Archive for the ‘Keating’ Category

US admiral condemns China’s ‘aggressive’ actions

March 19, 2009

A top U.S. commander says China’s “aggressive and troublesome” run-in with an unarmed American ship shows that Beijing won’t behave acceptably.

Adm. Timothy Keating told senators that Beijing’s suspension of military contact last year because of U.S. arms sales to Taiwan and the South China Sea confrontation are “vivid reminders” that it has yet to become a “responsible stakeholder.”

Associated Press
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The U.S. has pushed for more frequent and intense communications with China to avoid military confrontations that could upset a relationship crucial to solving global crises. But Keating, who heads the Pacific Command, said the bilateral military relationship “certainly isn’t where we want it to be.”

The United States says its Navy survey vessel was harassed and threatened by Chinese-flagged trawlers in international waters; China claims the U.S. ship was conducting surveillance within its exclusive economic zone.

Keating said the Chinese behaved in an “aggressive and troublesome manner” and are “not willing to abide by acceptable standards of behavior.” In his written testimony he said the actions were “unlawful and dangerous.”

President Barack Obama last week signaled a need for more frequent and intense communications with China to avoid military confrontations that could upset a relationship crucial to solving global crises.

The United States has also pushed for China to allow port visits and more contact between the countries’ officers and for China to provide more information about its huge military spending.

Said Keating: “A mature, constructive, military to military relationship is hardly a reality today.” He added that military contacts with the People’s Liberation Army “fell short of expectations in 2008.”

Keating also said that a slight warming of relations between Taiwan and China is a good sign and shows the region is “somewhat stable.”

Commanders: US ready for any North Korean missile

March 19, 2009

Two senior U.S. commanders said Thursday that the military is ready if called upon to shoot down North Korea’s planned rocket launch next month.

The top U.S. commander in the Pacific, Adm. Timothy Keating, told senators at a hearing that there was a “high probability” that the United States could knock down a North Korean missile. Gen. Walter Sharp, the U.S. commander in South Korea, said the threat “is real.”

Associated Press
The comments come as North Korea reportedly prepares for what many believe will be a long-range missile test in early April. North Korea says it will launch a communications satellite, and defends the launch by saying other countries have been pursuing peaceful space programs.

Keating said the United States is getting “reasonable intelligence” reports that give a close look at North Korea’s activities.

“We’ll be prepared to respond,” he said, adding that “the United States has the capability” to shoot down any missile.

Sharp said any launch would be a “very clear” violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution. “The threat,” he said, “is real, and it is felt in South Korea.” The U.S. has some 28,500 military personnel in South Korea.

“We call on North Korea not to act in this provocative manner,” Sharp said.

In his testimony, Sharp said North Korea continues to build missiles of “increasing range, lethality and accuracy” for sale in Syria and Iran and elsewhere and for its own forces.

The United States, he said, “cannot afford to overlook” the threat those missiles pose to Asia and the world.

Sharp said North Korea is struggling with attempts to balance increased contact with the outside world and the risks such contact poses to “regime control.”

That, Sharp said, “raises questions about the long-term viability of an increasingly stressed North Korean regime.”

Sharp also said North Korean leader Kim Jong Il “is in charge. Every major decision is coming directly from him.”

Kim, 67, reportedly suffered a stroke in August. North Korea denies he was ill.

U.S. Navy announces new missile defense command

March 16, 2009

Next month the Navy will establish a new command with missile defense in mind.

Adm. Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations, announced the coming formation of the Navy Air and Missile Defense Command during a speech before a business group Wednesday night in Northern Virginia.

Andrew Scutro
Navy Times

“We’ll formally stand it up in April, but it will be the place where the Navy comes to bring together the thinking, the ideas, the concept, the intellectual effort for our air and ballistic missile initiatives, efforts and programs so that we can stay in the forefront of this important mission area,” Roughead told the group.

He said it will be based in Dahlgren, Va. — where the Navy has an existing facility — though further details about the new command were not readily available Wednesday night.

Tensions over ballistic missile launches have risen in recent weeks because of news that North Korea was preparing a test launch. The saber-rattling was taken seriously enough to prompt a comment from Adm. Timothy Keating, head of U.S. Pacific Command, who was quoted saying, “If a missile leaves the launch pad, we’ll be prepared to respond upon direction of the president.”

The Navy has had several successful ship-launched intercepts of test ballistic missiles. As of November, Navy shot 19 interceptor missiles at speeding targets and was successful in 16 attempts.

