Advertisements


Defense chief says China-Russia military ties a signal to US

MOSCOW, Russia --- China's new defense minister says his visit to Russia is a signal to the United States about the increasingly close military ties between Moscow and Beijing. The unusually bold statement Tuesday by Gen. Wei Fenghe at the start of his talks with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reflected the growing military cooperation between the two former Communist rivals. Speaking in Moscow, Wei emphasized that he chose Russia for his first trip abroad since becoming the international face of China's military last month to "show the world a high level of development of our bilateral relations and firm determination of our armed forces to strengthen strategic coopera...Keep on reading: Defense chief says China-Russia military ties a signal to US.....»»

Category: newsSource: inquirer inquirerApr 3rd, 2018

Carpio to DFA: Ask US, Asean to make Scarborough Shoal an official ‘red line’

Acting Supreme Court Chief Justice Antonio Carpio on Thursday said the Philippine government should ask the United States and Asean countries to make Scarborough Shoal an 'official red line' in the South China Sea dispute. In international affairs, a red line is a condition set by a certain party. When that condition is violated, the offending party may suffer "severe consequences" that can range from economic sanctions to military actions. Carpio said theUS, a longtime ally of the Philippines, should recognize Scarborough Shoal as part of the Philippine territory for it would be covered by the Philippine-US Mutual Defense Treaty. "The DFA [Department of Foreign Affairs] should ...Keep on reading: Carpio to DFA: Ask US, Asean to make Scarborough Shoal an official ‘red line’.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 12th, 2018

Xi Jinping, U.S. defense chief meet amid troubled security relations

BEIJING, China – Chinese President Xi Jinping told US Defense Secretary James Mattis Wednesday, June 27, the two countries must sustain the "good momentum" of their military relationship, amid US worries about China's projection of power across the Indo-Pacific. Mattis, visiting Beijing to take the measure of China's global security ambitions, ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJun 27th, 2018

US defense chief visits China as tensions simmer

BEIJING: US Defense Secretary James Mattis arrived in Beijing on his first ever visit to China on Tuesday, aiming to find room for military cooperation as security tensions between the two superpowers edge higher. With Washington and Beijing locked in an escalating trade war, and the Pentagon alarmed over China’s placement of weapons on disputed [...] The post US defense chief visits China as tensions simmer appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsJun 26th, 2018

