Archive for the Guam Category

Manila’s base plan targets China [People’s Daily]

Posted in China, Diaoyu Islands, Guam, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, South China Sea, Tokyo, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War, Vietnam on August 12, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Zhao Shengnan (China Daily)
July 30, 2013

Troop relocation invites outside intervention in region, experts say

Manila’s plan to relocate its major air force and navy camps to a former US naval base near the South China Sea is designed to increase pressure on China and introduce more outside forces to the region to contain the country, experts said.

As soon as funding is available, the Philippine government plans to transfer air and naval forces, with their aircraft and warships, to Subic Bay, northwest of Manila, to gain faster access to the South China Sea, Philippine Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said on Sunday.

“It’s for the protection of our West Philippine Sea,” said Gazmin, using Manila’s newly adopted name for part of the South China Sea.

Subic’s location will cut the time it takes for fighter aircraft to get to the South China Sea by more than three minutes, compared with flying from Clark Air Base, north of Manila, where some air force planes are currently based, according to a confidential defense department document obtained by The Associated Press.

The natural deep harbor can also accommodate two large warships that the Philippines recently acquired from its ally the United States, and will grant visiting US forces, ships and aircraft temporary access to more of its military camps to allow for more joint military exercises than are currently held, the media reported.

The first US coast guard cutter was relaunched as the Philippines’ largest warship in 2011. Philippine President Benigno Aquino III will lead ceremonies on Aug 6 to welcome the second ship at Subic, the Philippine navy has said…

– Facility has long history –

Subic Bay is located about 100 km northwest of Manila Bay. It was formerly the site of US Naval Base Subic Bay, a major maritime facility. It is now an industrial and commercial area known as the Subic Bay Freeport Zone under the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority.

It holds a hallowed place in naval history. According to the SBMA’s official website:

In 1800, Spain discovered it was a naturally deep and strategically located harbor and soon built a naval fortress.

In 1898, a US fleet seized the port after destroying the Spanish fleet in the Battle of Manila Bay.

In 1909, the US navy selected it as a repair and supply depot. During the Vietnam War, Subic Bay’s piers and anchorages were used as repair and refueling stops for hundreds of ships each month.

In 1992, after almost 90 years as a US military facility, Subic Bay was turned over to the Philippines.

Excerpted; full article link: http://english.people.com.cn/90786/8345287.html

The NSA revelations and Obama’s “pivot to Asia” [World Socialist Website]

Posted in Australia, Guam, Hong Kong, India, Japan, National Security Agency / NSA, NSA, Obama, Pentagon, Philippines, Singapore, south Korea, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA on June 30, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By John Chan
17 June 2013

Edward Snowden’s revelations about the vast and illegal American electronic surveillance and spying operations inside the US and internationally have punctured the propaganda propagated by the Obama administration to justify its aggressive “pivot to Asia” aimed against China.

The US cynically presents itself as a force for regional stability, peace and “human rights” and the leader of Asian democracies—Japan, India and Australia—against the bullying of autocratic China. Under this guise, Washington has waged a determined offensive throughout the region to strengthen strategic alliances, build up military forces and consolidate trade ties in a bid to undermine Beijing’s influence.

In the lead-up to the recent summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Obama administration mounted a concerted campaign aimed at branding China as the number one “cyber threat” to the US and the world. A Pentagon report last month directly accused the Chinese government and military of large-scale cyber intrusions into American government, military and corporate computer networks. During the summit, Obama provocatively declared that alleged Chinese cyber espionage was the “direct theft of US property.”

In reality, as Snowden’s exposure of NSA operations confirms, the US military and intelligence apparatus has built up the world’s largest and most advanced cyber warfare machine, which it aggressively uses against the American people and any country regarded as a current or potential threat to the interests of American imperialism.

As Beijing has repeatedly alleged, China is a prime target. Snowden presented specific evidence to the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong last week that the NSA had hacked into hundreds of civilian computers in Hong Kong and China since 2009, including Hong Kong’s Internet Exchange, which handles all of the city’s web traffic. Having gained access to network backbones, the agency could gather information from hundreds of thousands of computers.

“The primary issue of public importance to Hong Kong and mainland China should be that the NSA is illegally seizing the communications of tens of millions of individuals without any individualised suspicion of wrongdoing. They simply steal everything so they can search for any topics of interest,” Snowden warned.

