Al Jazeera Date: December 7, 2017 By: John Pilger 16 hours ago
In his film The Coming War on China, John Pilger warns that nuclear war is no longer unthinkable. China’s building of airstrips in the South China Sea has become a flashpoint for war between China and the US.
Part One of The Coming War on China:
But China itself is under threat. The US “pivot to Asia”, announced under former US President Barack Obama, encompasses the biggest military buildup since the Second World War.
Part Two of The Coming War on China:
“American bases form a giant noose encircling China with missiles, bombers, warships – all the way from Australia through the Pacific to Asia and beyond,” Pilger says.
Al Jazeera spoke to the award-winning journalist about what inspired him to make the film. And what has changed since Donald Trump took office. [READ INTERVIEW]
A drone made by D.J.I. in a demonstration at the company’s headquarters in Shenzhen, China, last year. The company said accusations by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency that it shares sensitive information on American infrastructure with the Chinese government were false.CreditQilai Shen/Bloomberg
The New York Times Date: NOV. 29, 2017 By PAUL MOZUR
SHANGHAI — D.J.I., the popular drone maker, stands as a symbol of China’s growing technology
prowess. Its propeller-powered machines dominate global markets and buzz regularly over beaches, cityscapes at sunset and increasingly, power plants and government installations.
Now D.J.I. is fighting a claim by one United States government office that its commercial drones and software may be sending sensitive information about American infrastructure back to China, in the latest clash over the power of data in the growing technological rivalry between the two countries. It also shows how consumer technology companies have become increasingly central to debates about national security.
The company, formally named Da Jiang Innovations Science and Technology Company, put out a statement this month contesting the allegations made in a dispatch from United States customs officials. The memo, from the Los Angeles office of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau, was dated in August but had begun to circulate online more recently.
It said officials had “moderate confidence” that the D.J.I.’s commercial drones and software are “providing U.S. critical infrastructure and law enforcement data to the Chinese government.” It cited what it called a reliable source, who it did not identify, in the drone industry “with first and secondhand access.”
In a statement, D.J.I. said the report was “based on clearly false and misleading claims.”
“The allegations in the bulletin are so profoundly wrong as a factual matter that ICE should consider withdrawing it, or at least correcting its unsupportable assertions,” the company said. [FULL STORY]
Donald Trump said Wednesday that China backed him on North Korea.
But the next day China contradicted him entirely.
Even South Korea has expressed doubts about Trump’s goal in dealing with North Korea.
After a 12-day trip to Asia where President Donald Trump stressed his friendship and mutual understanding with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Beijing appears to have crossed Trump on a key issue — North Korea.
At every turn during his trip, Trump insisted that the US’s goal was North Korea’s denuclearization. He stressed the “grave threat” the rogue nuclear nation posed to millions in the region around the world.
But now, China seems to have rejected the idea of denuclearization, and instead wants the US to settle for a freeze in North Korea’s nuclear program in exchange for a freeze in the US’s military drills with South Korea.
On Wednesday, Trump said that he and Xi “agreed that we would not accept a so-called freeze-for-freeze agreement like those that have consistently failed in the past.”
On Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that a dual suspension, the Chinese’s preferred term for the “freeze-for-freeze” deal, the “most feasible, fair and sensible plan in the present situation.”
The difference of opinion has gone on for years, with China repeatedly suggesting the dual freeze and the US routinely rejecting it. [FULL STORY]
Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado. (Reuters / Rick Wilking)
Spoiler alert: We probably wouldn’t win.
The Nation Date: Sep. 26, 2017 By: Alfred W. McCoy
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To stay on top of important articles like these, sign up to receive the latest updates from TomDispatch.com.
This piece has been adapted and expanded from Alfred W. McCoy’s new book, In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of US Global Power.
For the past 50 years, American leaders have been supremely confident that they could suffer military setbacks in places like Cuba or Vietnam without having their system of global hegemony, backed by the world’s wealthiest economy and finest military, affected. The country was, after all, the planet’s “indispensable nation,” as Secretary of State Madeleine Albright proclaimed in 1998 (and other presidents and politicians have insisted ever since). The United States enjoyed a greater “disparity of power” over its would-be rivals than any empire ever, Yale historian Paul Kennedy announced in 2002. Certainly, it would remain “the sole superpower for decades to come,” Foreign Affairs magazine assured us just last year. During the 2016 campaign, candidate Donald Trump promised his supporters that “we’re gonna win with military.… we are gonna win so much you may even get tired of winning.” In August, while announcing his decision to send more troops to Afghanistan, Trump reassured the nation: “In every generation, we have faced down evil, and we have always prevailed.” In this fast-changing world, only one thing was certain: When it really counted, the United States could never lose.
