Posts Tagged ‘PLAN’

China Navy Ships Depart for Joint Drills With Russia

September 14, 2017

BEIJING — Four Chinese navy ships have departed for joint drills with Russia in the latest sign of growing cooperation between the two militaries that could challenge the U.S. armed forces’ role in the Asia-Pacific.

A destroyer, missile frigate, supply ship and submarine rescue ship departed Wednesday from the port of Qingdao, home to China’s north sea fleet, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

The drills are being held in the Sea of Japan near the Korean Peninsula and the Sea of Okhotsk off the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, Xinhua said.

The exercises are the second stage of an annual joint drill, the first part of which was held July 22-27 in the Baltic Sea — the first time the countries had exercised together in the northern European waterbody.

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Chinese and Russian destroyers take part in a previous joint exercise in 2014 / AP

Russia and China are closely aligned on many diplomatic and security issues, with both countries calling for a negotiated settlement of tensions on the Korean Peninsula, preceded by North Korea suspending its nuclear and missile activities in return for the U.S. and South Korea halting their regular large-scale wargames.

July’s joint drills in the Baltic stirred concern among countries in the region, where tensions are already high over increased displays of military force by both Moscow and NATO.

Both Russia and China say the exercises are not directed at any third parties.

The Chinese ships taking part in the exercises are among the country’s most advanced, components of a growing fleet that poses a significant challenge to the U.S. Navy’s traditional dominance in the Asia-Pacific. Beijing has long chafed at the American presence and is a strong critic of its alliances with Japan, Australia and other countries in the region.

China already has the world’s largest navy, with slightly over 300 vessels, compared to the U.S. Navy’s 277 “deployable battle force ships,” according to the U.S. Naval War College’s China Maritime Studies Institute. The U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence forecasts it will have 313-342 warships by 2020.

While China’s ships are technologically inferior to those of the U.S. Navy, their sheer numbers allow China a significant presence on the open sea, institute professor Andrew S. Erickson wrote in a recent study.

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South China Sea: Philippine Foreign Minister Defends Chinese Presence in Philippine Waters — Urges mutual trust with Beijing

August 16, 2017
Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano gestures during a news conference following the conclusion of the 50th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting and Related Meetings Tuesday Aug. 8, 2017 at the Philippine International Convention Center in Manila, Philippines. AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines’ top diplomat justified the reported presence of Chinese ships near Pag-asa Island in Palawan, stressing that the country should develop mutual trust with Beijing.

Rep. Gary Alejano of party-list group Magdalo earlier said that China has deployed two frigates, one Coast Guard vessel and two large fishing vessels one to three nautical miles north of Pag-asa Island.

READ: China ships massing near Pag-asa sandbars?

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File photo

Pag-asa, a fifth class municipality in Palawan, is the second biggest island in the Spratly Islands next to the Taiwanese-occupied Itu Aba.

Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said that China should not be regarded as an enemy.

“Why were we not concerned about the US doing freedom of navigation, ang lalaki ng ships nila. You know why? Kasi they’re our allies so if we keep looking at China as the enemy, every time na may movement sila masyado tayong nag-re-react,” Cayetano said.

Cayetano added that the Philippines should instead ask China for an explanation regarding their presence instead of being alarmed.

On the other hand, Alejano called on the Duterte administration to ask China to order their ships away from Pag-asa Island and file a diplomatic protest against China.

“I call on the Philippine government officials to be transparent in what is happening in West Philippine Sea. We must assert our rights in the midst of talks with China,” Alejano said.

The foreign ministers of the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, under the leadership of Cayetano, earlier released a joint communique emphasizing the importance of self-restraint and non-militarization in the conduct of activities in the South China Sea.

Cayetano, however, admitted that he did not want to initially include “land reclamation” in the statement as Beijing supposedly stopped its land-filling activities in the region.

RELATED: Photos disprove China’s claim of halting land reclamation

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Deepsea Metro I

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Chinese H-6 bomber

 (Is the Philippines just a pawn for China now?)

The ONLY TRULY JOYFUL FACES at the ASEAN conference were provided by North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, left, and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.  (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

 

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China says it has sovereignty over all the South China Sea north of its “nine dash line.” On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague said this claim by China was not valid. But China chose to ignore international law.