American intelligence expert Matthew Aid provided further confirmation of the NSA’s massive cyber operations against China in an article last week in Foreign Policy. He revealed that the US has been engaged in large-scale hacking of Chinese computer and telecommunications networks for the past 15 years.

Aid also exposed the existence of a highly secretive unit within the NSA’s Signal Intelligence Directorate known as the Office of Tailored Access Operations (TAO). The TAO, he said, employs 1,000 military and civilian hackers, analysts and engineers. Not only has it produced “some of the best and most reliable intelligence” about China, he stated, but it has been tasked with assembling the information needed for the US “to destroy or damage foreign computers and telecommunications systems with a cyber-attack.”

These revelations expose the Obama administration’s lies that the NSA spying is to protect the US from terrorist attack. The criminality of the American cyber operations against China is rooted in the imperialist character of the entire policy of the “pivot to Asia.” The US is determined to use its military might to prevent any challenge from China’s economic rise to its dominance in Asia since the end of World War II.

The NSA’s massive cyber operations are intimately bound up with US preparations for war against China. High-level US intelligence sharing with close allies in Asia goes hand in hand with establishing new military basing arrangements with Australia, Singapore and the Philippines, restructuring and reinforcing existing US bases in Japan, South Korea and Guam, and building up anti-ballistic missile systems in the region as part of Washington’s nuclear war plans.

The US has encouraged allies such as Japan and the Philippines to take a more assertive stance against China, heightening tensions in maritime disputes in the East China Sea, South China Sea and other regional flashpoints. By elevating the alleged cyber threat posed by China, Washington is preparing the pretext for a provocative cyber attack that risks escalating into a wider conflict. The Obama administration has already claimed the right to launch pre-emptive cyber attacks—as it has already done against Iran’s nuclear program.

In the wake of the NSA revelations, the American media and political establishment have launched an all-out campaign to vilify Snowden for exposing the NSA’s criminal operations at home and abroad. The latest lie that he might be a double-agent working for the Chinese government is particularly sinister, given the Obama administration’s history of targeted assassinations of US citizens.

The fact that Snowden fled to Hong Kong, a Chinese territory, is not evidence that he is a spy, but rather of the collapse of basic legal and democratic norms in the United States and all of its allies in Europe, Asia and around the world…

…The defence of Edward Snowden is an urgent issue not only for workers in America, but in Asia and internationally. He is being targeted for exposing the extent of the intelligence apparatus that has been established by the US to prosecute war against its international rivals and suppress domestic opposition to its austerity agenda at home.

The drive towards war and dictatorial forms of rule is rooted in the breakdown of the profit system, which has produced sharpening geo-political tensions between rival capitalist powers and growing opposition and resistance in every country to the relentless assault on the social position of the working class. The defence of democratic rights can be realised only through a unified socialist movement of the international working class to abolish capitalism…

Excerpted by Zuo Shou

Full article link: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/06/17/pivo-j17.html

North-South Relations Have Been Put at State of War: Special Statement of DPRK [KCNA]

Posted in DPR Korea, Guam, Kim Jong Un, Korean Central News Agency of DPRK, Korean Reunification, Korean War, Nukes, Pentagon, Songun policy, south Korea, US foreign occupation, US imperialism, USA on April 2, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Pyongyang, March 30 (KCNA) — The government, political parties and organizations of the DPRK released the following special statement on Saturday:

The moves of the U.S. imperialists to violate the sovereignty of the DPRK and encroach upon its supreme interests have entered an extremely grave phase. Under this situation, the dear respected Marshal Kim Jong Un, brilliant commander of Mt. Paektu, convened an urgent operation meeting on the performance of duty of the Strategic Rocket Force of the Korean People’s Army for firepower strike and finally examined and ratified a plan for firepower strike.

The important decision made by him is the declaration of a do-or-die battle to provide an epochal occasion for putting an end to the history of the long-standing showdown with the U.S. and opening a new era. It is also a last warning of justice served to the U.S., south Korean puppet group and other anti-reunification hostile forces. The decision reflects the strong will of the army and people of the DPRK to annihilate the enemies.

Now the heroic service personnel and all other people of the DPRK are full of surging anger at the U.S. imperialists’ reckless war provocation moves, and the strong will to turn out as one in the death-defying battle with the enemies and achieve a final victory of the great war for national reunification, true to the important decision made by Kim Jong Un.

