What if US is laying credibility trap for Beijing on Taiwan?

Sixty-nine years ago last month, Secretary of State Dean Acheson delivered a speech defining America’s strategic interests in Asia. He described a security perimeter that did not include South Korea or Taiwan. Mao Zedong, Kim Il Sung, and Josef Stalin saw a green light and immediately began coordinating invasion plans for both countries. Kim moved first and unleashed his armies across the 38th parallel, igniting the Korean War. President Harry Truman mobilized a United Nations intervention and sent the Seventh Fleet back into the Taiwan Strait, blocking Mao from attacking…

Hammond visit to China called off amid reports of Beijing anger with UK defense actions — MercoPress

Hammond visit to China called off amid reports of Beijing anger with UK defense actions Tuesday, February 19th 2019 – 09:21 UTC There were plans for trade talks between Mr Hammond and senior Chinese government figures during the brief visit this week A visit to China by Chancellor Phillip Hammond has been called off amid reports a speech by the UK’s defense secretary angered Beijing. There were plans for trade talks between Mr Hammond and senior Chinese government figures during the brief visit this week. But last week, Gavin…

‘Like pulling teeth’: In trade talks, China and US said to be far apart on structural changes by Beijing

Chinese and American trade negotiators remain far apart on key issues, including a US demand to ensure Beijing honours any commitment to equal market access and intellectual property protection – an issue Washington sees as crucial in reaching a deal to end the trade war, sources said on Thursday. “There are already significant doubts about what China is putting on the table,” one of the sources, who is familiar with negotiations, told the South China Morning Post. Over the course of trade talks, China has been recycling the same sort…

US Navy warships just challenged China with a South China Sea sail-by operation, and Beijing is furious

Ryan Pickrell, provided by Published 7:41 am CST, Monday, February 11, 2019 U.S. Navy photo by Lt.j.g. Caleb Swigart Two US Navy destroyers conducted a freedom-of-navigation operation in the South China Sea on Monday, challenging China’s claims to the Spratly Islands. Beijing accused the US of entering Chinese waters without permission and engaging in provocations that threaten China’s sovereignty. It was the second such US operation in the South China Sea this year. Freedom-of-navigation operations occur frequently, but they have not stopped China from bolstering its position militarily in the South…

South China Sea dispute: Beijing attacks ‘irresponsible’ US comments

Image copyright Reuters Image caption A photograph from 2015 shows Chinese vessels around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands China has branded as “irresponsible” US comments that it is intimidating its neighbours with its military deployment in the South China Sea. A top Chinese general said China had the right to deploy troops and weapons “on its own territory”. Earlier US Defence Secretary James Mattis said Beijing’s actions called into question its broader goals. Six countries have competing claims in the sea, but China has backed its own with…

US warships infuriate Beijing with South China Sea sail-by operation

The US Navy sent two guided-missile destroyers to challenge China in the South China Sea, and Beijing is outraged. Two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers — the USS Spruance and the USS Preble — conducted a freedom-of-navigation operation on Monday, sailing within 12 nautical miles of Chinese outposts in the contested Spratly Islands. The purpose was “to challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways,” as well as to show that the US “will fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows,” Cmdr. Clay Doss, a US Navy 7th Fleet…

Risk of South China Sea Strife if Beijing Attempts Defense Zone

TAIPEI, TAIWAN —  An air defense zone declared by Beijing, or any effort to stop civilian ship traffic, would raise the risk of conflict in the disputed South China Sea after years of calm, because either move would inconvenience day-to-day operations, scholars who follow the region say. Five other militarily weaker maritime claimants have watched without major protest as China tests bombers, holds naval drills and considers nuclear power stations in the 3.5 million-square-kilometer sea. Last week Chinese news media reported tests of the country’s first domestically made seaplane, for…

Trump’s tough line on China brings Tokyo, Beijing closer

TOKYO: Even as Washington ratchets up the pressure on China, Tokyo and Beijing are in the middle of their own “Wuhan spirit”, as both countries with a bitter history strive to lower temperatures between them. This year, Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to visit Japan twice – for the G-20 summit in June and a second bilateral summit later this year. This comes after Japanese PM Shinzo Abe made his first trip to China in late 2018, easing an eight-year chill. After Abe’s visit to China, the two nations…

India will continue boosting its nuclear and missile capabilities to counter China – and Beijing will keep responding

China has not diluted its persistent opposition to India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). Beijing has asked Delhi to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) before it gains entry into the 48-member group, as there is no precedent for the inclusion of non-NPT countries. Beijing is staunchly opposed to Delhi acquiring legitimate and equal footing in the global nuclear regime. It has sought to group India and Pakistan together, arguing that the two South Asian nuclear rivals are non-signatories to the NPT. China’s advocacy of a “criteria-based approach”…

Beijing sends fleet of ships to disputed South China Sea island ‘to stop Philippines building facilities’

China has been accused of sending a fleet of almost 100 ships to hamper Philippine construction work on a disputed island in the South China Sea. Beijing started sending vessels to Thitu, part of the Spratly chain, according to the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) run by the Washington-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies. The fleet of ships, dispatched from the nearby Subi Reef, includes vessels from the navy and coastguard along with dozens of fishing boats. The report said their presence was part of an effort to coerce…