Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Benham Rise Ruckus by Erick San Juan


Benham Rise Ruckus by Erick San Juan

There is so much fuss on the Benham Rise issue that has actually created tensions even President Rodrigo Duterte himself has already said that there is an agreement between Beijing and Manila before his defense secretary, Delfin Lorenzana came out with a statement that the Chinese ship was doing a survey in the area, translation – an incursion.

President Duterte said that the Chinese have no incursion because we have an agreement and that some people are just blowing it up. It was a research ship. We were advised of it way ahead. Unsolicited advice, Who are the “we” here Mr. President? Many netizens are asking. Because the people in your loop, in your cabinet seems at a lost on whatever that agreement was. We mentioned in our past article that foreign policy of the land should involve its people. The perception seems that the “independent” foreign policy that the President wants is also independent from the people – his constituents. And now the President’s detractors especially in the social media are attacking him due to this ‘decision’.

Even some solons were demanding the Palace on the content of the so called ‘agreement’ with China to do ‘research’ in Benham Rise.

Benham Rise is an underwater landmass 250 kilometres (155 miles) off the east coast of the main island of Luzon. In 2012, the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf approved the Philippines' undisputed territorial claim to Benham Rise.

Some pundits fear that like what happened in the South China Sea, the disputed areas before are now claimed by China and structures were already in place.  And it’s not farfetched that because of the strategic location of the Benham Rise, China will use it as its listening post, possibly a place for its submarine and believed to be another entry point in grabbing Taiwan (Xi's China dream) in the process.

Pundits believe that PRRD  allows such ‘incursion’ for economic reason because China is good in using ‘soft power’ to lure other leaders to kowtow to its whims. And unfortunately, our president is perceived being duped due to the billions of dollars loan given by China to help us improve our economy.

We want to help this administration that is why we all have to be vigilant and help our country against people who are taking advantage of our weakness as a nation, particularly our military.

We already given up some territories in the SCS and now this. Could it be that the alleged plan of China's Xi to make our country as its province is true together with Taiwan?

The recent news about what Taipei’s defense minister said recently that “China is aiming advanced medium-range ballistic missiles at Taiwan as part of a growing military threat towards the island is very alarming.

The announcement came after Taiwan said for the first time last week that it is capable of launching missiles at China as it warned of an increased invasion risk.

China still sees Taiwan as part of its territory to be brought back into its fold, by force if necessary, even though the island has been self-governing since the two sides split after a civil war in 1949.

Ties have worsened since Beijing-sceptic President Tsai Ing-wen took power last year, ending an eight-year rapprochement.

The DF-16 (Dongfeng 16) is capable of precise strikes against Taiwan and has been deployed by the Rocket Force of the People’s Liberation Army, defense minister Feng Shih-kuan said.

Feng told lawmakers the development comes as China “strengthens its weaponry modernization and military hard power”.

He did not say how many missiles had been deployed or where.

Taiwan has said China is targeting the island with around 1,500 missiles — this is the first time the defense ministry identified the DF-16 as among them.

Beijing has severed all official communications with Taipei since Tsai became leader in May and has been accused of blocking the island’s political representatives from attending international events. (Source: AFP 3-20-2017)

We knew about this plan of China’s annexation of Luzon with Taiwan for so long and talked about it on our radio program and in writing. The possibilities are getting stronger as we witness the slow but sure way of encirclement of our territories by China using soft 'touch' operation.

Our nation’s patriots are urging PRRD not to let it happen under his term not in the future. God bless the Philippines.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Global War Design by Erick San Juan

Global War Design by Erick San Juan

Another global hotspot is brewing and if not manage with cool heads and by strategic thinkers, another regional conflict is in the offing. We are referring to the Korean Peninsula – the North and South Korea that lately has become another tinderbox that is waiting for a 'spark' that could trigger its explosion.

Like the most talked about controversial ADIZ courtesy of China in the region, there is another far worse controversy that is not welcome in the region – THAAD.