The Supreme Command of the KPA in its recent statement solemnly declared at home and abroad the will of the army and people of the DPRK to take decisive military counteraction to defend the sovereignty of the country and the dignity of its supreme leadership, as regards the war moves of the U.S. and south Korean puppets that have reached the most extreme phase.

Not content with letting B-52 make sorties into the sky over south Korea in succession despite the repeated warnings of the DPRK, the U.S. made B-2A stealth strategic bomber and other ultra-modern strategic strike means fly from the U.S. mainland to south Korea to stage a bombing drill targeting the DPRK. This is an unpardonable and heinous provocation and an open challenge.

By taking advantage of the U.S. reckless campaign for a nuclear war against the DPRK, the south Korean puppets vociferated about “preemptive attack” and “strong counteraction” and even “strike at the commanding forces”, openly revealing the attempt to destroy monuments symbolic of the dignity of the DPRK’s supreme leadership.

This clearly shows that the U.S. brigandish ambition for aggression and the puppets’ attempt to invade the DPRK have gone beyond the limit and their threats have entered the reckless phase of an actual war from the phase of threat and blackmail.

The prevailing grim situation more clearly proves that the Supreme Command of the KPA was just when it made the judgment and decision to decisively settle accounts with the U.S. imperialists and south Korean puppets by dint of the arms of Songun, because time when words could work has passed.

Now they are openly claiming that the B-2A stealth strategic bombers’ drill of dropping nuclear bombs was “not to irritate the north” but for “defense”. The U.S. also says the drill is “to defend the interests of its ally”. However, it is nothing but a lame pretext to cover up its aggressive nature, evade the denunciation at home and abroad and escape from the DPRK’s retaliatory blows.

The era when the U.S. resorted to the policy of strength by brandishing nuclear weapons has gone.

It is the resolute answer of the DPRK and its steadfast stand to counter the nuclear blackmail of the U.S. imperialists with merciless nuclear attack and their war of aggression with just all-out war.

They should clearly know that in the era of Marshal Kim Jong Un, the greatest-ever commander, all things are different from what they used to be in the past.

The hostile forces will clearly realize the iron will, matchless grit and extraordinary mettle of the brilliant commander of Mt. Paektu to the effect that the earth cannot exist without Songun Korea.

Time has come to stage a do-or-die final battle.

The government, political parties and organizations of the DPRK solemnly declare as follows reflecting the final decision made by Kim Jong Un at the operation meeting of the KPA Supreme Command and the unanimous will of all service personnel and people of the DPRK who are waiting for a final order from him.

1. From this moment, the north-south relations will be put at the state of war and all the issues arousing between the north and the south will be dealt with according to the wartime regulations.
The state of neither peace nor war has ended on the Korean Peninsula.
Now that the revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK have entered into an actual military action, the inter-Korean relations have naturally entered the state of war. Accordingly, the DPRK will immediately punish any slightest provocation hurting its dignity and sovereignty with resolute and merciless physical actions without any prior notice.

2. If the U.S. and the south Korean puppet group perpetrate a military provocation for igniting a war against the DPRK in any area including the five islands in the West Sea of Korea or in the area along the Military Demarcation Line, it will not be limited to a local war, but develop into an all-out war, a nuclear war.
It is evident that any military conflict on the Korean Peninsula is bound to lead to an all-out war, a nuclear war now that even U.S. nuclear strategic bombers in its military bases in the Pacific including Hawaii and Guam and in its mainland are flying into the sky above south Korea to participate in the madcap DPRK-targeted nuclear war moves.
The first strike of the revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK will blow up the U.S. mainland and its bases for aggression in the Pacific operational theatres including Hawaii and Guam and reduce not only its military bases in south Korea but the puppets’ ruling institutions including Chongwadae and military bases to ashes at once, to say nothing of the aggressors and the provokers.

3. The DPRK will never miss the golden chance to win a final victory in a great war for national reunification.
This war will not be a three-day-war but it will be a blitz war through which the KPA will occupy all areas of south Korea including Jeju Island at one strike, not giving the U.S. and the south Korean warmongers time to come to their senses, and a three-dimensional war to be fought in the air, land and seas and on the front line and in the rear.
This sacred war of justice will be a nation-wide, all-people resistance involving all Koreans in the north and the south and overseas in which the traitors to the nation including heinous confrontation maniacs, warmongers and human scum will be mercilessly swept away.
No force on earth can break the will of the service personnel and people of the DPRK all out in the just great war for national reunification and of all other Koreans and overpower their might.