Palace: Phl not taking soft stance on China

The Palace denied it is going soft on China amid reports of a resumption of build-up over disputed portions of the South China Sea (SCS) that foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) have criticized. Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the Philippines shares Asean leaders’ concern regarding China’s aggressive actions on what is said to be the world’s busiest waterways.The recently concluded Asean foreign and defense ministers in Singapore issued a statement that did not name China but said that “land reclamations and activities in the area . . . have eroded trust and confidence, increased tensions and may undermine peace, security and stability in the region.” The Asean ministers resolved to expedite the code of conduct (CoC) on how to negotiate with China regarding overlapping maritime claims.“Asean’s concern on the Chinese build-up is right because Asean, as a regional bloc, wants to adhere to discussions pertaining to the code of conduct,” Roque said.“We cannot be not joining the call because the Philippines is one of those concerned in this campaign,” he added.Roque also disputed views that Manila is not among those insistent in pressing Beijing to speed up the CoC drafting. “We are not being too soft (on China) but we have an established policy on that. Number one, of course, is we are one with Asean in recognizing that this is a concern for all Asean countries. Particularly that of the freedom of navigation in the West Philippine Sea,” Roque said.“Our common concern is peace security and stability in one of the world’s busiest sea lanes,” he added.During Manila’s hosting of the Asean last year, President Duterte did not cite the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) ruling that nullified Beijing’s sweeping claim over nearly the entire South China Sea.It was the Philippine government that contested China’s nine-dash-line claim before the Hague court. China, however, refuses to recognize it.Apart from the Philippines, other Asean countries also have overlapping claims at the South China Sea including Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei.Reclamation to continueChina in its known mouthpiece Global Times said Beijing is concentrating on civil and not military construction on islands in the South China Sea but insisted that the Chinese “will expand land reclamation.”“Most of the construction on islands in the South China Sea were completed in 2015 and the pace then slowed. Civilian facility construction is the major focus of the South China Sea islands building and the portion of defense deployment is relatively small,” Global Times quoted Chen Xiangmiao, a research fellow at the National Institute for the South China Sea.The size of some South China Sea islands will be further expanded in future through more dredging in the South China Sea region, Chen said.The relationship between China and other Southeast Asian countries, such as the Philippines, has becalmed in recent years, providing a golden opportunity for China to upgrade these areas, he said.China and the Philippines are enjoying good terms as President Rodrigo Duterte maintains a friendly policy toward China, Chen said. “But there is still some domestic pressure that urges Duterte to take a tough stance on China and the South China Sea issue,” Chen said.Foreign media like to hype China’s construction in the South China Sea as they try to make excuses to prevent China’s activities in this region, Zhuang Guotu, head of Xiamen University’s Southeast Asian Studies Center, told the Global Times.“China has the right to build whatever it needs within its territory,” Zhuang said.China’s military deployment in the South China Sea region was “not for military expansion,” but to defend its security and interests, he said.Zhuang and Chen warned the US is the biggest threat to stability in the South China Sea.“The US, Australia, Japan and other allies will constantly provoke China over this issue and that will incite other neighboring South China Sea countries to do the same,” Zhuang said.China’s construction projects in the region covered about 290,000 square meters in 2017, including new facilities for underground storage, administrative buildings and large radar, according to a report released in December on the nanhai.haiwainet.cn website run by the National Marine Data and Information Service and People’s Daily Overseas edition. No foreign vessels at BenhamThe Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has not monitored any foreign vessels at the Philippine Rise, formerly known as Benham Rise, during its latest patrol in the area. Lt. Col. Isagani Nato, AFP-Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) spokesman, said that based on the latest patrol conducted by Nolcom troops, there was no presence of foreign ships at Philippine Rise.“As of now, we don’t have a report that there is presence (of foreign vessels) in Benham Rise,” said Nato.Earlier, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol announced that President Duterte has banned foreign ships at the Philippine Rise and ordered the military to patrol the area.The announcement came following an uproar from government critics after the Duterte administration allowed the Chinese to conduct scientific research at the Philippine Rise.Nato, however, said that Nolcom is yet to receive official order regarding the matter.But Nato maintained that with or without the latest directive, Nolcom has regularly conducted air and maritime patrols along Philippine Rise.Apart from Nolcom, the Air Force and the Philippine Navy, Nato said that the Philippine Coast Guard, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the Philippine National Police-Maritime Group (PNP-MG) also conduct their own patrol in the area.He said the Nolcom uses air and naval assets of the Navy and the Air Force units under its jurisdiction.“We conduct our patrols regularly. It is a mandate of Nolcom forces so that is continuous with or without the directive from higher ups,” said Nato.According to Nato, Nolcom conducts three to four maritime and air patrol at Philippine Rise per month as part of the government efforts to secure the country’s maritime domain.ML ruling lauded, hitThe Supreme Court’s (SC) decision to uphold Mr. Duterte’s year-long martial law extension in Mindanao also drew mixed reactions.The High Court on Tuesday voted 10-5 junking militant groups’ petition and finding “sufficient factual basis” to extend martial law and suspend the privilege of wirt of habeas corpus in Mindanao until December 31, 2018.Roque welcomed the ruling saying that it affirms the need to continue protecting citizens from the threat of terrorist groups, primarily Islamic State (IS)-inspired fanatics.But for Left-leaning groups who petitioned the SC to lift martial law, the court decision opens up more crackdowns and human rights violations.The Palace official has insisted that human rights will be respected amid security operations.“The SC ruling underscores the unity of the whole government in its bid to defeat terrorism and prevent the spread in other parts of the country of DIWW and other like-minded local and foreign terrorist groups,” Roque said.“The majority of votes is a manifestation of confidence on law enforcement agencies that they shall, like they had been doing before, continue to protect our people, secure Mindanao, and pursue the bigger task of rehabilitation while upholding the rule of law, Human Rights, and International Humanitarian Law,” he added.Human rights watchdog Karapatan sees the contrary in the government’s motives, saying that the year-long military rule will boost attacks on the people.The continuous implementation of martial law in Mindanao will allow the unhampered massive rehabilitation in war-torn Marawi City and boost the security forces campaign to finish off the rebellion, the Department of National Defense (DND) said. In a statement, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that the Supreme Court’s decision affirming the constitutionality of the one-year extension of martial law in Mindanao will definitely boost government efforts to rebuild Marawi City and address continuing rebellion.The defense chief welcomed the SC decision as a vote of confidence to the government security forces.“The DND – AFP is grateful for the trust and confidence of our public institutions and the support of the Filipino people,” said Lorenzana. Mario J. Mallari.....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJun 7th, 2018