In his article “The Korean Crisis and the THAAD Missile Deployment: A Growing Tinderbox in the South”, Caleb Maupin writes: “As the first military hardware associated with the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, commonly called THAAD, arrives in the southern region of the Korean Peninsula, the tensions around and within the  region seem to be escalating. A number of ongoing crises in South Korea are starting to take their toll, and could have regional and global implications.

The most prominent source of tension is the new missile system being erected in cooperation with the United States. The narrative in US media surrounding THAAD is that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, smeared as “the crazy North Koreans,” is threatening to destroy the Republic of Korea located in the south. The new missile system is said to simply be a mechanism for protecting a vulnerable, democratic US ally, that faces being wiped out. Mark Toner of the US State Department described the erection of THAAD as “frankly a response to a threat.”

Who is mad about THAAD? And Why?

Objections to THAAD are not only coming from Pyongyang. Moscow and Beijing have both spoken up against the new missile system for reasons that are routinely ignored in US media discourse.

South Korea is hardly unprotected and alone. This is the reason why wealthy Koreans are migrating worldwide to avoid a possible shooting war in the offing. Many Koreans in the Philippines are creating their own Korean towns in key cities where they can do commerce.

The United States already has 28,500 troops in South Korea. It also has F-16 fighter aircraft and A-10 bomber jets. South Korea’s military is also very well stocked, with F-35 Fighter Jets, Aegis Destroyers, and all kinds of military hardware purchased from the United States.

The THAAD missile system being erected in a contract with Lockheed-Martin, in cold war terms, is a “strike enabling system.” Once the system is completed, the US and South Korean forces that are already in the Peninsula are free to launch an attack on North Korea, China, or Russia. The THAAD system, modeled after Israel’s Iron Dome, would prevent retaliation strikes aimed at disabling the attackers. THAAD enables the US and South Korea to begin striking countries in the region, while shielding themselves from any response. Furthermore, THAAD includes a radar system that will closely monitor regional activity, not only in North Korea, but also in northern China.

Its not hard to tell why Russia and China are loudly objecting to this multi-billion dollar military project. Strike enabling systems with penetrating radars are not a mechanism of defusing tension, in an already tense region. THAAD is the latest development in the Pentagon’s ongoing “Asian Pivot,” moving forces into the Pacific. Similar moves have already escalated tensions in the South China Sea.”

The Pentagon’s ‘Asian Pivot’ is still very much in place and has already created an arms race and a modern day cold war producing more tension in the already tense region.

Even within South Korea “many Koreans have protested against the completion of the THAAD project. The demonstrators, by and large, are not even subversives nor radicals, but simply patriotic Koreans who believe hostile moves against their Chinese and Russian neighbors do not serve the country’s interest. Among opponents is the well-known politician Lee Jae-myung, who is one of the “big three” likely to run in the upcoming Korean presidential election.

Lee Jae-Myung, who wants the US military presence scaled back, is one of the so called “big three” expected to run in the upcoming election. More and more Koreans agree with his argument that allying with the United States against the north, China, and Russia, is not in the people’s best interest. Furthermore, less than 4% of the population stands behind the disgraced President Park. South Korea could soon be moving in the same direction as the Philippines, where the long standing neoliberal, pro-American status quo was shaken up by the election of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte.

With the THAAD controversy boiling, amid bribery scandals, impeachment proceedings, discontent with the status quo, and renewed tensions with the North, and ailing economy, the southern half of the Korean peninsula is gradually becoming more and more of a global hotspot. The point of disagreement seems to be about the role southern Korean will play in the world. Will it remain an extension of US influence in Asia, or will the southern half of the Korean peninsula follow in the footsteps of its powerful Chinese neighbors and northern countryfolk? Will Koreans in the south declare their economic, political, and military independence from the United States and Japan?

