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Wed, 22nd February 2017

Anirudh Sethi Report

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Archives of “east china sea” Tag

China Shows Off Aircraft Carrier Drills, To Sail Into Contested South China Sea

China’s military said on Saturday that its first aircraft carrier group conducted a series of previously unannounced fighter launch, recovery and air combat exercises in the Yellow Sea ahead of a scheduled voyage farther afield. China Radio Intl, citing military sources, said that a naval formation consisting of China’s first, and so far only, aircraft carrier Liaoning, several destroyers and frigates was on training and testing missions last week. The activities also involved several J-15 carrier-borne fighter jets and helicopters.

A J-15 carrier-borne fighter jet is landing on aircraft carrier Liaoning during a
training mission in the Yellow Sea on December 23, 2016. [Photo: Navy.81.cn]

China “Shocked” By Navarro Appointment, As Trump Team Proposes 10% Import Tariff

As the FT first reported yesetrday, in a dramatic development for Sino-US relations, Trump picked Peter Navarro, a Harvard-trained economist and one-time daytrader, to head the National Trade Council, an organization within the White House to oversee industrial policy and promote manufacturing. Navarro, a hardcore China hawk, is the author of books such as “Death by China” and “Crouching Tiger: What China’s Militarism Means for the World” has for years warned that the US is engaged in an economic war with China and should adopt a more aggressive stance, a message that the president-elect sold to voters across the US during his campaign.

 

In the aftermath of Navarro’s appointment, many were curious to see what China’s reaction would be, and according to the FT, Beijin’s response has been nothing short of “shocked.” To wit:

 The appointment of Peter Navarro, a campaign adviser, to a formal White House post shocked Chinese officials and scholars who had hoped that Mr Trump would tone down his anti-Beijing rhetoric after assuming office.

“Chinese officials had hoped that, as a businessman, Trump would be open to negotiating deals,” said Zhu Ning, a finance professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing. “But they have been surprised by his decision to appoint such a hawk to a key post.”

China will give back seized drone, criticises U.S. “hyping up” the issue

China’s Defence Ministry said on Saturday it had been in talks with the United States about returning an underwater drone taken by a Chinese naval vessel in the South China Sea, but the U.S. was not helping by “hyping up” the issue.

The drone was taken on Thursday, the first seizure of its kind in recent memory, about 50 nautical miles northwest of Subic Bay off the Philippines, just as the USNS Bowditch was about to retrieve the unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV), U.S. officials said.

The Defence Ministry said a Chinese naval vessel discovered a piece of “unidentified equipment” and checked it to prevent any navigational safety issues, before discovering it was a U.S. drone.

“China decided to return it to the U.S. side in an appropriate manner, and China and the U.S. have all along been in communication about it,” the ministry said on its website.

“During this process, the U.S. side’s unilateral and open hyping up is inappropriate, and is not beneficial to the smooth resolution of this issue. We express regret at this,” it added.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump weighed in to the row on Saturday, tweeting: “China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters – rips it out of water and takes it to China in unprecedented act.”

Without directly saying whether the drone was operating in waters China considers its own, the ministry said U.S. ships and aircraft have for a long period been carrying out surveillance and surveys in “the presence” of Chinese waters.

“China is resolutely opposed to this, and demands the U.S. stops this kind of activity,” it said.

China will remain on alert for these sorts of activities and take necessary steps to deal with them, the ministry said without elaborating.

Earlier, the Global Times, published by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily, cited an unidentified Chinese source as saying they believed the issue would be resolved smoothly.

The United States says the drone was operating lawfully.

China Newspapers Blast “Diplomatic Rookie” Trump For “Inability To Keep His Mouth Shut”

It seems that Trump’s phone call with Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen as well a recent pair of tweets from the president-elect blasting China for devaluing their currency, taxing U.S. imports and military provocations in the South China Sea have served their purpose of ruffling some feathers in Beijing.

While the “official reaction” out of Beijing to Trump’s “provocations and falsehoods” has been muted, newspapers across China, often viewed as a mouthpiece of the Communist Party, have spent the day lashing out at the “diplomatic rookie.”.  Per Yahoo News, the People’s Daily accused Trump of “provoking friction and messing up China-US relations,” a move they say will not help “make America great again.”

 Donald Trump is a “diplomatic rookie” who must learn not to cross Beijing on issues like trade and Taiwan, Chinese state media said Tuesday, warning America could pay dearly for his naivety.

Trump’s protocol-shattering call with Taiwan’s president and a subsequent Twitter tirade against Beijing’s policies could risk upending the delicate balance between the world’s two largest economies, major media outlets said.

“Provoking friction and messing up China-US relations won’t help ‘make America great again'”, said a front-page opinion piece in the overseas edition of Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily.

