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)
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)
Protestors in front of Camp Schwab in Okinawa burst into cheers as the island's governor revoked the permit for a new US Marine base—but Tokyo may override the decision.
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.
Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel signed a "joint vision" statement with Mongolia calling for expanded military cooperation—clearly aimed at further encirclement of China.
China impounds a Japanese vessel over an unpaid wartime debt, as Japan builds a military base near the disputed Senkaku Islands. This World War II nostalgia is getting too real.
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.
A near confrontation between Chinese and US aircraft over disputed East China Sea gasfields comes amid major joint US-Japanese naval maneuvers off Okinawa.
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.
North Korea threatens military action against the South, South Korea's Coast Guard attacks a Chinese fishing fleet, and China sends a naval force into waters claimed by Japan…
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.
China and Japan are moving ahead with new Free Trade Agreements such as the ASEAN+6 pact and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, even amid escalated military tensions.