These questions, which have driven so many uprisings, protests, military coups, and strikes since 1945 are not going away any time soon. (Source: Caleb Maupin, political analyst and activist based in New York)

It seems more and more flashpoints are created due to geopolitical and economic issues between nations in the hottest spot in the world, the Asia-Pacific region and the programmed design of a global war is inevitable and the delay is getting shorter like a ticking bomb.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

In the Brink of War by Erick San Juan

In the Brink of War by Erick San Juan

The world, is in the brink of war as tensions from different parts of the planet occur almost on a regular basis showing off their latest firepower like what North Korea did recently.

“North Korea’s launch of four missiles on Monday was a training exercise for a strike on US bases in Japan and was supervised by leader Kim Jong-un, Pyongyang’s state media said Tuesday.

Three of the four missiles came down provocatively close to Japan, in waters that are part of its exclusive economic zone, representing a challenge to the US administration. Another was fiund at east asia.

Washington and Tokyo have sought an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the launch, likely to be scheduled for Wednesday.

Under UN resolutions, Pyongyang is barred from any use of ballistic missile technology, and the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said on Twitter that the world “won’t allow” North Korea to continue on its “destructive path55.”

But six sets of UN sanctions since its first nuclear test in 2006 have failed to halt Pyongyang’s drive for what it insist are defensive weapons.

Kim Jong-un ordered his military “to keep highly alert as required by the grim situation in which an actual war may break out anytime”, KCNA reported, and to be ready to “open fire to annihilate the enemies” when ordered.” (By Agence France-Presse, March 7, 2017)

The scud missiles fired by North Korea provocatively near Japan and over the Korean Peninsula are clear signs of war provocations which Kim Jong-un said that “an actual war may break out anytime”.  US allies like Japan and South Korea have reacted strongly against such actions by North Korea :

‘This clearly shows North Korea has entered a new stage of threat’
—Shinzo Abe, Japan’s PM

`The results of the North having a nuclear weapon in its hands will be gruesome beyond imagination’
— Hwang Kyo-ahn, South Korea’s acting President

Even Beijing has become increasingly frustrated with Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile activities, and last month announced a suspension of all coal imports from the North until the end of the year — a crucial source of foreign currency.

Pyongyang wants to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the US mainland — something Trump has vowed would not happen.

It has undoubtedly made progress in its efforts in recent years, although questions remain over its ability to master re-entry technology and miniaturize a nuclear weapon sufficiently to fit it onto a missile warhead. (Ibid)

For over a decade since its first nuclear test and sanctions were already given to NoKor by the United Nations, and now this? How come? What happen to UN’s sanctions? Questions that have to be addressed soon before an actual war of Kim will materialize.

On the other side of the globe, “Trump’s 'Moderate' Defense Secretary Has Already Brought Us to the Brink of War” the title of Mehdi Hasan’s article – “Did you know that the Trump administration almost went to war with Iran at the start of February?

Perhaps you were distracted by Gen. Michael Flynn’s resignation as national security adviser or by President Trump’s online jihad against Nordstrom. Or maybe you missed the story because the New York Times bizarrely buried it in the midst of a long piece on the turmoil and chaos inside the National Security Council.

Defense Secretary James Mattis, according to the paper, wanted the U.S. Navy to “intercept and board an Iranian ship to look for contraband weapons possibly headed to Houthi fighters in Yemen. … But the ship was in international waters in the Arabian Sea, according to two officials. Mr. Mattis ultimately decided to set the operation aside, at least for now. White House officials said, "that was because news of the impending operation leaked.”

Get that? It was only thanks to what Mattis’s commander in chief has called “illegal leaks”, that the operation was (at least temporarily) set aside and military action between the United States and Iran was averted.

Am I exaggerating? Ask the Iranians. “Boarding an Iranian ship is a shortcut” to confrontation, says Seyyed Hossein Mousavian, former member of Iran’s National Security Council and a close ally of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Even if a firefight in international waters were avoided, the Islamic Republic, Mousavian tells me, “would retaliate” and has “many other options for retaliation.”

