China Tells U.S. To Stay Out Of Dispute Over South China Sea’s Sovereignty
China signaled for the U.S. to stay out of disputes over the South China Sea, three days before President Barack Obama is due to meet with regional leaders concerned over China’s territorial claims in the oil-and gas- rich waters. “China enjoys indisputable sovereign rights over the South China Sea islands and adjacent waters,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters today in Beijing. “We oppose the internationalization and expansion of the South China Sea dispute because it will only make the issue more complicated.”
Japan Threatens Build Up Of Military Forces Amid Rising Tensions With China
Japan is threatening an almost 10 per cent increase in its ground defence forces in response to a growing diplomatic dispute with China. The defence ministry is reported to be exploring plans to expand the size of the Japan’s ground personnel by 13,000 troops – almost 10 per cent – as early as next year. The expansion would be the first in almost 40 years and come amid growing regional tensions, particularly in areas where China’s navy is increasingly active.
The Remilitarization of Beijing
In recent months—and especially since last December—China has pursued an increasingly assertive foreign policy. At the same time, Chinese flag officers and colonels have been making provocative comments in public on topics normally considered the exclusive responsibility of the country’s civilian officials. For instance, this March, Rear Admiral Yin Zhuo staked out a position on the Arctic that was at variance with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In addition, there’s been a spate of unusually hostile public comments from military officers, especially on their desire to engage in combat with America.
Keeping a closer eye on China
Over the weekend, the Taipei Times reported that the United States will soon begin operating high-altitude, long-endurance RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) out of Guam. When operational, these drones will monitor Chinese forces opposite the Taiwan Strait. Ultimately, they will replace the U-2 and RC-135 aircraft that conduct reconnaissance in the west Pacific.
U.S. Congress Delays Decisions on ’11 Budget
In money terms, 2010 ends in 10 days. And there won’t be a new U.S. defense budget by then.
India’s Water Nightmare
Pinky Devi begins her long day in the chaotic urban sprawl that is Garhi, New Delhi, at the crack of dawn. She has to, otherwise she risks missing out on the seven minutes of municipal water supply that will splutter through the two taps in her tiny one room home. ‘My day is a collection drive,’ laughs the 32-year-old mother of three as she explains the different water sources she has to resort to each day. At 8 o’clock every morning, she queues up to fill colourful plastic buckets from the water tanker that chugs through her neighbourhood each day. The area’s residents have to pool money to buy tanker water to supplement their meagre supply. ‘About 15 percent of our household budget goes to water.
Kims back in the driver’s seat
NYT John Pomfret reporting that America and its allies in Asia are working to reopen talks with North Korea, afraid that the ongoing succession process could send the whole relationship down the path to war. Score one for the Kims and so much for Team Obama’s “strategic patience” (tough talk and shows of force and letting the Kims stew in their own paranoid juices). I had thought the White House had settled on a solid path of not caving in, but Obama seems to have chickened out rather quickly….
Russia Agrees To Buy France’s Mistral Ship: Report
Russia has in principal agreed to a deal to buy a Mistral helicopter carrier from France and the forthcoming tender will be a formality, a senior Navy official was quoted as saying on Sept. 21.
Report: Russia Plans to Spend $613 Billion on Arms
Russia plans to spend 19 trillion rubles ($613 billion) to purchase new weapons over the next decade as it seeks to modernize its Soviet-era Army, Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said in an interview released on Sept. 21.
France To Outline Naval Package for Brazil
France will propose a package of ocean patrol vessels (OPVs), frigates and an auxiliary refueling tanker in competition with Britain and Italy in response to Brazil’s modernization of its surface fleet, the international director for the Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA) procurement office said Sept. 20.
Chris van Avery is an Asia-Pacific FAO and Military Professor at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, and blogs on a variety of topics at The Yankee Sage.