From Ladakh To South China Sea, US Deploys Its ‘Most Lethal’ Armed Drone To Check Chinese Machoism

As tensions between India and China escalate in the Ladakh region and Beijing’s hostile military drills in the South China Sea infuriating both the US and Taiwan, Pentagon is set to deploy its most advanced armed drones in the conflicted regions. Pakistani Soldiers Fighting Along Side Azerbaijani & Turkish Troops Against Armenia: Reports To start with, India has decided to buy MQ-9B Sky Guardian drone from the US. New Delhi has further decided to upgrade the Israeli Heron fleet with satellite communication capability enhancing its range and surveillance capabilities, reported…

As we begin the second ‘ber’ month today

Today is the start of the last quarter of the year. Government economists and business managers generally expect improved figures in these final three months, making up for any losses in the middle of the year, so that the year-end figures stand out, reflecting progress in the national economy or in the business enterprise. To most Filipinos, however, today is better known as the start of the second “ber” month. Filipinos cherish the Christmas season so much that they celebrate it longer than other people, starting in September when we…

Rough Waters Ahead for Vietnam-China Relations

Introduction Vietnam’s relationship with China is complex and often troubled. Hanoi and Beijing have long issued diplomatic statements hailing their ideological solidarity and similar systems of government, but these shows of goodwill often have been undercut by maritime territorial disputes, security concerns, and geopolitical competition. As the Chinese government has grown more assertive and pushed the envelope in its dealings with Vietnam, Hanoi has performed a delicate balancing act with very little margin for error. Even as the Vietnamese government has kept diplomatic channels with Beijing open, it has also…

South China Sea news: US deploys deadly hunter drones as Beijing intensifies war drills | World | News

Pentagon officials said hunter-killer MQ-9 Reapers, which have so far been used to battle insurgents in Iraq, Afghanistan and Africa, are now being reprogrammed for maritime operations in southeast Asia. Beijing said it had lodged “stern representations” with the US. An MQ-9 Reaper was used earlier this year in the killing of top Iranian commander Major General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad last January. Analysts said the deadly drone had a 40-hour endurance with a maximum altitude of 40,000 feet. Its payload capacity, including air to surface missile and laser-guided bombs,…

No sabotage motive in suspending budget debates-Defensor

Suspending the plenary consideration of the P4.506-trillion national budget for 2021 is in no way an act to sabotage its passage, according to Anakalusugan Party-List Rep. Mike Defensor. Anakalusugan Party-List Rep. Mike Defensor (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) “This is not to stop or hindi naman po ito para i-sabotahe ang mga pagtatapos ng Committee on Appropriations (This is not to sabotage the work of the Committee on Appropriations),” Defensor said Wednesday afternoon as he justified his motion pertaining to House Bill (HB) No.7727. “Bagkus, I would think na sana ho…

Navy conducts show of air power in the Indo-Pacific, another message to China

U.S. Navy aircraft and ships with the Reagan Carrier Strike Group conducted an air power demonstration over the Philippine Sea Tuesday that came hard on the heels of a war of words between Washington and Beijing. The demo conducted by the Reagan CSG and its embarked Carrier Air Wing 5, featured formation flybys, high-speed aerial turns, rocket shoots and a 5-inch gun shoot from guided-missile cruiser Antietam, according to the Reagan CSG’s Facebook page. An F/A-18E Super Hornet attached to the Eagles of Strike Fighter Squadron 115 breaks the sound…

Duterte’s UN speech opens more discussions with South China Sea stakeholders

Duterte’s UN speech opens more discussions with South China Sea stakeholders MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte’s speech before the United Nations General Assembly has opened more discussions with all stakeholders of the South China Sea row, an official said Wednesday. Presidential assistant for foreign affairs and protocol chief Robert Borje said Duterte was “signaling that the doors of engagement (are) becoming wider now, not just with China but with other stakeholders in the South China Sea.” “The intended outcome of the president’s speech is to signal the call…

COA calls out DOST for scrimping on climate change budget

State auditors have called the attention of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) against scrimping on the P9.98 billion granted by the government to finance the Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation projects, saying that underspending might “hinder the country’s resilience to calamities.” The Commission on Audit (COA) disclosed that out of the P9.98 billion funding for grants-in-aid (GIA) projects from 2016 to 2019, only P2.38  billion or about 24 percent went to DRRCCA projects which is not in line with the Special Provisions of the General Appropriations…

Duterte’s China gambit fails to deliver the goods

MANILA – When will Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s China-friendly foreign policy start to pay dividends? It’s a question making the rounds in Manila these days as Beijing’s promised bounty of infrastructure investments, energy deals and financial aid persistently fail to arrive. Upon winning power in mid-2016, Duterte took a notably softer stance on maritime disputes with China in the South China Sea, presumably in exchange for deeper commercial and financial ties. But nearly four years since China’s initial pledge of US$24 billion in investments, not a single big-ticket infrastructure project has…