Read the rest:
http://www.navytimes.com/news/2
009/03/navy_bmd_command_031609w/

North Korea, China, U.S., Japan: Missiles, Missile Defense, Naval Power At Sea

March 15, 2009

Kim Jong Il is obviously uncomfortable. As tens of thousands of U.S. and South Korean troops staged an annual war-games exercise last week, he put North Korea’s military on alert. The real pea under his mattress, though, could be four battle cruisers that ply the Sea of Japan, just over the horizon from the Dear Leader’s beaches. These ships—two American, two Japanese—carry missiles capable of reaching North Korean nuclear-tipped rockets on their way to Japan, or even the satellite Kim has promised to put up any day now. U.S. Admiral Timothy Keating may have had these same missiles in mind when he threatened in late February to shoot down anything Kim felt emboldened to launch.

Related:
 US deploys warships as North Korea prepares to launch missile

By Fred Guterl
Newsweek
March 14, 2009
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The Aegis cruiser USS Lake Erie launches a Standard Missile III off Kaua’i, Hawaii, 25 January 2001. The RIM-161 Standard missile 3 (SM-3) provides Lake Erie with the capability to shoot down ballistic missiles.

These four cruisers aren’t the only ships that act as a de facto antimissile defense. The U.S. Navy has 73 Aegis ships around the world equipped with missiles that can reach space targets—whether the intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that carry nuclear warheads or satellites that fly in low earth orbit. As the Obama administration shows signs of backing away from plans to put missile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic, this fleet of “Aegis” cruisers, as they’re called, may be called upon to take up the slack. U.S. Representative Ellen Tauscher, head of the House strategic forces subcommittee, praised recent progress on Aegis in hearings last month. “This was a major accomplishment that we should all take pride in,” she said. “The same cannot be said of the long-range” ground-based missile defense. However, there are reasons to doubt that relying on Aegis will be an effective military strategy in the long run.

Compared with land-based missile defense, Aegis has the advantage of proximity. Ships can go, with minimal diplomatic hassle, wherever the threat is greatest. Kim’s saber rattling, in fact, led the United States to supply Japan with Aegis equipment and know-how. Aegis, a combination of radars and interceptor missiles, was originally designed to defend battle cruisers against fighter jets. Technological improvements over the years gradually extended its range. The Bush administration funded a new interceptor—SM-3, for “standard missile”—capable of reaching the ICBMs Russia and China have and North Korea and Iran want. Tests suggest that it can fly fast and far enough to catch an ICBM shortly after leaving the atmosphere. That’s an impressive feat, but experts caution that these tests were “scripted” and didn’t take into account countermeasures an enemy might invoke. By the time a rocket leaves the atmosphere, it’s almost impossible for an interceptor missile to tell the difference between the warhead and a decoy balloon. “If I were to throw a rock at you, but warn you ahead of time, you’d probably be able to deflect it,” says Philip Coyle, former assistant deputy of defense in the Clinton administration and now an adviser to the Center for Defense Information in Washington, D.C. “But that’s not to say you could get every rock thrown in the room, or in the whole country.”

CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORL
D/asiapcf/03/12/nkorea.launch/in
dex.html#cnnSTCText

File:USSLeyteGulfCG-55.jpg
Aegis cruiser USS Leyte Gulf

Tokyo is now developing a lighter, faster and more nimble version of the SM-3 that would come closer to hitting an ICBM at the end of its “boost phase,” before it had time to throw up decoys. The new version, expected to be ready in a few years, will travel twice as fast as the current one, but still too slow by half, says MIT missile expert Theodore Postol. The Navy has an Aegis missile on the drawing board designed to attain such speeds, though funding has yet to be approved.

This missile wouldn’t be a silver bullet either, says Postol. Even if the new interceptors hit their targets 100 percent of the time, they would still allow some warheads through. That’s because the warhead occupies a small volume of the missile, usually at the tip, and interceptors aren’t close to being able to sniff them out and make a direct hit. An airtight defense would require layers of redundancy—throwing lots of missiles at each ICBM—and could be countered easily by launching more ICBMs. “Missile defense encourages the enemy to do exactly what you don’t what them to do—build more missiles,” says Coyle. “I don’t know if Kim is worried, but he shouldn’t be.” Postol argues that putting missiles on drone planes, which could shoot down on ICBMs while they’re still rising off the launchpad, would work better than firing missiles from ships.

