Chinese Military Says U.S. Plane In Taiwan Strait Endangered Peace

SHANGHAI, June 25 (Reuters) – China’s military said on Saturday that the recent fly through of a U.S. maritime plane through the Taiwan Strait deliberately disrupted the regional situation and endangered peace…

SHANGHAI, June 25 (Reuters) – China’s military said on Saturday that the recent fly through of a U.S. maritime plane through the Taiwan Strait deliberately disrupted the regional situation and endangered peace...

US Rejects China’s Claims Over Taiwan Strait as Concerns Grow

By Peter Martin and Jennifer Jacobs (Bloomberg) –Biden administration officials have decided to reject a vague new assertion by China that the Taiwan Strait is not “international waters” and are increasingly…

By Peter Martin and Jennifer Jacobs (Bloomberg) –Biden administration officials have decided to reject a vague new assertion by China that the Taiwan Strait is not “international waters” and are increasingly...

U.S., Allies Increase Training Rate for Equipment Earmarked For Ukraine, Says National Security Advisor

The United States, United Kingdom and Germany have increased the pace for training Ukrainian forces on sophisticated artillery so they will be able to use more advanced systems against Russian advances in Donbas, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Thursday. “We have to take this step by step,” Sullivan said at a Center […]

U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Christian Hernandez, a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System Operator (HIMARS) with 5th Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, observes the terrain in front of an AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar with Marine Air Control Group (MACG) 18 at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, June 13, 2022, in support of Valiant Shield 2022. U.S. Marine Corps Photo

The United States, United Kingdom and Germany have increased the pace for training Ukrainian forces on sophisticated artillery so they will be able to use more advanced systems against Russian advances in Donbas, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Thursday.

“We have to take this step by step,” Sullivan said at a Center for New American security conference.

While Kyiv wants NATO to increase its shipments of weapons like High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), soldiers will need training in order to effectively employ such sophisticated weapons, Sullivan said.

HIMARS gives the Ukrainian forces greater range and precision in what has become an artillery duel as Russian forces withdrew from its initial objectives of taking the capital Kyiv and other large cities in Ukraine’s north after heavy troop losses and a stalled invasion.

Sullivan added that President Joe Biden talked with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, yesterday about the American commitment of $1 billion more in military aid, which includes more artillery and armored personnel carriers in the fight now centered on the eastern part of the country.

The U.S. supports Ukraine, but it is not telling Kyiv what to do, Sullivan said. The country’s job is to be able to provide tools to help Ukraine’s fight against Russia.

“We’ve been focused on what we can do today, tomorrow,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan said he expects Finland and Sweden will become NATO members despite Turkey’s objection that the two Nordic countries are harboring Kurdish terrorists. Stockholm and Helsinki will attend the alliance’s meeting as “invitees” later this month.

In addition to high-level talks among the three nations and also between Turkey and the United States, “there is a commitment on all sides” to reach an agreement on admission, Sullivan said.

All 30 nations in the alliance must approve new members.

Sweden’s and Finland’s memberships “would massively enhance the alliance against the Russian threat that will remain for the foreseeable future,” Sullivan said.

As for India’s refusal to impose sanctions on Russia for the Feb. 24 invasion, Sullivan said New Delhi “certainly has a different perspective” after being a long-time arms customer of the Kremlin.

“We’re not here to lecture them,” he said.

But he added that Indian President Narendra Modi’s government has been very much in agreement with the Biden administration’s policy toward China.

“We’re fighting the long-game” in this relationship, he said.

Sullivan said the administration’s policy towards China “is the same as it has been” since the Nixon administration. Washington recognizes “there has been an inherent tension” between accepting a “One China policy” and the Taiwan Relations Act.

“We need to see the maintenance of peace” across the straits, Sullivan said. He added that he made these same points in the most recent meeting with his Chinese counterpart.

China is walking a tight rope when it comes to Ukraine by not condemning Russia in the United Nations General Assembly and by not imposing sanctions for the unprovoked attack, he said. At the same time, Beijing has not offered Moscow military assistance.

