Aggressive sea control isn’t an option for India’s navy

Be assertive close to home. But India should not shrink from distant waters, either. The commissioning ceremony on 10 March for the Indian Navy’s third Scorpene-class submarine “Karanj” Getty An interesting debate has emerged in the pages of The Interpreter involving maritime strategy. Arzan Tarapore wrote an article last month arguing that India should prioritise a sea denial strategy in the Indian Ocean aimed at “reinforcing defensive bulwarks “ that could dissuade China from “launching an attack, or, failing that, [be] thwarted from succeeding”. Two former admirals, James Goldrick and Sudarshan Y Shrikhande, subsequently offered a…

Water Wars: The Quad Squad

The Biden administration continues to focus its diplomatic energy on the Indo-Pacific, hosting a virtual summit for the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (the Quad) and deploying senior officials to Asia to repair regional alliances. Meanwhile, regional disputes over national and international law are driving tensions in the East China Sea and South China Sea. The United States is seeking to work with its allies and partners to confront an increasingly assertive maritime posture from the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Return of the Quad On March 12, the four heads of…

The long lost city of Tamao is hiding in plain sight

In downtown Macau stands a stone statue of a Portuguese explorer. Its size and prominent positioning give the impression that Jorge Álvares is a major figure in the history of this city-state known as the “Vegas of Asia.” In reality, Álvares is such a riddle that his likeness here is based on guesswork and, 500 years after his death, no one can yet pinpoint the location of his greatest achievement—the first European settlement in China. Historians aren’t even sure how he died. What they do believe is his death occurred…

Quad no grand solution to China challenge : The Tribune India

Parsa Venkateshwar Rao Jr Senior Journalist The first formal and virtual summit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, United States President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, marking the beginning of the Quadrilateral — Quad, for short — on March 12 has its share of historical irony for India and the US. Fifty years ago, in 1971, the US was reaching out to China through Pakistan. In August of the same year, India signed a friendship treaty with the Soviet Union…

Warships sent to South China Sea as Beijing builds world’s largest navy

European nations are sending warships into the Pacific as suspicion grows over Beijing’s motives for building the world’s largest navy. At this week’s Two Sessions national assembly of the Chinese Communist Party, Chairman Xi Jinping reasserted his desire to built a world-beating fleet. “Our country’s current security situation is largely unstable and uncertain,” Xi told the assembled delegates. Defence Minister General Wei Fenghe added to the drumbeat, declaring China had “entered a high-risk phase”. Which may be a response to Europe suddenly reviving its interest in the Indo-Pacific. “European countries…

China’s next aircraft carrier likely nuclear powered, says report | South China Sea News

China is building its fourth aircraft carrier as it seeks to boost its naval power in the Asia-Pacific region, and the vessel is “likely to be nuclear powered”, a new report revealed on Saturday, citing sources close to the country’s military. The South China Morning Post quoted a person close to the Chinese navy as saying that shipbuilders “are keen on making a significant breakthrough” with the construction of the fourth carrier. “It will be a technological leap for the shipbuilding industry,” the source told the Post. Another unnamed source…

Philippines: Amid South China Sea Dispute, Palawan Besieged By Political Divide – Analysis

 By Criselda Yabes and Leilani Chavez* Palawan is an outlier in the Philippine archipelago, its topography and habitat closer to that of Borneo than the rest of the country’s major islands. This so-called last ecological frontier is under siege on two fronts: internally, politicians want the island carved up into smaller administrative regions; externally, it stands as a buffer against threats from a superpower across the sea. On March 13, half a million of Palawan’s population will vote in a plebiscite calling to split up the island into three provinces…

Despite transatlantic ‘love fest’, EU charts third way in ties with US and China

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken‘s first videoconference with European Union foreign ministers last month was so good humoured that some diplomats in Europe described it as a “love fest”. But two senior envoys who attended said there was no direct response from the ministers gathered in Brussels when Blinken said: “We must push back on China together and show strength in unity.” Their reticence is partly due to an unwillingness to commit to anything until Washington spells out more fully its China policy under President Joe Biden. But the…

How U.S.-China War in the South China Sea Could Start in 2034

In the year 2034, U.S. naval destroyers enter the waters of the South China Sea, where they eventually encounter a heavily armed Chinese vessel.  Apparently, it all goes downhill from there. Relentless cyberattacks put a stranglehold on the United States’ ability for strategic action, and the devastating sea battles lead to thousands of lives lost on both sides. That’s the lethal scenario imagined in the recently published 2034: A Novel of the Next World War, which was co-authored by combat veteran Elliot Ackerman and Adm. James Stavridis, a former supreme…