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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Chinese Military News

US Navy Ship Denied Entry into Hong Kong Port

File photo: The amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) (U.S. Navy photo by Levingston Lewis)

China has denied a request for a U.S. warship to visit Hong Kong, the U.S. consulate in the Chinese city said on Tuesday, amid rising tension between Beijing and Washington over trade and a U.S. decision to sanction the Asian nation's military.The amphibious assault ship Wasp had been due to make a port call in the former British colony of Hong Kong in October, diplomatic sources said."The Chinese Government did not approve a request for a U.S. port visit to Hong Kong by the USS Wasp…

Beijing's South China Sea Building Boom Grows

The Republic of Singapore navy Formidable-class frigate RSS Supreme (FFG 73) and the Victory-class corvette RSS Valiant (PGG 91) transit the South China Sea behind the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). Theodore Roosevelt is underway for a regularly scheduled deployment in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Michael Colemanberry/Released)

At first glance from above it looks like any clean and neatly planned small town, complete with sports grounds, neat roads and large civic buildings. But the town is on Subi reef in the Spratlys archipelago of the hotly contested South China Sea and, regional security experts believe, could soon be home to China's first troops based in the maritime heart of Southeast Asia. Private sector data analysis reviewed by Reuters shows Subi, some 1,200 km (750 miles) from China's coast, is now home to nearly 400 individual buildings – far more than other Chinese islands.

Satellite Images Show China's Show of Force in South China Sea

(Photo: Planet Labs)

Dozens of Chinese naval vessels are exercising this week with an aircraft carrier in a large show of force off Hainan island in the South China Sea, satellite images obtained by Reuters show. The images, provided by Planet Labs Inc, confirm a Chinese carrier group has entered the vital trade waterway as part of what the Chinese navy earlier described as combat drills that were part of routine annual exercises. The Liaoning carrier group last week traversed the Taiwan Strait, according to the Taiwanese defense ministry.

Vietnam Protests Chinese Live-firing in South China Sea

Vietnam on Tuesday issued a strong condemnation of Chinese military live-fire exercises in the disputed South China Sea, amid rising tension between the two countries. The Maritime Safety Administration of China's southern province of Hainan, which oversees the South China Sea, said last month there would be live fire drills around the Paracel Islands, which Vietnam claims, until September 2. "Vietnam strongly objects this action by China and seriously requests China to respect Vietnam's sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelagos," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said in a statement. "Vietnam once again asserts…

HMAS Ballarat Returns Home

Family and friends of the crew of HMAS Ballarat wave to their loved ones as the ship pulls alongside to her home port of Fleet Base West, Western Australia, at the completion of a four month South East Asia deployment. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

HMAS Ballarat has sailed into her home port of Fleet Base West in Rockingham, Western Australia, to a large gathering of family and friends after completing a three month deployment to South East Asia and; participating in Exercise TALISMAN SABER off the Australian coast. The deployment, which began in early April, was part of the Australian Government’s efforts to promote regional stability and improve interoperability between regional partners and included port visits to Zhanjiang, Singapore, Sattahip, Bangkok, Da Nang and Kota Kinabalu.

Is Beijing Outflanking the US in the South China Sea?

USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) (U.S. Navy photo by Nathan K. Serpico)

For much of the last week, the U.S. aircraft carrier Carl Vinson has been patrolling the South China Sea. It is just the kind of display of Washington’s power and global reach that the U.S. Navy excels at – both to reassure allies and, in this case, send a message to potential foes. How much longer Washington will be able to perform such operations unchallenged, however, is an increasingly open question. Some military experts project that within a little more than a decade, China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy may have more warships than Washington under its command.

China Protests 'Illegal,' 'Provocative' US South China Sea Patrol

China's Defense Ministry said that a patrol by a U.S. warship in the South China Sea on Friday was "illegal" and "provocative" and that it had lodged a protest with the United States. In a statement on its website, the ministry said two Chinese warships had warned the U.S. warship to leave during the patrol. It added that the Chinese military would increase air and sea patrols according to need. U.S. defense officials said the guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur challenged "excessive maritime claims" in a patrol near the Paracel Islands, among a string of islets, reefs and shoals over which China has territorial disputes with its neighbors. The Chinese Defense Ministry said two warships, the Guangzhou and the Luoyang, warned the U.S. vessel to leave.

