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Militärstützpunkt in Pakistan?
Jun 12th, 2017 by Gao

Reuters: Pentagon report singles out Pakistan as home of future Chinese military base (Dawn)

A Pentagon report released on Tuesday singled out Pakistan as a possible location for a future Chinese military base, as it forecast that Beijing would likely build more bases overseas after establishing a facility in the African nation of Djibouti.
The prediction came in a 97-page annual report to Congress that saw advances throughout the Chinese military in 2016, funded by robust defence spending that the Pentagon estimated exceeded $180 billion. That is higher than China’s official defence budget figure of $140.4 billion…
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying declined to comment on possible overseas bases but said that China and Pakistan were close friends that conduct „mutually beneficial cooperation“ in a variety of fields.
While talking about the country’s operating overseas defence projects, Hua said the bases were there to improve navigation safety and assistance for fishermen as well as „to safeguard China’s independent sovereignty and territorial integrity. It is a legitimate right of a sovereign state.”

Neil Connor: China likely to set up military base in Pakistan – Pentagon (Telegraph)

China could build a new base in Pakistan as part of a global expansion of its military facilities, a US report says.
The report from the Pentagon predicts China will expand its military prowess after the construction of its first overseas naval base in Djibouti, a strategic location at the southern entrance to the Red Sea on the route to the Suez Canal.

Benjamin Haas: China to set up military bases in Pakistan – Pentagon report (Guardian)

China is set to expand its military capabilities across the globe, with new overseas bases in countries like Pakistan as the world’s largest army seeks an increased role in defending China’s interest abroad, a report by the Pentagon has said…
“China most likely will seek to establish additional military bases in countries with which it has a longstanding friendly relationship and similar strategic interests, such as Pakistan,” the report said.
“This initiative, along with regular naval vessel visits to foreign ports, both reflects and amplifies China’s growing influence, extending the reach of its armed forces.”
Last year China began building its first overseas base in the African nation of Djibouti, already home to Camp Lemonnier, a large US instillation responsible for counter terrorism operations in the Persian Gulf and east and north Africa.

Franz-Stefan Gady: Chinese Warships visit Pakistan (Diplomat)
Никита Коваленко: Сближение Китая и Пакистана добавит проблем России (Взгляд)

Китай и Пакистан вывели свое партнерство на новый уровень, явно дав понять это яркими символическими шагами, одним из которых стал первый совместный военный парад. Это событие в столь далеком, казалось бы, регионе может стать серьезным вызовом и для России. Дело в том, что сближение Пекина и Исламабада крайне нервирует одну из самых дружественных Москве стран – Индию.

F. M. Shakil: US alarm at possible Chinese base in Pakistan ignores context (Asia Times)

The Pentagon’s assessment this week that Pakistan may be set to host a Chinese military base is likely to have caused more of a commotion in New Delhi than in Islamabad. The fact is that Pakistan has provided strategic defense facilities to China for some time; indeed, such provision is key to the US$57 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Vinay Kaura: Understanding India’s response to China’s Belt and Road (Asia Times)

New Delhi decided to skip the much-publicized Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, framing the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative as a bad deal that undermines India’s core interests. Is this position in conflict with India’s simultaneous aspirations for economic cooperation and peaceful co-existence with China?

Doug Tsuruoka: China’s Obor could keep African economies moving (Asia Times)

China’s bold One Belt One Road (Obor) initiative to forge an integrated economic zone that stretches from Central Asia to Europe has an African component that could energize nations such as Nigeria and Tanzania at a time when they need a lift. Growth in sub-Saharan Africa hit its lowest level in two decades last year due to unstable oil prices, inflation and political volatility…
Obor has a firm beachhead in Africa. China surpassed the US as Africa’s largest trading partner in 2009…

THAAD
Mrz 20th, 2017 by Gao

Mel Gurtov: Diplomatic Remedies for THAAD Madness: The US, China and the Two Koreas (Japan Focus)

The US decision, supported by the South Korean government, to deploy an antimissile system known as THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) may be one of the most thoughtless strategic moves in a generation. The official US justification is that close-in defense against North Korean missiles is necessary to protect South Korea. But the deployment is having more than a few negative repercussions: an argument in China for increasing its nuclear weapons stockpile; an incentive in North Korea for continuing to develop its long-range missile capability; a deep fissure in China-South Korea relations; a roiling of South Korean politics at a time when its corrupt president has been impeached; and a new source of tension in already fraught Sino-US relations.