In one respect, Aegis is a completely effective weapon: it could easily take out low-flying military intelligence satellites. Does that confer a significant military advantage? Shooting down a nation’s satellite would be so provocative it’s hard to envision a scenario in which it would be a smart move. Besides, a hit on a 15-ton spy satellite would more than double the amount of space debris currently in orbit. That would make everybody uncomfortable.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/189255

 Sun Setting On American Superpower?

File:DDG-178MakingAshigara.jpg
A Japan Navt Aegis ship of the Kongo class

Related:
Obama Backs Off, Japan Ready To Shoot Down North Korean Missile

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Obama Wasting America’s Strategic World Power; China Surges Despite Economy
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Era of Obama, American Weakness Emboldens Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Terrorists

Stimulus: China Will Fund U.S. Debt But “We Hate You Guys”

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China Buying Oil, Uranium, Gold, Other Products At Bargain Prices

Russia, “Desperate For Cash,” Sells Oil to China In “Very Bad Deal”

What’s China’s Long Term Global Strategy?

Obama Backs Off, Japan Ready To Shoot Down North Korean Missile

March 13, 2009

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said today that “North Korea poses a continuing threat that should trouble us a great deal.”

North Korea is threatening to launch a ballisic missile over Japan and toward the United States.

Today Japan said it could shoot down any missile or object that looked to be a threat to Japan.
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“Japan is legally able to shoot down the object to secure safety if it looks like it will fall on to Japan,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura said during a news conference.

Sun Setting On American Superpower?

North Korea, China, U.S., Japan: Missiles, Missile Defense, Naval Power At Sea

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura says it has the right to shoot down the satellite.

Above: Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura says it has the right to shoot down the satellite.

Bolton said “Japan is sending a signal to Washington not to go soft on North Korea.”

The White House has already said it will not authorize a shoot down of the North Korean missile but could change its mind.  Hillary Clinton said there were “a lot of options.”

“Japan is certainly threatened by North Korea.  North Korea, with its nuclear weapons, is a regional and global threat,” Bolton said.

Even though the U.S. Navy has already demonstrated the ability to destroy an orbiting satellite, the White House says the U.S. will not interfere with North Korea’s missile test.

“Obama’s outreach and engagement with many [including Syria, Iran and the Taliban] is in contrast to Japan’s relationship with North Korea,” Bolton said.

Bolton was interviewed by the Fox News Channel on Friday morning, March 13, 2009.

North Korea remains a trouble spot in the world today only because China allows them to play that role.
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This week North Korea threatened war with the United States — a war that would certainly involve Japan and South Korea.  North Korea could not be making such threats and could not even think about testing a long range strategic missile just now unless China consented to this brazen move or at least looked the other way. 
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China supplies North Korea with almost all of its food, oil, luxury goods and currency. 
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Without China, North Korea would be impotent and meaningless.


One of Japan’s missile defense ships, KONGO

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Reuters

Japan said on Friday it could shoot down any threatening object falling toward its territory, after North Korea said a planned rocket launch would send it across Japanese territory.

North Korea has given notice to global agencies that it plans to launch a satellite between April 4 and 8, presenting a challenge to new U.S. President Barack Obama and allies who see it as a disguised missile test.

“Under our law, we can intercept any object if it is falling toward Japan, including any attacks on Japan, for our safety,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura told a news conference.

South Korea’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement any such launch would be in violation of Security Council Resolution 1718.

“If North Korea goes ahead with the launch, we believe there will be discussions and a response by the Security Council on the violation of the resolution.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/2009
0313/ts_nm/us_korea_north_19

CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD
/asiapcf/03/13/nkorea.launch.japan
/index.html

Related:
 Obama Wasting America’s Strategic World Power; China Surges Despite Economy

 White House: U.S. Will Not Shoot North Korean Missile

 China Provoked Obama; Now Works To Smooth Situation: Why?
.
Era of Obama, American Weakness Emboldens Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Terrorists

Japan Warns North Korea
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/20
09/mar/13/north-korea-japan-nucle
ar-missile


A U.S. Navy ship launches ballistic missile defense interceptors like those that could be used to counter North Korea’s long range missile launch….Japan also has AEGIS ships with ballistic missile defense systems….

http://michellemalkin.com/20
09/03/13/52-days-52-mistakes/

Russia, China call for restraint on Korea peninsula

March 11, 2009

Russia and China said on Wednesday they were concerned about rising tensions on the Korean peninsula after North Korea warned that shooting down a long-range missile it plans to test would be an act of war.

