Archive for the ‘Pacific’ 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

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.”

China’s Economic Might, Arrogance Should Cause Caution in the West

March 13, 2009

China has so much cash in reserve that they are funding their own economic stimulus — and with their own money; not borrowed cash.

China is also funding the American economic stimulus by buying American Treasury bills and other debt.

Cinese leaders are gloating to some extent about the stupidity of American leaders who do not have the cash reserves so carefully put aside by China.  Many Chinese leaders also scoff at the tom foolery of most Americans who have such debt ridden lives, with mortgages, credit card debt, a loan for the car and a college loan still outstanding.

But what the Chinese leaders don’t talk about is that few Chinese have cars, nice homes and college degrees….

So Chinese arrogance about American debt is sometimes confused by envy for many things American….

And China has expressed some concern about the spend-crazy Americans.

Premier Wen Jiabao “We have loaned a huge amount of money to the United States,” Wen said at a news conference in Beijing. “Of course, we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I’m a little bit worried. I would like for you [a Western reporter] to call on the United States to honor its word and stay a credible nation and ensure the safety of Chinese assets.”

This came at about the same time that United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called the U.S. a “deadbeat” nation.

Expect China to exert more influence over U.S. economic and foreign policy, just as Barack Obama is claiming the right to dictate policy to banks who took his bailout money.

China holds about $1 trillion in U.S. debt and will likely “buy” about $1 trillion more — especially if Obama and Nancy Pelosi demand another stimulus package.

Chinese arrogance and wealth is unmistakable, pervasive and in some ways very troubling for the West.

China is using its vast wealth and the current global recession as an opportunity to buy up natural resources at bargain prices.  China is building a world-class military complete with a global navy and an aircraft carrier.  And China is not afraid to confront the likes of the U.S. just as it did on the high seas last weekend….

We can expect China to continue to grow and dominate Asia, the Pacific and wherever they choose to go.

This US Navy file photo shows the military Sealift Command ocean ... 
This US Navy file photo shows the military Sealift Command ocean surveillance ship USNS Impeccable (T-AGOS-23). Five Chinese vessels maneuvered dangerously close to a US Navy ship in the South China Sea on Sunday, March 8, 2009, approaching within 25 feet of the unarmed surveillance ship, the Pentagon said.(AFP/NVNS)

China’s Love/Hate Relationship With The U.S

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

 Global Economy Weakness Leading To Social Unrest

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

Behind the U.S. and China At Sea Incident

Pelosi’s Stimulus II? Lawmakers Propose No Cost, High Employment Energy Package

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

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

China Sees Threat in U.S. Arms Sales

January 20, 2009

The Chinese government announced Tuesday that the nation faces important threats in the form of independence movements related to Taiwan, Tibet and the western desert region of Xinjiang, and that American arms sales to Taiwan continue to jeopardize stability in Asia.

By Edward Wong
The New York Times
The announcement came in a white paper on national defense released Tuesday by the State Council, the Chinese equivalent of a cabinet. The paper said that “China’s security situation has improved steadily,” but that “being in a stage of economic and social transition, China is encountering many new circumstances and new issues in maintaining social stability.”

The 105-page paper, which includes tables on defense expenditures and other statistics, sought to portray China as a nation whose military power is to be used only for defense, and one that sees maintaining its territorial integrity as the top priority of national defense.

According to goals implied in the paper, China also seeks to act as a counterbalance to the American military presence in Asia. Several times in the first part of the paper, the authors pointed out worrisome aspects of American intervention in the region.

“The U.S. has increased its strategic attention to and input in the Asia-Pacific region, further consolidating its military alliances, adjusting its military deployment and enhancing its military capabilities,” the paper said.

Certain destabilizing factors outside China are growing, the paper added, singling out the fact that “the United States continues to sell arms to Taiwan,” which leads to “serious harm to Sino-U.S. relations as well as peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits.”

Last October, the Pentagon announced it was selling $6.5 billion of weaponry to Taiwan despite vehement protests from Beijing. The package included 30 Apache attack helicopters, 330 Patriot missiles and 32 Harpoon missiles that can be launched from submarines. The sale had been delayed for murky political reasons. The Taiwan Relations Act, passed in 1979, says the U.S. must provide arms of a defensive nature to Taiwan and act to protect Taiwan from any hostilities.

Above: Missile Destroyer Haikou 171 of the PLA Navy’s South China Sea Fleet.  She departed with two other Chinese warships on a mission to the Gulf of Aden near Somali on anti-pirate patrol on Friday.  Many in the West see this as a sign of renewed cooperation between China and other military powers.

In presenting the white paper on Tuesday, a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of National Defense said he hoped the administration of Barack Obama would build stronger military relations between the United States and China.

“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,” the spokesman, Sr. Col. Hu Changming, said at a news conference.

Taiwan remains the biggest source of potential military conflict between the two nations.

Although Taiwan enjoys de facto independence and is a thriving democracy, the Chinese government has long maintained that it will reunite Taiwan with the mainland, by force if necessary. Under Taiwan’s previous president, Chen Shui-bian, relations with the mainland grew extremely tense because Mr. Chen’s policies moved Taiwan closer to formal independence, prompting bellicose reactions from Beijing and Washington, which wants to avoid becoming involved in a war between China and Taiwan.

But following the election in Taiwan last year of Ma Ying-jeou, a member of the Kuomintang Party that fled the Communist takeover of China in 1949, the Taiwanese government has taken a more conciliatory approach toward the mainland. Mr. Chen was recently arrested on corruption charges.
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China Aircraft Carriers Ordered, Construction Starts This Year

China projects naval power in pirate fight

December 30, 2008

China’s dispatch of two warships to help battle Somalian pirates has drawn an ambivalent global reaction – a sign of the decidedly mixed feelings toward its bid for big-power status.

