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Südchinesisches Meer
Feb 6th, 2018 by Gao

Frances Mangosing: New photos show China is nearly done with its militarization of South China Sea (Inquirer)

China is almost finished transforming seven reefs claimed by the Philippines in the Spratly archipelago into island fortresses, in a bid to dominate the heavily disputed South China Sea.
Most of the photos, taken between June and December 2017, were snapped from an altitude of 1,500 meters and they showed the reefs that had been transformed into artificial islands in the final stages of development as air and naval bases.

Südchinesisches Meer
Dez 17th, 2016 by Gao

Julian Borger: Chinese warship seizes US underwater drone in international waters (Guardian)

The Chinese navy has seized an underwater drone in plain sight of the American sailors who had deployed it in international waters, in a seemingly brazen message to the incoming Trump administration.
According to a US defence official, the unmanned glider had come to the surface of the water in the South China Sea and was about to be retrieved by the USNS Bowditch, an oceanographic and surveillance ship, when a Chinese naval vessel that had been shadowing the Bowditch put a small boat in the water…
As China develops a strategic submarine fleet, with the potential to carry nuclear missiles out into the Pacific Ocean, the US has built up a monitoring network designed to spot Chinese submarines as they leave their bases. Drones are key to the network, and there is a race under way between major naval powers to develop drones that can work together in swarms and “see” long distances through the water. Underwater gliders are drones that can stay underwater on the lookout for submarines for long periods of time.

AP: China and US in talks over seized drone, officials say (Guardian)

The device was being operated by civilian contractors to conduct oceanic research, according to the Pentagon.

AP: Philippines to ’set aside‘ South China Sea tribunal ruling to avoid imposing on Beijing (Guardian)

The Philippine president has said he would “set aside” a ruling by an international arbitration tribunal that invalidated Beijing’s claims to most of the South China Sea, because he doesn’t want to impose on China.
“In the play of politics, now, I will set aside the arbitral ruling. I will not impose anything on China,” Rodrigo Duterte said at a news conference on Saturday.

Tom Phillips: Images show ’significant‘ Chinese weapons systems in South China Sea (Guardian)

China appears to have positioned “significant” weapons systems, including anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems, on all seven of the artificial islands it has built in the South China Sea, despite vowing it had no intention of militarising the archipelago, a US thinktank has claimed.

Xinhua: China says deployment of defensive facilities on South China Sea islands legitimate (Global Times)
Tom Phillips: ‚Friends forever‘? China wary of Rex Tillerson wooing away Russia (Guardian)

Rex Tillerson’s controversial nomination as secretary of state has delighted Moscow where the Texan oilman has deep and long-standing ties. Donald Trump’s choice of the ExxonMobil chief was “100% good news” for Vladimir Putin, one opposition politician claimed.
But in Beijing, already reeling from Trump’s early forays into foreign policy, the move has inspired no such celebration, instead fuelling fears that the president-elect’s courtship of the Kremlin could be part of a bold strategic bid to isolate China.

Philippinen | Thailand | Korea
Okt 24th, 2016 by Gao

Anthony V. Rinna: Can Duterte’s diplomacy have it all? (East Asia Forum)

Less than six months into his tenure as President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte has embarked on what even he considers to be risky foreign policy moves. In September 2016, he declared that he is about to ‘cross the Rubicon’ in the Philippines’ relationship with the United States.
The ‘crossing’ Duterte refers to is his plan to enhance the Philippines’ relationships with Russia and China.

Greg Raymond: What’s wrong with the United States’ Southeast Asian allies? (East Asia Forum)

The Philippines and Thailand are not acting like US treaty allies are supposed to. While the Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte seems somewhat of an outlier, his anti-Americanism is only the latest instalment of instability in the US–Philippines relationship. Thai–US relations have also suffered since the 2014 military coup and Thailand now appears to be seeking closer military ties with China. But these countries’ disagreements with the United States do not necessarily mean they want a change to the status quo in Asia.

Andrei Lankov: Learning to live with a nuclear North Korea (East Asia Forum)

North Korea has done it again. On 9 October they conducted yet another nuclear test, so far the most powerful and arguably the most successful. To make matters worse, there are good reasons to expect that another test is in the making.

Nidhi Prasad: Japan’s nuclear insurance against North Korea (East Asia Forum)

George Shultz’s axiom that ‘proliferation begets proliferation’ appears to be contested in East Asia. North Korea conducted its fifth nuclear test on 9 September, leaving its non-nuclear Asian neighbours vexed. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe termed it ‘totally unacceptable’ and has called for strict sanctions. But the international fear of North Korea’s nuclear tests triggering a chain of nuclear tests in East Asia or the rise of a nuclear tsunami seems to have been dispelled with the United States’ Asian allies favouring ‘strategic assurance’.

