America is the Enemy and Needs to ‘Butt Out’

The coronavirus crisis has killed more than 2,200 people, virtually all of them in China. Fears that the virus will metastasize to countries incapable of containing it, and knock the wind out of a bustling world economy in the process, have gone far in ensuring that the crisis remains the world’s Big Story this February. While Chinese social media shows widespread fear, grief, and anger at the Communist Party in Beijing for its inept handling of the crisis, and for punishing journalists and ordinary citizens for “spreading rumors,” i.e., the…

US, ASEAN Eye March Special Summit to Boost Ties | Voice of America

The United States and 10 nations from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are eyeing a special summit in March to boost ties at a time when analysts say China continues to expand its influence in Southeast Asia, while driving a wedge between Washington and some of its traditional allies in the region.     Washington is gearing up for the summit set for March 14 in Las Vegas. Bilateral meetings between U.S. President Donald Trump and ASEAN leaders are also being planned.    “The most important aspect of the U.S.-ASEAN…

China, Southeast Asia Set Aside Mistrust to Fight Deadly Virus | Voice of America

TAIPEI – China and 10 Southeast Asian countries are linking up to fight a deadly coronavirus outbreak that’s threatening tourism and trade ties. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a negotiating bloc with members that dispute Chinese maritime sovereignty claims and worry about the pace of Chinese investment abroad, signed a healthcare resolution with China February 20. The two sides agreed to accelerate information exchanges, combat any fake virus-related news and support small businesses that are hobbled by the outbreak. China and ASEAN are “major tourist destinations” for each…

Vietnam, US Cooperate on Arrest in Child Sex Case | Voice of America

Vietnam and the U.S. have announced that cooperation on cross-border crime has led to a U.S. grand jury indictment of an American teacher accused of traveling to the Southeast Asian nation to have sex with minors. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of California alleged that the teacher, Paul Marshall Bodner, of San Francisco, California, “met Vietnamese boys as young as 11 or 12 years old and engaged in sex acts with them at a hotel located in Ho Chi Minh City when he traveled to Vietnam” in…

Vietnam Advancing Ties With Russia to Hedge Against China, US | Voice of America

TAIPEI, TAIWAN – Scholars in Asia say Vietnam’s move this month to bolster defense ties with Russia will advance the Southeast Asian country’s pursuit of a multi-country foreign policy allowing it to depend on no single outside power. The country that has been challenged by France, the United States and China within the past decade welcomes Russian assistance, Vietnamese state media outlets said after their Defense Minister Ngo Xuan Lich visited Moscow Feb. 5.  “He therefore highlighted Vietnam’s consistent policy of enhancing the solidarity, friendship and comprehensive strategic cooperation with…

USS America | Turning Ships Into ‘Lightning’ Aircraft Carriers

U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Dana Beesley The U.S. Marines claim that their ability to turn amphibious ships into aircraft carriers is a major advantage on the battlefield. Amphibious ships, though not full-fledged aircraft carriers, can carry up to 20 F-35Bs. The ability to mount different types of attacks on an adversary using the same ship platform complicates the enemy’s ability to mount an effective defense. The U.S. Marines are touting the ability to quickly reconfigure an amphibious assault ship into a mini-aircraft carrier carrying up to 20…

Philippine Move to Scrap US Military Deal Boosts China’s Clout in Asia | Voice of America

TAIPEI – The Philippine president’s proposed cancellation of a 32-year-old military pact with the United States gives regional power China chances to strengthen its influence in Asia as U.S. military units would visit less often. Chinese naval ships, military aircraft and coast guard-escorted fishing vessels would find it easier to move around the disputed South China Sea, which lies west of the Philippines, analysts in Asia say. Naval ships also could more freely enter the Pacific Ocean east of the Philippines, Taiwan and Japan – the first-island chain. Those waters…

Holland America cruise passenger diagnosed with coronavirus, as Diamond Princess cases jump to 355 – Travel Weekly

Japanese authorities have confirmed a further 70 cases of coronavirus on Diamond Princess, while a passenger who has disembarked from Westerdam has tested positive for the disease. The new cases on board the Princess Cruises ship brings the number of passengers and crew infected to 355. Japan’s health minister confirmed the cases were from 289 new tests and 38 of them have no symptoms, according to ABC News. The Australian embassy said last week 16 Australians on the ship tested positive for the virus but it is not known if…

A treaty for a visa – The Philippines tears up a defence pact with America | Asia

SINCE HE BECAME president in 2016, Rodrigo Duterte has talked loudly and often about his disdain for America, which is a former colonial power in the Philippines. But never before have his grievances translated into action. On February 11th he cancelled the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), a military pact between the two countries that enabled American troops to participate in joint exercises in the Philippines. The American embassy in Manila declared the decision “a serious step with significant implications for the US-Philippines alliance”. It also has implications for the region’s…

Trump Is Destroying the Alliance System That Makes America Powerful

In his three years in office, U.S. President Donald Trump has aimed his trademark vitriol at a wide range of targets, both foreign and domestic. Perhaps the most consequential of these is the United States’ 70-year-old alliance system. The 45th president has balked at upholding the country’s NATO commitments, demanded massive increases in defense spending from such long-standing allies as Japan and South Korea, and suggested that underpaying allies should be left to fight their own wars with shared adversaries. Trump’s ire has been so relentless and damaging that U.S.…