East Asia
nimitz

US-China brinkmanship over Taiwan

In an alarming tit-for-tat, Taiwan’s defense ministry said that several Chinese fighter jets briefly entered the country’s air defense identification zone, and the US took the unusual move of flying a C-40A military transport plane over Taiwan. The US overflight was assailed by Beijing’s Taiwan Affairs Office as “an illegal act and a seriously provocative incident.” This comes as the US is deploying three aircraft carrier strike groups to the Pacific—the first such triple deployment in three years, seen as an explicit warning to China. The deployment follows accusations by Lt. Gen. Kevin Schneider, commander of US forces in Japan, that China is using the COVID-19 crisis as a cover to push territorial claims in the South China Sea. (Photo of USS Nimitz: US Navy via USNI News)

East Asia

Brink looms closer in East Asia maritime theaters

Japan has activated its first amphibious marine unit since World War II, which conducted practice drills to defend the disputed Senkaku Islands from an anticipated Chinese military seizure. Meanwhile, the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier, with a group of Philippine generals onboard, entered disputed waters in the South China Sea, where China is building military defenses on islands claimed by the Philippines and Vietnam. Another carrier, the USS Carl Vinson, patrolled the contested waters last month, taking part in anti-submarine drills with Japanese forces and visiting Vietnam with its 5,000-strong crew—the largest such US military presence there since the Vietnam War ended in 1975. (Map via IDSA)

East Asia

China allows first pollution suit under new law

A court in China ruled that a lawsuit against ConocoPhillips China and China National Offshore Oil for a 2011 oil spill can proceed under a new law allowing NGOs to directly sue polluters.

Central Asia

US plays Mongolia card against China

Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel signed a "joint vision" statement with Mongolia calling for expanded military cooperation—clearly aimed at further encirclement of China.

Europe

Will Ukraine ‘go nuclear’?

NATO maneuvers in the Black Sea—just across from Crimea—come as Ukrainian lawmakers threaten to seek nuclear weapons if the West does not act against Russia.

East Asia

East China Sea gets scary —again

A near confrontation between Chinese and US aircraft over disputed East China Sea gasfields comes amid major joint US-Japanese naval maneuvers off Okinawa.

East Asia

East China Sea edging towards war…

Chinese and Japanese aircraft had a near-confrontation over the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands on the very day that China officially commemorated the 1937 Rape of Nanking.

East Asia

Japan, Taiwan ships clash with water cannon

Japanese and Taiwanese patrol ships blasted each other with water cannon as a fishing fleet from Taiwan mobilized a protest flotilla to the contested East China Sea islands.