Seas around Taiwan to be center of military movements: defense analyst

Taipei, May 31 (CNA) The seas around Taiwan, including the Miyako Strait, the Bashi Channel, the East China Sea, the South China Sea and the Philippine Sea, are expected to become the focus of increased military movements, according to a Taiwanese defense analyst. Su Tzu-yun (蘇紫雲), a senior analyst at the government-funded Institute for National Defense and Security Research, made the observation in a paper titled “U.S. Strategic Mobility in Deployment to Ensure Regional Security.” In the article, Su said the Indo-Pacific region is facing tensions from the COVID-19 pandemic…

Support Swells For New Indo-Pacom Funding; Will Money Follow « Breaking Defense

USS Theodore Roosevelt transits the Pacific Ocean March 1, 2020. WASHINGTON: Two prominent defense senators and a top Pentagon official have come out in support of a new fund aimed at boosting the Indo-Pacific command’s logistic, training, and missile-defense missions. The Pacific initiative will have to contend with the federal government’s massive COVID-19 response and an exploding federal debt, some of which may be countered by the increasingly acrimonious relations with China. The idea of a funding package that would build training ranges across the Pacific and beef up missile…

China-US rivalry in ‘high-risk period,’ China’s defense minister says

China’s top defence official says the US has intensified its “suppression and containment” of China since start of Covid-19 pandemic. ‘We must strengthen our fighting spirit, be daring to fight and be good at fighting, and use fighting to promote stability,” said Wei Fenghe, China’s defense minister and a general in the Chinese army. Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories. The strategic confrontation between China and the United States has entered a high-risk period, China’s top defence official said in a rare statement directly naming an adversary. Speaking during…

China’s defense budget shows Xi’s priorities as economy tightens – KEYT

When China announced a 6.6% increase in its military budget last week while cutting substantially in other areas, analysts said it made one thing clear: Beijing senses an increasing security threat and is giving the People’s Liberation Army the military muscle to deal with it. President Xi Jinping followed up the multibillion dollar increase with an instruction to the military to “think about worst-case scenarios, scale up training and battle preparedness … and resolutely safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests,” according to state news agency Xinhua. The extra pledge…

China’s defense budget shows Xi’s priorities as economy tightens

When China announced a 6.6% increase in its military budget last week while cutting substantially in other areas, analysts said it made one thing clear: Beijing senses an increasing security threat and is giving the People’s Liberation Army the military muscle to deal with it. President Xi Jinping followed up the multibillion dollar increase with an instruction to the military to “think about worst-case scenarios, scale up training and battle preparedness … and resolutely safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests,” according to state news agency Xinhua. The extra pledge…

Southeast Asian countries cut defense spending

BEIJING — A study says Southeast Asian countries are cutting defense spending as a result of the economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus outbreak, potentially opening up room for China to further assert its claims in the region. Aristyo Rizka Darmawan, a maritime security expert at the University of Indonesia, writes that slashing defense spending is seen as a relatively easy way to cut costs when countries are facing pressure on their budgets. “Indonesia, for example, has announced it will slash its defense budget this year by nearly US$588…

As Jakarta Trims Defense, Beijing Makes Waves in the South China Sea

Image courtesy Indonesian Navy By The Lowy Interpreter 05-24-2020 01:26:20 [By Aristyo Rizka Darmawan] The Covid-19 outbreak has hit hard for Southeast Asian economies. Anticipating more shocks to come, several countries have already moved to cut defence spending, seeing the military as a budget line that can be readily reduced. Indonesia, for example, has announced it will slash its defence budget this year by nearly $588 million. Thailand has likewise reduced its defence allocation by $555 million. Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines all face similar pressure. All these countries are key…

US Warship Fries Drone With Powerful New Laser « Breaking Defense

USS Portland (LPD 27) fires a Solid State Laser in the Pacific on May 16. WASHINGTON: In a first, the USS Portland took down a target drone with a new solid state laser this week, the first step in the Navy’s quest to get the powerful weapon on more ships in the future. The shot from the San Antonio-class landing platform ship tested out what’s known as the Technology Maturation Laser Weapon System Demonstrator, or LWSD, which has been aboard the ship for several months. The May 16 test, announced…

Will COVID-19 Kill The Liberal World Order? « Breaking Defense

The COVID-19 pandemic is driving the tectonic plates of great power competition, weakening the already wobbly international system. For a brief moment it seemed that the worst global pandemic in a century might lead to increased comity between the United States, China and Russia after years of geopolitical eye-gauging. As the virus spread there were early signs of a pause in the escalating cycle of military brinksmanship, cyberattacks, disinformation campaigns and trade wars that has badly shaken the rules-based international order in this era of great power competition. Beijing seemed…

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,…