Japanese frogmen approached Chinese warship at Djibouti, state media say

August 2, 2017

The incident, if confirmed, would constitute a rare case of friction between Chinese and Japanese naval forces at a key port far from home

By Kinling Lo
South China Morning Post

Wednesday, August 2, 2017, 7:27pm

A Japanese naval ship sent frogmen to approach a Chinese warship as both ships were docking at Djibouti in eastern Africa, Chinese state media reported.

The incident, if confirmed, would constitute a rare case of Chinese and Japanese naval forces having friction at a key geopolitical port far from their homes.

 The base of Japan’s Maritime Self-Defence Force is pictured in Djibouti, East Africa. Photo: Felix Wong

China is quickly boosting its naval presence along the east Africa coast after officially opening the country’s first overseas naval base there on Tuesday. The Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force established a base there in 2011 and Japan announced in 2016 that it was considering expanding its Djibouti base.

The incident was not reported by the Chinese or Japanese sides.

It was mentioned in a report on the website of China’s Procuratorial Daily, the official newspaper of the Supreme Procurator

ate. The report was about the experiences of a Chinese prosecutor, Jian Jiamin, who served as a legal counsellor with the PLA navy on duty in the vicinity of Africa for 208 days from December to this summer.

The report didn’t specify the time of the incident.

 A navy soldier of the People’s Liberation Army stands guard as Chinese citizens board the naval ship Linyi at a port in Aden. Photo: Reuter

According to the report, when Jian heard Japanese divers were approaching the Chinese warship, he immediately decided that Japan’s move was “dangerous” and against international law. He advised that the Chinese ship could take “necessary measures to stop [the encroachment] or even to exercise its self-defence rights”.

As a result, Jian organised Chinese soldiers to use a “strong light and verbal warning” to drive away the approaching Japanese divers, according to the report.

Jian also gathered evidence and reported the incident to local authorities in Djibouti to “disclose the inappropriate behaviour during the illegal operation by a Japanese warship at a third country’s port”.

 A general view of Port de Doraleh, Djibouti, East Africa. Photo: Felix Wong

The report came as China formally opened its first overseas military base with a flag-raising ceremony on Tuesday in the tiny former French colony in the Horn of Africa. The strategically localted Red Sea country is also home to the military bases of Japan, the United States and France.

Djibouti’s position on the northwestern edge of the Indian Ocean has fuelled worries among China’s regional rivals such as Japan and India that Djibouti would become just another of China’s “string of pearls” of military alliances and assets ringing India, including Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.

In October, Reuters reported that Japan leased additional land to expand its existing 12 hectare (30 acre) site in Djibouti to counter the Chinese influence in the region.

 Djibouti is China’s first overseas naval base – but Beijing has described it as a logistics facility. Photo: Reuters

At the same time, China is getting more active in the area. It recently offered to mediate in the lingering border dispute between Djibouti and Eritrea, showing Beijing’s growing ambitions and confidence.

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2105024/japanese-frogmen-approached-chinese-warship-djibouti

China, Russia Demonstrate Global Military Might

August 1, 2017
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 The huge display of military hardware also featured 12,000 troops. Photo: Xinhua

China’s Xi Says Navy Should Become World Class

May 24, 2017

BEIJING — Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country’s navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.

China’s navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.

With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.

Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should “aim for the top ranks in the world”, the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit.

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President Xi Jinping (centre), who is also chairman of the Central Military Commission, pictured during his inspection of the PLA Navy headquarters, in Beijing. Photo: Xinhua

Chinese Aircraft Carrier News — Comparing to US, UK, Indian aircraft carriers

April 24, 2017

By Julia Hollingsworth
South China Morning Post

Monday, April 24, 2017, 6:26pm

China building navy’s biggest amphibious assault vessel — “Like U.S. Wasp-class” — China more prepared for power projection missions

March 30, 2017

Ships will strengthen navy as Beijing makes more assertive claims to disputed waters in South China Sea and increases sea patrols amid strained ties with Taiwan

By Minnie Chan
South China Morning Post

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 March, 2017, 5:03pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 30 March, 2017, 11:17am

China Returns U.S. Navy Drone Seized In South China Sea

December 20, 2016

The unmanned underwater vehicle, or UUV, was deployed by the oceanographic survey ship USNS Bowditch (seen here in a U.S. Navy file photo). It was seized by a Chinese warship last week and returned to a U.S. warship Tuesday.