U.S. Deploys Missile System Amid Rising Tensions with N. Korea (Democracy Now)

Tensions are rising between the United States, North Korea and China, threatening to create the first significant national security crisis of the Trump presidency. This week, the United States began deploying a missile defense system to South Korea, sparking warnings from Chinese officials who say the U.S. is escalating a regional arms race. The U.S. says the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System, known as THAAD, seeks to protect South Korea amid a series of recent missile tests launched by North Korea…
The deployment of the U.S. missile system is widely opposed by both South Koreans, who have been protesting against U.S. militarization, and by Chinese officials, who say the missile system actually aims to counter China’s military power in the region, not to contain North Korea.
Chinese officials are calling for both an end to North Korea’s nuclear program and an end to joint U.S. and South Korean military drills.

Bruce Cumings, Amy Goodman: North Korea Timed Recent Missile Test to Take Place During Trump-Abe Dinner (Democracy Now)

North Korea tested a ballistic missile last month, sparking widespread international condemnation. The test was a violation of a United Nations Security Council resolution. North Korea claimed the test was a successful launch of an intermediate-range missile. The test came while Trump hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over the weekend at the Trump-owned Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.

Christine Ahn, Bruce Cumings, Amy Goodman: China Warns U.S. & North Korea Are Set for „Head-On“ Collision Amid Rising Tensions & Provocations (Democracy Now)

The political upheaval in South Korea comes shortly after North Korea test-fired several ballistic missiles. In response, the Trump administration announced it would deploy a missile defense system to South Korea. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of South Korean and U.S. troops, backed by warships and warplanes, are currently engaging in a massive military exercise. Last week, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned that the U.S. and North Korea are like two „accelerating trains coming toward each other.“ He called on both sides to de-escalate tensions.

David E. Sanger, William J. Broad: Trump Inherits a Secret Cyberwar Against North Korean Missiles (New York Times) / 트럼프가 물려받은 유산: 북한 미사일에 대응하는 비밀 사이버戰 / 特朗普接手的秘密计划:网络攻击破坏朝鲜导弹?

Three years ago, President Barack Obama ordered Pentagon officials to step up their cyber and electronic strikes against North Korea’s missile program in hopes of sabotaging test launches in their opening seconds…
An examination of the Pentagon’s disruption effort, based on interviews with officials of the Obama and Trump administrations as well as a review of extensive but obscure public records, found that the United States still does not have the ability to effectively counter the North Korean nuclear and missile programs…
In two meetings of Mr. Trump’s national security deputies in the Situation Room, the most recent on Tuesday, all those options were discussed, along with the possibility of reintroducing nuclear weapons to South Korea as a dramatic warning…
The White House is also looking at pre-emptive military strike options, a senior Trump administration official said, …

Papiertiger Trump
Feb 11th, 2017 by Gao

Tom Phillips: ‚Brutal, amoral, ruthless, cheating‘: how Trump’s new trade tsar sees China (Guardian, 22. Dezember)

The United States and China will fight a war within the next 10 years over islands in the South China Sea, and “there’s no doubt about that”. At the same time, the US will be in another “major” war in the Middle East.
Those are the views – nine months ago at least – of one of the most powerful men in Donald Trump’s administration, Steve Bannon, the former head of far-right news website Breitbart who is now chief strategist at the White House.

The Chinese government is a despicable, parasitic, brutal, brass-knuckled, crass, callous, amoral, ruthless and totally totalitarian imperialist power that reigns over the world’s leading cancer factory, its most prolific propaganda mill and the biggest police state and prison on the face of the earth.
That is the view of Peter Navarro, the man chosen by Donald Trump to lead a new presidential office for US trade and industrial policy, a move likely to add to Beijing’s anxieties over the billionaire’s plans for US-China relations.