Landwirtschaft | Hongkong | Korea | Philippinen
Okt 19th, 2016 by Gao

Robert B. Marks: Modern China’s agricultural contradictions / 现代中国的农业矛盾 (ChinaDialogue)

The People’s Republic had to overcome massive environmental degradation and poor quality farmland to drive its industrial transformation

Francesco Sisci: Expect a power struggle at China’s next party plenum (Asia Times)

It is a strange situation: Xi sits on all the power—none of his opponents has enough strength to topple him—but the antagonists can muster enough force to slow down or stop Xi’s plans for change. The vested interests in the country and the party are well rooted, widespread, and unwilling to give up all of their privileges and money for the general benefit of the country – or what they may believe are Xi’s personal ambitions. It is almost a political deadlock, and for both Xi and his opponents, it may be a fight to the bitter end.

Tom Phillips: Rebel Hong Kong politicians defy China at chaotic swearing-in ceremony (Guardian)

Pro-democracy politicians cross fingers and make protest signs and subversive references to Beijing’s authoritarian rulers.

Benny Kung: HK pro-independence lawmakers prevented from retaking oath (Asia Times)

Two pro-independence Hong Kong lawmakers were denied the chance to swear themselves into office on Wednesday after their pro-Beijing peers walked out of the chamber in protest at the duo’s anti-China sentiment.

Hong Kong lawmakers walk out to block swearing-in of democracy activists (Guardian)

Reuters: US and South Korea will ‚pay the price‘ for missile system, China paper says (Guardian)

Noel Tarrazona: Did the US end military drills over Duterte’s China pivot? (Asia Times)

Last Tuesday (Oct 11) was significant for the Philippines. The day marked the early end to the US-Philippines military drills which was supposed to go on till Oct 12…
There may be genuine reasons for this change of plans but many Filipinos and the outside world immediately linked it with Duterte’s recent statement that this would be the last military drill between the two countries.

Inselstreit | Liu Wencai | Geschichte
Aug 4th, 2016 by Gao

Alfred Gerstl: Südchinesisches Meer: Friedliche Lösung im Interesse aller (Reispapier)

Der Spruch des Internationalen Schiedshofes über den Streit zwischen den Philippinen und China hat weitgehende Folgen für die Territorialkonflikte im Südchinesischen Meer. An einer diplomatischen Lösung führt jedoch kein Weg vorbei – sie liegt im Interesse aller Beteiligten.

Vanessa Piao: Grandson of China’s Most-Hated Landlord Challenges Communist Lore (New York Times)

Sorghum and Steel. The Socialist Developmental Regime and the Forging of China (chuang)

The story we tell below explains the century-long creation of China as an economic entity. Unlike the nationalists, we do not hope to uncover any secret lineage of culture, language or ethnicity in order to explain the unique character of today’s China. Unlike many leftists, we also do not seek to trace out the “red thread” in history, discovering where the socialist project “went wrong” and what could have been done to achieve communism in some alternate universe. Instead, we aim to inquire into the past in order to understand our present moment. What does the current slowdown in Chinese growth bode for the global economy? What hope, if any, do contemporary struggles in China hold for any future communist project?
Our long-term goal is to answer these questions—to compose a coherent communist perspective on China not muddied by the romance of dead revolutions or the hysteria of rapid growth rates. Below we offer the first in a three-part history of the emergence of China out of the global imperatives of capitalist accumulation. In this issue we cover the explicitly non-capitalist portion of this history, the socialist era and its immediate precursors, which saw the development of the first modern industrial infrastructure on the East Asian mainland…
This first section covers the non-capitalist period, in which the popular movement led by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) succeeded in both destroying the old regime and halting the transition to capitalism, leaving the region stuck in an inconsistent stasis understood at the time to be “socialism.”

Haager Inselstreit-Urteil
Jul 12th, 2016 by Gao

Bill Gertz: US, China wage legal warfare over control of the South China Sea (Asia Times)

The United States is stealing a page from China’s strategic playbook in using international law as a means to counter expansive maritime claims in the South China Sea.
The three-year old case between China and the Philippines over the South China Sea at the United Nations Permanent Court of Arbitration Tribunal in The Hague will end Tuesday when the court’s ruling is announced.
US officials say the ruling is expected to favor the Philippines in the maritime dispute and provide a solid basis in traditional international law for pushing back against China’s claims.