U.S. Navy

China’s Defense Ministry says it has returned a U.S. underwater drone seized last week in the South China Sea. The hand-off followed what China termed “friendly” talks between the two countries.

In a statement from the Pentagon, the U.S. acknowledged receipt of the drone but criticized China for the seizure.

The U.S. said the Chinese action was “inconsistent with both international law and standards of professionalism for conduct between navies at sea.”

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The Pentagon, pointedly, had a warship — the guided missile destroyer USS Mustin — take possession of the drone, which was operated by an unarmed survey vessel when it was seized.

As the The Two-Way’s Bill Chappell reported earlier:

…the Pentagon announced that the USNS Bowditch, an oceanographic survey ship, had watched as a Chinese warship deployed a small boat to snatch an “ocean glider” — an unmanned underwater vehicle, or UUV — from international waters in the South China Sea.

Bill reported that China provided “its own narrative to describe a situation that American officials say has no recent precedent.”

“In order to prevent the device from causing harm to the safety of navigation and personnel of passing vessels, the Chinese naval lifeboat verified and examined the device in a professional and responsible manner,” said a Chinese defense ministry spokesman, according to a translation from state-run Xinhua News.

The Chinese version of events is markedly different from the Pentagon’s — U.S. officials say the Chinese ship was following the American vessel, and that the drone’s origin wasn’t in doubt.

U.S. officials say the unmanned drone was conducting ocean research when it was seized.

According to the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command, the Bowditch (named for American astronomer and navigator Nathaniel Bowditch) is a 20-year-old ship that has “an all-civilian crew of civil service mariners and scientific support personnel.”

The swift return of the drone is a marked contrast from a 2001 incident when a U.S. Navy reconnaissance plane was forced down by China after it collided with a Chinese fighter jet. The Navy plane was returned to the U.S. dismembered and with its sophisticated electronics removed.

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U.S. Navy reconnaissance plane was forced down by China after it collided with a Chinese fighter jet in 2001

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/12/20/506256081/china-returns-u-s-navy-drone-seized-in-south-china-sea

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The Washington Post

December 20 at 4:00 AM
China on Tuesday returned a U.S. naval drone seized in the South China Sea last week, a peaceful resolution to a military standoff that threatened to inflame maritime tensions ahead of President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration.The Chinese Ministry of Defense said in statement that after “friendly negotiation” the drone was transferred to the U.S. In a separate statement, the Pentagon confirmed the drone’s return, but offered a less friendly-sounding account.

The incident was “inconsistent with both international law and standards of professionalism for conduct between navies at sea,” the Pentagon statement said.

The U.S. has “called on Chinese authorities to comply with their obligations under international law and to refrain from further efforts to impede lawful U.S. activities,” the statement said.

The standoff started last week after a Chinese submarine rescue ship close to the USNS Bowditch, an oceanographic survey vessel operating northwest of Subic Bay in the Philippines, took possession of the U.S. drone. The U.S. side said it asked the ship to return the vessel and the Chinese side refused.

The drone was seized about 50 nautical northwest of Subic Bay, a Philippine port that was once a U.S. military base and still plays host to visiting U.S. troops and ships. The area is not far Scarborough Shoal, a u-shaped cluster of reefs and rocks that has been a flashpoint in China-Philippines and China-U.S. relations.

Though Washington says it has no position on rival sovereignty claims in the South China Sea, it has been critical of China’s posture, particularly island building in contested waters.  The U.S. Navy conducts patrols — officially called “freedom of navigation operations” — in the area.

China sees the presence of U.S. ships as unwanted interference and has repeatedly said that it is the United States, not China, that wants to militarize the South China Sea.

Unsurprisingly, Beijing and Washington offered conflicting accounts of the drone flap. The U.S. side the vessel, known as a “glider,” collects unclassified data on water temperature, salinity and other factors that may affect navigation.

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In Washington, its seizure was seen as a provocation. Sen. John McCain, (R.-Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, on Friday called the incident a “flagrant violation” of the law of the sea.

