Commentary: China’s latest ‘charm offensive’: Using mask diplomacy to divert world attention from its misdeeds | Commentary

We’ve seen something like this before. Straight from its well-versed playbook, China has gone on a “charm offensive” to try to make the world forget Beijing’s culpability in the coronavirus crisis. This time, the charm offensive comes in the form of masks and ventilators. A decade ago, it was common to hear China advocate for its peaceful rise. Regional countries had nothing to worry about, or so the narrative went. That charm offensive turned out to be a ruse. By the mid-2010s, China had embarked on an aggressive maritime campaign…

Another Navy warship sails near islands militarized by Beijing in South China Sea

Another Navy warship sails near islands militarized by Beijing in South China Sea YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — The guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell steamed through disputed waters in the South China Sea in the second freedom of navigation operation by the U.S. Navy this year. The destroyer sailed near the Paracel Islands, a group of contested islands and reefs, on March 10, according to a statement Monday from the 7th Fleet. China, Taiwan and Vietnam have overlapping claims on the Paracels. Beijing on March 11 objected to the…

Under Cover of Coronavirus Pandemic, China Steps Up Brinkmanship in South China Sea

While the world is distracted by the coronavirus pandemic, China has been quietly taking paramilitary and political-legal actions in the South China Sea that could be game-changing for the region. Betting that the United States is focused elsewhere and exhausted from years of Chinese encroachments, Beijing’s efforts are approaching an irretrievable tipping point. China aims to coerce its maritime neighbors to abandon their claims and territorial rights under international law and irrevocably alter the status quo. Beijing seeks to impose its so-called nine-dash line, an unrecognized boundary it has drawn…

Photos: US Warship Sails Through Taiwan Strait Before Separatist President’s Inauguration

The US Navy has announced one of its destroyers transited the Taiwan Strait, separating autonomous Taiwan from mainland China – the sixth such transit this year. This one, however, comes amid media reports of Chinese plans to seize islands controlled by Taipei, and a week before Taiwanese President Tsai Ing Wen is sworn in for a second term. Sixth Transit This Year Early on Thursday, the US Pacific Fleet announced via its Facebook page that a US warship had sailed through the 180-mile-wide waterway separating Taiwan from the Chinese mainland.…

Sensitive foreign affairs briefing published online

Foreign Affairs A sensitive briefing prepared by foreign affairs officials ahead of the 2017 election and accidentally published online has lifted the lid on New Zealand’s relationships with some of the world’s superpowers, Sam Sachdeva reports Handling unpredictability within the White House, a “cool and difficult” relationship with Russia, and sensitivities around China are among the topics traversed in a sensitive briefing prepared by New Zealand’s foreign affairs officials and accidentally published online. The document also reveals officials had looked at providing military or counter-terrorism assistance to the Philippines as they…

South China Sea news: US Navy displays military might in war exercises – China on alert | World | News

Tensions between China and the US are on the rise again as Independence-class US Navy littoral combat ships were spotted patrolling the much-disputed South China Sea. Last week, the US Air Force and Marines conducted training exercises in the area with three submarines joining ships and aircraft in the nearby Philippine Sea. The actions are thought to be a reaction to Chinese harassment of ships drilling for resources in nearby waters. Back in April, three US ships joined the Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Parramatta and sailed to the region…

India and China Go Another Round – The Diplomat

Advertisement China and India were at it again this month. According to Indian news reports, border patrols from both countries have been involved in a series of incidents along their disputed boundary in recent weeks, including a pair of confrontations in early May that devolved into fisticuffs. On May 5, the two sides came to blows on the banks of Pangong Lake, where Ladakh meets Tibet, and where the two sides have registered multiple confrontations in recent years. On May 9, dozens of soldiers from both sides tussled along the…

US vs China: Trump pulls Taiwan stunt in dangerous game of chicken with Beijing | World | News

The move is likely to anger China’s President Xi Jinping, coming as it does just one week before Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen‘s inauguration for a second term in office, and given the fact China claims the disputed island as part of its territory. In a statement issued on its Facebook page, the US Pacific Fleet said the USS McCampbell had passed through the narrow strait yesterday, showing pictures of the ship under way. Taiwan’s Defence Ministry said the ship had sailed south on what it called an “ordinary mission”, and…

China deploys AEW, anti-submarine aircraft on South China Sea’s Yongshu Reef: report

A Y-8 aircraft for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) patrol mission attached to a naval aviation regiment under the PLA Southern Theater Command roars towards designated sea area during a real-combat flight training exercise on such subjects as target detection and positioning,ASW operation, patrolling and monitoring tasks on April 4, 2020. Photo: eng.chinamil.com.cn   Recent foreign satellite images suggest that China has deployed early warning aircraft and anti-submarine aircraft on the Yongshu Reef in the South China Sea amid increased US military activities in the region, as Chinese experts said on Thursday…