Trita Parsi, head of the National Iranian American Council and author of the forthcoming book “Losing an Enemy — Obama, Iran and the Triumph of Diplomacy,” agrees. Such acts of “escalation” by the Trump administration, he tells me, “significantly increases the risk of war.”

So why would a retired Marine Corps general such as Mattis be willing to provoke a conflict with Tehran over a single ship? The fact is that Mattis, too, is perceived to be obsessed with Iran. He has hyperbolically called the Islamic Republic “the single most enduring threat to stability and peace in the Middle East” and — in a Trump-esque descent into the world of conspiracy theories — suggested Tehran is working with ISIS. “Iran is not an enemy of ISIS,” Mattis declaimed in 2016, because “the one country in the Middle East that has not been attacked” by ISIS “is Iran. That is more than happenstance, I’m sure.”

According to the Washington Post, in the run-up to the talks over Iran’s nuclear program, “Israelis may have questioned Obama’s willingness to use force against Iran. … But they believed Mattis was serious.” The general, in his capacity as head of U.S. Central Command, even proposed launching “dead of night” airstrikes on Iranian soil in 2011, in retaliation for Tehran’s support for anti-American militias in Iraq — a proposal rejected by White House officials who were worried that it “risked starting yet another war in the Middle East.”

Mousavian is puzzled by the defense secretary’s hawkishness: “He is one of the most experienced U.S. generals and he knows … the consequences of confrontation with Iran would be tenfold what the U.S. experienced in Afghanistan and Iraq combined.”

Mattis allegedly has been tied to some of the worst war crimes of the Iraq invasion. It was he who gave the order to attack the village of Mukaradeeb in April 2004 — a decision he would later admit took him only 30 seconds to approve — which killed 42 civilians, including 13 children, who were attending a wedding there. “I don’t have to apologize for the conduct of my men,” he told reporters.

Six months later, in November 2004, it was Mattis who planned the Marine assault on Fallujah that reduced that city to rubble, forced 200,000 residents from their homes, and resulted, according to the Red Cross, in at least 800 civilian deaths.”

We are all living dangerously that any moment a war may broke out and with the political bickering among our country’s 'pulpolitikos', we are really looking for trouble as if nobody is minding the store – again?


Thursday, March 2, 2017

War Cycle is On by Erick San Juan

War Cycle is On by Erick San Juan

“Territorial disputes, coupled with Beijing’s increased militarization of the South China Sea, may sway US policymakers to believe that military conflict with China is inevitable. However, such a conflict is avoidable if the US chooses its policy carefully and implements a strategy that all but eliminates military action.” (Source: Michael Brady, Asia Times online)

Yes, it is still avoidable but for how long can the delay be if Beijing is very firm and confident that nothing can stop them for fortifying the disputed areas in the South China Sea. And according to Brady, the main reason for such actions by China are the resources that are found in the SCS.

The South China Sea is rich with natural resources. According to the US Geological Survey, 11 billion barrels of oil and 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas can be found in the hotly disputed region. The Chinese, however, indicate the area may hold more than 200 billion barrels of oil and up to 750 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Regardless of the exact quantity, these estimates are the primary reason Beijing continues to assert its claim over the region. For China to continue its economic initiatives, unrestricted access to oil and gas remains a national priority.

In addition, 12% of the world’s fish catch is in the South China Sea. Since China consumes about 25% of all seafood globally, it’s no wonder it continues to claim vast swaths of the region and insists its fisherman have the right to catch there.”

So if these vast resources will feed the entire population of China for years to come, the comments of Tillerson and Bannon will make China angry.

What was not told in public were the rare earth metals newly found in the Philippines like Palladium, etc. plus the vast natural gas reserve at Benham Rise near the Pacific.

“At a recent US Senate confirmation hearing, now Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stated: “We’re going to have to send China a clear signal that, first, the island-building stops. And second, your access to those islands also is not going to be allowed.” Tillerson’s comment clearly indicate that President Donald Trump and his administration are willing to use military force if Chinese activities continue. This comment is similar in tone to Steve Bannon’s during a podcast in March 2016 when he stated, “We’re going to war in the South China Sea in five to 10 years.” (Bannon is now senior adviser to President Trump.)