By Guy Faulconbridge
Reuters

Pyongyang said on Monday it had put its armed forces on full combat readiness in response to the start of annual military exercises by U.S. and South Korean troops, which it condemned as a provocation.

The reclusive state also said it planned to test-fire a long-range Taepodong-2 missile and warned any attempt to shoot it down would amount to an act of war. The missile is designed to fly as far as Alaska, but has never successfully flown.

“Both sides expressed concern about the worsening situation on the Korean peninsula,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement after Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke to his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi on Tuesday.

The ministers called on those involved “to show restraint and composure, and to refrain from any actions that could undermine security and stability in this region,” it said.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/2009031
1/wl_nm/us_korea_north_russia_3

Read about the alliance between Russia and China:
 Era of Obama, American Weakness Emboldens Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Terrorists

Russia, “Desperate For Cash,” Sells Oil to China In “Very Bad Deal”

 North Korea Warns: Shoot Down Our Satellite Will “Prompt Counterstrikes by the Most Powerful Military Means”

.Russia Sees Obama, U.S., Others As “Weak,” “Naive”

What’s China’s Long Term Global Strategy?

White House: U.S. Will Not Shoot North Korean Missile


A U.S. Navy ship launches ballistic missile defense interceptors like those that could be used to counter North Korea’s long range missile launch….

White House: U.S. Will Not Shoot North Korean Missile

March 9, 2009

North Korea is prepared to launch a long range ballistic missile and the U.S. is capable of shooting it down.

Admiral Timothy Keating, who commands the US Pacific Command, said interceptor ships were ready “on a moment’s notice”.

“Should it look like it’s something other than a satellite launch, we will be fully prepared to respond as the president directs,” he added.

But the U.S. has said it has no intiontion of shooting down North Korea’s missile, according to the Obama Administration.

North Korea has gone to its highest state of military alert while South Korea and Japan have cancelled all airline flights near North Korea as tensions in North Asia are at their most tense in years….

“Whether they describe it as a satellite launch or something else makes no difference” since both would violate a U.N. Security Council resolution banning the North from ballistic activity, Stephen Bosworth told reporters after talks with his South Korean counterpart.

Related:
North Korea Warns: Shoot Down Our Satellite Will “Prompt Counterstrikes by the Most Powerful Military Means


A U.S. Navy ship launches ballistic missile defense interceptors like those that could be used to counter North Korea’s long range missile launch….

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SEOUL, (AFP) – North Korea put its military on combat alert Monday as US and South Korean troops began a major joint exercise, and warned that any attempt to block its upcoming satellite launch would spark a war.

The communist state also severed its last communications channel with South Korea for the duration of the 12-day exercise by tens of thousands of troops, which Pyongyang has branded as a rehearsal for invasion.

The moves follow a threat last week against South Korean civilian airlines using the North’s airspace, forcing them to re-route flights.

The North Korean military described the exercises as “unprecedented in the number of the aggressor forces involved and in their duration.”

“The KPA Supreme Command issued an order to all service persons to be fully combat-ready,” it said in a statement on official media.

“A war will break out if the US imperialists and the warmongers of the South Korean puppet military hurl the huge troops and sophisticated strike means to mount an attack.”

The North, which tested an atomic weapon in 2006, said it was cutting off military phone and fax lines with South Korea during the drill as maintaining normal channels would be “nonsensical.”

This meant more than 700 people were unable to travel to a joint industrial complex at Kaesong just north of the border Monday, as South Koreans can only cross over with approval from the North via the military lines.

General Walter Sharp, head of US forces in South Korea, reiterated Monday that the exercise — involving an aircraft carrier, 26,000 US troops and more than 30,000 South Koreans — is an annual defensive training drill.

However, this year’s exercise comes at a time of high cross-border tension and growing pressure on the North to drop plans to fire a rocket.

North Korea says it is preparing to launch a satellite, but both Seoul and Washington believe the underlying purpose is to test a long-range Taepodong-2 missile that could in theory reach Alaska.

The North’s military General Staff warned it would retaliate “with prompt counter-strikes by the most powerful military means” it has to any attempt to intercept it.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090309/w
l_asia_afp/nkoreaskoreausmilitary_200903
09085936

Related:
Obama’s First Major Foreign Crisis Brewing?

CNN on North Korea:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiap
cf/03/08/nkorea.launch/index.html

China calls for better military ties under Obama

January 20, 2009

China on Tuesday urged President-elect Barack Obama to work with Beijing to improve its occasionally tense military relationship with the United States, calling on the Pentagon to “remove obstacles.”