Holding in high esteem the peerlessly great men of Mt. Paektu, the Korean people will give vent to the pent-up grudge and realize their cherished desire and thus bring a bright day of national reunification and build the best power on this land without fail. -0-

KCNA homepage: http://www.kcna.kp

Pentagon spreads anti-China hacking lies [Workers World]

Posted in Anti-China media bias, Anti-China propaganda exposure, Australia, Black propaganda, Capitalism crisis early 21st century, Capitalist media double standard, China, CIA, Encirclement of China, George W. Bush, Guam, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Korean War, New York Times lie, Obama, Pentagon, PLA, south Korea, Taiwan, US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War on February 28, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Fred Goldstein on February 25, 2013

Feb. 25 — Dramatic front-page headlines in the New York Times accusing the People’s Liberation Army of China of being behind computer hacking in the U.S. have all the earmarks of a Cold War-style propaganda attack on China.

This bellicose attack comes at the same time that new leadership is about to take over in China. It comes in the context of the U.S. “pivot” to the Pacific and the buildup of military forces there directed at China. It comes at a moment when the Pentagon is facing the prospect of budget cuts. And it comes at a time of intractable economic crisis, when the U.S. government and the financial authorities are desperate to shore up the economy.

Seeming to surface out of nowhere — in the midst of debates about budget cuts, gun control, immigration reform, maneuvers over cabinet appointments and so on — this sudden flare-up of hostility is a dangerous step forward by anti-China hawks in the Pentagon and the establishment.

The China-hacking smear campaign was based upon a 60-plus-page report sent to the New York Times by the computer security firm Mandiant. The Times wrote a 3,000-word lead front-page article, replete with code names, charging that internet protocol addresses pointed to a building in Shanghai that allegedly housed a unit of the PLA.

The Chinese government and the PLA have strenuously and categorically denied the charges. They called the charges irresponsible and pointed to the lack of any proof. Other U.S. experts in cyber security pointed out gross inconsistencies in the report and asserted that no one can pinpoint the location or origin of a computer breakin by the IP address alone. It is common practice among hackers to conceal their origin by directing the IP address to a false location. (Jeffreycarr.blogspot.com/2013/01/ — search for “China”)

Be that as it may, what stands out is that the hacking story is being used politically to stir up suspicion and hostility against China and the Chinese military, even though all the alleged targets of the hacking were economic, i.e., unnamed private corporations.

The Times reported this incident in a sensational manner, conjuring up images of China destroying U.S. electrical grids, water supplies, communications systems, ad nauseam. The leap from alleged economic corporate spying, which takes place on a regular basis among all major companies and all governments, to a lurid military-spun fantasy about subversive Chinese aggression is calculated to stir up antagonism against China.

* ‘Cyber security’ & the military-industrial complex *

Mandiant is a cyber security company that has cashed in on the recent anti-China boom. It works for the Fortune 100. Cyber security is a $30 billion industry, and Mandiant had revenue of $100 million in 2012, up 60 percent from the previous year. (Reuters, Feb. 22)

Mandiant operates out of Arlington, Va., and is tied to the military and the CIA. Its CEO and founder, Kevin Mandia, has worked for Lockheed Martin and U.S. Air Force intelligence. Its chief security officer, Richard Bejtlich, has worked for the Air Force Internet Warfare Center and the Air Intelligence Agency.

They are part of a growing wing of the military-industrial complex. For example, a keynote speaker at a Mandiant-sponsored conference held at the Washington Ritz-Carlton hotel last October was retired Gen. Michael Hayden, former head of the National Security Agency and then of the CIA. Hayden is part of the Chertoff Group, run by former head of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff.

It should be remembered that the U.S. and Israel developed the Stuxnet virus, which sabotaged Iran’s nuclear facilities. This is far more than mere espionage. It was an act of warfare. These are the forces behind the report.

The Times story and the Mandiant report are nothing less than a “nongovernmental” attack organized by the U.S. government and the Pentagon to lay the basis for further military measures against China.

The report was leaked to the New York Times. It could have been handled in a completely toned-down style or behind closed doors, the way many matters of the gravest importance are handled. Making it public in such a dramatic way was the real political aggression. Buried in the Times article on the report was the admission that the Times has a “business relationship” with Mandiant.

