Fanell, in comments that went largely unnoticed outside the small circle of China military specialists, spelled out in rare detail the reasons the United States is shifting 60 percent of its naval assets — including its most advanced capabilities — to the Pacific. He was blunt: The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy is focused on war, and it is expanding into the “blue waters” explicitly to counter the U.S. Pacific Fleet. “I can tell you, as the fleet intelligence officer, the PLA Navy is going to sea to learn how to do naval warfare,” he said. “My assessment is the PLA Navy has become a very capable fighting force.”
Some were shocked to hear the extent and intensity of China’s carefully orchestrated maritime provocations, especially coming from an officer whose job may make him more of an expert on Beijing’s naval maneuverings than anyone outside China. Others wondered whether the Pacific Fleet was simply playing the Washington game, perhaps lobbying for a greater share of the U.S. military budget or wider authority to act by magnifying the threat.
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The Philippines on Friday accused Beijing of engaging in the “de facto occupation” of a disputed shoal in the South China Sea, following a face-off that began last year.
Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said three Chinese government ships remained in the vicinity of the Scarborough Shoal, scaring off local fishermen.
“The Chinese have tried to establish a de facto occupation,” he told reporters.
The Philippines says the shoal is well within its 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone, as recognised by international law.
“I think we’re in a period of prolonged provocation” with North Korea, a condition that began when Kim Jong-un took over as leader of the military dictatorship from his father in late 2011.
“What that means is, I think, that the risk of miscalculation is higher, and I think the risk of escalation is higher,” Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during a visit to Beijing this week, where Pentagon officials have sought China’s help in convincing Mr. Kim to ratchet down his confrontational rhetoric.
Beijing’s moves along the disputed border are aimed at achieving India’s strategic encirclement
… This time around, the Chinese forces are unlikely to withdraw because as a risen power, the occupation is a well-crafted act of an unfolding grand strategy.
According to the Chinese, they are technically correct in insisting that the present occupation does not transgress the Line of Actual Control (LAC). This is not all. India, according to China, has done more transgressions into the Eastern sector than the other way round. China further says that it has refrained from making noises because it wants good neighbourly relations, but it will act in self-defence if the need arises.
India, on the other hand, says that differing perceptions about the LAC are responsible for numerous transgressions as well as the present stand-off in the Western sector. Meanwhile, treating it as a military matter, the Indian army has reportedly pitched its own tents facing the Chinese. What is the truth in this game?
China’s top general said Monday that a fourth North Korean nuclear weapons test is a possibility that underscores the need for fresh talks between Pyongyang and other regional parties.
Chief of the General Staff Gen. Fang Fenghui said Beijing firmly opposes the North’s nuclear weapons program and wants to work with others on negotiations to end it. He said Beijing’s preference is for a return to long-stalled disarmament talks involving the two Koreas, China, Russia, Japan and the U.S.
INTERPRETING any country’s pronouncements about its nuclear weapons can be a study in fine distinctions, but occasionally a state says — or fails to say — something in a clear break from the past. A Chinese white paper on defense, released on Tuesday, falls into this category and now demands our attention, because it omits a promise that China will never use nuclear weapons first.
That explicit pledge had been the cornerstone of Beijing’s stated nuclear policy for the last half-century. The white paper, however, introduces ambiguity. It endorses the use of nuclear weapons in response to a nuclear attack but does not rule out other uses.
You weren’t really dumb enough to believe China’s no first use pledge, were you?
North Asia looks like the world’s most volatile region at the moment. An assertive China is working to push America aside, grab territory from an arc of nations from India in the south to South Korea in the north, and close off the South China Sea so that it becomes an internal Chinese lake. Last month, while Chinese leaders talked about enhancing cooperation in the region, two Chinese vessels attacked a Vietnamese fishing boat, setting it on fire.
There are many reasons for Beijing new assertiveness, but one stands out: slowing GDP growth, evident since the early summer of 2011. The economic problems in particular have created a dangerous dynamic, trapping China in a self-reinforcing—and self-defeating—loop. In this loop, the slumping economy is leading to a crisis of legitimacy, the legitimacy crisis is causing Beijing to fall back on nationalism and increase friction with its neighbors, and the increased friction is aggravating the country’s economic difficulties.
The short answer is yes there is an alliance brewing. There are issues between the countries that could limit this alliance.
Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin’s recent summit drew wide international attention. Are we witnessing the dawn of a new alliance?
If Moscow and Beijing are able to consummate the major deals begun at the summit we are likely witnessing the start of a more robust Sino-Russian relationship. On the other hand, as we have seen in the recent past, historical suspicions, mutual mistrust, and divergent strategic interests may once again prevent the development of a deeper and more coordinated Sino-Russian relationship.
Washington is looking to China to rein in the North Koreans. Unfortunately, Beijing has been busy giving the Kim regime the means to rock the world. The weapon at the heart of this story is called the KN-08 — an intermediate-range ballistic missile that Pyongyang could not launch without Beijing’s direct assistance.
The KN-08, however, is a different story. It sits on a large vehicle that can hide and shoot, ruling out the possibility of reliably destroying launchers before they unleash their missiles.
And guess what? It is China that recently transferred to North Korea those mobile launchers, a clear violation of UN Security Council sanctions. Ted Parsons of IHS Jane’s Defense Weekly, a leading analyst of the industry, said the sale of the launchers for the KN-08 “would require approval from the highest levels of the Chinese government and the People’s Liberation Army,” and that conclusion is surely correct given China’s top-down system.
Beijing’s transfer of the equipment, which Pyongyang showed off in its April 15 military parade last year, is an indication that — China’s public statements to the contrary — the Chinese are not trying to restrain North Korea.