By TINI TRAN, Associated Press Writer

Sr. Col. Hu Changming, spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense, said China — with one of the world’s fastest-growing armed forces — looked forward to smoother relations with Washington and its military, the world’s largest.

“At present, when China-U.S. military-to-military relations are faced with difficulties, we call on the U.S. Department of Defense to remove obstacles … and create favorable conditions for the healthy growth of military relations,” Hu said during a news conference held to present a major military policy paper.

China remains opposed to U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, and blocking formal independence for self-governing Taiwan remains the military’s chief concern, the paper said. China also views separatist movements in Tibet and the far western region of Xinjiang as the biggest threats to the country’s national security.

“On these matters, we will not compromise,” Hu said.

Defense sales to and relations with Taiwan have been an issue for every U.S. president since Beijing and Washington established diplomatic ties 30 years ago. China considers the self-ruled island a part of its territory and supports reunification.

U.S. arms sales to the island remain a major point of contention. Last fall, China’s defense minister demanded that the U.S. cancel a $6.5 billion arms sale to Taiwan, including Patriot III missiles and Apache helicopters, and then suspended some senior-level visits and other exchanges in retaliation.

However, years of tension between the sides gave way to rapprochement following last year’s election of Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou, who favors a less confrontational approach to China.

Hu said there had been major improvements in cross-strait relations, saying “the situation across the Taiwan Strait has taken a significant and positive turn.”

China also said it considered the global economic crisis a threat to development and was concerned about possible competition among nations for energy and food.

The paper, which covered 2008, did not give any new spending figures for China’s 2.3 million-strong armed forces for 2009. China had announced a military budget of $59 billion for 2008, up nearly 18 percent over the previous year. It was the 18th year of double digit growth of military spending in the past 19 years.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090120/a
p_on_re_as/as_china_defense_2

File photo shows Chinese amphibious tanks and marines storming ...
China proving here it is a superpower and master of Taiwan.  File photo shows Chinese amphibious tanks and marines storming a beachhead in an amphibious assault drill in China’s Shandong Peninsula. (AFP/Xinhua/File)

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The U.S. has been trying to get China into closer military cooperation for some time….

China  suspended military contacts with Washington in October.

China took the action to protest a $6.5 billion U.S. arms sale to Taiwan.

“It is a fact that the Chinese suspended ‘mil-to-mil’ dialogue with the Department of Defense in general and U.S. Pacific Command,” said Navy Adm. Timothy Keating, who commands all U.S. forces in Asia and the Pacific.

Timothy Keating
Admiral Keating

A defense official said the suspension occurred after the United States announced the arms package including 30 Apache attack helicopters and 330 Patriot missiles.

The sale angered Beijing, which has vowed in the past to bring Taiwan under its rule, by force if necessary. The United States switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979 but Washington remains Taiwan’s strongest ally and biggest arms supplier.

Related:
 U.S. admiral wants China military ties resumed

 China’s Naval Mission Near Somalia May Help Ties to U.S.
.
 China Aircraft Carriers Ordered, Construction Starts This Year
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China’s “Grand Strategy”: U.S. Out Of Asia?

China’s Naval Mission Near Somalia May Help Ties to U.S.

December 22, 2008

Admiral Timothy Keating of the U.S. Pacific Command said, “China’s plans to join the fight against piracy off the coast of Somalia could lead to a renewal of military exchanges between Beijing and Washington I think this could be a springboard for a resumption of dialogue between PLA forces and US Pacific Command forces.”

“The military cooperation between the two sides should be based on international laws and codes, mutual respect and equal consultation,” said Peng Guangqian, a Beijing-based expert quoted by the China Daily.


Above: Missile Destroyer Haikou 171 of the PLA Navy’s South China Sea Fleet is seen in this undated file photo. China’s navy will send two missile destroyers and a supply ship to the waters off Somalia this week to protect Chinese vessels and crews from pirate attacks.

“They’re on an actual mission, which could potentially involve combat, albeit of low intensity. That’s a real difference,” said Lyle Goldstein, director of the China Maritime Studies Institute at the U.S. Naval War College. “This is not a dangerous mission — actually, it’s the perfect coming out party for the Chinese navy.”

Several years ago China ended joint training and “militay-to-military” ties to the U.S.  China wanted to protest U.S. support to Taiwan.

