The new US-China superpower rivalry

Author: Øystein Tunsjø, Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies The world has entered a new US–China bipolar international system. While China’s domestic stability and prosperity usually takes precedence, when it comes to foreign policy, Beijing’s priority is to manage its superpower rivalry with the United States. The January 2020 trade deal between China and the United States is a positive step to mitigate rivalry, but it is a sideshow in their overall relationship. Similarly, how China and the United States manage the COVID-19 crisis will be important to their soft power…

Navy captain removed after sounding alarm about coronavirus outbreak

WASHINGTON, DC (NEXSTAR) — After a Navy ship had to dock due to a coronavirus outbreak on board, the Acting Naval Secretary removed the ship’s captain from his position.  But lawmakers on the House Armed Services Committee say that wasn’t a wise move. Relieved of his duty, Navy Captain Brett Crozier got a hero’s farewell from hundreds of his Sailors Thursday.  “Captain Crozier had allowed the complexity of his challenge with the COVID breakout on the ship to overwhelm his ability to act professionally,” said Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly.…

USS America Keeps Captain America Theme Going With Custom Painted Tractor

Last month, The War Zone highlighted how the first-in-class amphibious assault ship USS America has been flying a huge flag adorned with the symbol found on Marvel Comics’ Captain America‘s iconic shield. The crew of the ship is clearly leaning into the theme more and more, and recently unveiled a new custom paint job on one of the tow tractors personnel use to move aircraft around the flight deck that also features the famous superhero. Sailors from America‘s Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department revealed the specially painted tractor in a small…

Insight: China’s traditional fishing rights claim in North Natuna Sea baseless – Sat, April 4 2020

Tensions arose afresh between Jakarta and Beijing following a series of incidents in the North Natuna Sea last December. China’s fishing activities in the seas north of the Natuna Islands, protected by that country’s coast guard, were deemed a violation of Indonesia’s sovereign rights in the natural resource-rich maritime territory. The friction was unsurprising as China has insisted on its maritime claim covering almost the entire South China Sea, known as the “nine-dash line”, which overlaps Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the northern parts of the Natuna Sea. Under…

How the World’s Hot Spots Are Festering in Times of Coronavirus

(Bloomberg) — Global attention right now is on fighting the coronavirus pandemic, but that doesn’t mean the world’s conflict spots have gone silent. Some leaders are looking to exploit the virus as a distraction that allows them to advance goals like cracking down on dissent. Equally, the epidemic feeds into existing tensions such as the struggle between China and the U.S. for global strategic and economic influence. The consequences may not necessarily all be negative. As the International Crisis Group notes, “natural disasters have sometimes resulted in the diminution of…

China could prey on Covid-19 weakened Pentagon

MANILA – As the Covid-19 pandemic ravages America, the Pentagon’s sudden vulnerability to the lethal disease has grounded vessels and provided China a potential historic opening in the Indo-Pacific, one that could result in a seismic shift in the region’s maritime balance of power.     Washington has in recent days announced an upsurge in infection rates among military personnel deployed at various overseas US missions. The US Navy’s Indo-Pacific Command, which covers vast areas of Asia including the hotly contested South China Sea, has been particularly hard hit, according to…

Because China refuses to abide by international law, PH should not gamble with its security – The Manila Times

Third of four partsWHILE the world’s attention has been diverted to the coronavirus, China has remained focused on its strategy of building artificial islands in order to take control of the South China (West Philippine) Sea. Recently, the Xinhua News Agency announced that China’s Academy of Science has established “two research stations” on Subi (Zamora) Reef and Fiery Cross (Kagitingan) Reef and that “scientists [will] live and conduct field research on ecology, geology and environment. “ China’s action is controversial because Subi Reef falls within Thitu (Pag-asa) Island’s 12-mile territorial…

China responds to US naval incursion by flexing might in Pacific

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy conducted combat-oriented drills featuring surface vessels, submarines and fighter jets in the South China Sea in late March, a month in which the US frequently sent warships and warplanes to intrude the waters. Experts said on Thursday the drills showed the Chinese PLA Navy can effectively control and safeguard the waters as it continues to enhance its combat capabilities. A naval base under the PLA Southern Theater Command organized in late March fleet training drills using combat scenarios in the South China Sea,…

South China Sea: Beijing poised to give Europe a ‘sobering lesson’ amid hostile standoff | World | News

China’s military actions in the South China Sea are partly aimed at securing economic dominance as the region is a key area for the shipping of goods for countries around the world. But President Xi Jinping has also overseen investments in Europe which have mostly flown under the radar. In 2019, the Financial Times reported how China’s invested in Trieste, on the northern Adriatic Sea, and Genoa, Italy’s biggest seaport, adding to a growing network of seaports. This also included stakes in the Greek port of Piraeus, run by Chinese…

Tadao Ando Architect & Associates reveal their design for China’s He Art Museum

HEM was conceived as a gateway into southern China’s regional Lingnan culture and arts, including Cantonese opera with theatrical face painting and distinctive Cantonese cuisine. Its collection of Lingnan School paintings showcases the indigenous style of painting originally created by artists living in the three coastal provinces of Guangdong, Canton, Guangxi and Hainan, an island in the south China sea.  Tadao Ando extensively researched China’s ancient history and Lingnan’s architecture to inform HEM’s design; Ando held a persistent attitude in cultural infusion, drawing inspiration from the local architectural and cultural…