The Times is the most prestigious mouthpiece of the U.S. ruling class. It could never have issued such a sensational blast at the PLA without prenotification and thorough consultation with the Pentagon and the State Department, as well as the White House. In fact, President Barack Obama previewed the attack with a strong reference to “our enemies” and cyber attacks in his State of the Union speech. This was clearly a coordinated offensive.

It should be recalled that former New York Times reporter Judith Miller worked with the Bush administration and the Pentagon to sell the Iraq war, writing front-page articles about how Saddam Hussein was stockpiling “weapons of mass destruction.” She and the Times were ultimately discredited when the reports proved false, but they helped pave the way for the U.S. invasion.

Similarly, the timing of the race to push forward the Mandiant report was partly driven by the Pentagon’s plans to bolster its Cyber Command staff from 900 to 4,900. Thus the report was also aimed at protecting this projected increase in a key Pentagon program at a time of talk about general austerity and Pentagon cutbacks.

The capitalist media are understood by Marxists to be an integral part of the capitalist state. They are sometimes described as the fourth arm of the state — the means of ideological and informational compulsion. The treatment of the Mandiant report was truly a state-to-state transaction, giving the capitalist government a safe distance should it find it diplomatically necessary to dodge and double talk.

* Critical time for China *

This report was a shot across China’s bow just when new leadership is about to take over. It is a flagrant threat and an attempt at destabilization. Washington and Wall Street are demanding that China move more vigorously toward abandoning state-owned corporations and state planning and open up wider to a complete takeover by the capitalist class and imperialism.

The top agencies of the U.S. government, the imperialist think tanks, the International Monetary Fund and World Bank — all are pressuring the Chinese leaders to make more political space for the bourgeoisie to organize in China under the slogan of “reform.”

The new leadership under Xi Jinping takes over after the previous leaders crushed the left wing at the top of the party, led by Bo Xilai. The new leaders are now faced with an encouraged and stronger right wing. This newest, most brazen threat to China’s armed forces is undoubtedly calculated to send a message to the new leadership that the U.S. wants to see a deepening of capitalist reforms and opening up to imperialism — or else.

*U.S. ‘pivot’ toward Asia *

These actions must be seen as part of Washington’s so-called “pivot” toward Asia — a euphemism for increasing its encirclement and military pressures on China. The present media attack is directed at the element within China regarded by the Pentagon as its primary adversary in the world: the People’s Liberation Army.

The so-called “pivot” is not new. It comes after a long history in which U.S. imperialism, and particularly its admiralty, have regarded the Pacific Ocean as a “U.S. lake.” The recent application of this doctrine is the “pivot” and is part of a multipronged offensive.

Consider some recent history:

Both the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations escalated military pressure on China. Clinton moved a vast arsenal of naval and air weapons systems to Japan and Guam The Bush administration sent an additional carrier force to the Pacific and announced the deployment of more submarines to the region.

The Obama administration went further. It expanded its joint naval exercises with Japan to prepare for the defense of disputed islands, abandoning the historic hands-off U.S. position. The U.S. sent Marines to Australia and restored military cooperation with Indonesia and New Zealand. Over the last three years the Obama administration has carried out the largest joint military exercises in Asia since the Korean War.

In January 2010, the Pentagon sold advanced military equipment to Taiwan, an island historically part of China that is politically separate only because it became the refuge of counterrevolutionary armies driven from the mainland in 1949 by the Chinese Revolution.

In July of that year, the U.S. and south Korea carried out a major military exercise in the Yellow Sea simulating war with China.

Washington has also strengthened its south Korean puppets militarily and is programmed to set up a theaterwide anti-missile system involving Taiwan, south Korea and Japan — all aimed at China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

In addition to military moves, anti-China economic measures are in the works. A Trans-Pacific Partnership that would include most of the nations in the region, plus the U.S., has excluded China.

* Pentagon wants contracts, not cutbacks *

The Pentagon is under pressure to make cutbacks in military spending, both from the masses who need the money and from the bankers who want to grab the money. The global suspicion generated by the hacking headlines is calculated to bolster the cyber war capabilities of the Pentagon and justify its huge budget by painting China as an “enemy” that must be defended against. It is supposed to provide support for new weapons systems that the Pentagon has in mind for its encirclement of China — including new generations of missile ships, long-range drones, new piloted bombers and ballistic missiles. All can be deployed outside the range of China’s defenses.