“They’re taking a very careful approach,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan, paraphrasing Biden, said the struggle between democracy and autocracy, as shown by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s threatening Taiwan, “is deeply animating policy.”

The democracies “have to show they can deliver to their citizens,” Sullivan said. Washington is willing to work with nations like Vietnam and the Gulf states because “we didn’t write off all countries” that are not democracies but are committed to a rules-based order.

Not preserving the ruled-based order “would send a message [to China and others], they can do the same thing” as Russia in attacking smaller neighbors where “wars of conquest become the norm,” he said.

Sullivan said that the U.S. accepting aggression like Moscow’s would have a profound effect “on the lives of Americans’ everyday life,” from food to energy to technology.

Taipei Says Taiwan Strait is an International Waterway in Rebuff to China

TAIPEI, June 14 (Reuters) – The Taiwan Strait is an international waterway and Taiwan’s government supports U.S. warships transiting it, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday, rebuffing claims from China to exercise…

TAIPEI, June 14 (Reuters) – The Taiwan Strait is an international waterway and Taiwan’s government supports U.S. warships transiting it, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday, rebuffing claims from China to exercise...

U.S. Pushing For Confrontation With China, Says Beijing’s Defense Minister

Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Wei Fenghe on Sunday strongly rejected the United States’ claims about Bejing’s actions on the global stage, saying that the U.S. is pushing for confrontation and trying to encircle China. Speaking at the International Institute of Strategic Studies Shangri-La Dialogue, Wei warned that China “would fight to the very end” should anyone […]

Wei Fenghe. Global Times Photo

Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Wei Fenghe on Sunday strongly rejected the United States’ claims about Bejing’s actions on the global stage, saying that the U.S. is pushing for confrontation and trying to encircle China.

Speaking at the International Institute of Strategic Studies Shangri-La Dialogue, Wei warned that China “would fight to the very end” should anyone dare to secede Taiwan from China.

In opening his speech, titled China’s Vision For Regional Order, Wei referred to U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s speech on Saturday, saying he disagreed with some of the points Austin made and firmly rejected the United States’ “smearing accusations and even threats against China.” Making an oblique reference to the U.S., Wei called upon countries to reject exclusive blocs, confrontation, containment and decoupling. “building high walls around one’s turf and forming parallel systems can only split the world and undermined the shared interests of all countries,” said Wei.

Wei also argued global affairs should be handled through consultations by all stakeholders, instead of one country or a small group of countries dictating, adding that no one and no country should impose its will on others or bully others under the guise of multilateralism. The Chinese Defense Minister went on to state that China had noticed Austin’s remarks on the U.S. Indo-Pacific strategy and China. The U.S. strategy is an attempt to build an exclusive small group in the name of a free and open Indo-Pacific, to hijack countries in China’s region and target one specific country, he said. Wei charged that the U.S Indo-Pacific strategy is a way to create conflict and confrontation, and to contain and encircle others. He then said China held that for any strategy to be viable, it should adapt to the historic and global trends and contribute to regional peace and security and the shared interest of all.

Wei said nations should uphold the rule of law, oppose unilateral action and that the order of human civilization must be based on the rule of law, otherwise the law of the jungle will prevail. Continuing to obliquely refer to the United States, Wei said nations should not interfere in other nations’ internal affairs, a veiled reference to China’s claims on Taiwan, which China considers as a national internal affair. He added that unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdictions should be rejected. Wei went on to say that a country is not in a position to champion any international rule or order if it only follows rules that fits its interest.

“Minds others’ family business with its own domestic rules,” he said, a reference to the U.S. Taiwan Relations Act. “Or binds or even attacks others with a convention it has not acceded to itself”, he added, a clear reference to the U.S.’s non-accession to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Wei subsequently talked up China’s position on the global stage, saying that as a responsible major country, it will continue to contribute its share to building world peace, promoting global development, safeguarding international order and providing public goods. Wei added that China would not seek hegemony, engage in military expansion nor participate in arms races.