Benjamin Haas: Steve Bannon: ‚We’re going to war in the South China Sea … no doubt‘ (Guardian, 2. Februar)
Tom Phillips: Donald Trump and China on dangerous collision course, say experts (Guardian, 7. Februar)

For the last 18 months a taskforce of prominent China experts, some of whom have dealt with Beijing for more than 50 years, has been formulating a series of recommendations on how the incoming White House should conduct relations with the world’s second largest economy.
The group’s report, which was handed to the White House on Sunday and will be published in Washington DC on Tuesday, says ties between the two nuclear-armed countries could rapidly deteriorate into an economic or even military confrontation if compromise on issues including trade, Taiwan and the South China Sea cannot be found.

AFP: South China Sea: US reports ‚unsafe encounter‘ with Chinese military aircraft (Guardian, 10. Februar)

A Chinese military aircraft had an “unsafe” encounter with a US navy surveillance aircraft near a contested reef in the South China Sea, according to the US Pacific command.
The two planes came within 1,000ft (300 meters) of each other during Wednesday’s incident near the Scarborough shoal, which is claimed by both the Philippines and China, according to Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis.

Und dann löst sich alles in Wohlgefallen auf?

Tom Phillips: Trump agrees to support ‚One China‘ policy in Xi Jinping call (Guardian, 10. Februar)

Donald Trump has held his first telephone conversation with the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, since entering the White House, telling the Communist party leader he will not challenge Beijing by upending longstanding US policy towards Taiwan.
In a brief statement the White House said the leaders of the world’s two largest economies had held a “lengthy” and “extremely cordial” telephone call on Thursday evening in which “numerous topics” were discussed…
The cordial encounter follows an “unsafe” one on Wednesday in the South China Sea between a Chinese aircraft and a US Navy patrol plane. US Pacific Command spokesman Robert Shuford said on Friday the “interaction” between a Chinese KJ-200 early warning aircraft and a US Navy P-3C plane happened in international airspace but did not say what was regarded as unsafe.

Simon Tisdall: China U-turn is latest sign Trump may turn out to be a paper tiger (Guardian)

Is Donald Trump turning out to be a paper tiger? China’s rulers might be forgiven for thinking so after the US president performed a U-turn on Taiwan, but the shift did not come out of the blue.
Trump’s approach to a range of key international issues has softened significantly since he took office, suggesting a lurch towards conformity and away from disruption. His acceptance of the One China policy, under which Washington does not challenge Beijing’s claim to what it deems a breakaway province, was a stunning reversal, contradicting previous suggestions he would pursue closer ties with Taiwan.

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.

Arbeitskämpfe | Sprachenpolitik | Inselstreit
Aug 28th, 2016 by Gao

Tricky Footwork-the struggle of labour rights in the Chinese shoe industry (Globalization Monitor)

Collected in interviews conducted in 2015 for this study, testimonies attest to the fact that labour law violations are still a common phenomenon in the Chinese leather and footwear industry. The people who work at the factories that supply European brands such as Adidas, Clarks and ECCO told us of, among other infringements, salaries that are far below a living wage, involuntary overtime, insufficient protection from health and safety risks, insufficient protection for young workers, disrespectful treatment of workers, no right to assembly, state violence to suppress strikes, unpaid social insurance contributions and insufficient severance payments.
All of the above is happening despite the fact that China has very progressive labour laws, especially in comparison with other producing countries.

Matthew Carney: The Labours of Mr Zhang (ABC)

Zhang Ziru has lost count of how many times he has been arrested. One week he remembers it was five times. He lives under constant police surveillance. He has moved away from his family to keep them safe.
Such are the occupational hazards for the labour activist who has helped organise some of China’s biggest strikes.

Gerald Roche: The politics of language on the Tibetan plateau (Little Red Podcast / Soundcloud)

The South China Sea is an important world energy trade route (U. S. Energy Information Administration)

Stretching from Singapore and the Strait of Malacca chokepoint in the southwest to the Strait of Taiwan in the northeast, the South China Sea is one of the most important energy trade routes in the world. Almost a third of global crude oil and over half of global liquefied natural gas (LNG) passes through the South China Sea each year.
The Strait of Malacca is the shortest sea route between African and Persian Gulf suppliers and Asian consumers. The strait is a critical transit chokepoint and has become increasingly important over the last two decades. In 1993, about 7 million barrels per day (bbl/d) of oil and petroleum products (20% of world seaborne oil trade) passed through the Strait of Malacca …

Jeremy Bender: The only chart you need to see to know that the South China Sea is one of the most militarized regions in the world (Business Insider)

China, by far, has the largest military force in the region. As such, Beijing could force its claims over the South China Sea against the wishes of the other nations involved in the dispute due to both its economic and military size.