The Trump White House may still be basking in the glow of America’s global supremacy but, just across the Potomac, the Pentagon has formed a more realistic view of its fading military superiority. In June, the Defense Department issued a major report on “Risk Assessment in a Post-Primacy World,” finding that the US military “no longer enjoys an unassailable position versus state competitors,” and “it no longer can…automatically generate consistent and sustained local military superiority at range.” This sober assessment led the Pentagon’s top strategists to “the jarring realization that ‘we can lose.’” Increasingly, Pentagon planners find, the “self-image of a matchless global leader” provides a “flawed foundation for forward-looking defense strategy…under post-primacy conditions.” This Pentagon report also warned that, like Russia, China is “engaged in a deliberate program to demonstrate the limits of US authority”; hence, Beijing’s bid for “Pacific primacy” and its “campaign to expand its control over the South China Sea.”
Indeed, military tensions between the two countries have been rising in the western Pacific since the summer of 2010. Just as Washington once used its wartime alliance with Great Britain to appropriate much of that fading empire’s global power after World War II, so Beijing began using profits from its export trade with the United States to fund a military challenge to its dominion over the waterways of Asia and the Pacific. [FULL STORY]
(CNN)America’s top military officer, Gen. Joseph Dunford, told Congress Tuesday that China will pose the “greatest threat” of any foe to the US by 2025.
“I think China probably poses the greatest threat to our nation by about 2025,” Dunford told the Senate Armed Services Committee during a hearing on his re-appointment as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Dunford was responding to a question from Hawaii Democrat Sen. Mazie Hirono, who noted that the general had previously identified Russia, followed by China and North Korea, as representing the greatest military threats to US national security during a 2015 appearance before the same committee.
But on Tuesday Dunford took the opportunity to reshuffle his list of national security concerns, saying that North Korea now “poses the greatest threat today” due to the “sense of urgency” involved as Pyongyang’s develops its nuclear and missile programs.
Trump warns of 'devastating' military option as North Korea moves jets
Trump warns of ‘devastating’ military option as North Korea moves jets
He also said that Russia remained the greatest threat overall due to its military capabilities in the realms of nuclear weapons and electronic warfare as well as Russian military activity in places like Crimea, which it invaded and annexed in 2014, and eastern Ukraine, where Western officials accuse Moscow of backing armed separatists. [FULL STORY]
US Navy warships have often patrolled near the disputed waters of the South China Sea. (Reuters)
Washington has repeatedly expressed concerns that China’s development of artificial islands in South China Sea poses a threat to freedom of navigation in a major artery for international trade.
NDTV Date: June 05, 2017 By: Agence France-Presse
BEIJING: China has expressed “firm opposition” to remarks made by US Pentagon chief
Jim Mattis during a regional defence summit over the weekend, after he criticised Beijing’s “militarisation” of the South China Sea.
Washington has repeatedly expressed concerns that China’s development of artificial islands in the region poses a threat to freedom of navigation through its waters, a major artery for international trade.
Competing claims to the sea, which is believed to sit atop vast oil and gas deposits, have for decades made it one of Asia’s potential military flashpoints.
“The scope and effect of China’s construction activities in the South China Sea differ from other countries in several key ways,” Mattis noted, saying Beijing’s “militarisation” and “disregard for international law” showed its “contempt” for other nations’ interests. [FULL STORY]
US President Trump has brought uncertainty to Sino-American ties, ‘If a serious bilateral crisis develops, [foreigners] in China may become unacceptably vulnerable to expulsion or detention,’ said Matthew Brazil.
The News Lens Date: 2017/05/13 By: Matthew Brazil
Since the 2016 General Election, American relations with the People’s Republic of China
(PRC) have followed a rollercoaster-like trajectory. Days before his inauguration, President Trump briefly reversed decades of predictable American conduct in a telephone conversation with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and hinted a departure from the “one China policy,” (CNA.com.tw, Dec. 3, 2016; Reuters, Jan. 12). During his confirmation hearings, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson proposed blocking access to China’s artificial islands in the South China Sea and triggered an outraged response from Beijing (C-SPAN, Jan. 11, Global Times, Jan. 13).