Trump and his national-security team need to understand that China’s claim are primarily driven by the need for resources, not sovereignty. According to recent reports, China’s population will reach approximately 1.4 billion by 2020. As China’s population continues to increase, demand for resources such as fisheries and oil will rise. China’s inability to feed its population in the future may ultimately lead to conflict, with or without US intervention.” (Ibid)

If it’s going to be the US alone that can stop China for grabbing territories in order to take resources to sustain its growing population then so it be. A need that is very basic to humanity but China should also consider the needs of its neighbors so that it will be a win-win solution to every nation in the region.

For Prof. Richard Javad Heydarian’s observation, he writes : “US-China rivalry in the South China Sea is ringing alarm bells in littoral Southeast Asian nations, with fears rising that Donald Trump’s administration could tilt the region’s delicate balance towards conflict.

China has recently expanded its strategic footprint on various disputed features, deploying new weapons systems and establishing advanced military facilities on artificially reclaimed islands in both the Spratly and Paracel chains.

Trump’s administration has indicated it views China’s action as a direct challenge to freedom of navigation and overflight in one of the world’s most important sea lines of trade and communications, and a challenge to American strategic primacy in the Western Pacific.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson suggested during his confirmation hearing that the US could impose a naval blockade on China’s artificial islands in the Spratlys. The threat was followed by this week’s deployment of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson to the South China Sea as part of so-called “routine operations” in the area.

Washington’s deployment of the USS Carl Vinson, accompanied by an armada of warships, was a clear signal that neither will America sit by idly as the strategic balance shifts. The last time America showed such force in the South China Sea was in early 2016, when there were concerns of imminent Chinese reclamation activity on the Philippine-claimed Scarborough Shoal.

That was under the pro-US Philippine President Benigno Aquino administration, which was replaced last July by the at least outwardly more China-friendly Duterte. China’s growing military prowess, its putting pressure on America to develop a stronger naval presence in the region, with power projection capabilities at nearby bases, particularly at Subic and Oyster Bay in the Philippines.

But without stronger engagement and clearer messaging under Trump, it is not clear if those or other regional facilities will be available when America most needs them.”

Not only under US President Donald Trump that should have clearer messaging but most especially our very own President Rody Duterte, because our country can be used by China as its springboard in accomplishing its claim in the SCS and Taiwan in the process to achieve Pres. Xi Jinping's China dream. The current administration of Pres. Duterte allowed it in his belief and in order to avoid conflict for obvious reason that we don’t have the capability to go to war with China.

In order not to tilt the balance towards creating a regional conflict that may end up into a global war in the process, leaders of nation and all the other stakeholders should sit down and talk, after all diplomacy should be on the top of the list to straighten up misunderstandings. In so doing miscalculation will be avoided.

But the Chinese missiles being deployed in the nearby reefs and the perceived war cycle is on and predicted to go all hell by the third quarter of this year is really worrisome.

May God forbid!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Drug Cartel, Who's Behind? By Erick San Juan

Drug Cartel, Who's Behind? By Erick San Juan

"Transnational criminal organizations and subsidiary organizations, including transnational drug cartels, have spread throughout the nation, threatening the safety of the United States and its citizens.... These groups are drivers of crime, corruption, violence, and misery.... In particular, the trafficking by cartels of controlled substances has triggered a resurgence in deadly drug abuse and a corresponding rise in violent crime related to drugs.... A comprehensive and decisive approach is required to dismantle these organized crime syndicates and restore safety for the American people."     

This is US President Donald Trump's executive order of February 9 which is powerful and clear on his war on drugs.

Trump noted that he had brought a number of law enforcement officials to the White House, and asked them:

"what impact do drugs have in terms of a percentage on crime? They said, 75 to 80 percent. That's pretty sad. We're going to stop the drugs from pouring in. We're going to stop those drugs from poisoning our youth, from poisoning our people. We're going to be ruthless in that fight. We have no choice.... And we're going to take that fight to the drug cartels and work to liberate our communities from their terrible grip of violence."