These types of big-ticket items were built up during the Cold War against the USSR and China, and made the military-industrial complex the dominant economic and political force in U.S. capitalist society. The anti-China hacking story is part of the campaign not only to ward off budget cuts but to increase the hundreds of billions of dollars handed over to the Pentagon for war

Finally, this attack comes at a time of stagnating U.S. economic growth that has led to mass unemployment and underemployment and declining wages. Because the masses have little money to spend, Pentagon spending becomes more integral to holding up the economy. It should be noted that with a dip in Pentagon spending in the fourth quarter of 2012, the economy shrank 0.1 percent.

The working class and the oppressed peoples must not be taken in by the attention-grabbing headlines against China and the PLA. It is the workers in both countries who will suffer from any escalation of Cold War-style tension generated by the Pentagon and the White House.

Schools are closing, hospitals are being shut down, social services are being cut, no money is spent on jobs, and prisons are filled with predominantly Black and Latino/a youth. The capitalist profit system is bringing more and more hardship to the people.

The enemies of the workers here are not the Chinese people or the Chinese government. The real enemies are the big capitalists who are running society into the ground at the expense of the masses. And one of the biggest concentrations of avaricious capitalists is military contractors — merchants of death who profit from war and war preparation.

As for “hacking,” technology is the product of the millions of people who have created it, not just in this generation but going back to long before the pyramids were built. This technology was created by humanity; it should belong to humanity as a whole to be used for its benefit. No group of avaricious monopolists should be allowed to own, control and use it against the people.

Articles copyright 1995-2013 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

Article link: http://www.workers.org/2013/02/25/pentagon-spreads-anti-china-hacking-lies/

US-China military talks fail to resolve tensions [World Socialist Website]

Posted in Beijing, China, Encirclement of China, Guam, India, Japan, Myanmar, Obama, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South China Sea, south Korea, US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War, Vietnam on December 27, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By John Chan
27 December 2011

The annual China-US defence consultative talks (DCT) held in Beijing on December 7 highlighted the tensions between the two countries generated by the Obama administration’s aggressive efforts to undercut Beijing’s influence in the Asia-Pacific region.

Under Secretary of Defence for Policy Michele Flournoy led a team of senior American military officers to meet a Chinese delegation headed by the deputy chief of general staff, Ma Xiaotian. These were the first US-China military talks since Washington announced a $US5.9 billion arms sale to Taiwan in September to upgrade its F-16A/B fighters—the second major arms sale since January 2010.

Together with Taiwan, reconnaissance activities by US aircraft on China are longstanding sources of friction, but another issue emerged at this DCT meeting. In November, President Obama visited Australia and announced an agreement to station 2,500 Marines near the northern Australian city of Darwin, as well as for greater US access to Australian naval and air bases. The deal was part of Obama’s campaign to strengthen military alliances or partnerships throughout Asia, including with Japan, South Korea, India, Vietnam and the Philippines, to strategically encircle China.

The US basing arrangements in Australia have been interpreted in Beijing as part of an aggressive American plan to dominate the Malacca Strait and other key shipping lanes between the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea. In times of confrontation, the US could choke off vital Chinese supplies of energy and raw materials from Africa and the Middle East.

Beijing’s anger was spelled out at a press briefing on November 30. Defence ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng criticised the strengthening of the US military alliance with Australia as “an expression of Cold War mentality.” He warned: “We hope that the parties concerned will do more that is beneficial for the peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region, and not the contrary.”

After the talks, Flournoy admitted that General Ma had asked whether the increased US-Australian defence cooperation was directed at China. “We assured General Ma and his delegation that the US does not seek to contain China. We do not view China as an adversary,” Flournoy said. She claimed that the US-Australia military build-up was primarily aimed at “non-traditional” security threats, such as terrorism and piracy. Flournoy reportedly told Ma: “The view that ‘conflicts between the US and China are inevitable’ is completely incorrect.”

No one in the Chinese general staff or political leadership accepts such an “explanation.” In a recent piece published in the People’s Daily, Major General Luo Yuan warned: “The United States is making much of its ‘return to Asia’, has been positioning pieces and forces on China’s periphery, and the intent is very clear—this is aimed at China, to contain China.”

The basing arrangements near Darwin are part of a broader US plan, including an $8 billion expansion of air and naval facilities in Guam and a $250 million upgrade of the Indian Ocean naval base at Diego Garcia. The US still has extensive forces in Japan and South Korea—eight air bases, three naval bases and 23 army posts, one marine base and a range of logistical and communications facilities.