Tom Phillips: Beijing defiant ahead of court ruling on its claims in South China Sea (Guardian)

China has refused to recognise the five-judge court’s authority and on Tuesday morning the country’s Communist party-controlled press lashed out at what it claimed was a United States-sponsored conspiracy to stifle its rise.

Law-abusing tribunal issues ill-founded award on South China Sea arbitration (Xinhua)

The tribunal handling the South China Sea arbitration case unilaterally initiated by the former Philippine government issued its final award on Tuesday, amid a global chorus that as the panel has no jurisdiction, its decision is naturally null and void.

Unlawful arbitration cannot negate China’s sovereignty over South China Sea (People’s Daily / Global Times)
Arbitration award more shameless than worst prediction (Global Times)
China’s reaction to arbitration depends on provocation (Global Times)

The award of the South China Sea arbitration will be issued at 5 pm Beijing time Tuesday. The US and Japan have claimed that relevant countries, including China, should comply with the arbitration result. They stand in sharp confrontation with China, which has announced that the award would be „nothing but a piece of paper.“ Whether the arbitration will lead to a severe geopolitical crisis has come under the global spotlight.

Tom Phillips, Oliver Holmes, Owen Bowcott: Philippines wins South China Sea case against China (Guardian)

China has lost a key international legal case over strategic reefs and atolls that it claims would give it control over disputed waters of the South China Sea.
The judgment by an international tribunal in The Hague is overwhelmingly in favour of claims by the Philippines and will increase global diplomatic pressure on Beijing to scale back military expansion in the sensitive area.
By depriving certain outcrops – some of which are exposed only at low tide – of territorial-generating status, the ruling effectively punches holes in China’s all-encompassing “nine-dash” demarcation line that stretches deep into the South China Sea. It declares large areas of the sea to be neutral international waters.

Oliver Holmes, Tom Phillips: South China Sea dispute: what you need to know about The Hague court ruling (Guardian)
What you need to know about The Hague arbitration, the China-Philippines sea dispute (Global Times)

The U-shaped, nine-dash line encircling most of the South China Sea is the core of China’s claim. It was first published on a map drawn by the Kuomintang’s Republic of China government in 1947 and then inherited by the People’s Republic of China in 1949.
China’s sovereignty over the South China Sea was never officially disputed until the 1960s.

Zhao Minghao: South China Sea chaos would only add to global woes (Global Times)
Statement of the Government of the People‘ s Republic of China on China’s Territorial Sovereignty and Maritime Rights and Interests in the South China Sea (Xinhua)
Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China on the Award of 12 July 2016 of the Arbitral Tribunal in the South China Sea Arbitration Established at the Request of the Republic of the Philippines (Xinhua)
Thomas Escritt, Ben Blanchard: Tribunal says China has no ‘historic’ title over South China Sea (Asia Times)
Taiping, an island not rock, says Taiwan; Philippines, Vietnam hail sea ruling (Asia Times)

While the Philippines and Vietnam welcomed the international tribunal’s ruling on South China Sea, Taiwan rejected the court’s view that defined a Taiwan-controlled island in the waters as a “rock.”

Liu Zhen: Questions of neutrality: China takes aim at judges in South China Sea case (South China Morning Post)

China confident of ability to deal with provocation in South China Sea, says Defense Ministry spokesperson (Global Times)
Lies of Philippines‘ Aquino administration on South China Sea (Xinhua)
Why will China never respect U.S. over South China Sea? (Xinhua)

Shortly after UNCLOS was unveiled in 1982, then U.S. President Ronald Reagan refused to sign, claiming the convention undermined his country’s sovereignty.
In 1994, after UNCLOS was revised to take into consideration American worries about losing control of valuable underwater oil and natural-gas deposits, then U.S. President Bill Clinton signed an updated UNCLOS agreement, although not the entire treaty.

Li Kaisheng: Washington can’t steer Manila’s path (Global Times)
Liu Haiyang: Tribunal award could impair UNCLOS (Global Times)
Graham Allison: Of Course China, Like All Great Powers, Will Ignore an International Legal Verdict (Diplomat)
Wang Wen: Debunking 10 myths about China and the South China Sea (South China Morning Post)
Bill Hayton: China’s ‘Historic Rights’ in the South China Sea: Made in America? (Diplomat)

The current understanding of “historic rights” in the South China Sea in China can be traced back to a U.S. diplomat.