China general slams irresponsible comments on South China Sea

SINGAPORE – A Chinese general on Saturday, June 2, lashed out at "irresponsible comments" on Beijing's military build-up in the South China Sea after the US defense chief accused China of intimidation and coercion in the disputed waters. "Any irresponsible comments from other countries cannot be accepted," Lieutenant General He Lei said at ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJun 2nd, 2018

US Defense chief: China military buildup in disputed waters ‘coercion, intimidation’

SINGAPORE — China’s military buildup in the South China Sea and its deployment of high-end weapons systems in the disputed waterway is designed to intimidate and coerce neighbors, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Saturday. Speaking at a high-profile security summit in Singapore, the Pentagon chief also said the US military would continue to [...] The post US Defense chief: China military buildup in disputed waters ‘coercion, intimidation’ appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimesRelated NewsJun 2nd, 2018

Mattis accuses China of intimidation and coercion in South China Sea

SINGAPORE (UPDATED) – China's military build-up in the South China Sea and its deployment of high-end weapons systems in the disputed waterway is designed to intimidate and coerce neighbors, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Saturday, June 2. Speaking at a high-profile security summit in Singapore, the Pentagon chief also said ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJun 2nd, 2018

US to keep confronting Beijing in South China Sea – US Defense chief

  Defense Secretary Jim Mattis vowed on Tuesday that the United States would keep confronting China over its territorial claims in the South China Sea, where Beijing has established a significant military presence on contested islands.   Mattis' remarks came after Beijing voiced "strong dissatisfaction" on Sunday after two US warships sailed by an island in the disputed Paracel Island chain. "You'll notice there's only one country that seems to take active steps to rebuff (such operations) or state their resentment of them, but it's international waters and a lot of nations want to see freedom of navigation, so we will continue that," Mattis told reporters as he...Keep on reading: US to keep confronting Beijing in South China Sea – US Defense chief.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMay 30th, 2018

Duterte pivots to China but his military turns to Australia, Japan

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine defense cooperation with Australia and Japan stepped up in recent years, continuing to grow under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte. Euan Graham, director of the international security program of Australian think tank Lowy Institute, said these ties should be taken into account when understanding ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMay 20th, 2018

8,000 US, PH troops take part in war games

Up to 8,000 US and Philippine forces have begun their largest annual military exercises under President Rodrigo Duterte, who had wanted to scale down America's military presence and involvement in combat drills as he sought closer ties with China and Russia. The Balikatan exercises opened on Monday and were to involve combat drills in mock urban settings to train special forces in battling terrorists in cities, following the siege of Marawi City last year by local terror groups which had ties with Islamic State (IS). After rising to power in 2016, the President vowed to scale back the presence of US troops involved in counterterrorism training in Mindanao and once threatened to...Keep on reading: 8,000 US, PH troops take part in war games.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMay 7th, 2018

Balikatan exercises start amid worries on China s military buildup in South China Sea

Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (center), US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim (second left), Philippine Armed Forces Chief Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez (second right), Lt. Gen. Lawre.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsMay 7th, 2018

Lorenzana cites challenge from China sea dispute as Japan gives 3 surveillance planes

The territorial dispute with Beijing over the South China Sea remained a security challenge despite an improvement in bilateral ties, the Philippine defense chief said on Monday as he accepted three maritime surveillance planes from Japan......»»