Beijing Slams South China Sea Court Proceedings

Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling set for July 12. An international court said it would deliver a hotly anticipated ruling in the Philippines' case against China over the South China Sea on July 12, drawing an immediate rebuke from Beijing, which rejects the tribunal's jurisdiction. The United States, which is a close ally of the Philippines and is concerned about China's expansive South China Sea claims, reiterated its backing for The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration and urged a peaceful resolution of the dispute. Manila is contesting China's historical claim to about 90 percent of the South China Sea, one of the world's busiest shipping lanes.

Chinese Spy Ship Enters Japanese Territorial Waters

Pic: Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy

A Chinese military ship entered the waters of south-western Japan on Wednesday, EFE news reported quoting government officials. This is the first such incident in over a decade and comes a week after a Chinese navy ship sailed near the disputed Senkaku islands. Ap reported Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroshige Seko as saying that a Maritime Self-Defense Force plane spotted the ship in Japanese waters west of Kuchinoerabu island in southern Japan before dawn. The ship sailed out of Japan's waters about 90 minutes later.

Indo-US-Japan Naval Exercise Irks China

Photo: Indian Navy

The joint military drill by Japan, the US and India being held near the waters of the East China Sea will create more frictions in the disputed area, warns China. The first phase of the drill kicked off on Friday in Japan’s southwestern city of Sasebo, with the second stage due to start on June 14 off the Okinawa Island, Press TV said. The tri-country began their marine war games, Malabar Exercise, near Okinawa Island - about 400 kilometres from the contested Senkaku Islands - hunting for Chinese submarines…

US Warship Sails near Chinese-claimed Reef

(U.S. Navy photo by Emiline L. M. Senn)

China scrambled fighter jets on Tuesday as a U.S. navy ship sailed close to a disputed reef in the South China Sea, a patrol China denounced as an illegal threat to peace which only went to show its defence installations in the area were necessary. Guided missile destroyer the USS William P. Lawrence travelled within 12 nautical miles (22 km) of Chinese-occupied Fiery Cross Reef, U.S. Defense Department spokesman Bill Urban said. The so-called freedom of navigation operation was undertaken to "challenge excessive maritime claims" by China…

China's Manmade Islands Project 'Substantial Offensive Power'

China will be able to project "substantial offensive military power" from artificial islands it has built in the South China Sea's disputed Spratly Islands within months, the director of U.S. national intelligence said. In a Feb. 23 letter to John McCain, chair of the U.S. "Based on the pace and scope of construction at these outposts, China will be able to deploy a range of offensive and defensive military capabilities and support increased PLAN and CCG presence beginning in 2016," Clapper said in the letter released this week, using acronyms for the Chinese navy and coastguard. "Once these facilities are completed by the end of 2016 or early 2017, China will have significant capacity to quickly project substantial offensive military power to the region," Clapper added.

Chinese Spy Ship Enters Japanese Peninsula

Image: The National Interest

A Chinese naval intelligence ship was spotted off Japan's Boso Peninsula in Chiba Prefecture, Jiji Press reported quoting the Defense Ministry. The vessel did not enter the country's territorial waters, Japan's Defence Ministry said, but added it is rare for a Chinese naval vessel to sail back and forth in that area near Tokyo. Maritime Self-Defense Force P-3C patrol aircraft spotted a Dongdiao-class intelligence-gathering ship sailing northeast in waters outside the contiguous zone surrounding Japanese waters southeast of the peninsula around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.

China to Start Its First Naval Base in Africa

China Navy Archives: Djibouti navy soldiers salute in front of China's hospital ship Peace Ark at the port of Djibouti, Sept. 29, 2010.

China is going to build a base in Djibouti, so that will be their first military location in Africa. With the establishment of a base in Djibouti, China joins the global contest for maritime and commercial supremacy, reports Al Jazeera‎. China has long had an economic foothold in Africa, but the base would be an expansion of its military prowess beyond the Asia-Pacific region. The agreement opens the door to the creation of a permanent Chinese military presence on the African…

China: "Great Restraint" in South China Sea

China has shown "great restraint" in the South China Sea by not seizing islands occupied by other countries even though it could have, a senior Chinese diplomat said on Tuesday ahead of two regional summits where the disputed waterway is likely to be a hot topic. Beijing has overlapping claims with Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei in the South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. Reclamation work and the building of three airfields and other facilities on some of China's artificial islands in the Spratly archipelago have alarmed the region and raised concern in Washington that China is extending its military reach deep into maritime Southeast Asia.