Two destroyers and a supply ship steamed out of a southern Chinese port Friday, on China‘s first patrol and potential combat mission beyond Chinese waters. The ships are due to reach the Gulf of Aden by Jan. 6 and carry 870 crew members, including 70 elite Navy special forces trained in close combat and helicopter-borne raids, according to the China Daily newspaper.

By Jonathan Adams
Christian Science Monitor

Two days earlier, a Chinese defense official, at a rare press conference, gave one of the clearest indications yet that China plans to build an aircraft carrier.

The developments reflect China’s determination to boost its sea power, in line with its rising economic and political clout.

“Now we have more overseas interests and activities, so that’s why we need a stronger force on the oceans,” says Peng Guangqian, a military expert in Beijing.

The United States frets about how a bulked-up Chinese Navy might complicate a Taiwan conflict scenario. But it welcomed the decision to join amultinational naval “posse” battling Somalian brigands, who have turned waters off east Africa into a hazardous pirates’ alley and wreaked havoc on world trade. Still, some of China’s Asian neighbors have expressed concern about its naval muscle-flexing.

China Navy's destroyers, the Haikou, top left, and the Wuhan, ... 
China Navy’s destroyers, the Haikou, top left, and the Wuhan, bottom left, and supply ship the Weishanhu, right, are moored at port before leaving for the Navy’s first oversea operation from Sanya, southern China’s Hainan province Friday, Dec. 26, 2008. On Friday, warships armed with special forces, missiles and helicopters will sail for anti-piracy duty off Somalia, the first time the communist nation has sent ships on a mission that could involve fighting so far beyond its territorial waters.(AP Photo/Color China Photo)

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China’s Growing Naval Might Worries Many

SKorea deploys its 1st Aegis-equipped Navy destroyer

December 22, 2008

South Korea deployed its first Aegis-equipped destroyer Monday as part of a program to boost its naval forces, the navy said.

The 7,600-ton-class ship is armed with the U.S. Aegis radar and combat system enabling it to detect and trace 1,000 targets and strike 20 of them simultaneously, the navy said in a statement.

Associated Press

The warship is the first of three Aegis-equipped destroyers that South Korea plans to deploy in coming years, according to the navy.

“Our navy … can completely protect our forces from threats by enemy missiles and jets and has obtained precision striking capability,” Jung Ok-keun, the navy chief of staff, said in comments on the deployment, according to the statement.

South Korea shares the world’s most heavily fortified border with North Korea, and naval skirmishes sometimes occur along their disputed maritime frontier.

South Korea launched the Aegis ship in May last year and has been testing its capability before its actual deployment, the navy said. South Korea was the world’s fifth nation to commission an Aegis destroyer after the United States, Japan, Spain and Norway.

The divided states are still technically at war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty. Tensions on the peninsula have been running high since a pro-U.S., conservative government took office in Seoul in February with a pledge to take a tough line on the North.

Blair, Master at Intelligence, Joins Obama Administration

December 20, 2008

After Dennis Blair’s assignment as military liaison to the CIA 13 years ago, he groused about all the cloak-and-dagger politics at Langley headquarters. “You’d go to a meeting and think everyone had agreed” to a particular course of action, and then the meeting would end and “someone would come up to me in the hallway and say, ‘Forget what you heard in there’ ” — what we really want to do is something different, Blair once explained. 

Obama Lays an Egg: CIA Pick from “Left Field”

Seal of the Central Intelligence Agency

By Dana Priest
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, December 20, 2008; Page A04

Dennis Blair

Secret agendas have never been “Denny” Blair’s style. The reserved former four-star admiral, who is widely understood to be President-elect Barack Obama‘s choice as director of national intelligence, is well known in Washington as an intellectual who values straightforwardness and has mastered the byzantine interagency process during his various government stints.

In choosing a man so steeped in Washington’s ways, the Obama administration is signaling its intention to streamline the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which is widely seen as too large, too cumbersome and still too disjointed, according to transition officials.

Created by Congress in 2004 over the objections of most leaders of the U.S. intelligence community, the McLean-based ODNI today includes 1,500 employees and a hefty, although undisclosed, number of private contractors. It supervises the nation’s 16 other intelligence agencies, including the CIA.

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With Blair, Don’t Expect Smarter Intelligence

By Robert Baer
Time Magazine

The nomination of retired admiral Dennis Blair as the Director of National Intelligence was predictable, if not quite inspired.

In Blair, Barack Obama no doubt saw someone who was, first and foremost, not involved in the Bush intelligence scandals – namely extraordinary renditions, secret prisons, and torture. And while Blair’s brief stint at the CIA during the Clinton Administration didn’t turn him into a seasoned intelligence operative, he’s at least seen the belly of the whale from the inside.

The downsides to Blair’s appointment are that there’s little chance he’ll lead the much-needed charge to streamline the intelligence community. As the former commander of the Pacific Fleet, Blair had a vast and sprawling staff that makes the bloated intelligence community seem downright efficient.

Then there’s also the fact that, like most military officers, Blair is a believer in tactical intelligence. Let me explain why that’s problematic: During the last Gulf war, the Pentagon badgered the CIA for things like sand samples and stress limits of Iraq bridges, the terrain its Abrams tanks would roll across. Yes, that information was nice to have, but such requests diverted CIA resources from strategic intelligence. Rather than answering the question of whether Saddam had kept his weapons of mass destruction, the CIA sent its clandestine sources into Iraq with baggies and little plastic shovels.

On top of it, the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have diminished the role of the CIA. It’s the military in those two countries that collects the body of intelligence. Pragmatically, it couldn’t have been otherwise. A lieutenant leading a patrol through an Iraqi village is much more likely to collect relevant information than a CIA officer confined to an office.

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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.”

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