Category: newsSource:  interaksyonRelated NewsMar 26th, 2018

China promotes foreign minister, names new defense chief

BEIJING: China on Monday elevated the status of its current foreign minister and selected a new defense minister as the country deals with rocky relations with the United States and expands its military. The rubber-stamp National People’s Congress endorsed the appointment of Foreign Minister Wang Yi, 64, as state councilor, making him a ranking member [...] The post China promotes foreign minister, names new defense chief appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsMar 19th, 2018

Pentagon to get record $700-B budget

WASHINGTON, United States --- It's the biggest budget the Pentagon has ever seen: $700 billion. That's far more in defense spending than America's two nearest competitors, China and Russia, and will mean the military can foot the bill for thousands more troops, more training, more ships and a lot else. And next year it would rise to $716 billion. Together, the two-year deal provides what Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says is needed to pull the military out of a slump in combat readiness at a time of renewed focus on the stalemated conflict in Afghanistan and the threat of war on the Korean peninsula. The budget bill that President Donald Trump signed Friday includes huge spendin...Keep on reading: Pentagon to get record $700-B budget.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsFeb 11th, 2018

Duterte cancels helicopter deal with Canada’s Bell

DAVAO---President Duterte on Friday ordered the Department of National Defense to cancel a $233-million (P12-billion) contract to buy 16 helicopters from Canada after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government ordered a review over human rights concerns.   "I want to tell the Armed Forces to cut the deal. Do not proceed anymore, and somehow we will look for another supplier," he said of the deal for 16 Bell-412EPI utility helicopters announced by the two governments this week.   Mr. Duterte had said during his visits to military camps last year that Russia and China could supply the Philippines with utility and armed helicopters.   Understanding &n...Keep on reading: Duterte cancels helicopter deal with Canada’s Bell.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsFeb 10th, 2018

PH eyes closer military ties with India

The Philippines is looking at improving military ties with India after President Duterte's official visit to New Delhi, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Sunday. Lorenzana said Manila was eyeing the possibility of "military-to-military cooperation" with India, besides the purchase of military equipment for the Armed Forces of the Philippines' modernization program. "Yes, we are looking at a military-to-military cooperation including defense equipment that we can buy from them," Lorenzana said. Warships The defense chief said that the Philippines was also eyeing warships from the South Asian country, which had built its own aircraft carriers and was planning to build ...Keep on reading: PH eyes closer military ties with India.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 29th, 2018

Mattis warns of ‘growing threats’ from Russia, China

WASHINGTON, D.C.: Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Friday that America is facing “growing threats” from China and Russia, and warned that the US military’s advantages have eroded in recent years. Mattis’s assessment came as he unveiled the Pentagon’s vision for the future detailed in a document called the national defense strategy. “We face growing threats [...] The post Mattis warns of ‘growing threats’ from Russia, China appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsJan 20th, 2018

New Pentagon strategy looks to counter China, Russia

WASHINGTON, DC, USA –  The US military must regain its strategic advantages over Russia and China and prioritize being ready for war, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Friday, January 19, as he unveiled the Pentagon's vision for the future. The administration of President Donald Trump worries that America's vast military ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 19th, 2018

BSP cites drivers of stronger FDI inflows

By Melissa Luz T. Lopez Senior Reporter THE PHILIPPINES’ infrastructure spending program and warmer ties with China and Russia will support stronger foreign investment inflows this year, the country’s central bank chief said, alongside robust expansion of local industries. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr. said foreign direct investments (FDI) are […] The post BSP cites drivers of stronger FDI inflows appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsJan 9th, 2018

