Philippines alarmed by roughly 200 Chinese ships spotted near disputed South China Sea isle this year

MANILA – Some 200 Chinese ships have been spotted near the Philippine-occupied Thitu Island in the South China Sea since the start of the year, triggering alarm in the Philippine military. Philippine soldiers will continue their patrols in the disputed area, military chief Gen. Benjamin Madrigal Jr. said, adding that Chinese fishing vessels have repeatedly been spotted near the island. He urged a panel with representatives from both nations tasked with resolving South China Sea disputes to address Chinese presence in the area. “This is a concern not only for…

Illegal Oil Transshipments to N.Korea Doubled Last Year – The Chosun Ilbo (English Edition): Daily News from Korea

Illegal ship-to-ship transfers of oil products to North Korea have more than doubled over the past year, South Korean military data suggest. The transfers aimed at evading tough import quotas set by the UN Security Council have taken place not only on the South China Sea but even on the West Sea as the North has become bolder amid dwindling supplies. But South Korea has done little to intercept them. According to data Liberty Korea Party lawmaker Baek Seung-joo obtained from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, suspected cases of illegal…

China-NZ Year of Tourism gets its launch date after postponement controversy

ROSA WOODS/STUFF Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a new launch date to get the China-New Zealand year of Tourism back on track. After a controversial stall at the starting blocks, the Government has announced a new launch date for the diplomatic fete that is to mark tourism-related cooperation between New Zealand and China. The China-NZ Year of Tourism has been ongoing in practice for a few months, but the official launch celebration, set for February, between the two Governments was abruptly postponed due to “scheduling issues” on China’s side.  On…

China’s Far Seas Naval Operations, from the Year of the Snake to the Year of the Pig

By Ryan D. Martinson Every year, about this time, the leaders of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) send their regards to Chinese sailors deployed overseas during the Lunar New Year. Every year these messages are covered by the Chinese press. Few in China pay attention to these reports. Fewer foreign observers even know of them, but they should. This annual ritual tells the story of China’s emergence as a global naval power. A Tradition is Born PLAN leaders made their first Lunar New Year’s call in the second year…

High-speed rail line to mainland China and Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge get record passenger numbers during Lunar New Year holiday

Hong Kong’s newest links to mainland China had another bumper day on Thursday, with passenger numbers setting records for the second consecutive day during Lunar New Year. But a false alarm at the local end of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge caused a brief shock for scores of visitors on Friday morning, while glitches in the shuttle bus ticketing system led to crowds of passengers being stranded for hours at the Zhuhai bridge port across the border. At the West Kowloon terminal of the high-speed rail line to mainland China, the…

PH, US to meet this year to review the Mutual Defense Treaty » Manila Bulletin News

Published February 5, 2019, 5:21 PM By Francis Wakefield  Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana said a delegation from the United States is expected to arrive in the country within the year for exploratory talks on the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT). Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (photo courtesy of the Office of the Secretary of National Defense) Lorenzana made the revelation as he underscored the imminent Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) review with the United States within the year. “Maybe within the year, within the year because the Americans are also interested, they…

May Chinese New Year signal a fresh start

While China’s importance as a customer for Australian iron ore and coal show up in the trade statistics, now is the one time of year when Australia’s economic reliance on China’s success is most obvious on Sydney’s streets. The Lunar New Year festival, which started on Tuesday, has become a significant part of Sydney’s life, not least because about 10 per cent of greater Sydney’s 5 million residents are of Chinese ancestry, more than any other non-English speaking ethnic group. No doubt hoping to win their votes, Prime Minister Scott Morrison…

Chinese New Year: Ten places to celebrate the Year of the Pig

From pig museums to winery pigs to pig hotels, we’ve got you covered. 1. SYDNEY LUNAR FESTIVAL – AUSTRALIA Chinese New Year, on February 5, ushers in the Year of the Pig. See Qian Jian Hua’s show-stopping pig lantern next to the Sydney Opera House – it’s one of Sydney Lunar Festival’s awe-inspiring sculptural installations depicting the zodiac animals. When the now Sydney-based artist was 15, he was decentralised to a farm during the Chinese Cultural Revolution where he kept the pigs safe. The lanterns, some of which are three…

Philippines’ Duterte aligns himself with China in Chinese New Year message | World | News

The South East Asian nation has had a rollercoaster relationship with Beijing as the nations are at odds over the South China Sea. However in an address on the eve of Chinese New Year, the leader of the Philippines said the “friendship and cooperation forged between the Philippines and China” had led to “greater prosperity and economic growth”. Mr Duterte said: “The friendship and cooperation forged between the Philippines and China have not only led to greater prosperity and economic growth for both our nations, but also gave rise to…