China, meanwhile, downplayed the incident. Yang Yujun, a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Defense, said in a statement that the Chinese ship took the U.S. drone “in order to prevent the device from harming the navigation safety and personnel safety of the ship.”

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Yang Yujun,Chinese Ministry of Defense

“The U.S. military has frequently dispatched naval vessels to carry out reconnaissance and military measurements in China’s water. China resolutely opposes this and urges the U.S. side to stop such activities,” he said.

As the stand-off dragged on, President-elect Trump weighed in, posting a message on Twitter that said: “China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters — rips it out of water and takes it to China in unprecedented act.”

When the Chinese side eventually agreed to return the vessel, Trump weighed in again. “We should tell China that we don’t want the drone they stole back.- let them keep it!” he wrote.

Asked about Trump’s comment, Hua Chunying, a spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Monday questioned his wording.  “We don’t like the word ‘steal’ — the word is absolutely inaccurate,” she said.

“This is just like you found a thing on the street, and you have to take a look and investigate it to see if the thing belongs to one who wants it back.”

Han Xudong, a military expert in Beijing, said the U.S. had “made a mountain out of a molehill” by hyping up the seizure. “It’s a simple matter that could have been easily resolved via diplomatic or military channels,” he said, adding that China’s handling of the event was following the book.

“It’s not appropriate for Trump to comment on this.”

But Han said the outcome showed that, tweets aside, Washington and Beijing wanted a peaceful resolution. “The U.S. turn from high-key to low-key helped solving the problem smoothly.”

Trump’s response to the drone incident will no doubt compound Chinese concerns about the president-elect’s Asia policy. Since winning the U.S. presidential election, he surprised Beijing by taking a phone call from Taiwan’s leader, Tsai Ing-wen, a move that broke with decades of diplomatic practice.

Trump’s Twitter comments on both Taiwan and the drone have made him a figure of derision and ridicule in the Communist Party-controlled press.

“Trump is not behaving as a president who will become master of the White House in a month,” the Global Times, a Communist party-controlled newspaper, wrote in an editorial. “He bears no sense of how to lead a superpower.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/china-returns-seized-us-naval-drone/2016/12/20/4dde17b2-c633-11e6-acda-59924caa2450_story.html?utm_term=.7bcdc656e0f5

The Latest on China’s seizure of a U.S. Navy unmanned underwater glider

December 17, 2016

BEIJING — The Latest on China’s seizure of a U.S. Navy unmanned underwater glider (all times local):

3:25 a.m. Sunday

The U.S. military says that through “direct engagement” with the Chinese, it’s “secured an understanding” that China’s navy will return an underwater glider seized in the South China Sea.

Peter Cook, a spokesman for U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, says in a statement that the U.S. had registered its objection to what the U.S. is calling an “unlawful seizure” of the unmanned submerged device in international waters.

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11:20 p.m.

China says its navy seized a U.S. Navy unmanned underwater glider to ensure the “safe navigation of passing ships.”

Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun issued a statement late Saturday saying that a Chinese navy lifeboat discovered an unknown device in the South China Sea on Thursday. It said, “In order to prevent this device from posing a danger to the safe navigation of passing ships and personnel, the Chinese lifeboat adopted a professional and responsible attitude in investigating and verifying the device.”

The statement said that after verifying that the device was an American unmanned submerged device, “China decided to transfer it to the U.S. through appropriate means.”

It also accused the U.S. of deploying “ships in China’s presence to conduct renaissance and military surveying. China is resolutely opposed to this and requests the U.S. stop such activities.”

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10:10 p.m.

President-elect Donald Trump has corrected his spelling in a tweet blasting China’s seizure of a U.S. Navy unmanned underwater glider.

Trump put out a fresh tweet Saturday saying that the seizure of the drone was an “unprecedented” act. He earlier tweeted that the act was “unpresidented.”

Last weekend, Trump tweeted that CNN reports “rediculous” fake news. Hours later, he put out a fresh tweet correcting the spelling to “ridiculous.”

According to the Pentagon, the drone was seized Thursday while collecting unclassified scientific data in the South China Sea.

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9:45 p.m.

President-elect Donald Trump has blasted China’s seizure of a U.S. Navy unmanned underwater glider.

