Category Archives: Asia

1914 Redux? Growing Asia-Pacific Tensions Demand New US Strategy « Breaking Defense

In this timely op-ed, Maj. Paul Smith, who works in the J-9 of U.S. Pacific Command but is, of course, writing in a personal capacity, compares today’s international security situation to that preceding World War I and sees worrying parallels. He calls for a reassessment of our strategy toward China. Read on. The Editor.

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The global environment today eerily resembles that of Europe in the early twentieth century, when a rising tide of nationalism swept through the continent. That nationalism led to increased trade competition, networks of intertwined and complicated alliances and social and political ferment that sparked a war that eventually spread to engulf much of the world in the flames of World War I.

Are we headed towards another global conflict? If so, then where? Most importantly, can this crisis be averted?

1914 Redux? Growing Asia-Pacific Tensions Demand New US Strategy « Breaking Defense

Japan Is Becoming Player in South China Sea Sovereignty Dispute

Japan is building up its influence in the South China Sea, the most widely contested body of water in Asia, to curb Chinese expansion and garner support for its broader military as well as economic interests.

In May, Japan will send its Izumo helicopter-carrying warship to the South China Sea for three months of port visits in Southeast Asia before directing it onward to the Indian Ocean for drills with the United States, according to the U.S. Naval Institute’s news website.

“You see this warship more as a multipurpose platform,” said Collin Koh, maritime security research fellow at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. “It can do humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. It can do anti-submarine warfare, so a few signals Japan wants to send via this deployment.”

Japan Is Becoming Player in South China Sea Sovereignty Dispute

Asia military balance China Koreas Japan US – CNN.com

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson begins a series of meetings in Asia this week with the region in a military turmoil.

North Korean missiles streaking toward Japan.

US anti-missile batteries arriving in South Korea.

China’s foreign minister fearing a massive military confrontation is about to happen.

China’s state news agency openly speculating Asia is on the verge of a nuclear arms race, the likes of which has not been seen since the Cold War.

Each one of these things alone would be enough to destabilize the status quo.

Taken together, they have placed tensions in North Asia on a knife’s edge.

Asia military balance China Koreas Japan US – CNN.com

Asia’s Promise Gives Way to Its Growing List of Troubles – WSJ

“If these four worries weren’t bad enough, they pale in comparison with the most profound obstacle to Asia’s continued rise: the risk of war.”

Riddled with economic, political and security woes, today’s Asia is more likely to produce instability and conflict than the freedom and prosperity many once hoped for

But this impressive ascent [of China] has not reconfigured world affairs, and it is unlikely to. The more important Asia has become on the global stage, the more glaring have its flaws become. The region is deeply fractured, threatened by economic stagnation, political upheaval and flashpoints that could trigger new wars. And in our more integrated global society, its troubles could quickly become everyone else’s. Much of the world’s attention in the coming decades will be devoted not just to accommodating Asia’s growing power but to managing and mitigating its many serious problems.

If these four worries weren’t bad enough, they pale in comparison with the most profound obstacle to Asia’s continued rise: the risk of war. Increasingly, the region is regressing to a 19th-century brand of power politics in which might makes right. Such realpolitik is hardly reassuring in a neighborhood that includes five nuclear-armed powers: China, India, North Korea, Pakistan and Russia.

 

Asia’s Promise Gives Way to Its Growing List of Troubles – WSJ

U.S. Navy Planning More ‘Freedom of Navigation’ Operations in South China Sea – Breitbart

The plan would see U.S. warships conducting more “Freedom of Navigation Operations,” or FONOPs, within 12 nautical miles of the islands.

The U.S. Navy routinely conducts FONOPs in waters considered to be part of the international domain which would otherwise be claimed by some countries to be within their territorial waters, or a 12-nautical mile distance from their shores.

The plan has already been approved by U.S. Pacific Command, led by Adm. Harry Harris. If approved by Mattis, it will next go to the National Security Council, and then to the president, the official told Breitbart News.

The San Diego-based USS Carl Vinson strike group is in the Pacific Ocean on its way to the East Asian region. It left U.S. Naval Base Guam on Monday after a several-day visit.

U.S. Navy Planning More ‘Freedom of Navigation’ Operations in South China Sea – Breitbart

China warns U.S. against fresh naval patrols in South China Sea | Reuters

China’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday warned Washington against challenging its sovereignty, responding to reports the United States was planning fresh naval patrols in the disputed South China Sea.

On Sunday, the Navy Times reported that U.S. Navy and Pacific Command leaders were considering freedom of navigation patrols in the busy waterway by the San Diego-based Carl Vinson carrier strike group, citing unnamed defense officials.

China warns U.S. against fresh naval patrols in South China Sea | Reuters

Don’t Be Fooled: We Are Getting Tougher With China

However, in private multiple sources told the paper Mattis said the U.S pledged

to take an active role in protecting freedom of navigation, suggesting a more aggressive stance than the previous administration in an effort to restrain military buildup. Specifically, the U.S. is set to increase the frequency of patrols within 12 nautical miles of man-made islands China has constructed in the sea.

In other words, Trump’s “One China” comments might just be a carrot while the new administration promises the big stick of U.S. naval power in a way far more active than what President Barack Obama originally set forth.

Don’t Be Fooled: We Are Getting Tougher With China

Manila Predicts Beijing Will Build Base On Scarborough Shoal

This week the Philippine defense secretary predicted China would start building an artificial island on the bones of Scarborough Shoal.

If unopposed, China would likely attempt to build an installation like the several bases Beijing has constructed in the Spratly Island chain to the south of Scarborough, Delfin Lorenzana said in a Tuesday interview with AFP.

“If we allow them, they will build,” he told the wire.
“That’s very, very disturbing. Very much (more) disturbing than Fiery Cross because this is so close to us.”

Manila Predicts Beijing Will Build Base On Scarborough Shoal

US, Chinese Aircraft in ‘Unsafe’ Encounter Over S. China Sea – The New York Times

A Chinese early warning aircraft and U.S. Navy patrol plane had an “unsafe” encounter over the South China Sea this week, the U.S. Pacific Command said Friday, in the first such incident known to have taken place under President Donald Trump’s administration.

The interaction between a Chinese KJ-200 and a U.S. Navy P-3C plane took place on Wednesday in international airspace, Pacific Command spokesman Robert Shuford said. He did not say what was unsafe about the encounter, although the term usually implies planes flying too close to one another.

US, Chinese Aircraft in ‘Unsafe’ Encounter Over S. China Sea – The New York Times

China ‘beefing up military’ on disputed islands in the South China Sea, says US think tank | South China Morning Post

Satellite images suggest China has upgraded military infrastructure in northern areas of the South China Sea around the disputed Paracel Islands, according to a US think tank.

The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington said on Wednesday that China now occupies 20 outposts in the Paracels and there has been an extensive military buildup on eight islands.

China ‘beefing up military’ on disputed islands in the South China Sea, says US think tank | South China Morning Post