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Defense/Military

Global Times: Posting Marine Guards at New AIT Compound in Taipei Reveals U.S. Hegemonic Nature

Global Times, a subsidiary of the Chinese Communist Party official newspaper People’s Daily, reported that a spokesperson from the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council referred, on February 22, to the China foreign ministry spokesperson’s position regarding U.S. marines to be posted at the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) in Taipei. The AIT is the U.S. de facto diplomatic mission on the island in the absence of official ties. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang, when answering a question on the AIT on February 17, stated, “China has always objected to U.S.-Taiwan connections through official and military channels.”

In an earlier commentary on February 17, Global Times reported that Stephen Young, a former director of the AIT, said Washington would send marines soon to guard the new compound.

Wang Jianmin, a research fellow with the Institute of Taiwan Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said this move from Washington is a critical part of enhancing U.S.-Taiwan relations, but it would cause significant harm to Sino-U.S. relations. It would also negatively impact the already impaired relations across the Taiwan Strait.

On February 16, Wang told Global Times that the current Taiwan administration has been pushing pro-Japan and pro-U.S. policies. The U.S. takes this opportunity to enhance its military exchanges with Taiwan, so as to solidify its political commitment to Taipei. However, such a political commitment is itself a mistake. Offering special protection from one sovereign country on land within another sovereign country highlights U.S. hegemony.

Sources: Global Times, February 23, 2017
http://taiwan.huanqiu.com/article/2017-02/10183997.html
Global Times, February 17, 2017
http://taiwan.huanqiu.com/article/2017-02/10144486.html

People’s Daily Online: Washington Expected to Gauge China’s Response to U.S. Aircraft Carrier Entering South China Sea

Global Times, a subsidiary of People’s Daily Online published an analysis of the U.S. aircraft carrier and guided-missile destroyer deployed over the weekend to patrol the South China Sea. The analysis appeared on February 20 in the military section of the website of the Chinese Communist Party’s official newspaper.

It cited the U.S. Navy’s press release issued on February 18 that the USS Carl Vinson carrier entered the South China Sea on Saturday.

The analysis cited an article from Japan Times that China watchers believe Washington intends to gauge the Chinese response and then conduct a more beefed up freedom of navigation operation.

Analysts told Global Times reporters that U.S. warships’ patrolling in the South China Sea is different in nature from their entering the adjacent waters of islands in the area. China’s navy has maintained a normalized patrol in the waters of the Nansha Islands, also known as the Spratly Islands. It is paying minute to minute attention to see whether US warships will make any risky moves.

The analysis mentioned an earlier report from U.S.-based Navy Times, that, according to several Navy officials, the U.S. Navy is planning fresh challenges to China’s claims in the South China Sea. It is sailing more warships near the increasingly militarized man-made islands that China claims as its sovereign territory in order to ratchet up potentially provocative operations in the South China Sea. The military’s plans also likely call for sailing within 12 nautical miles of China’s newly built islands in the Spratly and/or Paracel islands.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said in the routine press conference on February 15, “China always respects the freedom of navigation and overflight of all countries in the South China Sea in accordance with international law, but we oppose those who threaten and harm China’s sovereignty and security under the pretext of freedom of navigation and overflight.”

Global Times reporters noted that China’s Ministry of Defense has made no official response regarding this latest development. Global Times‘ interpretation is that China is more at ease when confronting U.S. military intimidation coupled with media hype.

Source: People’s Daily Online, February 20, 2017
http://military.people.com.cn/n1/2017/0220/c1011-29092651.html
Japan Times, February 19, 2017
http:// www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/02/19/asia-pacific/u-s-carrier-group-begins-routine-patrol-tense-south-china-sea/#.WK4rrW8rL3g

Xinhua: Chinese Military in Beijing Began Full Cessation of Commercial Services

Xinhua recently reported that the Beijing Leadership Group for the Full Cessation of the Military’s Commercial Services held its initial kick-off meeting on February 8. This marked the official beginning of the complete halt of the military providing commercial services in the Beijing area. Cai Qi, Deputy Secretary of the Beijing Party Committee, who is also the Mayor of Beijing, heads the Leadership Group. At the meeting, Cai delivered a speech that clarified the scope of the Cessation, which includes both the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and the Military Police. Cai emphasized that the order was based on the strategic decision that Chinese President Xi Jinping made so as to strengthen the Military’s discipline. The current policies allowed for-profit military services in the areas of communication, training, entertainment, sports, storage, science, health care, construction, real estate, and mechanical repairs. However, commercial military services have been identified as a key funding source for corruption.

Source: Xinhua, February 8, 2017
http://news.xinhuanet.com/local/2017-02/08/c_129471782.htm

Indian Navy Refused Domestic Carrier Fighter Jets

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that the Indian Navy decisively refused a request from its domestic supplier to deploy the Tejas fighter jet <India’s indigenous fighter jet> on its aircraft carriers. The Navy officially issued a global RFI (Request for Information) looking for a new carrier fighter model. The RFI revealed a need for 57 carrier-based fighter jets for two Indian carriers. The November Navy procurement meeting vetoed the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas due to the lack of critical capabilities that the Navy requires. The RFI requires the candidates to have all-day, all-weather, and air-to-ground combat capabilities. There are other requirements on refueling, electronic warfare, and reconnaissance capabilities. The RFI also stated that the delivery should start in three years and should be completed within three years thereafter. To comply with the government’s “Made in India” policy, the RFI asked the bidder whether establishing a manufacturing center in India was an option. The Indian Navy currently uses the Mig-29K for its carriers.

Source: Sina, February 1, 2017
http://dailynews.sina.com/bg/news/int/chinesedaily/20170201/08157714206.html

Duowei: New Navy Nominations of “Dark Horses” Sends an Important Signal

At the beginning of 2017, the People’s Liberation Army underwent big personnel changes that surprised outside observers. First, the Chinese Navy commanders of all the three major fleets have been replaced. Then, for the first time, the commander-in-chief of the combat region was promoted from the Navy. This series of personnel changes sends two signals: First, China’s southern combat region, that is, the South China Sea, will become the main strategic focus. Second, one of the objectives of the 2017 military reform is to highlight three-dimensional warfare.
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