Hanoi Is Happy Cozying Up to Trump – Foreign Policy

As the world waits to see if U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un make any headway at next week’s summit in Hanoi, the hosts see a diplomatic coup of their own. Vietnam, among the world’s poorest pariah states only three decades ago, is a keen host of this most delicate of bilateral negotiations. Summits are not cheap, with Singapore estimating that the last one between Trump and Kim cost it around $12 million. They are also inconvenient, as roads close and security protocols interrupt daily…

China ‘puts wartime command system to test’ in South China Sea drills

China has conducted a month of drills in the South China Sea and the western and central Pacific involving its navy, air force and missile unit. Military observers said the exercises indicated the People’s Liberation Army wanted to put its wartime command system to the test and also strengthen its missile defences in the South China Sea. The waterway is one of the world’s busiest and is subject to overlapping territorial disputes involving China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei. Former top Chinese general Fang Fenghui jailed for life…

Pakistan’s position in the US-China power shift – The Express Tribune Blog

Though not mutually exclusive, maintaining its (historically love-hate) relationship with US is a mammoth task if it is to yield the benefits of China’s development and investment initiatives China’s rise has triggered a myriad of debates among political and academic commentators alike. Will it be peaceful and rely solely on America’s decline? Or will the changing structure of the international arena inevitably be riddled with war and violence? As the aforementioned thoughts become the subject of repeated discussions, another problem closer to home becomes more and more pressing: can Pakistan ride the ever-turbulent…

Why China has a soft spot for Masood Azhar

Brig Gurmeet Kanwal (retd)Former Director, Centre for Land Warfare Studies, New Delhi SINCE March 2016, China has consistently refused to allow the 1267 Committee of the UN Security Council to designate Masood Azhar, the chief of the internationally banned terrorist organisation Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), as a global terrorist. Soon after the Pulwama attack on February 14, a Chinese spokesman condemned the attack but refused to relent on the issue despite the JeM having accepted responsibility for the strike.  The so-called ‘reset’ in the China-India relationship after the Wuhan summit meeting…

China drills in the South China Sea to test wartime command system

China has conducted a month of drills in the South China Sea and the western and central Pacific involving its navy, air force and missile unit. Military observers said the exercises indicated the People’s Liberation Army wanted to put its wartime command system to the test and also strengthen its missile defences in the South China Sea. The waterway is one of the world’s busiest and is subject to overlapping territorial disputes involving China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei. Several of China’s newest warships took part in the…

Britannia Helps Rule the Waves – Foreign Policy

The freedom of the seas is facing its greatest threat in decades from authoritarian rulers who flout maritime law and the liberal “rules-based order” of seagoing trade, commerce, and martial endeavors it underwrites. Xi Jinping’s China claims “indisputable sovereignty” over some 80-90 percent of the South China Sea, meaning it intends to make the rules governing maritime activities and amass overpowering armed might to enforce them—including in waters apportioned to its neighbors by treaty. Meanwhile Vladimir Putin’s Russia has mounted a de facto blockade of Ukraine’s southeastern seacoast, seizing Ukrainian…

Britain to send new aircraft carrier to Pacific on maiden mission

In a speech to the Royal United Services Institute think tank in London on Monday, Williamson said the 65,000-ton carrier Queen Elizabeth — which was commissioned in late 2017 — would also make appearances in the Mediterranean and Middle East along the way as Britain flexed its military muscles post-Brexit. “The UK is a global power with truly global interest … we must be prepared to compete for our interests and our values far, far from home,” Williamson said. The carrier, Britain’s largest and most powerful warship, will carry its…

Rescuers free South African baby from storm drain

Feb. 11 (UPI) — Authorities in South Africa rescued a newborn baby that had been trapped in a storm drain for several hours Monday afternoon. The newborn girl, whom doctors believe is no more than 3 days old, was diagnosed with mild hypothermia at a local hospital after she was freed from the drain in the city of Durban. Hospital staff declared her survival a “miracle,” as she was discovered after passersby heard the faint sounds of her crying. People used their cupboard doors to form makeshift barriers to hold…