Tensions mount again in the Asian Game of Zones

Tensions have reached new highs in the China Seas, where the Obama is pushing to militarize Japan and rearm one-time enemy Vietnam to oppose China’s presence in the resource rich waters of the China Seas.

As part of his gambit, Obama has been pushing the right wing government of Japanese Prime Minister to scrap the pacifist provisions of that nations constitution, provisions put in place under the American military dictatorship of Gen. Douglas MacArthur in the wake of World War II.

Both Japan and Vietnam have long histories of warfare with China, which China remembers all vividly.

We begin with some raw video from RT depicting Chinese naval maneuvers clearly designed to send a message:

RAW: Chinese navy holds massive combat drills in disputed South China Sea

Program notes:

Warships, supporting vessels and planes from China’s Northern, Eastern and Southern Fleet were mobilised for the exercises, according to CCTV. The exercises took place on Friday between Hainan Island and the Paracel Islands, known in China as Xisha Islands. The military drills come a few days ahead of an expected ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration, based in the Hague, on China’s disputed territorial claims. The case was brought by the Philippines.

The story from Reuters:

The Chinese navy conducted combat drills near its southern island province of Hainan and the Paracel islands in the South China Sea, the Ministry of Defense said on Saturday.

The drills come ahead of a July 12 ruling by the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration on a case brought by the Philippines disputing several of China’s territory claims in the South China Sea.

Ships from China’s northern, eastern and southern fleets participated in Friday’s drills, which focused on air control, surface operations and anti-submarine warfare, among other training exercises, the ministry said in a website statement.

China claims nearly all the South China Sea, but its claims overlap in part with those of Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

China has repeatedly said it does not consider any decision reached by the arbitration court to be legally binding.

The Philippines back off from a conciliatory move:

For a couple of days this week an observer could grasp at one small straw, an apparent move by the new Philippine president hinting at a possible easing of tensions between two of the players.

But wait!

From the Japan Times:

The Philippines’ top diplomat appeared to walk back claims that Manila would be willing to share natural resources with Beijing in the disputed South China Sea — even if it wins a legal challenge next week, a brief statement on the Philippine Foreign Ministry’s website said Saturday.

Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay told Agency France-Presse in an interview Friday that the administration of new President Rodrigo Duterte “hoped to quickly begin direct talks with China” following Tuesday’s verdict, with an eye on jointly exploiting natural gas reserves and fishing grounds within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

On Saturday, however, Yasay was quick to issue a “rejoinder” to the interview.

“What I said is we have to wait for the ruling and study and dissect its implications,” he said in a statement on the ministry’s website.

“As the ruling will not address sovereignty and delimitation, it is possible that some time in the future, claimant countries might consider entering into arrangements such as joint exploration and utilization of resources in disputed areas that do not prejudice the parties’ claims and delimitation of boundaries in accordance with UNCLOS,” it added, referring to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

There’s more, after the jump. . .

We suspect somebody called from Washington.

Also remember that the Obama administration has been pushing hard for the Trans Pacific Partnership, a so-called free trade agreement designed to contain and constrain the Chinese economy.

As an old cowboy friend used to say, that’s one bronc you want to think about twice before you throw a saddle on him.

And there’s more trouble in Asia

This time it involves India, another player the Obama administration has been pushing in its “Asian pivot” against China.

From Al Jazeera:

There were scenes of mayhem in parts of southern Indian-administered Kashmir after Indian forces opened fire on thousands of protesters, killing at least eight civilians and wounding scores of others during a mass funeral for a slain rebel fighter.

Shiv Murari Sahai, a top Indian police official, told a press conference on Saturday that eight people from south Kashmir district were killed during protests, including that of one youth who drowned in a river after being chased by para-military forces.

Tens of thousands of people defied a curfew in parts of Kashmir on Saturday to pay homage to Burwan Wani, the rebel fighter and so-called poster boy of the new Kashmiri resistance, resulting in clashes with police and paramilitary.

Wani was shot dead along with two other fighters by security forces and police in Bumdoora village on Friday, 85 km south of Srinagar, prompting mass mourning across the valley.

And what’s a post about troubles in Asia without the wild card?

That would be North Korea, itself a nuclear power.

From United Press International:

North Korea fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile early Saturday. The test marks at least the second time Pyongyang has launched a SLBM in 2016.

According to South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff, the projectile was fired near Sinpo, in South Hamgyong Province. Seoul’s military is still analyzing the distance it traveled, local news service Newsis reported.

The joint chiefs stated that on Saturday 11 a.m., local time, North Korea fired an SLBM from a maritime zone southeast of Sinpo.


The test could mark the second time North Korea has launched a SLBM since April 23. Pyongyang also may have launched a projectile from a 1,800-ton Sinpo-class submarine in early April that flew about 200 meters vertically.


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