The proliferation of illegal drugs obviously reached the mighty land of Uncle Sam and the newly elected US president Trump, like our own President Rody Duterte will make sure that their citizens are protected against the poisonous impact of drugs.

In the article of Mike Billington of the Executive Intelligence Review (EIR) – ‘Trump Launches War on Drugs, But Must Target Drug Banks’ clearly states that the international banking system has tolerated the transnational shipment of illegal drugs across continents.

“The one problem with the Trump War on Drugs — and a potential Achilles Heel if not corrected — is the failure to identify and target the actual core of the international drug cartel — the banks which facilitate this business. The publication by EIR in 1978 of the first edition of Dope, Inc., and the subsequent editions of that blockbuster expose, documented in great detail how the illicit drug business — the biggest business in the world — is reportedly controlled entirely by the west and Wall Street banks, since the time of the British Opium Wars against China, and continuing through to today.       

The identification of the "too-big-to-fail" banks in London and New York as the headquarters of Dope Inc., will also provide yet another motivation for the immediate restoration of Glass Steagall, to stop the criminal money laundering and speculation which has brought the trans-Atlantic financial system to ruin.

In 2009, after the 2008 near-collapse of the western banking system, Antonio Maria Costa, then the head of the UN office on drugs and crime, identified the fact that the international banks had become "drug dependent." He said:

"In many instances, the money from drugs was the only liquid investment capital. In the second half of 2008, liquidity was the banking system's main problem and hence liquid capital became an important factor. Inter-bank loans were funded by money that originated from the drugs trade and other illegal activities... There were signs that some banks were rescued that way."

Viktor Ivanov, the Director of the Russian Federal Narcotics Service from 2008 until 2016, speaking in Washington in 2011, said: In order to shut this down, "Drug money and global drug trafficking are actually not just valuable elements of, but as donors of scarce liquidity, a vital and indispensable segment of the whole monetary system."

Russia and the United States must work in tandem, Ivanov said, to effect a "drastic transformation of the international financial system.... To a certain extent, we are observing a revival of the logic of the Glass-Steagall Act, adopted in the U.S. in 1933 at the height of the Great Depression, which separated the deposit and investment functions of banks."

With the advancement of technology through the internet every transaction of drug money can be done fast and hard to trace.

Just the same in our case, the transhipment of drugs through our waterways because of our vast coastline, and the possibility of the presence of some Chinese in our Coast Guard, drugs come and go without any fuss.

I hope that the recent agreement between coast guards of China and the Philippines to stop sea bandits like Abu Sayyaf's will also be of help in stopping the transport of illegal drugs and its raw materials.

The perception is that even by air, sea, land and the virtual cyberworld, proliferation of drugs will continue because of the presence of corrupt people in the government. The worst, narco financiers and politicians now control many nations worldwide.

Just like in the movies, now its reality.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Tensions Will Continue in the Pacific Rim

Tensions Will Continue in the Pacific Rim
By Erick San Juan

War rhetoric between the U.S. and China is finally starting to cool down. The title of an article by James Holbrooks (TheAntiMedia.org) posted at True Activist (Feb. 7) but is it really cooling down?

Holbrooks based the said situation when Secretary of Defense James Mattis suggested the hotly disputed issue of the South China Sea should be handled diplomatically rather than through warfare. Yes, a very comforting statement in the midst of tensions in the East and South China Sea.

Calling the defense secretary’s words a “mind-soothing pill” that “dispersed the clouds of war that many feared were gathering over the South China Sea,” the China Daily hinted at a warning in U.S.-China relations.

“Mattis has inspired optimism here that things may not be as bad as previously portrayed,” the state-controlled newspaper wrote.