Trump

Brahma Chellaney — Trump could ‘pivot’ to Asia like Obama never did

U.S. President Barack Obama’s strategic “pivot” toward Asia, unveiled in 2012, attracted much international attention but did little to tame China’s muscular approach to territorial, maritime and trade disputes. Indeed, with the United States focused on the Islamic world, Obama’s much-touted Asian pivot seemed to lose its way somewhere in the arc between Iraq and Libya. Will President-elect Donald Trump’s approach to Asia be different?

In his first meeting with a foreign leader since his surprise Nov. 8 election triumph, Trump delivered a reassuring message to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who, in turn, described him as a “trustworthy leader.” In a smart diplomatic move, Abe made a special stop in New York on Nov. 17, en route to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Peru, to meet face-to-face with Trump, who shares his conservative, nationalistic outlook.

 Today, Asia faces the specter of power disequilibrium. Concern that Trump could undo Obama’s pivot to Asia by exhibiting an isolationist streak ignores the fact that the pivot has remained more rhetorical than real. Even as Obama prepares to leave office, the pivot — rebranded as “rebalancing” — has not acquired any concrete strategic content.
 If anything, the coining of a catchy term, “pivot,” has helped obscure the key challenge confronting the U.S.: To remain the principal security anchor in Asia in the face of a relentless push by a revisionist China to expand its frontiers and sphere of influence.

Trump indeed could face an early test of will from a China determined to pursue its “salami slicing” approach to gaining regional dominance. In contrast to Russia’s preference for full-fledged invasion, China has perfected the art of creeping, covert warfare through which it seeks to take one “slice” of territory at a time, by force.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meets with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, right, at Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York, on Nov. 17. © Reuters

With Obama having increasingly ceded ground to China in Asia during his tenure, Beijing feels emboldened, as evident in its incremental expansionism in the South China Sea and its dual Silk Road projects under the “One Belt, One Road” initiative. The Maritime Silk Road is just a new name for Beijing’s “string of pearls” strategy, aimed at increasing its influence in the Indian Ocean. Meanwhile, without incurring any international costs, China aggressively continues to push its borders far out into international waters in a way that no other power has done.

Indeed, boosting naval prowess and projecting power far from its shores are at the center of China’s ambition to fashion a strongly Sino-centric Asia. Boasting one of the world’s fastest-growing undersea fleets, China announced earlier in November that its first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, is ready for combat. Such revanchist moves will inevitably test the new U.S. administration’s limits.

China & US Elections: Trump May Start a Trade War, But Clinton Could Begin WWIII

China, like the rest of the world, is keeping a close eye on the US presidential race, knowing full well that the outcome of the election will have a serious impact on every country in world. But which candidate would Beijing prefer to deal with?

Unlike Russian analysts, who have indicated that Moscow would probably prefer to deal with an American president with a pragmatic, rather than an ideological, approach to foreign policy, the choice for Chinese experts isn’t as simple. Their choice is further complicated by the knowledge that while pre-election talk is one thing, actual policy, backed by the behemoth that is the US foreign policy establishment, is something else entirely.

Commenting on China’s dilemma, PolitRussia contributor Ilya Novitsky suggested that at first glance, it may seem that China would prefer to deal with anyone except Donald Trump. “It’s generally accepted to consider Trump as Beijing’s traditional foe,” the analyst noted. “In the course of his campaign, Trump has repeatedly made harsh statements about the nature of the trade relationship between the US and China.”

“Specifically, Trump’s main gripe with the structure of US-China trade relations comes down to the fact that China enjoys favorable customs conditions, which give Chinese producers a privileged position in the US market. Trump quite rightly believes that the Middle Kingdom is putting ‘economic pressure’ on the US, simply forcing US producers out of the Chinese domestic market.” In response, the Republican candidate has effectively “promised to declare a trade war against China, and to completely revise the majority of existing trade agreements between the two countries.” In this situation, Novitsky noted that “it’s no wonder that political scientists around the world, almost in unison, have figured Trump as Beijing’s enemy, which creates a privileged position for Hillary Clinton in the Chinese context. However, this is not quite the case…”

In fact, the analyst explained, “if Clinton wins, China will find itself in a very unenviable position. She may not revise trade policy as radically as Trump proposes, but the military threat to East Asia created by the Democratic candidate is quite serious.”

With Clinton making little mention of her strategic plans in public, the analyst pointed to the treasure trove of information released by WikiLeaks, which has been publishing the leaked emails of Clinton campaign manager John Podesta all this month. In one such email, featuring a transcript of a private Clinton speech about North Korea in 2013, the former Secretary of State made her position on China very clear, saying that “we’re going to ring China with missile defense. We’re going to put more of our fleet in the area. So China, come on. You either control [North Korea] or we’re going to have to defend against them.” In a separate speech, Clinton slammed Beijing over its position in the South China Sea dispute. “I mean you claim [the South China Sea] based on pottery shards from, you know, some fishing vessel that ran aground in an atoll somewhere,” Clinton quipped. By this logic, she added, the US could have labeled the Pacific Ocean the “American Sea” following the Second World War.