In regard to Taiwan, Wei said it is an internal affair of China and China will definitely realize its peaceful reunification, which China is making every effort to achieve. He added that those who attempt to pursue Taiwan independence in an effort to split China “will definitely come to no good end,” adding that the ruling Democratic Progressive Party of China was a pawn of anti-China foreign groups who would be used and abandoned by their master.

Noting that the U.S. previously fought a Civil War for unity, Wei said that though China never wants such a civil war, it would resolutely crush any attempt to pursue Taiwan independence.

“Let me make this clear, if anyone dares to secede Taiwan from China, we would not hesitate to fight, we will fight at all costs and we will fight to the very end, this is the only choice for China,” he said.

A People’s Liberation Army Navy J-15 carrier fighter takes off from Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning (16) during a December 2021 deployment. PLAN Photo

Wei then said any foreign interference is doomed to failure and “some country” had violated its promise on the One China principle, connived and supported the moves of separatist forces for Taiwan independence and that that country cited its Taiwan Relations Act, using its domestic law to interfere in the domestic affairs of another country. He added, “ I want to make it clear to those seeking Taiwan independence and those behind them, the pursuit of Taiwan independence is a dead end, and stop the delusion.”

On the South China Sea, Wei said China is on the course for turning the South China Sea into a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation. Wei went on to say that the joint efforts of China and The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) are leading to greater stability in the South China Sea. Wei said freedom of navigation is not under threat in the South China Sea, given China is one of the biggest beneficiaries of it, saying that China’s economy would hardly grow if it did not have freedom of navigation. Wei then said some big power practiced navigation hegemony on the pretext of freedom of navigation and “flexed muscles by sending warships and warplanes on a rampage in the South China Sea.” Wei then called upon nations in the region to be vigilant and prevent countries from outside the region from meddling in the region and turning the South China Sea into troubled waters.

The United States routinely performs freedom of navigation operations and strait transits in the South China Sea and surrounding waters. China frequently protests these movements, as it has staked claims to islands like the Paracel Islands.

Wei initially took a conciliatory tone when discussing China-U.S. relations, saying that a stable China-U.S. relationship serves the interests of both countries and the rest of the world. But he then called on the U.S. to stop smearing and containing China, stop interfering in China’s internal affairs and stop harming China’s interests. Wei said China is willing to talk, as long as discussions are conducted with mutual respect. But if the U.S. wants confrontation, China would fight to the end. Wei then said that the Chinese and U.S. militaries should make efforts to maintain stable bilateral relationships and prevent miscalculations.

On Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Wei said China deeply regrets and was greatly saddened by developments there, but then went on to allude that countries looking to gain from the situation brought on the conflict. He added that China did not believe maximum pressure or sanctions would resolve the Ukraine situation. During the question and answer session, Wei said, “China has never provided material support to Russia” in regard to Ukraine.

China Alarms US With Private Warnings To Avoid Taiwan Strait

By Peter Martin Jun 12, 2022, (Bloomberg) –Chinese military officials in recent months have repeatedly asserted that the Taiwan Strait isn’t international waters during meetings with US counterparts, according to a person familiar…

By Peter Martin Jun 12, 2022, (Bloomberg) –Chinese military officials in recent months have repeatedly asserted that the Taiwan Strait isn’t international waters during meetings with US counterparts, according to a person familiar...

Japan Announces Indo-Pacific Warship Deployment Ahead of U.S.-led RIMPAC Exercise

Four Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force warships will leave later this month for a four-month deployment throughout the Indo-Pacific region, Japan’s Ministry of Defense recently announced. From June 13 to Oct. 28, Indo-Pacific Deployment 2022 (IPD2022) will involve three ships, a submarine and three fixed-wing aircraft from the JMSDF. The deployment has two objectives: “to improve […]

JS Izumo (DDH-183) docking at the Port Klang Cruise Terminal, Malaysia during its 2019 Indo-Pacific Deployment. Dzirhan Mahadzir Photo

Four Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force warships will leave later this month for a four-month deployment throughout the Indo-Pacific region, Japan’s Ministry of Defense recently announced.