Seoul: North Korea to send delegation to Olympics in South

By Hyung-Jin Kim, Associated Press SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea agreed Tuesday to send a delegation to next month's Winter Olympics in South Korea, Seoul officials said, as the bitter rivals sat for rare talks at the border to discuss how to cooperate in the Olympics and improve their long-strained ties. The Koreas' first talks in two years were arranged after North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un recently made an abrupt push for improved ties with South Korea after a year of elevated tensions with the outside world over his expanding nuclear and missile programs. Critics say Kim may be trying to divide Seoul and Washington in a bid to weaken international pressure and sanctions on the North. During the talks, the North Korean delegation said it would send an Olympic delegation, which includes officials, athletes, cheerleaders, journalists and others, South Korea's Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung told reporters, according to media footage from the border village of Panmunjom, the venue for the talks. The South Korean delegation, for its part, proposed North Korea send a big delegation and conduct a joint march during the Feb. 9-25 Game's opening and closing ceremonies, Chun, one of the five South Korean negotiators, said. He said South Korea also suggested resuming temporary reunions of families separated by war and offering military talks designed to reduce animosities in frontline areas. South Korea also stressed the need to achieve denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, Chun said. North Korea responded by saying the two Koreas must try to promote peace and reconciliation through dialogue, he said. The two sides were to continue their negotiations later Tuesday at Panmunjom, the only place on the tense border where North and South Korean soldiers are just feet away from each other. A North Korean soldier late last year defected to the South across Panmunjom amid a hail of bullets fired by his comrades. He was hit five times but survived. The meeting began with an amicable atmosphere Tuesday morning, with chief North Korean delegate Ri Son Gwon saying he hopes the talks would give "a New Year's first gift — precious results (of the talks) to the Korean nation." Ri's South Korean counterpart, Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon, said he also hopes they would come up with a "good gift" for people in both Koreas. The overall prospect for the negotiations was still unclear. The two Koreas have a long history of ending key talks without any agreement and failing to follow through with rapprochement accords. An agreement on the North's Olympic participation had been widely expected before the talks began, but the Koreas remain sharply at odds over how to improve their overall ties. North Korea is expected to demand rewards in return for South Korea's offer for family reunions and military talks, like Seoul halting propaganda broadcasts and scaling back or halting military drills with the U.S., observers say. Suspension of the military drills would be unacceptable for Seoul because that would seriously undermine the alliance with its chief ally the United States, which wants to put more pressures on Pyongyang. The North views the drills as a rehearsal for a northward invasion. President Donald Trump on Saturday expressed hope for some progress from the talks and said he was open to talking with Kim himself. But U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley later said the U.S. administration isn't changing its conditions regarding talks with North Korea, saying Kim would first need to stop weapons testing for a "significant amount of time." In his New Year's Day address, Kim said there is an urgent need to improve inter-Korean ties and that he is willing to send a delegation to the Pyeongchang Games. He urged Seoul to halt the military drills with the U.S. and said he has a "nuclear button" to launch missiles at any target in the United States. South Korean liberal President Moon Jae-in, who favors dialogue as a way to defuse the North Korean nuclear standoff, welcomed Kim's outreach and proposed talks at Panmunjom. Kim quickly accepted. "As President Moon has said, the improvement of relations between North and South Korea cannot advance separately from resolving North Korea's nuclear program," Brian Hook, a chief adviser to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, told reporters in a conference call late Monday Washington time. "And so, we remain focused on our global pressure campaign. That campaign is designed to bring Kim Jong Un to the table for meaningful negations." The Trump administration agreed last week to delay springtime military drills with South Korea until after the Games. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis insisted the delay was a practical necessity to accommodate the Olympics, not a political gesture. Trump and Kim traded bellicose warlike rhetoric and even crude insults last year, as the North conducted it sixth and most powerful nuclear detonation and three tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles. The International Olympic Committee said Monday it has "kept the door open" for North Korea to take part in the Games. IOC spokesman Mark Adams said the registration deadline has been extended and that the Switzerland-based committee supports North Korean athletes in the qualification process, while respecting U.N. sanctions against North Korea......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 9th, 2018