Pinoys value ties with US over China – SWS – The Manila Times

Majority of Filipinos believe that the Philippines’ relationship with its long-time ally, the United States, is more important than that with China, according to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey released on Saturday. The poll conducted from September 27 to 30 among 1,800 Filipino adults nationwide showed that 78 percent of the respondents valued the Philippines’ ties with the US than with China while only 12 percent said they thought the country’s relationship with China was more important. On the other hand, 5 percent said the country’s relationship with…

Asia Times | Latest B-52 flyby sign of US bomber presence

Taiwanese newspapers reported on Friday that at least two B-52 Stratofortress strategic bombers believed to be from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam had overflown parts of the East China Sea a day before, close to Taiwan’s littoral waters and those claimed by China, after they hurtled past the Miyako Strait between Taiwan and Japan’s southern outlying islets. It was reported that the B-52s deliberately activated their automatic dependent surveillance broadcast system to announce their presence and flight route, so that even aviation enthusiasts could observe their flight in real time…

New Chinese envoy to PH assumes post, vows ‘best is yet to come’ – The Manila Times

SENIOR Chinese diplomat, Huang Xilian, arrived on Tuesday to begin his post as China’s ambassador to the Philippines. Huang was former envoy to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) based in Jakarta before he was assigned to serve as Beijing’s top diplomat in Manila. He replaced Zhao Jinhua who started his stint in Manila in 2014 at the height of a maritime dispute between the Philippines and China over overlapping claims in the Spratly islands in the South China Sea or West Philippine Sea. Huang said the “best is…

Asia Times | South China Sea tensions hot and getting hotter

The United States and China have doubled down on their struggle for dominance of the South China Sea and broader Indo-Pacific, as recent sea confrontations and fiery rhetoric threaten to escalate into conflict. Bolstered by its ever-expanding and rapidly modernizing Peoples Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), China has shown diminishing restraint in deterring, intercepting and seeking to exclude American naval assets from its claimed adjacent waters. Boasting one of the world’s largest maritime fleet, with an armada of para-military forces and vessels increasingly acting as force multipliers, the PLAN recently deployed…

US Navy confirms real intent of PH arbitration vs China – The Manila Times

RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO THE US Navy last week, in its actions and official statements, in effect revealed what was really one of the real aims of the Philippines’ arbitration suit that President Aquino 3rd and his foreign secretary Albert del Rosario brought against China in 2013. It wasn’t to win back for the Philippines islands or reefs it claims to own in the Spratly islands, which it alleges China grabbed from it. The arbitration was intended — other than to demonize China as an evil aggressor in the South China…

Asia Times | China, Vietnam will never agree on South China Sea

China is ratcheting up pressure on Vietnam in the South China Sea, urging Hanoi to back away from its legal threat to pursue international arbitration over their festering territorial disputes. Geng Shuang, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, said on November 8 that Vietnam “needs to avoid taking actions that may complicate matters or undermine peace and stability in the South China Sea as well as our bilateral relations.” Geng also stated that Vietnam would have to “face up to the historical fact”, by which he presumably meant that China’s claims…

America’s feeble Indo-Pacific strategy | The Japan Times

HANOI – With the global geopolitical center of gravity shifting toward Asia, a pluralistic, rules-based Indo-Pacific order is more important than ever, including for America’s own global standing. So it was good news when, two years ago, U.S. President Donald Trump began touting a vision of a “free and open” Indo-Pacific, characterized by unimpeded trade flows, freedom of navigation, and respect for the rule of law, national sovereignty and existing borders. Yet, far from realizing this vision, the United States has allowed Chinese expansionism in Asia to continue virtually unimpeded.…

Japan’s precarious Indo-Pacific balance | The Japan Times

Earlier this month, the U.S. State Department released a report titled “Free and Open Indo-Pacific: Advancing a Shared Vision.” It highlighted the U.S. core understandings of the Indo-Pacific, which includes: 1) respect for sovereignty and independence of all nations; 2) peaceful resolution of disputes; 3) free, fair and reciprocal trade based on open investment, transparent agreements and connectivity; and 4) adherence to international law, including freedom of navigation and overflight. For Japan and other states in the Indo-Pacific, the document clearly articulates their ongoing concern that “authoritarian revisionist powers seek…