From June 13 to Oct. 28, Indo-Pacific Deployment 2022 (IPD2022) will involve three ships, a submarine and three fixed-wing aircraft from the JMSDF.

The deployment has two objectives: “to improve JMSDF tactical capabilities and to strengthen cooperation with partner navies in the Indo-Pacific region through joint exercises and secondly to contribute to the peace and stability of the region and to enhance mutual understanding and relationship with partner countries through the deployment,” according to a statement from the MoD.

The JMSDF has done the IPD deployment annually since 2019. This year, the deployment will include destroyer helicopter carrier JS Izumo (DDH-183) with three embarked helicopters and destroyer JS Takanami (DD-110). A second surface unit includes destroyer JS Kirisame (DD-104). The name of the submarine deploying is not clear.

Three aircraft – a P-1 maritime patrol aircraft, a UP-3D Orion Electronic Intelligence training aircraft and a US-2 search and rescue seaplane along with support personnel – will deploy to countries where IPD 22 naval units will join for exercises. Elements of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force will embark for part of the deployment.

The IPD 22 units will make port calls to Australia, Fiji, French New Caledonia, India, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands, Tonga, United States, Vanuatu and Vietnam. The IPD 22 units will participate in six exercises, namely Rim of the Pacific 2022 (RIMPAC 2022), according to the news release. They will also partake in Pacific Partnership 2022, the Japan-United States-Australia-Korea joint exercise Pacific Vanguard 22, Japan-India joint training exercise (JIMEX), the Royal Australian Navy multilateral training exercise Kakadu 2022 and the U.S. and Australian-sponsored multilateral exercise Maritime Training Activity (MTA) Sama Sama/ MTA Lumbas 2022. The release did not specify which units will take part in each exercise.

RIMPAC 2022 will take place from June 29 through Aug. 4 near the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California, according to a Tuesday news release from U.S. 3rd Fleet.

“Twenty-six nations, 38 surface ships, four submarines, nine national land forces, more than 170 aircraft and approximately 25,000 personnel” will join for RIMPAC, 3rd Fleet said.

Several of the participating nation’s ships have departed from their home ports for Hawaii, with the Republic of Korea Navy Landing Helicopter Platform ROKS Marado (LPH-6112) and destroyers ROKS Sejong the Great (DDG-991) and ROKS Munmu the Great (DDH-976) leaving Jeju Naval Base on Tuesday. Submarine ROKS Shin Dol-seok (SS-082) and a ROKN P-3 Maritime Patrol aircraft will also participate in RIMPAC 2022. On Monday, Royal Malaysian Navy corvette KD Lekir (FSG26) left RMN Lumut Naval Base for Hawaii.

In an interview on Saturday, Lekir’s commanding officer, Cmdr. Asri Dasman said his ship will take part in the Sink Exercise (SINKEX) during RIMPAC 2022, firing an MM40 Exocet anti-ship missile.

MTA Sama Sama,/MTA Lumbas is a multilateral exercise involving the Philippines, Australia, Japan, France, the United Kingdom and the United States. A date for the exercise has yet to be released. Exercise Kakadu 2022 will take place in the waters of Northern Australia from Sept. 12 through Sept. 25.

Taiwan Must Spend More On Maritime Defense, Says Top US Navy Admiral

By Daniel Flatley (Bloomberg) Taiwan must gird itself against potential Chinese aggression through military deterrence that includes acquiring the right weapons and proper training, the top US naval officer said on…

By Daniel Flatley (Bloomberg) Taiwan must gird itself against potential Chinese aggression through military deterrence that includes acquiring the right weapons and proper training, the top US naval officer said on...

