U.S. Military’s ‘Maximum Pressure’ in South China Sea ‘Unprecedented’: Beijing Think Tank

The U.S. military exerted “maximum pressure” in the South China Sea last year thanks to “unprecedented” Navy and Air Force deployments to the area, a Chinese think tank has said in its latest report. Strategic weapons platforms including carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups were present in the contested waters for more days than any period in recent memory, the South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative (SCSPI) said Friday. “The intensity, in terms of the scale, number and duration, of the U.S. military activities in the region in…

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…

South China Sea: ‘Real and increasing’ risk US and Beijing will ‘stumble into war’ | World | News

Beijing has claimed a large part of the South China Sea as its own which has triggered territorial disputes. The US heavily opposes China’s maritime sovereignty claims and on several occasions has sent its own warships to the disputed waters to promote “freedom of the seas”. Writing for Time Magazine, experts James Stavridis and Elliot Ackerman explained how the ongoing tensions between the two superpowers runs the risk of breaking out into war. They wrote: “The two nations are significantly at odds over the status of the South China Sea, which…

China news: Beijing unveils destroyer branded one of world’s ‘most powerful warships’ | World | News

Increasing its naval arsenal, China unveiled the second Type 055 large destroyer, claimed to be one of the largest in the world by the state-run media. Praising the arrival of the new vessel, the state-run Global Times, which acts as a mouthpiece for Xi Jinping, reported the vessel will safeguard China’s sovereignty abroad. The newspaper said: “The commissioning of the Type 055 guided-missile destroyers, considered some of the most powerful warships in the world, marks the strategic development transformation of the PLA Navy, and will enable the service to better…

US warships threaten to erupt South China Sea tensions with drills after Beijing warning | World | News

The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group and the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group conducted a joint naval exercise close to the Chinese-controlled islands on Tuesday. The US navy said the vessels “conducted a multitude of exercises aimed at increasing interoperability between assets as well as command and control capabilities”. The mission was the first dual-carrier operation to take place in the South China Sea since last July. The presence of US forces in the contested waters also comes just days after the USS John S McCain destroyer sailed near to the Paracel…

Beijing, Taipei, and Washington in the Indo-Pacific

Few areas of contemporary grand strategy command as much attention as U.S.-China relations. Recently, Beijing and Washington’s fragmenting relations have aroused a multitude of concerns from countries in the Indo-Pacific sphere. As both powers seek to gain influence in this region, analysts question how (or if) both powers can come to a reconciliation that allows third-party countries to maintain agency amidst great-power competition. But transparently, perhaps these countries’ trepidation is warranted, especially considering Beijing’s unrelenting pursuit of authority in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Straits. Moreover, cross-strait tensions…

South China Sea: Major US boost for furious Philippines amid ‘unlawful’ Beijing move | World | News

South China Sea: Military exercises ‘must continue’ says expert Countries including the Philippines and Brunei, have seen their fishing industries decimated as a result of restrictions placed on the highly valuable South China Sea. China lays claim to around 80 percent of the seas, and puts pressure on neighbouring countries on the areas they are allowed to fish in, while simultaneously threatening others that enter their territory. This had led to dwindling numbers of fish being caught, as well as fierce competition between rival nations, leading to unrest. US Secretary…

South China Sea: US warned Beijing of ‘major military breakthrough’ in bid to secure area | World | News

The US and Beijing have been embroiled in a war of words over the South China Sea for years, and more recently major fears of conflict over the area, dubbed the most expensive waters in the world, have arisen. Should conflict occur, the US says it will be ready as it begins to use drones to work alongside unmanned technology to help its combat scenarios from 2021. The importance of its inclusion was raised by Rear Admiral Robert Gaucher, a director of maritime headquarters with US Pacific Fleet. He said:…

China news: Beijing blasts Australia ‘warhound of US’ as tensions escalate | World | News

Australia and China have traded sharp words in recent months on a number of issues, including trade and human rights. Australia joined dozens of nations in condemning China’s human rights abuses of Uighur Muslims earlier this year and has also rejected China’s maritime claims in the South China Sea. Meanwhile China recently slapped huge tariffs on Australian wine imports and has spoken out about a report linking Australian soldiers to civilian murders in Afghanistan. The state-run Global Times newspaper recently referred to Australia as a “savage accomplice of US suppression…

Japan Inc readies for face off with Beijing offshore Vietnam

A pair of oil and gas fields controlled by Japanese companies offshore Vietnam could become a potential flash point in the disputed waters of the South China Sea as Beijing continually seeks to aggressively assert its claims. Japan’s Idemitsu and Inpex, in partnership with Vietnam’s national oil company, PetroVietnam, operate the two fields, Sao Vang and Dai Nguyet. The fields, in Block 05-01, straddle China’s sweeping claim to most of the South China Sea via its U-shaped ‘nine-dash line’, which is not recognised by its neighbors or internationally by The…