Then came the public reversals. With little explanation, Trump endorsed “One China” during his call with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) in early February. (Xinhuanet, Feb. 10). PRC Prime Minister Li Keqiang subsequently expressed optimism about the U.S.-China relationship in the lead up to the Xi-Trump meeting in early April (XinhuaNet and New York Times, March 15).
During Secretary of State Tillerson’s visit to Beijing a week later, he adopted Chinese phraseology to describe the bilateral relationship, something that previous U.S. administrations had carefully avoided (Xinhuanet and Washington Post, March 19).
If this was solace for some who seek signs of stability in this important bilateral relationship, the events that followed betrayed potential for future instability. The new American president appears committed to punishing China for its trade surplus, and the U.S. Navy plans to enhance “freedom of navigation operations” near China’s artificial islands in the South China Sea (Navy Times, Feb. 12).
Meanwhile, early Chinese objections to American THAAD anti-missile defenses in South Korea became a hotter topic with their rushed deployment in March, and April brought disquiet to Chinese policymakers in the form of the U.S. missile strike against Syria and the deployment of the USS Carl Vinson strike group to Northeast Asia (Hangzhou Military television, July 11; China Daily, March 15; Navy Times, April 9). Trump now views Chinese assistance with North Korea as essential. [FULL STORY]
Reuters Date: Apr 28, 2017 By Jeff Mason, Stephen J. Adler and Steve Holland | WASHINGTON
U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday spurned the Taiwanese president’s suggestion that the two leaders hold another phone call, saying he did not want to create problems for Chinese President Xi Jinping when Beijing appears to be helping efforts to rein in North Korea.
In a White House interview, Trump brushed aside the idea after Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen told Reuters on Thursday she would not rule out talking self-ruled Taiwan is possibly the most sensitive issue between Washington and Beijing.
“Look, my problem is I have established a very good personal relationship with President Xi. I really feel that he is doing everything in his power to help us with a big situation,” Trump told Reuters, referring to signs that China may be working to head off any new missile or nuclear test by Pyongyang, Beijing’s neighbor and ally.
“So I wouldn’t want to be causing difficulty right now for him,” Trump added. “I think he’s doing an amazing job as a leader and I wouldn’t want to do anything that comes in the way of that. So I would certainly want to speak to him first.” [FULL STORY]
CNBC.com Date: March 9, 2017 By: Clay Dillow, special to CNBC.com
China is lashing out at South Korea and Washington for the deployment of a powerful missile defense system known as the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD, deposited at the Osan Air Base in South Korea on Monday evening.
The deployment of THAAD follows several ballistic missile tests by North Korea in recent months, including the launch of four missiles on Monday, three of which landed in the sea off the coast of Japan. Though THAAD would help South Korea protect itself from a North Korean missile attack, China is vocally protesting the deployment of the system, claiming it upsets the “strategic equilibrium” in the region because its radar will allow the United States to detect and track missiles launched from China.
North Korean provocations aside, THAAD’s arrival on the Korean Peninsula comes amid heightened tensions between the new U.S. administration and China, as well as uncertainty surrounding the U.S. military’s commitment to its security relationships in the region and around the world. Within that context, THAAD’s deployment packs a significant amount of symbolic firepower alongside its battery of interceptor missiles.
Already there has been a blacklash. Liu Yuan, a retired Chinese general who is generally outspoken on Chinese security matters, wrote for China’s state-run Global Times that the Chinese military could conduct a “surgical hard-kill operation that would destroy the target, paralyzing it and making it unable to hit back.” [FULL STORY]
Donald Trump with Steve Bannon, former executive of Breitbart News and the President's chief strategist Reuters
Observers agree all-out conflict equals global disaster, even if nuclear weapons are not used
Independent February 5, 2017 By: Jon Sharman
China has accused Donald Trump’s administration of putting regional stability in East Asia at risk following remarks by the President’s defense secretary that a U.S. commitment to defend Japanese territory applies to an island group that China claims.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang has called on Trump’s administration to avoid discussion of the issue and reasserted China’s claim of sovereignty over the tiny uninhabited islands, known in Japanese as the Senkaku and Chinese as Diaoyu.
The 1960 US-Japan treaty is “a product of the Cold War, which should not impair China’s territorial sovereignty and legitimate rights,” Lu was quoted as saying in a statement posted on the ministry’s website.
“We urge the U.S. side to take a responsible attitude, stop making wrong remarks on the issue involving the Diaoyu islands’ sovereignty, and avoid making the issue more complicated and bringing instability to the regional situation,” he added. [FULL STORY]