China Warns Waning Global Demand Is Top Threat to Trade

(Bloomberg) — Overseas demand for goods from China is weakening as the global economy slows, warned a senior Chinese commerce ministry official, though the country still expects foreign trade to…

(Bloomberg) — Overseas demand for goods from China is weakening as the global economy slows, warned a senior Chinese commerce ministry official, though the country still expects foreign trade to...

Reagan Strike Group Starts Drills with Korean Navy; Russian, Chinese Ships Spotted off Alaska

The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group (CSG) began drills with the Republic of Korea Navy in the East Sea on Monday, the U.S. Navy announced. The Maritime Counter-Special Operations Exercise (MCSOFEX) in the East Sea with the ROKN, through Thursday, the service said. U.S. Navy units participating in the exercise are carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) with […]

A U.S. Army CH-47 Chinook lands on the flight deck of USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), in the waters east of the Korean peninsula on Sept. 26, 2022. US Navy Photo

The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group (CSG) began drills with the Republic of Korea Navy in the East Sea on Monday, the U.S. Navy announced.

The Maritime Counter-Special Operations Exercise (MCSOFEX) in the East Sea with the ROKN, through Thursday, the service said. U.S. Navy units participating in the exercise are carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) with embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) Five, cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG-62), destroyers USS Barry (DDG-52) and USS Benfold (DDG-65) and staff from Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15 and Carrier Strike Group (CSG) Five, according to the release. The Army’s 2nd Combat Air Brigade and U.S. Air Force’s 7th Air Force joined with units from U.S. Special Operations Command Korea for the exercises.

“Our combined ROK-U.S. naval force is demonstrating its strength and resolve by conducting this exercise together to build our combat readiness,” said Rear Adm. Michael Donnelly, commander, Task Force (CTF) 70/CSG 5, in the release.

The bilateral exercise includes live fire, surface warfare, anti-submarine and anti-air drills.

“This exercise will improve ROK-U.S. combined operational capabilities and bolstered interoperability,” said Rear Adm. Kwak, Kwang Sub, commander, ROK Navy Maritime Battle Group (MBG) 1, in the release. “Two navies will continue to maintaining combined naval defense posture based on iron-clad ROK-U.S. alliance.”

Russia, Chinese Warships Spotted near Alaska

A Coast Guard Cutter Kimball crewmember observing a foreign vessel in the Bering Sea, September 19, 2022. Coast Guard Photo

On Monday, the U.S Coast Guard issued a release stating that the joint Russian Navy – People’s Liberation Army Navy Surface Action group was sighted sailing approximately 75 nautical miles north of Kiska Island, Alaska, on Sept. 19.

According to the release, USCGC Kimball (WMSL-756) was on a routine patrol that day when it encountered a PLAN cruiser with the pennant number 101, which corresponds to CNS Nanchang (101) though China considers the ship as a destroyer.

Kimball later identified two more Chinese naval vessels and four Russian naval vessels, including a Russian Navy destroyer, all in a single formation with Nanchang as a combined surface action group operating in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), according to the release.

As a result of the sighting, Kimball is now operating under Operation Frontier Sentinel, a Seventeenth Coast Guard District operation designed to meet presence with presence when strategic competitors operate in and around U.S. waters.

“The U.S. Coast Guard’s presence strengthens the international rules-based order and promotes the conduct of operations in a manner that follows international norms. While the surface action group was temporary in nature, and Kimball observed it disperse, the Kimball will continue to monitor activities in the U.S. EEZ to ensure the safety of U.S. vessels and international commerce in the area,” according to the release, which also added that a Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak C-130 Hercules air crew provided support to the Kimball’s Operation Frontier Sentinel activities.

Coast Guard cutters deployed to the Bering Sea and North Pacific Ocean also encountered Chinese naval vessels, including a surface action group transiting approximately 50 miles off the Aleutian Island chain, in September 2021.

“While the formation has operated in accordance with international rules and norms,” said Rear Adm. Nathan Moore, Seventeenth Coast Guard District commander in the release, “we will meet presence-with-presence to ensure there are no disruptions to U.S. interests in the maritime environment around Alaska.”

