Saturday 31 October 2020

The news they don't want you to pay attention to

If you didn't have outlets like this blog or TruNews you would never know any of this. While the world moves towards war we are distracted, either by trivia or by propaganda

The Winds of War

Chinese and American
 defence officials have agreed to hasten talks during a potential crisis this week in a move described by analysts as crucial to preventing all-out conflict between the world’s largest militaries.
Just days before the United States presidential election and amid 
rumours that the Trump administration might launch an attack
 against Chinese-claimed islands in the 
South China Sea
, the two militaries discussed crisis prevention and management on Wednesday and Thursday via teleconference for the first meeting of the Crisis Communications Working Group.

“The two sides agreed on the importance of establishing mechanisms for timely communication during a crisis, as well as the need to maintain regular communication channels to prevent crisis and conduct post-crisis assessment,” the Pentagon said in a statement.

Participants in the working group included representatives of the office of the Secretary of Defence, the Joint Staff and the US Indo-Pacific Command. The Chinese participants included representatives of the Central Military Commission’s Office for International Military Cooperation, the CMC Joint Staff Department and the PLA Southern Theatre Command.

With the situation in the West Pacific remaining tense due to the increasing US military provocations against China in recent months, the Chinese Defense Ministry said on Thursday that the US Department of Defense has communicated with China and will make more communication and cooperation to ease tensions and avoid conflict.

Chinese experts said that although some senior officials in the Trump administration are making more and more provocations to endanger bilateral ties as well as the regional security in the West Pacific, leaders of the US Defense Department remained cautious and reasonable, because they know how terrifying it could be if China and the US become involved in a military conflict.

Chinese Defense Ministry spokesperson Wu Qian said on Thursday's monthly press conference that the militaries of China and the US were currently holding a virtual meeting for crisis communication, and more exchanges and consultations on issues including maritime military security will be held by the year's end. 

Experts believe the announcement aims to cool down military tensions with solid facts. Although some officials in the Trump administration want to create an "October surprise" by using US-China tensions, they are unlikely to risk a war with China, so military provocations by the US might be reduced.

American troops in Japan are ready to land on the disputed Senkaku Islands to fight off a Chinese invasion, a senior general has said, in the most explicit US commitment so far to defending the territory.

Lieutenant-General Kevin Schneider, commander of US Forces Japan, was speaking after landing on a Japanese aircraft carrier during ten-day military exercises between US and Japanese forces that are explicitly directed at deterring Chinese aggression in the East China Sea.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is wrapping up a tour of Southeast and South Asia in Vietnam, where he again sought to counter the growing influence of China, only days before President Donald Trump faces challenger and former Vice President Joe Biden in the U.S. presidential election.

"We look forward to continuing to work together to build on our relationship and to make the region -- throughout Southeast Asia, Asia and the Indo-Pacific -- safe and peaceful and prosperous," Pompeo said on Friday, according to Reuters, in greeting Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in Hanoi.

Phuc responded by asking for "sincere cooperation" from the U.S. in support of a peaceful region and progress in trade and investment ties, Reuters said.

India-US together can deliver deterrence to China: Mike Pompeo | Interview


The Philippines
 should expect 
 to seize control of some of its waterways if a war breaks out between Beijing and Washington, according to former Philippine armed forces chief Emmanuel Bautista.
The archipelago’s strategic location with routes linking the 
South China Sea
 and Pacific Ocean make it a “key terrain”, the retired general told an online forum last week.

He identified these routes as the Bashi Channel next to the Batanes and Babuyan islands near Taiwan, and the straits of Mindoro, Cebu, Balabac, San Bernardino and Surigao within the Philippine Islands.

“If you want to influence the South China Sea, you need to control these chokepoints,” he said.

A “gray zone” arms race is emerging in the South China Sea, where China’s rising use of para-military forces to assert its contested claims could soon be met by rival maritime militias from Southeast Asia.

Long outgunned and outspent by China, the Philippines is now moving to create its own militia sea forces, to be known as the Cafgu Active Auxiliary Service (CAAS), to protect its interests in adjacent waters including within its vast exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

The military move, if approved, would come in response to China’s growing use of para-military forces, including the use of small vessels to systematically swarm contested islands and strategic features, to intrude ever deeper into Philippine-claimed waters

The tank traps on the beaches of Kinmen Island are a stark reminder that Taiwan lives under the constant threat of a Chinese invasion — and fears of a conflict breaking out are now at their highest in decades.

Democratic Taiwan has learned to live with the warnings of Beijing’s authoritarian leaders that they are ready and willing to seize a place it views as part of its territory.

But that background static has reached hard-to-ignore levels recently with China’s jets now crossing into Taiwan’s defense zone at an unprecedented rate and the People’s Liberation Army releasing propaganda simulating an invasion of the island — and even an attack on U.S. bases in Guam.

Not since the mid-1990s, when China fired missiles into the Taiwan Strait during a moment of heightened tension, has the saber-rattling been so loud.

As the United States’ commitment to defending Taiwan is questioned amid Chinese threats of invasion, once unimaginable proposals are being debated in the American military — including the return of U.S. forces to Taiwan.

While U.S. forces withdrew from Taiwan after Washington formalized diplomatic ties with Beijing in 1979, a new proposal to re-establish the United States’ first permanent ground forces is stirring controversy.

The proposal, which was published in an essay in the September-October edition of the U.S. Army Military Review, a professional journal of the army, contends that to effectively deter an increasingly capable Chinese military from an attack on Taiwan, the United States “needs to posture its forces in a way that would inevitably trigger a larger conflict and make plain its commitment to Taiwanese defense.”

“The United States needs to consider basing ground forces in Taiwan if it is committed to defending Taiwanese sovereignty,” according to the proposal.

Combat-credible heavy U.S. forces in Taiwan, the essay said, could not only go far in repelling a Chinese cross-strait operation, “but also serve as a tripwire that would inevitably trigger a wider conflict not acceptable to China.”

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