“It is a fact that the Chinese suspended ‘mil-to-mil’ dialogue with the Department of Defense in general and U.S. Pacific Command,” said Navy Adm. Timothy Keating, who commands all U.S. forces in Asia and the Pacific.

Now both the U.S. and China are taking small steps toward renewing mutual exercises.

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
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Related:
China Anti-Pirate Mission Another Step in International Engagement

U.S. admiral wants China military ties resumed

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From China Daily:
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The fight against pirates in Somali waters will further enhance Chinese and US armies’ cooperation in anti-terrorism, a Chinese military expert has said.

The armed forces of China and the US will be cooperating for the first time in a real security environment off Somalia’s coast, Peng Guangqian, the Beijing-based expert said.

Defence Ministry spokesman Hu Changming said over the weekend that the navy would send two destroyers, 169 Wuhan and 171 Haikou, and 87 Weisanhu, a large supply vessel to Somali waters to combat pirates.

The ships will leave Sanya, Hainan province, on Friday, and the navy will strictly abide by relevant UN Security Council resolutions and international law, and cooperate with other convoy protection ships.

Last week, the UN Security Council unanimously agreed to authorize countries to fight piracy in Somali waters, and even on land, to free one of the world’s busiest commercial sea channels of the menace.

The military experts’ remarks came in response to US Pacific Command head Admiral Timothy Keating’s statement last week: “China’s plans to join the fight against piracy off the coast of Somalia could lead to a renewal of military exchanges between Beijing and Washington I think this could be a springboard for a resumption of dialogue between PLA forces and US Pacific Command forces.”

China suspended military contacts with the US in October in protest against Washington’s arms sales to Taiwan.

“The military cooperation between the two sides should be based on international laws and codes, mutual respect and equal consultation,” Peng said. Only this way can bilateral military cooperation proceed steadily.

The vessels deployed by most of the countries in the Gulf of Aden off Somali waters are destroyers. “A destroyer is well balanced in attack and defense, and good for long missions. Compared with a corvette, a destroyer is more suitable for long-distance combats,” said Du Wenlong, a senior researcher with the Chinese Academy of Military Science.

The Gulf of Aden leads to the Suez Canal and is the quickest route from Asia to Europe and the Americas.

It is also one of the important trade arteries for China, through which about 40 percent of all the goods and raw materials bound for the country pass, said Kang Shuchun, an expert in Chinese shipping who runs a website.

Somali pirates have attacked 20 percent of the Chinese ships that passed through Somali waters from January to November. They hijacked 15 of those vessels, and are still holding one of them and 18 crewmen to ransom, Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said.

Chinese experts called for close cooperation between the Chinese fleet and foreign counterparts in the mission against the pirates.

But, Du cautioned, the problem with the Somali mission is not the ability to attack or defend, but to identify pirate ships.

“A hijacking usually is over in 15 minutes,” Du said. “It’s hard to identify pirates on the sea and take defensive action in time.”

U.S. admiral wants China military ties resumed

December 18, 2008

The United States hopes China, which suspended military contacts with Washington in October, will soon resume them to work together against piracy in the Gulf of Aden, U.S. defense officials said on Thursday.

China took the action to protest a $6.5 billion U.S. arms sale to Taiwan.

“It is a fact that the Chinese suspended ‘mil-to-mil’ dialogue with the Department of Defense in general and U.S. Pacific Command,” said Navy Adm. Timothy Keating, who commands all U.S. forces in Asia and the Pacific.

Timothy Keating
Admiral Keating

A defense official said the suspension occurred after the United States announced the arms package including 30 Apache attack helicopters and 330 Patriot missiles.

The sale angered Beijing, which has vowed in the past to bring Taiwan under its rule, by force if necessary. The United States switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979 but Washington remains Taiwan’s strongest ally and biggest arms supplier.

By David Morgan, Reuters

At the time, the Pentagon said China canceled or postponed several military-to-military exchanges, including senior officer visits and a humanitarian relief program.

Keating told reporters prospects of China sending warships to the seas off Somalia to help international efforts against piracy could provide a “springboard” for resuming ties.

“We are in dialogue in various agencies and commands in an attempt to provide information to the People’s Liberation Army navy should their country decide to deploy ships,” he said.

“This augurs well for increased cooperation and collaboration between the Chinese military forces and U.S. Pacific Command forces,” Keating said. “So I’m cautiously optimistic.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081218/pl_nm
/us_usa_china_taiwan_1