The Russian Navy – PLAN surface action group consists of Russian Navy destroyer RFS Marshal Shaposhnikov (543), corvettes RFS Sovershennyy (333), RFS Gromkiy (335) and RFS Hero of the Russian Federation Aldar Tsydenzhapov (339), and replenishment ship Pechanga, while the PLAN contingent consist of Nanchang, frigate CNS Yancheng (546) and replenishment ship CNS Dongpinghu (902).

The two navies have been working together to carry out a joint naval patrol in the Pacific Ocean, the Russian Defense Ministry announced Sept. 15.

On Friday, the Russian Defense Ministry issued a statement saying that the group had held a number of drills, including search and rescue rehearsals and air defense exercises, as part of joint patrols in the Pacific Ocean.

The statement also said the group had been practicing maneuvers using various formations and establishing communication links between the vessels and that several joint and individual exercises were conducted to work out anti-submarine missions, search and rescue operations at sea and execute air defense tasks, with flights performed by antisubmarine and rescue ship-based helicopters.

The Russian and Chinese warships have sailed more than 3,000 nautical miles in the past 12 days and are continuing their patrols, according to the release.

PLAN ships have also been sighted transiting through Japanese straits, according to Japan Ministry of Defense releases.

On Monday, the Joint Staff Office (JSO) of the Ministry of Defence issued two releases with the first release stating that at around 8 a.m. Friday, a PLAN destroyer, frigate and replenishment ship were sighted sailing southeast in an area 180km north of Miyako Island before they sailed southeast through the Miyako Strait ,which lies between Miyako Island and Okinawa. The PLAN ships were identified as destroyer CNS Huainan (123), frigate CNS Rizhao (598) and replenishment ship CNS Kekexilihu (968).

The three ships form the PLAN 42nd China Naval Escort Task Force, which left their homeport on Sept. 21 for the Gulf of Aden to conduct anti-piracy escort missions there. The task force is now in the South China Sea, according to a release from China’s Ministry of National Defense.

The JSO release stated that the PLAN ships were monitored by Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) destroyer JS Inazuma (DD-105) and minesweeper JS Shishijima (MSC-691), a JMSDF P-1 Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) of Fleet Air Wing 1 based at JMSDF Kanoya Air Field, Kyushu, and a P-3C Orion of Fleet Air Wing 5 based at Naha Air Base, Okinawa.

The second JSO release stated that at noon Friday, a PLAN Dongdiao class surveillance vessel, hull number 796, was sighted sailing east in an area 100 km southwest of Tsushima, Nagasaki Prefecture, and subsequently sailed northeast through the Tsushima Strait in the Sea of Japan.

Minesweepers JS Toyoshima (MSC-685) and JS Ukushima (MSC-686) and fast attack craft JS Umitaka (PG-828) shadowed the PLAN ship.

The JSO issued another release Tuesday after a PLAN Dongdiao class surveillance vessel with the hull number 794 was sighted around 4 p.m. Monday sailing northwest in an area 140km east of Miyako Island. The ship then sailed northwest through the Miyako Strait and into the East China Sea.

Dongdiao 794 previously sailed southeast through the Miyako Strait on Aug. 28, and Toyoshima and a JMSDF P-3C Orion of Fleet Air Wing 5 shadowed the PLAN ship.

Over in Yokosuka, destroyer USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) and LCS USS Oakland (LCS-24) arrived at Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka (CFAY) on Monday for scheduled port visits.

Update to Congress on Military, Political Developments in North Korea

The following is the Sept. 15, 2022, Congressional Research Service report, North Korea: September 2022 Update. From the reprort For more than 30 years, 16 Congresses and 6 presidential administrations have struggled with North Korea’s (officially the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea, or DPRK) advancing nuclear weapons and missile programs, human rights abuses, sponsorship […]

The following is the Sept. 15, 2022, Congressional Research Service report, North Korea: September 2022 Update.

From the reprort

For more than 30 years, 16 Congresses and 6 presidential administrations have struggled with North Korea’s (officially the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea, or DPRK) advancing nuclear weapons and missile programs, human rights abuses, sponsorship of cyber-attacks and cyber-crime, and threats to U.S. regional allies. As Members of Congress seek to shape and oversee U.S. policy toward North Korea, they may wish to consider a number of developments that have occurred since nuclear talks collapsed in 2019.

