China’s Naval Strategy in the East China Sea

The past decade and a half has seen China undergo a modernization of its military, including the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). This naval modernization, which includes the addition of two aircraft carriers, coupled with China’s seemingly aggressive behavior in the South China Sea, has caused consternation and alarm among some states and analysts that see China’s moves as part of its rise to, if not global predominance, then at least regional hegemon status. However, both China’s naval modernization as well as its assertiveness over the disputed Senkaku island chain…

China’s Xi Ends Myanmar Visit With Flurry of Agreements

NAYPYITAW, Myanmar — Chinese President Xi Jinping ended a two-day state visit to Myanmar on Saturday after attending the signing of a raft of agreements buttressing bilateral relations and advancing Beijing’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, in which his host country is a key player. The two sides exchanged memoranda of understanding, letters and protocols covering 33 projects in the fields of information, industry, agriculture, security and the resettlement of internally displaced people in Myanmar’s war-torn Kachin State, which borders China. The agreements were signed after a morning meeting between…

This Is How China’s Will Fight And Win A War In The South China Sea

Key point: On January 28, Beijing declared all of its coastal Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) to be “foreign military-free zones” and defined all sea space inside China’s declared “9-Dashed Line Map” to comprise China’s “Blue Sovereign Soil.” China’s claims of South China Sea (SCS) ownership are illegal, but Beijing’s hyper-nationalistic officials increasingly encourage its forces to attack U.S. Navy ships operating lawfully there. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) appears to be calling for war—a war it may well get. But it is a war that will not stay confined…

Sorry America (And Tom, Cruise), China’s Top Gun Is Just Better Than Yours

Key point: The navy in this video appeared high-tech, professional, a real navy rather than a mere coastal defense force I will make an unpatriotic confession. I like the Chinese version of “Top Gun” better. Or more specifically, a short Chinese navy video that resembles the 1986 Hollywood hit, for which a sequel is underway. Well, almost resembles. No smirking Tom Cruise. No fake love story (and no Kelly McGillis) to distract what everyone really came to see, which was the cool F-14 Tomcats zooming and booming through the skies. And…

How China’s rise is changing diplomacy dynamics in Asia

Recently, I traveled to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Learning that I had come from Hong Kong, the first thing a cab driver there asked me was: is the unrest now under control? Some other ethnic Chinese cab drivers whom I encountered during the trip simply sighed, saying they found it difficult to understand why Hong Kong was inflicting an “Armageddon” on itself. To some extent, their questions and doubts, if seen in the historical context of their countries, reflect the view among people in the region that one has to learn…

China’s Xi turns to Myanmar as he pushes for ‘Belt and Road’ plan | China News

Yangon, Myanmar – Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives in Myanmar on Friday on his first trip to the country since 2009, and is expected to step up investment in the southeast Asian nation including in the conflict-wracked state of Rakhine, a key link in China‘s Belt and Road initiative. Myanmar’s deputy minister of commerce, Aung Htoo, told reporters ahead of the visit that Xi would sign agreements related to the Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone and $1.3bn port in Rakhine, where a brutal military crackdown in 2017 led hundreds of thousands…

Russia’s Past Can Help Explain China’s South China Sea Strategy

Key point: China has studied the Soviet Union in detail. The “sail by” of USS Lassen within the 12 nautical mile claim line of the new Chinese facilities on Subi reef in the South China Sea occurred without major incident last week. Despite some fiery Chinese rhetoric, war has not broken out and that is a profoundly good thing. Actually, nothing much has changed at all, so it seems. The tense stalemate persists as before. China will continue to build up its new “bases” in and among the Spratly islets. The…

China’s Growing Influence Rattles Southeast Asia as U.S. Retreats, Survey Shows

SINGAPORE — China’s rising economic and political clout in Southeast Asia is a growing source of concern as U.S. influence wanes under President Donald Trump, according to a survey of officials, academics and other professionals published on Thursday. Of the 1,300 respondents to The State of Southeast Asia survey, the proportion distrusting China rose to over 60% from below 52% in 2019. Nearly 40% said they thought China was “a revisionist power and intends to turn Southeast Asia into its sphere of influence”. GRAPHIC: Distrust of major powers among Southeast…

China’s new PH ambassador bullish on SCS code of conduct

MANILA – Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian said China remains optimistic about an “early conclusion” of the crafting of an ASEAN-China code of conduct in the South China Sea.  Speaking to reporters during the Chinese New Year reception Wednesday, Huang said the parties have completed the first reading of the code of conduct and have started the process of the second reading. Huang said the visit of a Chinese coast guard vessel to Manila, the first in history, is part of efforts to implement a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that seeks…