Czech Foreign Minister Calls for West to Send ‘Weapons, Weapons, Weapons’ to Ukraine

The Czech foreign minister’s three words of advice to the Biden administration are to send “weapons, weapons, weapons” to Ukraine from American and western arsenals so Kyiv is not relying on leftover Soviet Union stockpiles. “U.S. industry and [the American] Army play a key role” in “weakening Russia” and setting the stage for Ukraine victory […]

A Joint Honor Guard member holds the Ukrainian flag during an honor cordon ceremony, as Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III welcomes Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal to the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., April 21, 2022. DoD Photo

The Czech foreign minister’s three words of advice to the Biden administration are to send “weapons, weapons, weapons” to Ukraine from American and western arsenals so Kyiv is not relying on leftover Soviet Union stockpiles.

“U.S. industry and [the American] Army play a key role” in “weakening Russia” and setting the stage for Ukraine victory in the war now entering its third month, Jan Lipavsky said Tuesday at an online Atlantic Council forum.

Ukrainian armed forces have proven they can effectively “use highly efficient drones … to help artillery” destroy Russian targets and also use anti-air systems, including Stinger missiles, to prevent Russian dominance of the skies, Lipavsky said. He added that training times for proficiency could be reduced under the pressures of combat.

On the PBS NewsHour Monday, Lipavsky admitted that “there may be issues” with Soviet-era equipment shipped from the Czech Republic and Poland to Ukraine. To correct the problems, he said Prague “is helping with repair work” so the armor can be fielded quickly, as Moscow shifts its forces eastward.

Prague has also shipped multiple launch rocket systems, artillery and armored personnel carriers to Kyiv since the Russians attack, news organizations have reported.

“Honestly, I think our [NATO’s and the European Union’s] policy decisions were right” to come to Ukraine’s side with weapons and economic assistance, including humanitarian aid, Lipavsky said at the online forum. The United States’ and the United Kingdom’s decisions in the late fall and early winter to ship weapons before the Feb. 24 invasion staved off a quick Russian victory in the ground war, he said.

Asked whether Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin went too far when he said it was the U.S.’s intention to weaken Russia and provide for a Ukrainian victory, Lipavsky said, “I’m very happy for those words.”

The House this week sent to President Joe Biden an updated version of the Lend-Lease Act to aid Ukraine for Fiscal Years 2022 and 2023, as the U.S. did with Great Britain in World War II. The bill also calls for the reduction of red tape concerning foreign arms sales and shipments to Ukraine. The Senate passed the measure earlier this month.

Speaking from the White House Thursday, Biden called on Congress to quickly pass an additional $33 billion supplemental aid request for Ukraine. About half of the request would cover arms costs to hold back Russian forces as they conduct new attacks in Ukraine’s east and south. In making the announcement, Biden said the $3.5 billion authority Congress granted last month to help Ukraine was almost exhausted.

In his remarks, Lipavsky said the reason to support Kyiv comes down to “the will of Ukraine for freedom, open society, for democracy, for values of freedom of speech. [Ukrainian president Volodymr] Zelensky was democratically elected, [Russian President Vladimir] Putin [was] not. That’s the difference.”

Lipavsky said at the Atlantic Council forum that “it’s a really dark time for Russian democratic forces,” as Putin has cracked down on all forms of opposition from public rallies, to forcing the closure of independent media to threatening jail time for anyone using the word “war,” instead of the phrase “special military operation” to describe the invasion.

Earlier at the forum, Lipavsky said “we all agree this is a brutal, barbaric war” of aggression.

Russia’s unprovoked attack has shown the value of NATO and European Union memberships to Czechs, he said. With the invasion, Finland and Sweden “don’t trust neutrality” as a means to protect their sovereignty.

The Western reaction to the attack also has “proven we have reflexes” to recognize phony crises that Putin tried to create between Belarus and Poland over immigration to justify the invasion.