The Biden Administration says it is pursuing a “calibrated, practical approach” that “is open to and will explore diplomacy with North Korea” to eventually achieve the “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The Administration appears to envision offering partial sanctions relief in exchange for partial steps toward denuclearization. Its approach appears to be in alignment with that of South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, who assumed office in May 2022 and has hardened Seoul’s stance toward the DPRK. Since Yoon’s inauguration, Washington and Seoul have shifted their emphasis from diplomacy to deterrence, for instance by expanding the size and scope of bilateral military exercises. They also have offered Pyongyang unconditional humanitarian assistance, and Yoon has pledged to provide large-scale economic assistance if North Korea “embarks on a genuine and substantive process for denuclearization.”

Pyongyang largely has ignored attempts by the Biden and Yoon Administrations, and their predecessors, to resume dialogue and has rejected offers of humanitarian assistance, including COVID-19 vaccines. Meanwhile, North Korea reportedly has continued to produce fissile material for weapons. It also has continued to test missiles of various ranges and capabilities, including more than 30 ballistic missiles since the start of 2022, in violation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions. The tests appear to have advanced the reliability and precision of its missile forces, and improved its ability to defeat regional missile defense systems. In March 2022, North Korea tested an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) for the first time since 2017. Many observers see evidence that North Korea is preparing to conduct its seventh nuclear weapons test. It has not tested a nuclear device since 2017.

The United States has responded to North Korea’s missile tests by introducing new unilateral sanctions designations, dispatching U.S. military assets to Northeast Asia, and working with the Yoon Administration to expand U.S.-ROK deterrent activities and to reinvigorate trilateral cooperation with Japan. In June 2022, the Senate passed the Otto Warmbier Countering North Korean Censorship and Surveillance Act of 2021 (S. 2129) that, among other steps, would require the State and Treasury Departments to report annually to Congress on U.S. government sanctions-related activities and enforcement.

North Korea has undertaken these activities despite signs that its economy has contracted significantly since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since early 2020, the North Korean government has largely closed the country’s borders and imposed restrictions on economic activities. Between January 2020 and January 2022, North Korea’s official trade, which already had been reduced to a trickle due to sanctions, fell by nearly 90%. The difficulty of importing food and agricultural products during the border shutdown, combined with poor weather, appears to have exacerbated North Korea’s chronic food shortages. The U.N. estimates that over 10 million North Koreans, roughly 40% of the population, are undernourished. However, there are few outward signs that North Korea’s economic difficulties are threatening the regime’s stability or are compelling North Korea to pursue engagement with the United States.

Download the document here.

Carrier Ronald Reagan Makes Rare South Korean Port Call, Russian Ships Active Near Japan

USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) docked into the Republic of Korea on Friday, the Navy announced,  the first port call to the country in nearly four years. Reagan pulled in with cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG-62) and destroyer USS Barry (DDG-52), arrived in Busan. //did Barry arrive in Busan or did Reagan, Barry and Chancellorsville pull in?// Destroyer USS […]

USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) pulls into port in Busan, Republic of Korea, Sept. 23, 2022. US Navy Photo

USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) docked into the Republic of Korea on Friday, the Navy announced,  the first port call to the country in nearly four years.

Reagan pulled in with cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG-62) and destroyer USS Barry (DDG-52), arrived in Busan. //did Barry arrive in Busan or did Reagan, Barry and Chancellorsville pull in?// Destroyer USS Benfold (DDG-65) pulled in at Chinhae to the east.

“The Ronald Reagan Strike Group’s visit is of strategic importance to the U.S. and Republic of Korea relationship and is a clear and unambiguous demonstration of U.S. commitment to the Alliance,” Rear Adm. Buzz Donnelly the strike group’s commander said in the statement. “We’re excited to return to Busan. Our presence and commitments to the Republic of Korea and the Indo-Pacific region are not new, and visits like this are part of our routine operations in the region that have helped maintain peace for more than 70 years.”

The Reagan CSG will drill with the Republic of Korea Navy next month, following the port visit, which combines both preparations and planning for the drill along with engagement activities and crew recreation. Prior to arrival in Korea, the Reagan strike group conducted drills with the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) destroyer JS Amagiri (DD-154)

In addition to Reagan, guided-missile destroyer USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) is operating in the Western Pacific.

