Chinese Military Seeks Image Makeover by Giving Medical Aid to Maritime Sovereignty Rivals | Voice of America

TAIPEI – China’s armed forces are giving anti-COVID medical aid this month to soften their image in four countries that dispute Beijing’s military-enforced control over a resource-rich sea.    The Chinese People’s Liberation Army sent COVID-19 containment supplies to 12 countries by air force planes, state-run China Global Television Network reported. Among them were South China Sea rim countries Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. Armed forces from all 12 nations asked for help, the network said.    Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines dispute features in the 3.5 million-square-kilometer South China Sea with Beijing. Indonesia…

Singapore a Bright Spot for China Relations in ASEAN   | Voice of America

In March, China had a disagreement with the Philippines on whether it had donated accurate COVID-19 test kits. In April a Chinese newspaper complained Vietnam put China in an “embarrassing situation” by stopping flights between their nations to curb the virus.   And Malaysia protested a Chinese ship appearing in the disputed South China Sea, some fearing Beijing acted while the world is busy with the pandemic.  However in contrast to the march of diplomatic stumbles, there appears to be a relative bright spot for China in Southeast Asia: Singapore. …

US Navy Makes Splashy Pivot Back to Contested South China Sea | Voice of America

TAIPEI, TAIWAN – The U.S. Navy is sending an increasingly obvious number of ships into a disputed Asian sea to prove that COVID-19 won’t stop it from resisting China’s maritime expansion, observers say. U.S. Cold War foe China, which claims about 90 percent of the South China Sea, never halted military activities in the resource-rich tropical sea, despite the disease outbreak in its own country. Washington now wants its Asian allies – smaller countries fearful of China’s reach – to know they have not been forgotten as the pandemic rips…

US Navy Makes Splashy Pivot back to Contested South China Sea, Despite Beijing | Voice of America

TAIPEI, TAIWAN – The U.S. Navy is sending an increasingly obvious number of ships into a disputed Asian sea to prove that COVID-19 won’t stop it from resisting China’s maritime expansion, observers say. U.S. Cold War foe China, which claims about 90 percent of the South China Sea, never halted military activities in the resource-rich tropical sea, despite the disease outbreak in its own country. Washington now wants its Asian allies – smaller countries fearful of China’s reach – to know they have not been forgotten as the pandemic rips…

Taiwan President Vows to Bolster Defense as China Steps up Military Threats | Voice of America

TAIPEI, TAIWAN – Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen vowed Wednesday to step up defense following a series of bigger-than-normal threats by her government’s longtime rival China.  “While we work to bolster our defense capabilities, future combat capacity development will also emphasize mobility, countermeasures, and non-traditional, asymmetrical capabilities,” Tsai said in a speech to mark the start of her second term in office. She was reelected in January.  China maintains the world’s third strongest military and Taiwan ranks 26th by the database GlobalFirePower.com. Asymmetric warfare means use of strategy or unconventional arms,…

War games show America couldn’t beat China in a war

The United States just lost a battle to save Taiwan from a Chinese invasion and it’s not the first time. A series of intensive war-games are revealing deep-set flaws in its fighting ability. It’s a nightmare, but apparently increasingly likely, scenario: Beijing making good on its threats to invade its island neighbour. It’s a sinister scenario the United States and its allies have become increasingly concerned about as China’s military expands and modernises at an extraordinary rate. Unnamed US defence sources reportedly told The Times that such a conflict was…

Mike Pompeo warns China is a danger to America with its global expansion drive

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said China poses a risk to ‘freedom-loving countries and democracies’ with its global expansion drive in his latest blast against the Communist superpower.  Pompeo said China had backed out of promises not to send warships to the South China Sea and ‘diminished’ the One Country, Two Systems policy in Hong Kong. He said China’s actions take the dispute between the US and Beijing ‘far beyond’ coronavirus. Speaking to right-wing news site Breitbart, he said: ‘What the Chinese Communist Party is doing, it goes so far…

US Should Give ASEAN Alternatives to Chinese Loans, Ex-Envoy Says  | Voice of America

As China emerges from the COVID-19 crisis earlier than most nations, it has the time and resources to switch focus to other priorities, such as its relations in Southeast Asia. But for those who worry that Beijing will outspend other world powers to buy influence, there’s still time for the U.S. to counter that influence, according to a former U.S. economic envoy to China. And it might not be as hard or as expensive as some think. In a new Brookings Institution report, economist David Dollar analyzes China’s Belt and…

Beijing Censures Malaysia Over Fresh South China Sea Claim | Voice of America

KUALA LUMPUR/BEIJING — Beijing said on Tuesday it had protested against Kuala Lumpur filing a submission with the United Nations last week seeking to establish the limits of Malaysia’s continental shelf in the northern part of the disputed South China Sea. Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, any country can claim an exclusive economic zone up to 200 nautical miles from its shoreline. However, China claims most of the South China Sea, across which more than $3.4 trillion worth of goods are transported every year.…