While economically “Putin’s Russia [is] crumbling in on itself” from the pressure of severe sanctions and the high cost of continued fighting, “China is a systemic rival” that nations in NATO and the E.U. must take into account in imposing its version of international order.

Lipavsky said Prague’s trade with Russia is at a level comparable to its Belgian transactions, but with Beijing the economic stakes are much higher for manufactured goods and the supply chain. Despite this, he added, “we have a very good trade relationship with Taiwan.”

Panel: China Planning a ‘Go Big, Go Early’ Strategy Against Taiwan

While it’s unclear what lessons Chinese military planners are learning from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, they learned to “go big and go early” from America’s quick victory in the first Gulf War, a panel of defense analysts agreed Thursday. It’s a strategy the Chinese could use against Taiwan. Bryan Clark, a senior fellow at the […]

While it’s unclear what lessons Chinese military planners are learning from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, they learned to “go big and go early” from America’s quick victory in the first Gulf War, a panel of defense analysts agreed Thursday.

It’s a strategy the Chinese could use against Taiwan.

Bryan Clark, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, said if the Chinese don’t win early on they’ll see their cross-strait invasion become “very messy, very quickly.” He added it would “become a slog,” as the Russian drive on Kyiv became. Later, Clark added he didn’t expect China to have the same “nuts and bolts failures” that the Russians have experienced in logistics and command in Ukraine.

Matthew Costlow, a senior analyst at the National Institute for Public Policy, said a key to the defense of Taiwan and deterring Chinese aggression in the Indo-Pacific is denying Beijing’s “hopes of … an easy asymmetric victory.” Critical to doing that is Guam, a U.S. territory, and America’s allies and partners.

China has seen how European allies and partners have rallied to Ukraine’s support in sending military and humanitarian aid and “the international backlash” imposed on the Kremlin following the invasion. The backlash included harsher and more targeted sanctions against Russian financial and political elites since Moscow launched the unprovoked attack.

“Guam reduces the tyranny of distance” as a logistics and operational hub for the United States in the vast Indo-Pacific. It raises “the prospects of a long-drawn out conflict” for China if Beijing opts for military action in the region.

Patty-Jane Geller, a fellow at the Heritage Foundation, said “It’s certainly worth the investment” to beef up Guam’s defenses and to address the island’s missile defense requirements against long-range attack. “China is already building more missiles” to get its way in the Indo-Pacific, regardless of whether the U.S. builds up defenses on Guam or even if Washington pulls back from the U.S. territory to a further removed operational and logistics hub.

Guam hosts a major naval support facility and Anderson Air Force Base, which is capable of handling U.S. long-range bombers.

The defense of Guam is actually “related to homeland missile defense,” Costlow said. Clark said an attack on the island should be taken in the same way as an attack on Hawaii or the West Coast would be in Washington and Beijing needs to understand that, particularly if it is threatening the use of nuclear weapons.

This was a message Adm. Phil Davidson stressed during his tenure as the top commander in the Indo-Pacific and has continued advocating since he retired. Adm. John Aquilino, the current commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, has also emphasized that a missile defense system for Guam is his top unfunded priority.

“We have our citizens to defend” on Guam, Geller said, adding the U.S. public in North America must understand that. This emphasis on “our citizens” sends a clear signal to allies that the region is important to the United States.

There are limits to the missile defense of Guam, Hawaii and North America, the panel agreed.

Costlow added he totally rejects the idea that “if there is one leaker the missile defense has failed.”

Clark and the others said the reality of cruise, hypersonic or ballistic missile attacks or missiles launched from bombers point out the need to disperse operations on the island and also distributing forces. Other facilities across the region – like Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan, the Northern Mariana Islands and northern Australia – in a long campaign with China and the defense of Taiwan take on new importance. He added part of a campaign is to show potential adversaries and allies what options are available to defend national interests – hypersonic missiles, directed energy, forward presence and training with forces in places like Taiwan.

There is “a range of active and passive defenses we can take,” Costlow said. “You can make Guam more resilient” and have other bases for operations when the island is down.