Zumwalt departed Guam on Monday after a scheduled port call, according to the U.S. Navy. The visit marks the farthest the destroyer ever been from its home port of Naval Base San Diego, Calif.

Amphibious assault ship USS Tripoli (LHA-7) is currently in the Philippines Sea after drilling with USS America (LHA-6) on Sept. 17 while both ships were sailing in the East China Sea.

Forward deployed amphibious transport dock USS New Orleans (LPD-18), part of the Tripoli Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) is in the Sea of Japan with embarked elements of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU).

Amphibious dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD-47) is operating around Japan having wrapped up an interoperability and beach landing exercise on Monday with JMSDF LST JS Kunisaki (LST-4003) at Numazu marine exercise area in Shizuoka Prefecture, Honshu. The exercise began on Sept. 16.

Operating around the East China Sea now is the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) frigate HMCS Vancouver (FFH331) as part of Operation Neon – Canada’s contribution to a coordinated multinational effort to support United Nations Security Council sanctions imposed on North Korea. Canada’s participation includes surveillance and monitoring any ships that break the U.N. sanctions. Vancouver has been conducting the mission since mid-September and it is the sixth such deployment by the RCN since 2018. On Tuesday, Vancouver conducted a Taiwan Straits transit with USS Higgins (DDG-76).

Also this week, four Russian Navy Tarantul class corvettes were sighted sailing west through La Pérouse Strait and into the East China Sea, the Japanese Ministry of Defense said on Sept. 16.

The corvettes were identified as RFS R-14 (924), RFS R-18 (937), RFS R-11 (940) and RFS Ivanovets (954). The Russian corvettes were monitored by JMSDF fast attack craft JS Kumataka (PG-827) and a P-3C Orion Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) of Fleet Air Wing 2 station at JMSDF Hachinohe Air Base, Honshu.

Ivanovets is part of the Russian Black Sea Fleet and has been sighted as part of that fleet since July this year, it is unclear if the ship had been reassigned to the Pacific Fleet or if one of the other Tarantul-class corvettes in the Russian Pacific Fleet, which operates a total of 10 of the class, has been renumbered. Since its invasion of Ukraine, Russia has been painting over the hull numbers of its ships to obscure their identities.

La Pérouse Strait is an international waterway that divides the Russian island of Sakhalin and Japan’s island of Hokkaido. The strait is routinely transited by Russian Pacific Fleet ships moving between the Sea of Japan and Sea of Okhotsk as both seas form part of the fleet operational areas. Japan monitors closely the activities of Russian and Chinese naval vessels sailing nearby.

On Wednesday, the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) 42nd China Naval Escort Task Force comprising of destroyer CNS Huainan (123), frigate CNS Rizhao (598) and replenishment ship CNS Kekexilihu (968) left their homebase of Qingdao to relieve the 41st China Naval Escort Task Force, which includes destroyer CNS Suzhou (132), frigate CNS Nantong (533) and replenishment ship CNS Chaohu (890), that deployed in May this year. The PLAN has been dispatching ships to perform escort duties in the Gulf of Aden since 2008.

In Australia, a total of 16 ships, one submarine, 34 aircraft and 3000 personnel from 22 countries are carrying out the sea phase of the Royal Australian Navy led Exercise Kakadu 2022 in the waters and airspace of the Northern Australian Exercise area. The exercise is being held from Sept. 12-24 and encompassed both warfare and maritime enforcement training. Countries involved in the exercise are Australia, Brunei, Chile, Cook Islands, Fiji, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Palau, Philippines, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Thailand, Timor Leste, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, the U.S. and Vanuatu.

