China shows off defense diplomacy with multinational peacekeeping drill

REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

China’s armed forces concluded their first multinational peacekeeping exercise on Wednesday, September 15, showing off their combat prowess with drones and mine-clearing robots while seeking to project a more benign image. As the Asian giant modernizes and beefs up its military by pumping hundreds of billions of dollars annually into its defense budget, it has… Continue reading China shows off defense diplomacy with multinational peacekeeping drill

Japan says suspected Chinese submarine seen near territorial waters

Asahi Shimbun file photo

Japan’s defense ministry said on Sunday, September 12, that a submarine believed to be from China was spotted in waters near its southern islands, as maritime tensions persist in the Pacific. Japan’s navy on Friday morning, September 10, identified a submerged vessel sailing northwest just outside territorial waters near Amami Oshima island, part of Kagoshima… Continue reading Japan says suspected Chinese submarine seen near territorial waters

China, Vietnam should avoid magnifying West Philippine Sea disputes – Chinese official

Photo courtesy of UNTV

China and Vietnam should refrain from unilateral actions regarding the West Philippine Sea that could complicate the situation and magnify disputes, senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi told a Vietnamese official, China’s foreign ministry said on Saturday, September 11. State Councilor Wang was speaking with Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh during a visit to… Continue reading China, Vietnam should avoid magnifying West Philippine Sea disputes – Chinese official

Indonesia and Australia agree to boost security ties

Courtesy of Indonesian Foreign Ministry/Handout via REUTERS

Indonesia and Australia agreed to deepen security ties during a ministerial meeting on Thursday, September 9, with discussions underway towards enabling joint military training in Australia and participation in its defense academies. Agreements were signed over counter-terrorism, defense and cybersecurity, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said, plus another agreement on support for Pacific island nations.… Continue reading Indonesia and Australia agree to boost security ties

US, China accuse each other of ‘bullying’ nations

US Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday, August 25, again charged China with bullying its Southeast Asian neighbors, the second time in two days she has attacked Beijing during a regional visit, as Washington tries to rally regional partners to take on China’s growing economic and military influence. The Chinese foreign ministry shot back on… Continue reading US, China accuse each other of ‘bullying’ nations

US VP Harris offers Vietnam support to counter Beijing in the West Philippine Sea

Manan Vatsyayana / Pool Via Reuters

US Vice President Kamala Harris met Vietnam’s top leaders on Wednesday, August 25, offering support in several key areas including the enhancement of its maritime security in an effort to counter Beijing’s increasing assertiveness in the West Philippine Sea. Harris also offered more visits by US warships during her talks with Vietnam’s President Nguyen Xuan… Continue reading US VP Harris offers Vietnam support to counter Beijing in the West Philippine Sea

Kamala Harris says China intimidates to back West Philippine Sea claims

US Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday, August 24, accused China of coercion and intimidation to back unlawful claims in the West Philippine Sea, in her most pointed comments on China on a visit to Southeast Asia, a region she said was critical to US security. Harris’s seven-day trip to Singapore and Vietnam is aimed… Continue reading Kamala Harris says China intimidates to back West Philippine Sea claims

At least 3 Chinese warships detected in West Philippine Sea in August

According to a maritime expert based in the United States, at least three Chinese research vessels were seen hovering in the West Philippine Sea in August alone. In a series of tweets, Ryan Martinson, a China Maritime Studies Institute and US Naval War College expert, reported the whereabouts of Chinese ships in Philippine waters. Martinson… Continue reading At least 3 Chinese warships detected in West Philippine Sea in August

German warship sails into the West Philippine Sea for the first time since 2002

For the first time since 2002, Germany is sending a warship on a transit through the West Philippine Sea, in a win for the China hawks in Angela Merkel’s government. According to CNN, the frigate will follow regular trade routes and will not pass through the Taiwan Strait or within 12 nautical miles of the… Continue reading German warship sails into the West Philippine Sea for the first time since 2002

DND Secretary Lorenzana says war in West Philippine Sea ‘unlikely’

Photo courtesy of CNN

Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana stated on Wednesday that he does not envision any conflicts breaking out in the West Philippine Sea, despite increased exercises between the Philippines and the United States and its partners in the region. “There is a provision in the MDT (Mutual Defense Treaty) that an attack to… Continue reading DND Secretary Lorenzana says war in West Philippine Sea ‘unlikely’