Displaying items by tag: South China Sea

Thursday, 13 October 2022 20:18

USA / Philippines / Japan: military drills

2,500 US stealth fighters and Philippine marines have blasted imaginary enemies in combat drills, mock amphibious assaults, and other coastal tactics. These drills were the first joint large-scale military exercise under the newly elected president. His predecessor was an outspoken critic who threatened to cut ties with Washington and was against military exercises which could offend Beijing. Held simultaneously with these drills were exercises between US and Japanese forces around Hokkaido island, involving 3,000 military personnel. The USA said the drills ensured that it was ‘prepared to respond rapidly to crises throughout the Indo-Pacific’. Japan’s Ground Self-Defence Force said they would strengthen response capabilities. These drills came as Washington and Beijing engage in heated rhetoric over the status of Taiwan and claims to islands and waters in the South China Sea. See the next article, Taiwan billionaire.

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 12 August 2022 10:27

China / Taiwan: military drills and threats

China sees the self-ruled island of Taiwan as a part of its territory and insists it be unified with them, by force if necessary. Taiwan has its own constitution, democratically elected leaders, and 300,000 troops; also, the USA is available to provide it with the means to defend itself. After Beijing recently conducted air and sea military drills with live ammunition around Taiwan, the US accused it of ‘provocative’ actions. Taiwan said China is using military exercises to disrupt regional stability, and responded by launching a two-day exercise, simulating a Chinese invasion, to show it is ready to defend the island from any attack. China is signalling to Taiwan that it is ready to invade, while Taipei is telling China ‘You can hurt us, but we will also hurt you.’ Beijing’s extended drills are disrupting air travel and trade in the Taiwan Strait, one of the world's busiest waterways. The aggression could spill into the South China Sea, where many countries which rely on China economically would have to contend with a more geopolitically belligerent Beijing.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 25 March 2021 20:40

South China Sea: fake fishing fleet

On 22 March the Philippines demanded China withdraw its massive ‘fishing fleet’, controlled by its navy, from waters that Manila has exclusive economic rights over. These boats have been nicknamed ‘little blue men’ because their role is similar to Putin's famous ‘little green men’ (Russian soldiers without official insignia who invaded eastern Ukraine on behalf of Moscow in 2014). For the Chinese navy to masquerade as fisherfolk is nothing new. But this time the sheer scale of the flotilla, a whopping 220 vessels, totally outnumbers the ill-equipped Philippine navy, coastguards, and local fishing boats which have long complained of China chasing them out of their own waters. As China's power rises, so too has Beijing's determination to dominate the South China Sea despite American intervention in the past, and the Philippines’ attempts to prevent illegal control.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 01 October 2020 20:34

South China Sea: US actions alarm China

Patches on US uniforms made for military exercises off California’s coast showed an MQ-9 Reaper drone superimposed over a red silhouette of China. Throughout September the US has staged simulated island assault exercises featuring this red silhouette in what China described as a provocative gesture, saying China would fight back if the US attacked them in the South China Sea. US-based Air Force magazine reported that the military training suggested the air force was focusing more on the Pacific region. The drills deployed the Navy’s carrier strike groups, submarines and other vessels and aircraft to the eastern Pacific, plus transport aircraft and special warfare and marine corps personnel. The squadron commander said, ‘It’s a demonstration of our capability to rapidly move the MQ-9 anywhere in the world and then get out, showing its operational reach capabilities.’

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 16 July 2020 21:13

South China Sea dispute

Six Asian countries have competing claims on the South China Sea, but only China has backed its claims with artificial island-building, military bases and naval patrols. The USA has not taken sides in the territorial dispute, but sends military ships and planes near disputed islands, for ‘freedom of navigation’ operations to help key shipping and air routes. Both countries have accused each other of ‘militarising’ the area, and have long been at odds over maritime freedom. US secretary of state Mike Pompeo has now called China's pursuit of offshore resources ‘completely unlawful’, condemning Beijing's ‘campaign of bullying to control’ disputed waters that are potentially energy-rich with reserves of natural resources around them in a shipping route and major fishing ground. There are fears that the area is becoming a flashpoint, with potentially serious global consequences of a military response. See https://www.foxnews.com/world/china-accuses-us-confrontation-south-china-sea

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