Escalating Threats and Military Tensions

If China is seeking a reset of relations with the Biden administration, it has a strange way of showing it. Instead of backing off from some of its more menacing behavior, Beijing is doubling down. Not only is the Chinese military buzzing Taiwan with 13 fighters and bombers, but Beijing has taken dangerous steps to escalate tensions in the South and East China Seas. Little noticed in Washington, Beijing last week greeted the new U.S. administration with a dubious and unprecedented new law that throws a monkey wrench into U.S.-Chinese…

Philippines files protest over China’s new coastguard laws in South China Sea

The Philippines Foreign Minister said a diplomatic protest had been filed over China’s passing of a law allowing its coastguard to open fire on foreign vessels, describing it as a “threat of war”. Key points: The Phillipines said the law was “a verbal threat of war” The law permits China’s coastguard to use “all necessary means” against foreign ships China has competing territorial claims with its neighbours in the South China Sea China passed legislation on Friday allowing its coastguard to use “all necessary means” to stop or prevent threats…

China defends land reclamation in South China Sea

BEIJING — Defying a U.S. call to halt the project, China defended its land reclamation in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea on Monday, saying the work is for public service use, although a London-based security group says the new island could host a military airfield to intimidate neighbors. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the construction on some reefs in the archipelago was to enable Chinese citizens working there to “better perform international obligations in terms of search, rescue and other public services.” In a recent…