The Royal Australian Navy ships taking part in the exercise are destroyer HMAS Hobart (DDG39), frigate HMAS Perth (FFH157), replenishment ship HMAS Stalwart (A304) and patrol boat HMAS Broome (ACPB90), along with an RAN submarine. Fiji, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the United States have each sent a ship for the exercise: Republic of Fiji Naval Forces patrol craft RFNS Savenaca (401), French Navy frigate FNS Vendémiaire (F734), Indian Navy frigate INS Satpura (F48), Indonesian Navy frigate KRI Raden Eddy Martadinata (331), JMSDF destroyer JS Kirisame (DD-104), Royal Malaysian Navy frigate KD Lekiu (FFGH30), Republic of Singapore Navy frigate RSS Steadfast (70), Royal Thai Navy frigate HTMS Bhumibol Adulyadej (FFG 471) and U.S. Navy Littoral Combat Ship USS Charleston (LCS-18).

Along with Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P-8 Poseidon MPAs and Hawk fighter trainers, an Indian Navy P-8I Poseidon MPA and s U.S Navy P-8 Poseidon MPA is also taking part in the exercise while the German Air Force and Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) contingents, which were in Australia for the RAAF Pitch Black exercise held from Aug.19 through Sept. 8 have stayed on to participate in Kakadu. The German Air Force contingent comprises of six Eurofighter Typhoons, three A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transports (MRTT), and an A400M transport while the RSAF contingent comprises of 8 F-15SG and 8 F-16D fighters, a Gulfstream 550 airborne early warning aircraft and a A330 MRTT.

USS Higgins Joins Canadian Warship to Transit Taiwan Strait

USS Higgins (DDG-76) conducted a Taiwan Strait transit on Tuesday, the Navy announced. Higgins performed the transit in cooperation with Royal Canadian Navy Halifax-class frigate HMCS Vancouver (FFH-331), according to a Tuesday Navy news release. The strait transit was done outside of any territorial waters, Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said during a Tuesday press […]

USS Higgins conducted a Taiwan Strait transit on Sept. 20. US Navy Photo

USS Higgins (DDG-76) conducted a Taiwan Strait transit on Tuesday, the Navy announced.

Higgins performed the transit in cooperation with Royal Canadian Navy Halifax-class frigate HMCS Vancouver (FFH-331), according to a Tuesday Navy news release.

The strait transit was done outside of any territorial waters, Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said during a Tuesday press briefing.

Higgins and Vancouver conducted a routine transit “in accordance with international law,” according to the Navy release.

“Higgins’ and Vancouver’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the commitment of the United States and our allies and partners to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” according to the release. “Cooperation like this represents the centerpiece of our approach to a secure and prosperous region.”

This is the second Taiwan Strait transit since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) visited the island. The last transit took place on Aug. 29, when USS Antietam (CG-54) and USS Chancellorsville (CG-62) sailed through the strait.

China criticized the strait transit at the time and called the two Ticonderoga-class cruisers old. China has not yet commented on Higgins‘ transit.

However, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning warned the U.S. against overt support for Taiwan after President Joe Biden said the U.S. would defend Taiwan.

“China deplores and firmly opposes the remarks made by the US president and has made stern representations with the US,” Mao said, according to an article in state-run People’s Daily.

Hamburg Mayor Says Rejecting China COSCO Bid for Container Terminal Would Be Competitive Disadvantage

BERLIN, Sept 19 (Reuters) – Germany would put its port of Hamburg at a competitive disadvantage if it quashed a bid from China’s Cosco to buy a stake in a container operator,…

BERLIN, Sept 19 (Reuters) – Germany would put its port of Hamburg at a competitive disadvantage if it quashed a bid from China’s Cosco to buy a stake in a container operator,...

U.S., Japanese Defense Chiefs Reaffirm Alliance in Pentagon Meeting

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada reaffirmed their commitment to an alliance on Wednesday during the defense secretaries’ first meeting since Hamada’s appointment in August. The U.S.-Japan Alliance remains a cornerstone of peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and both countries are bound by deep friendship and trust, Austin said […]

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin hosts Japan’s Minister of Defense Yasukazu Hamada for talks at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., Sept. 14, 2022. (DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando)

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada reaffirmed their commitment to an alliance on Wednesday during the defense secretaries’ first meeting since Hamada’s appointment in August.
The U.S.-Japan Alliance remains a cornerstone of peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and both countries are bound by deep friendship and trust, Austin said during his welcoming remarks. The two countries share common interests and a vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific, as well as a rules-based international order, he added.

