Prepare for War or Fight Coronavirus? U.S. Military Battles Competing Instincts

WASHINGTON — One of the hallmarks of the United States military is its ability to project power around the world, often under the banner of slogans intended to strike fear in its adversaries. “Ready to fight tonight” for U.S. troops in South Korea; “America’s 911” for the Marine Corps expeditionary units at sea; the list goes on. But now the foe is a novel coronavirus, and it has struck deep. More than 1,200 military personnel and their family members are affected, disabling a talisman of American military might — a…

Who are the key players in China’s coronavirus propaganda war with US?

Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. Sign up here. While the world struggles to cope with the spike in the number of people infected with the coronavirus, China’s ruling Communist Party has turned to its massive propaganda machine to rebrand itself and its leader Xi Jinping as humanity’s only hope. China has launched a three-pronged attack using its network of state-run newspapers, television and radio stations to change the narrative that Beijing covered up cases of COVID-19 when they first surfaced in Wuhan — a catastrophic…

South China Sea: US military operations bringing China to brink of war – shock claim | World | News

The South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative’s annual report claims the United States has intensified its military operations in the region’s waters. It claimed American forces had conducted eight so-called freedom of navigation operations – in which US vessels sail within 12 nautical miles of land claimed or occupied by China – last year, which was three more than in 2018. The report, which tracks US activity in the South China Sea, also said America had engaged in at least 50 joint and multiple exercises with countries from Southeast…

South China Sea: Brink of war over waters as China continues to flex military muscle | World | News

Warships, coastguard vessels, militia boats and oil rigs in the contested waters have doubled as Malaysia, Vietnam and China fight for their claim to the sea. Chinese military aircraft have conducted anti-submarine drills in the contested waters in recent weeks. This was in response to the USS Mc Campbell sail through the contested region. China conducted joint exercises in mid–March despite knowing the risk of aggravating other claimant countries. China has also activated its fishermen militia which have outnumbered all countries fishing boats in the SCS, in a bid to…

South China Sea: Beijing’s ‘dangerous game’ that risks brutal war amid Philippines row | World | News

Beijing and the US have seen their relations break down in recent years – and aside from trade war feuds – the South China Sea has been a huge wedge between the two superpowers. The region is host to lucrative shipping lanes and trading ports, provoking President Xi Jinping to enforce a controversial Nine-Dash Line demarcation of what China deems to be its territory. The demarcation enforces a claim over all of the island clusters in the region and 90 percent of the South China Sea as a whole, but…

Has the U.S.-China Cold War Now Begun?

Among the biggest victims of the coronavirus pandemic is the fiction of amicable U.S.-China relations. Those ties have been worsening for years, even before President Trump decided to call out Beijing’s predatory behavior starting in 2017. With the crisis now pitting America and China openly against each other, it seems impossible to salvage the old working ties. Washington now faces an unambiguously adversarial relationship with the Chinese Communist Party, one in which global ideological blocs may be drawn. Losing this new cold war would be a grievous blow to global…

Ruinous: Why the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship Could Cost It Big in a War With China

Key point: The LCS is an awful warship that the Navy doesn’t even want. It even performs badly in war games and simulations. The U.S. Navy in late 2019 or 2020 expects to select a shipyard to build the fleet’s new guided-missile frigate. This first appeared in 2019 and is being reposted due to reader interest. The 20 heavily-armed frigates will replace roughly half of the 50 or so Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) that the Navy had planned to buy before realizing that the lightly-armed LCS likely couldn’t survive in a…

China Enlists Academics In South China Sea Propaganda War – OpEd

By Bich T. Tran and James Borton* During this COVID-19 global crisis, when facts and fiction are easily blurred, Beijing is using cyber skills to disseminate fake news stories, expelling American journalists, and turning to invited academics to steer policymaking arguments and write narratives that are patently false. In a recently published South China Morning Post article, ”Why the US-Vietnam Strategic Alliance in the South China Sea is Unlikely to Last,” Dr. Mark Valencia, a maritime policy analyst and a visiting senior scholar at China’s National Institute for South China Sea Studies, appears lost at…

China Enlists Academics in South China Sea Propaganda War

During this COVID-19 global crisis, when facts and fiction are easily blurred, Beijing is using cyber skills to disseminate fake news stories, expelling American journalists, and turning to invited academics to steer policymaking arguments and write narratives that are patently false. In a recently published South China Morning Post article, ”Why the US-Vietnam Strategic Alliance in the South China Sea is Unlikely to Last,” Dr. Mark Valencia, a maritime policy analyst and a visiting senior scholar at China’s National Institute for South China Sea Studies, appears lost at sea without…

A New Front In The Narrative ‘War’ Over The South China Sea – Analysis

A new front has opened up in the contest to control the narrative regarding actions in the South China Sea. This is evidenced by a recent flurry of contested revelations and explanations concerning concentrations of Chinese and Vietnamese fishing vessels in other countries’ waters. Of course many countries’ fishing vessels fish illegally in others’ waters and have done so for many years—some more egregiously than others.  What is new is the allegations that some concentrations of vessels are ‘state controlled’ and have even more nefarious intentions.  Moreover, there are indications…