Despite Agreements, U.S.-China Naval Risks Linger

In 2013, a U.S. guided-missile ship veered sharply to avoid a Chinese navy vessel that tried to block its path in the disputed South China Sea, according to the U.S. account. They are the types of risky encounters that Beijing and Washington have sought to avoid by stepping up efforts to implement a web of military communications agreements. But the protocols in place are mostly non-binding, contain exceptions, and at times are interpreted differently by the two sides, highlighting the risk of an unwanted escalation of tensions as the United States asserts its naval power more forcefully to counter China's maritime claims. Washington…

China Plans Live-Fire Drills in Taiwan Strait

Taiwan drills already underway. The Chinese military will hold three days of live-fire drills in the sensitive Taiwan Strait starting from Friday, the government said in a notice issued to warn shipping away from the area. China claims self-ruled Taiwan as its own and has never renounced the use of force to bring the democratic island under its rule. Defeated Nationalist forces fled to Taiwan after losing a civil war with the Communists in 1949. Ties have generally improved under Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou, who has signed a series of landmark trade and economic pacts with China, but deep suspicions remain on either side. In a brief statement on Thursday…

Chinese Port Blast Kills 50, Injures 700 More

Two huge explosions tore through an industrial area where toxic chemicals and gas were stored in the northeast Chinese port city of Tianjin, killing at least 50 people, including at least a dozen fire fighters, officials and state media said on Thursday. At least 700 people were injured, more than 71 seriously, the Tianjin government said on its Weibo microblog, and the official Xinhua news agency said two fires were still burning. Wednesday night's blasts, so large that they were seen by satellites in space, sent shockwaves through apartment blocks kilometres away in the port city of 15 million people. Internet videos showed fireballs shooting into the sky and the U.S. Geological Survey registered the blasts as seismic events.

China to Investigate Deadly Port Blast

China Port Blast: Photo taken from a youtube video

Chiness president Xi Jinping promised a “thorough investigation” after huge explosions in the world’s 10th largest port- Tianjin - killing at least 50 people and disrupting operations. The Chinese government faces pressure to reveal the mystery chemical or explosives. The cause for the blasts is being investigated by China while top foreign and local companies are assessing the damages caused to them. A team of 217 nuclear and biochemical materials specialists from the Chinese military began work at the site on Thursday, the official Xinhua news agency said.

At Least 50 Dead in Chinese Port Blast, 700 Injured

Two huge explosions tore through an industrial area where toxic chemicals and gas were stored in the northeast Chinese port city of Tianjin, killing at least 50 people, including at least a dozen fire fighters, officials and state media said on Thursday. At least 700 people were injured, more than 71 seriously, the Tianjin government said on its Weibo microblog, and the official Xinhua news agency said two fires were still burning. Wednesday night's blasts, so large that they were seen by satellites in space, sent shockwaves through apartment blocks kilometres away in the port city of 15 million people. Internet videos showed fireballs shooting into the sky and the U.S. Geological Survey registered the blasts as seismic events.

Chinese Navy Conducts Drill in South China Sea

South China Sea. Image by Russian Council

The Chinese navy has announced 10 days of military training in the waters near eastern Hainan Island in the South China Sea starting on Wednesday, amid heightened tensions in the region. Playing down the significance of the exercises, the Chinese military said the drills, started yesterday in the east of Hainan Province, are not directed against neighbours. "The drills are regular military exercises scheduled in the annual plan, without targeting any other country," the Ministry of National Defence said.

Japan Demands Chinese Halt to South China Sea Energy Play

Japan called on China on Tuesday to halt construction of oil-and-gas exploration platforms in the East China Sea close to waters claimed by both nations, concerned that Chinese drills could tap reservoirs that extend into Japanese territory. Japan's Defense Ministry added the demand to its annual defense review after hawkish members of the ruling party complained that its original draft was too soft on China, a ministry official said. China resumed exploration in the East China Sea two years ago, the report said. In 2012, Japan's government had angered Beijing and purchased a disputed island chain there. Before then, Beijing had curtailed activities under an agreement with Japan to jointly develop undersea resources in disputed areas.

China Conducts 8-day Naval Drills in Yellow Sea

Chinese People's Liberation Army Naval Fleet. Photo by Idrw

China has launched regular military exercises in the Yellow Sea and the Bohai Strait, says the Chinese People's Liberation Army's Daily, the Chinese military's official newspaper. The China's military newspaper reported that eight days of "military missions" had begun on Friday in the northern parts of the Yellow Sea and the Bohai Strait, adjacent to the Korean Peninsula. Until next Friday, China's maritime authorities have banned ships from sailing in the affected areas. The brief report did not give details, including the purpose of the drills or how many troops were mobilized.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Dec 2018 - Great Ships of 2018

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