The Abyss Is Opening Under China-U.S. Relations – Foreign Policy

A strange sort of calm has descended over the U.S.-China relationship. Officially, Washington and Beijing have agreed to a truce in their escalating trade war and are searching for the outlines of a possible agreement. But it’s looking increasingly likely that the cease-fire won’t hold—and a conflict far greater than the trade war itself looms. Last week, Beijing announced that it would sanction U.S. companies involved in selling arms to Taiwan. On Monday, meanwhile, the government statistics agency announced that China’s GDP growth in the first half of 2019 was the lowest since 1992.…

Hun Sen’s Man in Washington (State) – Foreign Policy

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia—Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen is having trouble making friends in the United States under President Donald Trump. While past Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama pursued tentative cooperation with Cambodia, the United States—when it is paying attention to Cambodia at all—has grown increasingly frustrated with the Hun Sen government’s authoritarianism and alignment with China. The White House has issued repeated rebukes, even cutting aid to Cambodia. And in May, three U.S. senators—Lindsey Graham, Dick Durbin, and Marco Rubio—introduced a bipartisan bill prescribing financial penalties if Cambodia…

Parties must present foreign policy views that address global turmoil

The Yomiuri ShimbunUnder the policy of “America First,” the United States is turning its back on multilateral frameworks. The authoritarian regimes of China and Russia are threatening the international order. What form should Japan’s diplomacy take in this chaotic world? It is regrettable that debate on the matter has been given little priority in the House of Councillors election campaign. Since the end of World War II, Japan’s diplomacy has been based on its alliance with the United States and the principle of international cooperation led by the United Nations.…

Commentary: The Reed Bank incident and the crisis in Philippines’ China policy

Commentary: The Reed Bank incident and the crisis in Philippines’ China policy Just before midnight on June 9, a Chinese fishing vessel rammed and partially sank a wooden Filipino fishing boat, the F/B Gem-Vir 1, then anchored at Reed Bank in the South China Sea. After the collision, the Chinese vessel reportedly turned off its signal lights and sailed away as the Filipino boat sank. The 22 Filipino fishers were forced to leave their boat and struggled to keep themselves afloat for more than six hours before being rescued…

Confused over gov’t policy in West PH Sea? Just listen to Duterte, says Malacañang

MANILA – If you’re confused about government’s policy in the disputed West Philippine Sea, just listen to President Rodrigo Duterte, Malacañang said Thursday. Because when it comes to the President’s remarks, “there is no room for any interpretation,” his spokesperson Salvador Panelo said. “Ang pakinggan niyo ang Presidente. Kung ano ang sinabi ni Presidente ‘yun na ‘yun,” he said. (Listen to the President. What the President says, that’s it.) Duterte last month revealed that he had a verbal agreement with Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2016 that allows Beijing to…

Trump’s Fighter Jet Sale to Taiwan Advances Despite China’s Protests – Foreign Policy

The Trump administration’s plan to sell more than 60 new F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan is now moving forward after longer-than-anticipated negotiations, paving the way for a deal that is sure to prompt fresh protests from China only days after Washington and Beijing agreed to restart trade talks. Taiwan formally submitted a request for 66 “Block 70” F-16 jets, the newest version of Lockheed Martin’s legacy fighter, earlier this year, but the deal took longer than expected to hammer out due to negotiations over price and configuration of the aircraft,…

Duterte Faces Impeachment Calls for South China Sea Policy

Philippines Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III shocked the nation Thursday by coming out in defense of granting China fishing rights in Philippine sovereign waters in light of a Chinese ship sinking a Filipino fishing vessel and refusing to rescue its crew this month. Sotto argued that there was no way to confirm that the fish being caught had not swam from China into Philippine territory, so China should be allowed to catch them. The Philippine constitution bans the government from allowing any other country to fish in Philippine sovereign maritime territory, the news outlet Rappler…

Will China and the U.S. Resume Talks? – Foreign Policy

Here is today’s Foreign Policy brief: Trump and Xi hope to restart U.S.-China trade talks, Iran continues the war of words, and Hong Kong activists eye the G-20 summit. We welcome your feedback at morningbrief@foreignpolicy.com. Hope For U.S.-China Trade Talks Grows U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will speak on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Japan later this week, with hopes of reviving trade negotiations. There is a lot at stake: The two leaders haven’t met since early last month, when talks broke down in…

China’s Hidden Navy – Foreign Policy

The Spratly Islands, occupied by five different claimants, are the most hotly contested part of the South China Sea. Thanks to the harbors and supporting infrastructure Beijing constructed on its outposts there over the last five years, most vessels operating around the Spratlys are Chinese. And most of those are at least part-time members of China’s official maritime militia, an organization whose role Beijing frequently downplays but that is playing an increasingly visible role in its assertion of maritime claims. A small cohort of analysts continue to cast doubt on…