WASHINGTON: Wars have started over less. Even as the administration “rebalances” to Asia, it is scrambling to stay out of the region’s escalating territorial disputes. None is more baffling to outsiders than the three-sided conflict over the tiny, uninhabited islands known in Japanese as the Senkakus and in Chinese as the Diaoyus or the Tiaoyutai.
And that dispute keeps escalating. Just this morning, China’s Xinhua news service announced four warships of the rapidly growing PLA Navy had “patrolled” the waters off the Japanese-controlled isles, just the latest in a series of naval probes. On the U.S. side, the Senate passed an annual defense bill that included a (non-binding) “Sense of the Senate” amendment from Virginia’s James Webb pledging the US will stand by its treaty commitments to defend “territories under the administration of Japan,” explicitly including the Senkakus, against “armed attack.” Keep reading →
There’s very little to say about this video, beyond the fact that is funny and enjoyable. The company that produced it is, according to the email I received, a Taiwanese company called Next Media Animation.
The politics of a Taiwanese media company criticizing U.S. Navy spending are delightful. What other country depends more on the deterrent force of U.S. aircraft carriers, their aircraft and accompanying escort ships and submarines? Keep reading →
Washington: Defense giant Boeing is wasting no time pushing its newest attack helicopter onto the international market.
Boeing is already fielding informal solicitations from a number of foreign militaries about the newest version of the Army’s AH-64 Apache. Representatives from several foreign militaries visited Boeing’s facility in Mesa, Arizona to commemorate the delivery of the first Block III Apache to the Army, Mike Burke, director of business development for the company’s attack helicopter division, said yesterday. Keep reading →
Over the last few days, Chinese foreign policy seems to have undergone a 180-degree change. Only a month ago, the Chinese had published a white paper on its policy of “peaceful development,” underscoring that China’s approach to foreign policy was oriented towards peaceful, friendly relations with all states. Yet, in the past week, the message from Beijing has not been one of peace, but one of increasing bellicosity, especially towards its neighbors.
The first crack in the faÃƒÂ§ade arose as the Chinese warned India not to cooperate with Vietnam in oil exploration in the South China Sea. Such exploration was “illegal and invalid,” according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman. A subsequent article from the state-run press agency Xinhua accused the Indians of aggressive moves, while noting that efforts by Vietnam to draw in India, and the Philippines to draw in Japan, would have little impact since all of these states together “can hardly match China in the regional strength and influence, let alone counterbalance and contain China as they expected.” Keep reading →
Washington: There will be hell to pay on Capitol Hill if the White House decides against selling F-16 fighters to Taiwan, the senior Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee said today.
The small Asian nation off the coast of China is looking to buy over 60 F-16 fighters to revamp its aging Air Force. Keep reading →