“But China’s recent aggressive behavior and Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine are serious challenges to that vision,” Austin said. “So let’s be clear. China’s coercive actions in the Taiwan Strait and in the waters surrounding Japan are provocative, destabilizing and unprecedented.”

In his remarks during the welcoming, Hamada said, “We have seen various events that are of concern for the Japan-U.S. alliance, one after another, including Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, the landing of China’s ballistic missiles near waters of Japan, and China and Russia’s joint exercise around Japan. We can never condone unilateral attempts to change the status quo in any parts of the world”.

Austin reaffirmed the United States’ unwavering commitment to the defense of Japan, which includes the U.S. commitment to credible and resilient extended deterrence “using the full range of our conventional and nuclear capabilities.” Hamada said he would cooperate with Austin to make sure that that the extended deterrence, including nuclear capabilities, remains credible and resilient.

The two defense chiefs held a 95 minute discussion on a variety of items, according to a Japan Ministry of Defense news release on the meeting. They criticized China’s ballistic missile launches last month and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and also highlighted how crucial it is to maintain calm in the Taiwan Strait.

“Regarding North Korea’s nuclear and missile issues, the Ministers welcomed the Japan-U.S.-ROK exercise during the missile warning exercise Pacific Dragon in August. The Ministers confirmed that they would further advance even closer Japan-U.S. bilateral and Japan-U.S.-ROK trilateral cooperation in order to promptly respond to North Korea’s provocative actions in a concerted manner,” the release reads.

Meanwhile, the Russian Defense Ministry on Thursday announced that Russia and China are carrying out a joint naval patrol in the Pacific Ocean.

“As part of the implementation of the program of international military cooperation, warships of the Russian Navy and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Naval Forces are conducting a second joint patrolling in the Pacific Ocean,” the ministry said in its release, adding that the patrolling mission is meant to strengthen naval cooperation between Russia and China, maintain peace and stability in the Asia Pacific region, monitor sea waters, and protect Russian and Chinese maritime economic activity.

Russian Navy ships involved in the patrol include destroyer RFS Marshal Shaposhnikov (543); corvettes RFS Sovershennyy (333), RFS Gromkiy (335) and RFS Hero of the Russian Federation Aldar Tsydenzhapov (339); and replenishment ship Pechanga. The People’s Army Liberation Navy contingent includes destroyer CNS Nanchang (101), frigate CNS Yancheng (546) and replenishment ship CNS Dongpinghu (902).

Nanchang, Yancheng and Dongpinghu took part in Russia’s Vostok 2022 strategic drill, which ended on Sept. 7. The PLAN ships – along with Sovershennyy, Gromkiy and Hero of the Russian Federation Aldar Tsydenzhapovconducted drills and live firing in the Sea of Japan on Sept. 3 before sailing east through La Pérouse Strait the next day. This is the second time Russian and Chinese ships have carried out a joint naval patrol; the first occasion was last October.

At the same time, other Russian and PLAN ships have been active around Japan, with a PLAN hydrographic survey ship violating Japan’s territorial waters on Thursday, according to the MoD. Japan’s Ministry of Defense issued a news release on Thursday claiming that a Shupang-class survey ship was sighted at 3:30 a.m. local time that day sailing westward in Japan’s contiguous zone south-southeast of Tanegashima Island, part of the Osumi islands. Later, at 7:20 a.m., the PLAN ship entered Japanese territorial waters south of Yakushima Island before leaving Japan’s territorial waters west of Kuchinoerabu Island at 10:52 a.m. JMSDF destroyer JS Inazuma (DD-105) and a JMSDF P-1 Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) of Fleet Air Wing 1 based at JMSDF Kanoya Air Base, Kyushu monitored the PLAN ship. Japanese media reports said Tokyo has lodged a diplomatic protest on the incident.

Meanwhile the Joint Staff Office (JSO) of the Japan Ministry of Defense issued news releases reporting on separate transits of Russian Navy and PLAN ships near Japan. On Sunday at 8 a.m. local time, two Russian Navy corvettes were sighted sailing east in an area 50 kilometers northwest of Rebun Island, Hokkaido, according to a Monday JSO release. Hull number and images provided identified the ships as RFS R-29 (916) and RFS R-261 (991). Both ships subsequently sailed east through La Pérouse Strait while fast attack craft JS Kumataka (PG-827) and a JMSDF P-3C Orion MPA of Fleet Air Wing 2 stationed at JMSDF Hachinohe Air Base, Honshu monitored.