Pepe Escobar: The Real Secret of the South China Sea (Sputnik)

The South China Sea is and will continue to be the ultimate geopolitical flashpoint of the young 21st century – way ahead of the Middle East or Russia’s western borderlands. No less than the future of Asia – as well as the East-West balance of power – is at stake.
To understand the Big Picture, we need to go back to 1890 when Alfred Mahan, then president of the US Naval College, wrote the seminal The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783. Mahan’s central thesis is that the US should go global in search of new markets, and protect these new trade routes through a network of naval bases.

Below the Winds: What Do the Island Disputes Really Mean to Vietnamese & Chinese Workers? (Chuang)

Chinese control over the South China Sea would to some extent entail Chinese control over Korean, Japanese, and Taiwanese capital. These three countries are longstanding American allies, and it stands to reason that should China be determined to dominate the South China Sea as a territorial water, thereby dominating one of the most important shipping lanes in the world, an American allied coalition may be dragged into conflict.

Peter Symonds: The Hague ruling: A dangerous step toward war (World Socialist Website)

In the wake of the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s sweeping ruling on Tuesday in The Hague, negating all Chinese maritime claims in the South China Sea, there has been a chorus of US-led condemnations of China’s “illegal activities,” demands that Beijing abide by the court decision and calls for US diplomatic and military action to enforce the verdict.

Robert Fitzthum: Der Konflikt in der South China Sea im geostrategischen Kontext (PDF, Labournet Austria)

Mehr als 11.000 km vom amerikanischen Festland entfernt proben US-Flugzeugträger, Lenkwaffenkreuzer sowie EP-3 Spionageflugzeuge in der South China Sea die ‚Freedom of Navigation‘. Erstaunlicherweise passieren jährlich ca. 100.000 Transportschiffe und viele Verkehrsflugzeuge dieses Gebiet, ohne dass man bisher von Problemen in der Freiheit der Passage durch die South China Sea gehört hatte. Die USA werfen China aggressives Verhalten im Zusammenhang mit der Schaffung von künstlichen Inseln und ziviler und militärischer Einrichtungen vor. Ein Jahrzehnte alter, regional allseits bewusst niedrig gehaltener Konflikt über die Hoheits- und Nutzungsrechte an Inseln, Riffen, Felsen, Meeresgebieten u.ä. wird derzeit als großes Problem hochgekocht und man fragt sich, warum ist das der Fall.

Jacques deLisle: The South China Sea Arbitration Decision: China Fought the Law, and the Law Won….Or Did It? (Foreign Policy Research Institute)

When the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague issued its unanimous decision on July 12 in the case that the Philippines had filed against the People’s Republic of China two and a half years earlier, the Court set forth: a stunning repudiation of several of China’s key legal arguments and much of its real-world behavior in the disputed South China Sea; a remarkable affirmation of the core elements of US policy and strategy toward the contested maritime region and China’s claims and actions therein; and a striking assertion of the reach and capacity of international law and formal dispute resolution procedures. Yet, as with so much else concerning the South China Sea, China’s relations with its neighbors, US policy toward China, and international law, the implications of the decision are a good deal more ambiguous and ambivalent. In the aftermath of the decision, China is faced with difficult choices, the US with complex dilemmas, and international law with substantial peril.

Minxin Pei: Why China’s elites worry about the country’s future (Nikkei Asian Review)

[I]f you meet Chinese businessmen, academics or government officials who are willing to share their candid opinions in private, most will tell you they have no idea where China is going. Several recent important developments create the same sense of bewilderment about China’s overall direction.