Bill Hayton: China’s South Sea claims were always about emotion, not history (National Interest)

The tribunal’s award is 501 pages long. I’m still reading it, but my favorite line so far comes in Paragraph 270, where the judges say, “The Tribunal is unable to identify any evidence that would suggest that China historically regulated or controlled fishing in the South China Sea, beyond the limits of the territorial sea.” This destroys the implicit misunderstanding at the heart of China’s attitude towards the region—that it, and only it, has been the sole user of the waters between its coast and those of its neighbors.
No one can deny that Chinese traders or fishing communities based along the coast of what is now China made extensive use of the sea. But so did traders and fishers from all the other countries around it. So did merchants from India, Persia, Arabia and Europe. The history of the South China Sea has always been a shared one. Muslim traders built a mosque in Guangzhou in the eighth century, Chinese shipwrights borrowed design ideas from Malay vessels, and the region grew rich on the profits of exchange. The chauvinism about China’s superior and exclusive claim to the sea only emerged in the dying years of the Qing Empire and the chaotic early years of the Republic of China.

Thomas Eder: „China hat Völkerrecht gebrochen“ (8MRD)
Richard Javad Heydarian: China may dispute South China Sea verdict, but it’s a huge setback (Guardian)
Pepe Escobar: Between a Rock and a Hard (South China) Place (CounterPunch)

Beijing is open for talks, as long as Manila sets the ruling aside. Jay Batongbacal, from the University of the Philippines, cuts to the heart of the issue: “Publicly stating that junking the arbitration is a condition for resuming negotiations gives no room for face-saving on either side.”

Alfred Gerstl: Recht oder Macht im Südchinesischen Meer (Standard)

Auch wenn in China die Wogen nach dem Schiedsspruch des Ständigen Schiedshofs hochgehen: Nun gibt es die Chance, den Konflikt unter dem Dach der Assoziation südostasiatischer Nationen zu lösen.

Korea | Inselstreit
Jun 27th, 2016 by Gao

Johnny Erling: Nordkorea: Kim provoziert mit Doppelraketentest

Nordkoreas Machthaber Kim Jong-un schlug zum richtigen Zeitpunkt gleich doppelt zu. Den UN-Sanktionen zum Trotz forderte er wieder einmal alle Welt heraus – mit zwei Raketentests kurz hintereinander, und das, obwohl die Vereinten Nationen solche Tests seinem Land verboten haben. … Kim befahl den ersten Test nach Angaben der südkoreanischen Nachrichtenagentur Yonhap Mittwochfrüh um 5.58 Uhr. Er ließ eine Mittelstreckenrakete vom Typ Musudan von der Ostküste Nordkoreas abschießen. US- und südkoreanisches Militär sehen in ihr eine potenzielle Trägerwaffe, die künftig mit einem Atomsprengkopf bestückt werden könnte. Mit einer Reichweite von 3000 bis 4000 Kilometern erreicht sie angeblich jeden Punkt in Japan und bedroht auch US-Stellungen auf Guam und in Alaska. …
Südkoreas Verteidigungsbehörden nannten den Test „misslungen“. Das Geschoß sei 150 Kilometer vom Start entfernt ins Meer gestürzt. Seit April ist es der inzwischen fünfte Fehlschlag in Folge. Doch um 8.05 Uhr zündete Nordkorea eine zweite Musudan. Sie soll laut Yonhap rund 400 Kilometer weit gekommen sein.

Justin McCurry: North Korea: UN security council ‚to meet‘ after missile tests (Guardian)

The missiles are usually test-fired at a flatter angle to maximise their range, according to Jeffrey Lewis at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in California. “That suggests the missile worked perfectly,” he said. “Had it been fired at its normal angle, it would have flown to its full range.”…
It was not immediately clear whether Pyongyang considered the second Musudan launch a success or failure, or how the flight ended.

Pepe Escobar: Beijing goes mobile in the South China Sea (RT)

Not a day goes by without some sort of turmoil in the South China Sea. Let’s cut to the chase: war is not about to break out.

Scenarios of the Coming Crisis: A Response to Aufheben’s “The Crisis: Afterword” (Chuang)

In China, official politics is a game of arcane signals. Predicting tectonic shifts in policy requires that one read the seismic shudders buried beneath terse statements issued by poker-faced officials. Slight changes in terminology may hint at sliding allegiances or new waves of repression. The most significant signals, however, take the form of interviews with anonymous oracles—almost always an “authoritative person”—their words propagated by the state’s highest media organs without attribution. The more such oracles speak, the greater the magnitude of the coming “intervention.” Such proclamations also often signal internal disagreements within the seemingly monolithic Chinese Communist Party (CCP). With the slowing of economic growth, such disagreements have been exacerbated, as the top leadership debates the future of the economic reforms that have led China into a commanding role within global circuits of capital accumulation.

Qiao Long, Wong Lok-to, Luisetta Mudie: Chinese Blogger Who Compiled Protest Data Missing, Believed Detained (Radio Free Asia)

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