opinions are almost universally held in the Canadian Armed Forces today. READ MORE: 24,000 Canadian military members ready to respond…