Apparently misspelling “unprecedented,” Trump tweeted Saturday: “China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters – rips it out of water and takes it to China in unpresidented act.”

Last weekend, Trump was criticized on social media for bad spelling in a tweet in which he accused CNN of reporting “rediculous” fake news. Hours later, he put out a fresh tweet correcting the spelling to “ridiculous.”

According to the Pentagon, the drone was seized Thursday while collecting unclassified scientific data in the South China Sea, which China claims virtually in its entirety, about 92 kilometers (57 miles) northwest of Subic Bay near the Philippines.

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9:30 p.m.

A newspaper published by China’s ruling Communist Party is citing a military officer as saying that China and the U.S. are in contact over China’s seizure of a U.S. Navy unmanned underwater glider, and that a “smooth resolution” of the matter is expected.

The Global Times said Saturday that a Chinese navy ship discovered what it described as an “unidentified device” Thursday. The U.S. has said it issued a formal diplomatic complaint over the drone’s seizure and demanded its return.

According to the Pentagon, the drone was seized while collecting unclassified scientific data in the South China Sea, which China claims virtually in its entirety, about 92 kilometers (57 miles) northwest of Subic Bay near the Philippines.

Neither China’s foreign nor defense ministries responded to questions from The Associated Press.

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A Chinese warship picked up and took a U.S. government underwater drone in the South China Sea this last week on Thursday.

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The Drone had been launched from USNS Bowditch, and oceanographic research vessel.

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China-U.S. Drone Incident Reminds Us of The High Stakes Superpower Rivalry

December 17, 2016

While it was the first time the Chinese have seized a US underwater drone, the two sides have a history of South China Sea confrontation

By Victoria Wei
South China Morning Post

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 18 December, 2016, 2:02am
UPDATED : Sunday, 18 December 18, 2016, 2:17am

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While the unprecedented seizure of a US underwater drone by the Chinese navy has escalated Sino-US tensions in the South China Sea, it is not the first high-profile military incident in the region.

On April 1, 2001, a US Navy EP-3E Aries II signals intelligence aircraft and a Chinese J-8 fighter jet collided 110km off the coast of Hainan.

The US plane issued a Mayday distress call before making an emergency landing on the island, leading to the seizure of its 24 crew members along with its intelligence equipment. The Chinese jet, one of two that intercepted the US plane, crashed into the sea, killing the pilot.

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The Pentagon accused the Chinese of aggressively tailing its aircraft while the Chinese protested that the American plane veered in an unusual fashion, causing the collision. The incident triggered a huge outpouring of anti-American sentiment in China. The missing pilot Wang Wei was given a funeral with full military honours.

The incident sparked a major diplomatic upset, even before both country’s presidents, Jiang Zemin and George W. Bush, met for the first time. The US crew were released on April 11.

In 2009, the USNS Impeccable, an oceanographic surveillance ship contracted to the US Navy, was involved in a string of confrontations with Chinese vessels in the South China Sea. The US complained about harassment by Chinese vessels, which it believed was largely due to its potential intelligence gathering of submarine movements around China’s large submarine base on the island.

US President Barack Obama ordered the guided missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon to join the Impeccable on patrol in the South China Sea.

While both sides try to avoid direct clashes by restraining their conduct at sea through miliary dialogue, the US has made no secret of its increased deployment of underwater drones to the South China Sea. US Defence Secretary Ash Carter said in April that the US would spent more than US$8 billion in 2017 on the development of the unmanned underwater surveillance vessels.

Although the US has said the device was only collecting oceanographic data, Anthony Wong Dong, a Macau based military observer, agreed that the highly advanced technology of collecting oceanographic data was essentially to serve nuclear submarines.

“China’s mastery of this kind of technology still lags behind the US. However, China has largely closed the gap, hence the current incident.”

Zhao Xiaozhuo, a senior colonel at China’s Academy of Military Science, said it was not the first time that the US deployed an underwater drone in the South China Sea, but it’s the first time the Chinese military had seized one, and there must be a reason for that. The Chinese must have felt that it threatened China’s national security and damaged its interests.”

“We don’t need to seize it to know what it does,” Zhao said. “The data (collected by the drone) could be useful and suggests that the US may consider the area is potentially strategically important in the future.”