Speculation grows over possible extension of Xi’s term

Speculation is rife in Chinese political circles about the results of the recent annual meeting of the Communist Party of China’s leaders, in the seaside resort of Beidaihe.

Following the unusually long meeting in the town in Hebei Province, some pundits say Chinese President Xi Jinping, like Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, wants to extend his term in office. According to party observers, there was no specific discussion of candidates to succeed Xi as the Communist Party’s general secretary, and Xi seemed to be paving the way for extending his term.

 The meeting this year was different from the one in the summer of 2006, when candidates to be China’s future leader were discussed. Li Keqiang, now China’s premier, was seen as the leading candidate for the top job at that time, while Xi was hardly mentioned — at least publicly.

The top echelons of the party will be reshuffled at its convention in the fall of 2017, and usually, party leaders exchange frank opinions about the nation’s future leadership during their summer gathering the year before. But little information was leaked about this year’s meeting, possibly because Xi suppressed discussions in a bid to avoid gradually becoming a lame duck, even if he retains his current post following next year’s convention.

China reasserts maritime claims with ships near Senkakus

China continues to bolster its coast guard presence near the disputed Senkaku Islands amid Japanese protests in a show of force that appears designed to reinforce regional territorial claims and enrich political fortunes at home.

Japan has pushed back unusually hard against incursions by Chinese coast guard vessels into territorial waters around the islands and the adjacent contiguous zone. Both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tokyo and the Japanese Embassy in Beijing have lodged numerous complaints with Chinese officials over the past several days.

 But the intrusions continued unabated into Sunday night. Many speculate these challenges to Japanese control in the area could be aimed at discouraging Tokyo’s involvement in disputes in the South China Sea.

Though the waters in question lie within Japan’s exclusive economic zone, Chinese fishing vessels are allowed to operate there under a Sino-Japanese fisheries pact in effect since 2000. A summer fishing moratorium in the East China Sea expired Aug. 1. The coast guard ships now present “could have set out along with fishing vessels under the pretext of a patrol,” a Japanese government source said.

When warned by Japan Coast Guard vessels to leave the area, the Chinese ships reportedly replied that they were engaged in regular surveillance of Chinese waters and urged the Japanese vessels to respect Chinese law.

Japan protests to China as over 200 vessels spotted near Senkakus

Japan lodged a protest with China on Saturday after spotting more than 200 Chinese vessels in waters near the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said.

About 230 fishing boats as well as six China Coast Guard vessels were confirmed in a contiguous zone near the Japanese-controlled uninhabited islets, which are claimed by China, which calls them Diaoyu. The number is much larger than usual.

 “This is a unilateral act that raises tensions…and it is unacceptable to us,” Kenji Kanasugi, director general of the ministry’s Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, told the Chinese Embassy in Japan, according to the ministry.

Some of the coast guard vessels were apparently equipped with guns, according to the Japan Coast Guard.

The development followed a similar incident on Friday when a total of eight Chinese fishing and coast guards vessels briefly entered Japanese territorial waters around the Senkakus, which led the ministry to summon the Chinese ambassador to lodge a protest.

Seven Places Where WW3 Could Start At Any Time

It seems like you can’t watch the news anymore without stumbling onto a story that contains terrifying global implications. Not since the Cold War have tensions been so high among the nations of the world. You can strike sparks just about anywhere. The threat of another global war is downright palpable.

Most people shrug at the thought of World War Three, either because they’re ignorant or because they don’t think there would be any chance of surviving it, so why bother? But preppers know better. Just about anything can be survived under the right conditions and with the right preparations. And when it comes to World War Three, your best chance at survival rests in your ability to see it coming. And to do that, you need only pay attention to world events, and keep an eye on the following places: 

Syria

At the moment, this fractured Middle Eastern nation is probably the most likely candidate to spark WW3. You have armed Russian and American aircraft in close proximity to each other at all times, radicalized Islamic extremists battling the Syrian government, Iranian backed Hezbollah units (who happen to be enemies of Israel), Turkish machinations, and Saudi financiers. And let’s not forget that all of these actors are in it for themselves, and alliances are constantly shifting. Syria is one hot stew that could boil over at any moment.

Eastern Europe

After the Ukrainian government was ousted by rebels who wanted out of Russia’s sphere of influence (and some say with the help of Western governments), Russia annexed Crimea and helped support counter rebels in Eastern Ukraine. And that may not be the end of it. NATO and the EU are constantly trying to wrangle Eastern European nations into their own sphere of influence, and the Russian government feels like it’s being encircled by the West. Their only remaining friend in the region is an aging dictator in Belarus who is deeply unpopular. How long before Eastern Europe blows up again is anyone’s guess.