At 2 p.m. local time on Monday, two PLAN destroyers were sighted and subsequently sailed northeast in the waters between Amami Oshima Island and Yokoate Island and entered the Pacific Ocean, a Tuesday JSO news release said. Hull numbers and images provided identified the PLAN destroyers as CNS Changchun (150) and CNS Zhengzhou (151). Japanese destroyers JS Fuyuzuki (DD-118) and JS Yugiri (DD-153) shadowed the PLAN ships, according to the JSO. The two PLAN destroyers were then sighted on Wednesday at 7 a.m. sailing northwest through the Miyako Strait and into the East China Sea, according to a JSO release issued that day. Fuyuzuki and Yugiri also monitored those PLAN destroyers.

Meanwhile, Japanese helicopter carrier JS Izumo (DDH-183) and destroyer JS Takanami (DD-110) – which form the first surface unit of the JMSDF Indo-Pacific Deployment 2022 (IPD22) – are now exercising in the Bay of Bengal with the Indian Navy after exercising with the U.S. Navy and Royal Canadian Navy last week in the South China Sea for Exercise Noble Raven 22.


From Sunday until Saturday, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force will perform an exercie known as the Japan-India Maritime Exercise 2022 (JIMEX2022) with the Indian Navy, according to a JMSDF news release issued on Tuesday. The objective is to better the tactical capabilities of the JMSDF and interoperability with the Indian Navy. Izumo and Takanami will drill with destroyer INS Ranvijay (D55), frigate INS Sahyadri (F49), corvettes INS Kadmatt (P29) and INS Kavaratti (P31), offshore patrol vessel INS Sukanya (P50), replenishment ship INS Jyoti (A58) and submarines. Mig-29K fighters, P-8I Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircrafts (MPA) and Do-228 MPAs from the Indian Navy are also participating. Training activities in the exercise include anti-submarine warfare, surface gunnery, air defense warfare, replenishment at sea and anti-aircraft gunnery, according to the release.

The IPD22 is a four-month deployment JMSDF throughout the Indo-Pacific region from June 13 through Oct. 28 that has been conducted annually since 2019. This year’s iteration includes two surface units, the first featuring Izumo and Takanami, while the second surface unit includes destroyer JS Kirisame (DD-104). While a JMSDF submarine, a P-1 MPA, a UP-3D Orion Electronic Intelligence training aircraft and a US-2 search and rescue seaplane are also on the deployment, the submarine and aircraft will only participate in some of the surface units’ engagements. Kirisame, the second surface unit, left Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea on Sept. 6 following an engagement there and is now in Darwin for the Royal Australian Navy Exercise Kakadu 2022 (KA22), which takes place from Sept. 12-24.


“[M]ore than 15 vessels, more than 30 aircraft and around 3,000 personnel from more than 20 countries,” will join for the drills, according to an Australian Department of Defense news release. The release did not disclose which ships and countries are participating.

A Royal Australian Navy social media post later announced the names of the countries involved: Australia, Brunei, Chile, Cook Islands, Fiji, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Palau, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Thailand, Timor Leste, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, the U.S. and Vanuatu.

“Exercise Kakadu provides an excellent opportunity for regional partners to undertake multinational maritime activities ranging from constabulary operations to high-end maritime warfare in a combined environment,” Rear Admiral Jonathan Earley, commander of the Australian Fleet, said in the Australian DoD news release.

Several countries, namely Fiji, France, India, Indonesia and Malaysia, have already announced their participation in the exercise, along with the ships deployed for it. Fiji is participating with patrol craft RFNS Savenaca (401) and a social media post by the Republic of Fiji Navy shows that the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Henry (WPC-1140) is also participating in the exercise.

France has deployed frigate Vendémiaire (F734) for the exercise, while India is participating with frigate INS Satpura (F48) and an Indian Navy P-8I MPA.

Satpura is on an extended operation deployment to the Pacific that began at the end of May and included participation in the Rim of the Pacific 2022 exercise. Prior to arriving in Darwin, the Indian frigate stopped in Fiji for a port call from Sept. 1-3.

