China seeks to flip nations in Pacific Great Game with US

TAIPEI — As the Pacific Island Forum prepared to open in Tuvalu this month, the normally regionally focused event found itself in an unfamiliar position: at the center of the growing strategic competition between Washington and Beijing. Baron Naqu, president of Nauru, which has a population of less than 10,000, called for greater inclusion of unofficial U.S. ally Taiwan — which Nauru recognizes — in international forums. Meanwhile, speculation was rife that the government of the Solomon Islands was preparing to switch diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China. For the…

China May Win Fight ‘Before America Can Respond’ in Pacific, Report Says

The United States’ military posture in the Indo-Pacific region has eroded due to political infighting, costly engagements elsewhere and other debilitating factors, giving a rapidly-rising China the upper hand in the event of a conflict, according to a new report. The University of Sydney’s United States Study Center published on Friday a comprehensive, 104-page document entitled “Averting Crisis: American strategy, military spending and collective defence in the Indo-Pacific” that explained how “America no longer enjoys military primacy in the Indo-Pacific and its capacity to uphold a favorable balance of power…

How The U.S. Army Can Play A Much Bigger Pacific Role Deterring China

The main focus of U.S. defense strategy has shifted from defeating violent extremists—terrorists—to opposing aggression by other great powers. Those other powers are understood to be China and Russia. Pentagon planners now spend much of their time figuring out how to deter Russian adventurism in Europe, and Chinese expansionism in Asia. The general thinking is that Europe will be mostly an Army-Air Force show, because any Russian military move westward would occur on land, and the only seas close enough to facilitate Navy-Marine Corps participation (the Baltic and Black Seas)…

Former US Pacific Fleet commander praises Australia for ‘refreshing’ debate on China

“Anybody with a level of experience can find anything to criticise, but I thought it was very useful in sharing a point of view that should be taken quite seriously. “They are views I wouldn’t say should be embraced in their entirety, but they can’t be brushed aside either. To brush it aside is a risky approach to take.” Senior ministers are split over Mr Hastie’s claim that China poses a fundamental threat to Australia, and his belief that the world’s approach to containing Beijing is similar to the failure to…

Navy concludes its 25th year of CARAT drills with Indonesia in Java Sea – Pacific

Navy concludes its 25th year of CARAT drills with Indonesia in Java Sea A weeklong naval exercise designed to improve the ability of Indonesian and U.S. naval forces to work together has wrapped up its 25th year in Indonesia. Indonesia has taken part in Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training, or CARAT, a multiphase exercise involving several countries in South and Southeast Asia, since its inception in 1995. Sri Lanka was the first stop for CARAT this year, which kicked off in April. However, those drills were cut…

USS Ronald Reagan sails into disputed waters amid new flare-ups – Pacific

USS Ronald Reagan sails into disputed waters amid new flare-ups ABOARD THE USS RONALD REAGAN, South China Sea — A U.S. aircraft carrier sailed through the disputed South China Sea on Tuesday in the latest show of America’s military might amid new territorial flare-ups involving China and three rival claimant states. The U.S. Navy flew a small group of Philippine generals, officials and journalists to the USS Ronald Reagan, where they watched fighter jets landing and taking off by catapult with thunderous blasts. The nuclear-powered carrier, carrying about…

Head-To-Head: Russia, Japan, South Korea, and China Face-Off in the Skies over the Pacific

The South China Sea cauldron has been at a full boil now for nearly a dozen years, chiefly over the significance of various obscure reefs and rocks. But, thankfully, the occurrence of shooting among the claimants and external powers has been extremely rare, underlying the obvious risks that such a course would entail. Thus, it came as a surprise to many that South Korean interceptors fired warning shots at a Russian military aircraft over the Sea of Japan on the morning of 22 July. With four major powers suddenly appearing…

Pacific News Minute: Chinese Defense Makes Strong Claims To Taiwan And To East and South China Seas

The United States continues to conduct naval patrols in waters claimed by China. Last week, the guided missile cruiser USS Antietam sailed through the Taiwan Strait: the sixth such transit this year. The operation came as China issued an important policy document. China releases a strategic military review every four years, and the 2019 white paper is being given particular significance ahead of celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic on October 1st. “China’s National Defense in the New Era” paints the People’s Liberation Army as a…

Marianas Variety – BC’s Tales of the Pacific

29 Jul 2019 By BC Cook THE Chinese government has released a White Paper outlining its foreign policy objectives and priorities. As the largest and most powerful country in the eastern Pacific, it is prudent for all islanders to pay attention to what China says and does. Please read the entire document but I’ve broken it down to highlights here. 1) The United States remains the most likely foreign adversary. China has long considered the United States to be its primary foreign policy threat. Recent increases in overall military…