Tensions rise in Persian Gulf over oil shipments

United States President Donald Trump leaves office in three weeks. Anything could happen before then. Stakeholders are taking positions around the strategically-important Strait of Hormuz, the only sea passage for crude oil shipped from the Persian Gulf to the open ocean. In 2018, some 21 million barrels per day (bpd), or almost 20 per cent of the total global crude consumption, passed through it. Sandwiched between Oman and Iran, the strait is also one of the world’s most strategic chokepoints. Just 34 km wide at its narrowest point, the shipping…

China sends second ship to trial amid rising tensions in South China Sea

China’s navy has started trials on its second trademark warship as tensions between the Communist nation and the US continue to rise in the fiercely contested South China Sea. The People’s Liberation Army has ordered a total of eight Type 075 assault ships, which are capable of carrying 30 attack helicopters and 900 troops, according to a Newsweek report. On Tuesday, a second Type 075 was seen departing the Hudong Zhonghua Shipyard in Shanghai, just four months after the maiden voyage of the first vessel. State-owned media have bragged about…

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…

China slaps 200% tax on Australia wine amid tensions

BEIJING (AP) — China on Friday added wine to the growing list of Australian goods barred from its markets in a trade war against Australia over disputes including its support for a probe into the origin of the coronavirus. The Ministry of Commerce imposed import taxes of up to 212.1 percent, effective Saturday, which Australia’s trade minister said make Australian wine unsellable in China, his country’s biggest export market. China increasingly is using its populous market as leverage to extract political concessions and increase its strategic influence. Earlier, China stopped…

China tensions with US explode as Washington ‘sends warning’ by shooting down mock missile | World | News

On Tuesday, the US shot down a mock ICBM over the Pacific Ocean after reports of Chinese missiles successfully hitting a moving shop in the disputed South China Sea surfaced. But military experts have said Washington sent a clear warning to Beijing after shooting down the mock war weapon. Beijing-based military expert Zhou Chenming said: “[It wanted to show its] Asian allies that Washington is still able to protect them. “The SM-3 Block IIA interceptor test could be seen as a response to China launching two ‘aircraft carrier killer’ missiles…

Amid China Tensions, Malaysia, Philippines and Vietnam Pin Hopes on Biden | Voice of America

TAIPEI, TAIWAN – Projected U.S. president-elect Joe Biden will energize Southeast Asian countries that spar with the more powerful China over the disputed South China Sea by siding with them without inviting armed conflict, analysts believe. These analysts are looking to the record of former U.S. president Barack Obama’s administration – in which Biden served as vice president – for clues to what Biden might do in the region. Obama pursued what his government described as a “pivot to Asia” from 2011 as the region became more vital to U.S. economic interests.…

Rising tensions with China – The Observer

Why renouncing Article 9 of Japan’s Constitution might be what the US needs Dane Mizuno, Contributing ColumnistNovember 13, 2020 Early last month, the United States’ highest diplomat, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, made his first visit in over a year to arguably one of the United States’ closest allies, Japan. His visit to the island nation comes at a time when geopolitical tensions with China are at an all-time high due to China’s attempts to grow their sphere of influence. The Trump administration’s solution to China’s growing power has been…

US-China tensions could get worse before the dust settles on presidential election, observers say

HONG KONG, Nov 8 (SCMP): With the battle for the US presidency likely to rage on for some time, regardless of the official result, observers say there could be a spike in tensions between the US and China on thorny issues like Taiwan and the South China Sea before the inauguration ceremony in January. Wu Xinbo, director of the Centre for American Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai, said the Donald Trump administration was likely to continue to confront China on political, diplomatic and economic issues. That might include labelling…

As tensions simmer, Pacific Air Forces leaders say troops must be ready for conflict with China – Pacific

As tensions simmer, Pacific Air Forces leaders say troops must be ready for conflict with China YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — U.S. troops must be ready for conflict with China as tensions between the two nations simmer, Pacific Air Forces’ leaders said Friday during a Facebook Live video call to airmen in Japan. Beijing, with its “maligned and coercive activity that’s frequently not in accordance with international law,” is the greatest challenge facing the region, PACAF commander Gen. Kenneth Wilsbach said on the call. “We’ve got to…

South China Sea news: Super Typhoon on track to hit disputed waters as tensions escalate | World | News

The Indonesian Meteorology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) warned residents to brace for the incoming thunderstorms. The South China Sea region has been subject to territorial disputes and conflict for years. Dr Herizal, BMKG’s deputy for climatology, said Indonesia could be hit with strong winds and thunderstorms in the coming days. He warned that the typhoon has developed into a Category 5 tropical cyclone, which is the highest classification on the scale. According to the Jakarta Post, on Monday Dr Herizal said: “Typhoon Goni, which has developed into a Category 5 tropical…