The Guardian view on Britain and China: it’s complicated | Editorial | Opinion

A few years ago, George Osborne announced that Britain’s relations with China were entering a “golden era”. On Thursday, his successor as chancellor gave a more measured assessment: they are “complex”, Philip Hammond said, noting that they “had not been made simpler” by the defence secretary Gavin Williamson’s threat to deploy an aircraft carrier in the South China Sea. Britain, blanching as Brexit approaches, is more anxious than ever to keep Chinese cash flowing. Diplomats from other nations say London is already less willing to criticise Beijing because it knows…

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…

China can take initiative, join partners in wildlife protection

Chinese national Yang Fenglan (center), dubbed the “Ivory Queen,” is led by security personnel on Tuesday, in Dar es Salaam, to appear in court on charges of trafficking elephant tusks. Yang, 69, was sentenced to 15 years in jail for her role in trafficking tusks from more than 350 elephants. Photo: AFP Yang Fenglan, a Chinese businesswoman dubbed the “ivory queen,” was sentenced to 15 years in jail by a court in the Tanzanian city of Dar es Salaam on Tuesday. She was accused of smuggling the tusks of more…

UK’s Hammond: Talk of warship deployment complicates China ties, Europe News & Top Stories

LONDON (REUTERS) – Britain’s talk of deploying a warship in the Pacific has complicated its relationship with China, finance minister Philip Hammond said on Thursday (Feb 21).   As Britain prepares to leave the European Union at the end of next month, its biggest foreign and trade policy shift in more than 40 years, it is seeking to strengthen diplomatic relationships and trade ties with countries around the world.   Earlier this month defence minister Gavin Williamson said Britain would use military force to support its interests after Brexit and outlined plans to…

‘Don’t poke China but keep it guessing’: Trump insider spells out US strategy, World News

There is scope for Beijing and Washington to build a cooperative relationship but the US has to keep China on edge, according to a top adviser to US President Donald Trump. Michael Pillsbury, director of the Centre for Chinese Strategy with conservative think tank the Hudson Institute, said Trump had no intention of branding China an “enemy”, but regarded it as a competitor that had to be checked and counterbalanced, and an “unpredictable” US was the way to do that. Pillsbury, described by Trump as the “leading authority on China”,…

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…

Philippines warns of China threat after US nuclear pact exit

The Philippines’ defence minister says Washington’s withdrawal from a key missile treaty with Russia has “triggered a nuclear arms race” and he fears Beijing might target his country if the US were to use it as a staging post in a future atomic war with China. Delfin Lorenzana’s remarks to the Financial Times mark the most explicit warning yet by an Asian official of the consequences of President Donald Trump’s February 1 decision to pull out of the  Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. “The withdrawal of the US from the INF…