Although in reality things are not as mind-soothing as it seems. As the article continues: “In fact, even as James Mattis was suggesting over the weekend that between the U.S. and China, the diplomatic road was the one to take on the issue of territorial sovereignty, he was also accusing the Asian superpower of using coercion to force its will upon neighboring countries.

“We have watched in the South China Sea as China has shredded the trust of nations in the region,” Mattis said at the conference in Tokyo, “apparently trying to have veto authority over security and economic conditions of neighboring states.”

Providing further evidence that tensions are invariably rising between China and the United States — despite what government officials on both sides might happen to say at a given time — Fox News reported Monday that three Chinese warships have just sailed into the East China Sea.

It would be difficult to argue the timing is coincidental, as just two days before, the U.S. solidified its security commitments to ally Japan. And those commitments essentially back up the claim that Japan — not China — has a sovereign claim to the contested Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.

In effect, it’s the same fundamental disagreement over two different bodies of water — both of which are in one region. And it’s a region neither the United States nor China appears willing to cede control over.”

That is the crucial point of finding ways to really avoid an impending war between the US and China – the control over contested territories in the region. In both cases - the East and South China Sea, the nations involved are both allies of the US, namely Japan and the Philippines.

The war rhetoric may cool down for a while but the tensions will continue. Even our own President Rodrigo Duterte said several times that the moment will come, in his term, that our country and China will sit down and will discuss the arbitration body’s ruling that favored our country. Whether China will like it or not, the said ruling from The Hague should be honored to give way to a lasting peace in the region and not just a piecemeal.

It is quite obvious that it is not only China’s needs that has to be addressed when it comes to natural resources which is in abundance in the contested area in the South China Sea by fortifying the reclaimed areas militarily by China. There is no way for our country to have the chance of extracting oil, gas and other minerals that will also supply our growing needs and be used for our development.

That is the gist of the article by Gregory Poling – Prepare for A Stormy 2017 in the South China Sea - The number of Chinese naval, coast guard, and paramilitary vessels in the area will continue to grow as facilities at the three large artificial islands allow Chinese assets to consistently patrol the southern reaches of the nine-dash line as never before. China also continues to construct sophisticated radar and signals intelligence capabilities, bolstering its ability to monitor and intercept vessels anywhere in the area, and advanced anti-aircraft and anti-missile point defenses to protect these new power projection capabilities.

The desire to see Chinese diplomatic softening as a sign of a new status quo is understandable, and it is important that the door be left open for Beijing to deescalate. But China’s recent behavior should be seen as the best indicator of its future intentions. Beijing has accomplished its short-term goal of avoiding widespread censure after the July ruling. But it made no effort to clarify its claims or slowdown military construction, which would have suggested a more long-term commitment to peacefully resolve disputes. It is therefore only reasonable to assume that China continues to seek dominance throughout the nine-dash line, by coercion when necessary. Unlike the Philippines and Malaysia, other countries with a stake in the South China Sea recognize this and are preparing for heightened tensions as China makes use of its new facilities. The incoming U.S. administration will need to do the same, because the next crisis is likely just a matter of time.”

We should be wary of the pressure for President Rody Duterte to implement a revolutionary government as per instigation of a self proclaimed local CIA laying the predicate. He thought he may get what he wish for at our expense.
 

Monday, February 6, 2017

Imminent War in the Offing by Erick San Juan


Imminent War in the Offing by Erick San Juan

Is war between the US and China imminent as what Steve Bannon, who is President Donald Trump’s chief political strategist said last March?

According to Steve Bannon the United States will go to war with China in “five to 10 years” over the South China Sea dispute.

The said comments resurfaced at a time when Washington and Beijing’s relations have soured after Trump questioned the "One China" policy and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said China should be barred from islands in the contested region.