Indonesia and Malaysia have each sent a frigate: KRI Raden Eddy Martadinata (331) and KD Lekiu (FFGH30), respectively. Lekiu on Sunday conducting a replenishment at sea exercise with replenishment ship HMAS Stalwart (A304).

Typhoon Muifa Hits Major Eastern China Port Hub

BEIJING, Sept 14 (Reuters) – Powerful gales and torrential rains battered Zhoushan in eastern China on Wednesday as Typhoon Muifa made landfall at the port city in what local media called the strongest tropical…

BEIJING, Sept 14 (Reuters) – Powerful gales and torrential rains battered Zhoushan in eastern China on Wednesday as Typhoon Muifa made landfall at the port city in what local media called the strongest tropical...

Losing to China in AI, Emerging Tech Will Cost U.S. Trillions, Threaten Security, Says Panel

A grim future awaits the United States if it loses the competition with China on developing key technologies like artificial intelligence in the near future, the authors of a special government-backed study told reporters on Monday. If China wins the technological competition, it can use its advancements in artificial intelligence and biological technology to enhance […]

USNI News Graphic

A grim future awaits the United States if it loses the competition with China on developing key technologies like artificial intelligence in the near future, the authors of a special government-backed study told reporters on Monday.

If China wins the technological competition, it can use its advancements in artificial intelligence and biological technology to enhance its own country’s economy, military and society to the determent of others, said Bob Work, former deputy defense secretary and co-chair of the Special Competitive Studies Project, which examined international artificial intelligence and technological competition. Work is the chair of the U.S. Naval Institute Board of Directors.

Losing, in Work’s opinion, means that U.S. security will be threatened as China is able to establish global surveillance, companies will lose trillions of dollars and America will be reliant on China or other countries under Chinese influence for core technologies.

“If that world happens, it’s going to be very bleak for democracy … China’s sphere of influence will grow as its technological platforms proliferate throughout the world, and they will be able to establish surveillance on a global scale,” he said. “So that’s what losing looks like.”

The U.S. needs to address the technological competition now because there is only one budget cycle before 2025, the year that China set as a target for global dominance in technology manufacturing, said SCSP CEO Yll Bajraktari. By 2030, Beijing wants to be the AI global leader, he noted.

“The 2025-2030 timeframe is a really important period for our country and the global geopolitical security,” he said.

The technological competition goes beyond conflict or a military focus, said Eric Schmidt, co-chair of the Special Competitive Studies Project and former Google CEO. His idea of winning looks at platforms.

One of the most popular social media sites is TikTok, which is Chinese-owned and operated out of Shanghai, Schmidt noted.

The U.S. also banned Huawei, a Chinese technology corporation, which outpaced American technology when it came to 5G.

“You can imagine the the issues with having platforms dominated by non-western firms, which we rely on,” Schmidt said.

The competition boils down to three battlegrounds, laid out in the Special Competitive Studies Project report, Bajraktari said. Those three spaces are AI, chips and 5G.

“And the importance to get these three battlegrounds right is really critical because as I’ve said, this is not just about military competition,” Bajraktari said. “This is about all the benefits that all these three battlegrounds will bring to our economy and our society. And ultimately, you know, our military can use it too.”

When it comes to 5G, the U.S. does not yet have a good plan to compete with China, he said, pointing to Huawei as an example. Beijing also controls about 70 percent of African 4G, he said.
China has also invested billions of dollars toward chip production, going all in, Bajraktari said. And for AI, the country claims it wants to be the global leader.

Winning the competition does not mean the U.S. needs to control the production of critical technology, but it does need to be able to compete in the arena, Work said. The U.S. needs to have a dominant position in technological platforms and control global digital infrastructure, he said.

“And we definitely want to be able to harness biotech for the safety and livelihood of our citizens and new energy,” Work said.

If the U.S. cannot plan to excel in the three battlegrounds, advancements in biotech and computer power and next-generation inventions will happen in countries like China instead of democracies, Bajraktari said.

“And so the stakes of these competitions are beyond just the military competition,” Bajraktari said. ”It’s about who’s going to enjoy the benefits for all the inventions that will come from this.”

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