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)

Überproduktion | Inselstreit
Feb 29th, 2016 by Gao

The march of the zombies (Economist)
China’s surplus capacity in steelmaking, for example, is bigger than the entire steel production of Japan, America and Germany combined. Rhodium Group, a consulting firm, calculates that global steel production rose by 57% in the decade to 2014, with Chinese mills making up 91% of this increase. In industry after industry, from paper to ships to glass, the picture is the same: China now has far too much supply in the face of shrinking internal demand. Yet still the expansion continues: China’s aluminium-smelting capacity is set to rise by another tenth this year. According to Ying Wang of Fitch, a credit-rating agency, around two billion tonnes of gross new capacity in coal mining will open in China in the next two years.

Daniel Hurst, Oliver Holmes, Justin McCurry: Beijing places missile launchers on disputed South China Sea island (Guardian)

China has deployed surface-to-air missile launchers on an island in the South China Sea, satellite images appear to show, dramatically upping the stakes in a territorial dispute involving the US and its regional allies.
Tensions in the South China Sea, a vital shipping route, could rise after two batteries of eight missile launchers and a radar system were deployed to Woody Island in the past week, according to images taken by the private company ImageSat International.
The images were first published by Fox News. The Chinese foreign minister, Wang Yi, did not deny that missile launchers had been installed but said the reports were an attempt by certain western media to create news stories.

Daniel Hurst: Julie Bishop says missile launchers shouldn’t deter flights (Guardian)
Reuters: South China Sea: US may consider sending more destroyers to patrol islands (Guardian)
Shalailah Medhora: China expresses ‚dissatisfaction‘ at Australia’s defence white paper (Guardian)

China has expressed “concern and dissatisfaction” with Australia’s defence white paper, a multibillion-dollar framework for military acquisition and strategy over the coming decades that was released on Thursday.
The white paper noted “a number of points of friction”, including over China’s territorial ambitions in the South China Sea.

声援无名政治犯,海外发起“我是张海涛”运动 (Voice of America)
Appeal Begins of Harsh 19-Year Prison Term Given Xinjiang-based Activist Zhang Haitao (China Change)

Inselstreit
Jan 4th, 2016 by Gao

APA/AFP: China provoziert Vietnam mit Flug zu Spratly-Inseln (Presse)

Mit der Landung eines Flugzeugs auf den umstrittenen Spratly-Inseln im Südchinesischen Meer hat China den Konflikt mit Vietnam erneut angeheizt. Peking wies am späten Samstagabend Kritik aus Hanoi zurück, nachdem ein chinesisches Flugzeug auf einem Atoll der Inseln, dem Fiery Cross Reef, gelandet war. Laut chinesischem Außenministerium habe es sich lediglich um einen „zivilen Testflug“ gehandelt. Die Aktion habe innerhalb von chinesischem Territorium stattgefunden, hieß es weiter. China streitet mit den Ländern Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam und den Philippinen seit Jahren um die Spratly-Inseln. Dort werden große Erdöl- und Erdgasvorkommen vermutet. Vietnam hatte gegen die Landung des chinesischen Flugzeugs protestiert und erklärt, die Aktion beeinflusse „Frieden und Stabilität im Südchinesischen Meer“. China müsse diesen Schritt „umgehend beenden“ und dürfe derlei Aktionen „nicht wiederholen“.

Vietnam protests after China lands plane on disputed Spratly islands (Guardian)

Vietnam has formally accused China of violating its sovereignty by landing a plane on an airstrip Beijing has built on an artificial island in a contested part of the South China Sea.
Foreign ministry spokesman Le Hai Binh said the airfield had been “built illegally” on Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly archipelago, in territory that was “part of Vietnam’s Spratlys”.
China’s foreign ministry rejected the complaint, saying that what was a test flight to the newly built airfield on the reef was a matter “completely within China’s sovereignty,” the Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported.
The United States said it was concerned that the flight had exacerbated tensions.
Washington has criticised China’s construction of artificial islands in the South China Sea and worries that Beijing plans to use them for military purposes, even though China says it has no hostile intent.

Ausführlicher Hintergrundartikel:
Alex Calvo: South China Sea arbitration: Beijing puts forward her own views – part one | part two (Center for International Maritime Security)

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