“We’re going to war in the South China Sea in five to 10 years, aren’t we? There’s no doubt about that. They’re taking their sandbars and making basically stationary aircraft carriers and putting missiles on those. They come here to the United States in front of our face — and you understand how important face is — and say it’s an ancient territorial sea,” Bannon said on a radio show hosted for Breitbart in March 2016. (Source: Vishakha Sonawane at IBT online)

US President Donald Trump even before his inauguration released some pronouncements that are not pleasant to China’s ears. One of these very hot issues is the One China Policy – “A state-run Chinese newspaper warned Sunday that Beijing will take “revenge” if the United States abandons the “one China” policy under Donald Trump’s administration. The comments came after Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen made a stopover in Houston.

“Trump is yet to be inaugurated, and there is no need for Beijing to sacrifice bilateral ties for the sake of Taiwan. But in case he tears up the one-China policy after taking office, the mainland is fully prepared,” the Global Times said in an editorial. “Beijing would rather break ties with the US if necessary. We would like to see whether US voters will support their president to ruin Sino-US relations and destabilize the entire Asia-Pacific region.”

“If Trump reneges on the one-China policy after taking office, the Chinese people will demand the government to take revenge. There is no room for bargaining,” the newspaper warned.

"Under the 'one China' policy, there is only a single state called 'China' despite there being two governments. People’s Republic of China, popularly known as the mainland China, considers Taiwan (officially known as Republic of China) a renegade province. However, Taiwan considers itself an independent country. Both PRC and Taiwan claim to be the lawful government of one China, but in reality, Taiwan has control only over a few small islands."

“Sticking to [the one China] principle is not a capricious request by China upon US presidents, but an obligation of US presidents to maintain China-US relations and respect the existing order of the Asia-Pacific,” the Global Times said.

In its editorial, the Global Times also said that China “will impose further military pressure” on Taiwan and “Tsai needs to face the consequences for every provocative step she takes.”  (Vishakha Sonawane for IBT)

Like a programmed scenario, delays can happen but it will happen and the US-Sino relations is not getting any better.

In his article China Jockeying for Position in South China Sea, Larry Edelson writes, "Hullabaloo over President Trump’s policies, his nationalist stance and fears over potential trade conflicts may have turned some investors’ focus away from numerous geopolitical hotspots.

But not mine.

In fact, these hotspots are going to get worse before they get better … and they play right into my larger War Cycle research."

Take for example the latest – and frankly stealthy developments – growing from the budding romance between China and the Philippines.

No question this duo has experienced their share of conflict – but that’s changing. Especially as China contemplates its military ambitions and the Philippines’ strategic location in the South China Sea. Plus, it’s no secret that the Philippines’ populist President Rodrigo Duterte is open to a new relationship with China.

Let’s Make a Deal

In late January, China made good on an initial $3.7 billion investment (part of a $24 billion deal) to aid the Philippines in numerous infrastructure projects. The investment represents a massive 75% of total foreign investment into the Philippines throughout 2015 ($4.9 billion).

And you can be certain this investment is not a philanthropic exercise to help their neighbor.

From my lens, China’s maneuvering is to gain naval access beyond the first island chain and ultimately station military assets at a strategic location in the Pacific.

Complications

The U.S. has a defense treaty with the Philippines, allowing U.S. warships to move freely from the Pacific to Middle East war zones in return for U.S. defense.

But that’s in jeopardy after the U.S. didn’t adequately come to the Philippines’ defense when China took control of Scarborough Shoal and other islands. And that’s territory that China is now building runways and stationing missile batteries on.

Meanwhile, China’s late 2016 seizure of an American underwater surveillance drone in the region underscores the tense and volatile relationship.

The conflict is further aggravated by comments from newly appointed U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson regarding tensions in the South China Sea: “We’re going to send China a clear signal that … island-building stops and access to those islands is not going to be allowed.”

Wow. Talk about a South Pacific powder keg.”

Indeed a powder keg waiting for an event that can ignite it to a real shooting war. Which reminds us all to be ever vigilant and supportive of our president’s correct policies to avoid another war not of our liking and definitely not to be used again as cannon fodder in the process.

The war cycle is on. Most nations in the know are all preparing for it especially big powers with overheating economy involved in the military industrial complex. Let's all be vigilant!