Wang Yiwei, an international relations professor at Renmin University, said China wanted to send the message that it was capable of fending off US activities in the South China Sea.

“The seizure of this drone showed the power of the Chinese military. It is also a signal that we are capable of stopping US military intervention,” he said.

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/2055480/drone-incident-highlights-high-stakes-rivalry-south-china-sea

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In this undated photo released Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016, by China’s Xinhua News Agency, two Chinese Su-30 fighter jets take off from an unspecified location to fly a patrol over the South China Sea. China’s air force announced Saturday that it has conducted a combat air patrol over disputed areas of the South China Sea. Jin Danhua/Xinhua via AP

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On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague said this claim by China (often called the “Nine dash Line”) was not valid and not in accordance with international law…

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Peace and Freedom Commentary

It has become more and more clear to those working close to U.S. President Donald Trump that he knows what he is doing.

Our own personal opinion is this: Donald Trump entered the political arena because he became sick and tired of watching America’s economy and foreign policy “run  by amateurs. ”

Everyone in Asia knows China always insists upon getting whatever it wants. To our knowledge, China is the only nation on earth that doesn’t much believe in negotiations. The current Chinese regime prefers coercion, threats, economic isolation and harassment to the nicer art of diplomacy.

Vietnam, after “thousands of years” of being the Chinese neighbor that is always treated like a lackey, understands this. Many in Japan are now extremely wary of China since it claimed almost complete ownership of the South China Sea — despite a contrary ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague on July 12, 2016.

The arbitration court said China’s South China Sea claims were void and never existed in international law. But China doesn’t care much about international law so they continue occupancy of the South China Sea, they have militarized several spots of coral reef and sand that they do not legally own, and they are in a position to deny Japan and others much of their free trade.

So now Mr. Trump is talking about Taiwan. China has insisted for decades that Taiwan is a renegade Chinese province. But anyone who visits Taiwan will see a function democracy with human rights — things unheard of in China.

Taiwan is a de facto foreign country for China.

Anyone who follows China’s lead on the Taiwan issue is ignoring the knowledge that Taiwan is run quite well by the Taiwanese — and they are not eager to give up their prosperity, democracy and human rights to rejoin the criminal regime in Beijing.

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© Johannes EISELE, AFP | This file photo taken on November 14, 2016 shows a copy of the local Chinese magazine Global People with a cover story that translates to “Why did Trump win” at a news stand in Shanghai

While Mr Kerry was U.S. Secretary of State, the world witnessed an ugly resurgence in the Russian superpower directed by Vladimir Putin. President Obama’s inability to enforce his “red line” in Syria resulted in the largest refugees migration since World War II and the total annihilation of the Syrian rebels (plus the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people).   Turkey has almost disappeared as a potential new member of the EU and now holds a very questionable place in NATO. Erdogan says he wants to join the alliance with China and Russia. Iran has become increasingly belligerent to all of its neighbors and has exported terrorism from Libya, through Syria and eastward to Yemen — all after the Iran nuclear deal. Iran seems on a mission to discredited and destabilize the Saudi government.

U.S. Navy sailors taken prisoner by Iran, January 12, 2016

In Asia, while Mr. Kerry was Secretary of State, the Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand have departed the U.S. sphere of influence and sided with China. China has militarized the South China Sea, breaking a promise the very naive President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry thought they had obtained from China during a Xi Jinping State Visit to the U.S.  North Korea has shown no sign of giving up its nuclear weapon and ballistic missile programs — despite promised efforts from China. Japan is concerned about their security in the face of a “Rising China.” Japan’s Shinzo Abe was the first foreign head of state to go to American to meet President-elect Donald Trump after his election.

Vietnam is in no way pleased with the “Rising China.” When President Obama went to Vietnam — he ate dinner with Anthony Bourdain and not his Vietnamese hosts.

A Chinese Coast Guard vessel (R) passes near the Chinese oil rig, Haiyang Shi You 981 (L) in the South China Sea, about 210 km (130 miles) from the coast of Vietnam June 13, 2014. REUTERS/Nguyen Minh — China’s prolonged presence in Vietnamese waters ultimately led to anti-China rioting in Vietnam.
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