Washington has created a forward base for its advanced Littoral Combat Ships in Singapore, which is strategically located at one end of the Malacca Strait and adjacent to the South China Sea. The Obama administration has been encouraging South East Asian countries such as Vietnam and Philippines to forcefully assert their territorial claims in the South China Sea against those of China.

Obama’s campaign has led Beijing to take counter-measures. As the US-China military talks were being held in Beijing, Chinese President Hu Jintao called on the navy to “accelerate its transformation and modernisation in a sturdy way, and make extended preparation for military combat.”

The Chinese navy is stepping up its training activities in the Western Pacific, and conducted the second sea trial of its first aircraft carrier. An article in the China-based International Herald Leader on December 5 called for the building of a “Pacific fleet” because the Pacific Ocean “should not be a private swimming pool” for America.

Another theatre of the strategic rivalry is the Indian Ocean. Half of China’s exports, to Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and two third of its imports, especially oil and raw materials, traverse the Indian Ocean. China is also [allegedly] seeking its own military relations there.

Chinese Defence Minister Liang Guanglie visited the Seychelles on December 2. Seychelles has invited China to build a military base there in the name of combatting Somali pirates…China, which has deployed warships to the area since 2008, is [possibly] seeking to protect its commercial and strategic interests, especially its supply lines.

China’s World News Journal on December 9 cited unnamed military sources saying that the Seychelles was a “perfect choice” for China to take its first step in stationing military forces overseas. It wrote: “Seychelles is also close to the biggest American military base in the Indian Ocean — the Diego Garcia base, and is right in the middle of routes for the US forces moving from Diego Garcia to the Middle East and Persian Gulf. If the Chinese forces are stationed there, it will act as a constraint to the US military deployment in the Indian Ocean.”

A National Defence University professor told the newspaper that China should proceed cautiously, given its long-standing opposition to stationing forces overseas and to US intervention in the internal affairs of other countries. Rather than referring to a “military base” in the Indian Ocean, it should be described as “commercial” or re-supply facilities. Days later, the Chinese government denied plans for a “military” base in Seychelles and spoke of supply facilities for its anti-pirate operations in the Indian Ocean.

The Wall Street Journal dismissed the denial, pointing to an invitation by the Seychelles Foreign Minister Jean-Paul Adam for China to base military reconnaissance aircraft at its main airport—alongside US drones operating there. The newspaper said China had already constructed or upgraded ports in [Myanmar], Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, for “civilian” use, which “could be used to provide Chinese navy ships with supplies and refuge in the event of a regional conflict.”

Such references to China’s military build-up ignore the fact that Beijing’s forces are dwarfed by the US military, not only in hardware and technology, but in a large global network of military bases. Over the past decade, the US has launched two major wars of aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as backing the NATO onslaught on Libya. The Obama administration is now preparing for a vastly more dangerous confrontation with China.

Edited by Zuo Shou

Article link: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/dec2011/usch-d27.shtml

U.S., Japan agree to delay Marine air base relocation [Xinhua]

Posted in Afghanistan, Encirclement of China, Guam, Hillary Clinton, Japan, Nukes, Okinawa, State Department, US foreign occupation, US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War on June 27, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

“The failure of communist Chinese and North Koreans to exploit Japan’s vulnerability after the earthquake-tsunami nuclear disaster shall not undo our sinister pretextual justification for the endless occupation of Japan. All your base are belong to us!!! And oh yeah, so sorry about the meltdown.” – “Ally” US empire to “Ally” Japan / Okinawa [Zuo Shou]

WASHINGTON, June 21 (Xinhua) — The United States and Japan agreed on Tuesday to drop the 2014 deadline for relocating a controversial U.S. Marine air base on Japan’s southern island of Okinawa.

The agreement was reached at the U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee meeting, informally known as the 2+2 Ministerial, attended by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates along with Japanese Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto and Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa.

The two sides said that the relocation of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma would be completed at the “earliest possible date” after 2014, according to a joint statement issued after the meeting.

“The Ministers emphasized the increasing importance of the presence of the U.S. forces in Japan, including in Okinawa, to maintain deterrence [!] and strengthen Alliance capabilities in view of the current evolving regional security environment [!],” the statement said.

Under an agreement signed in 2006, the two sides planned to close the Futenma air base and build a new base on Okinawa, and to redeploy some 8,000 U.S. Marines for the U.S. territory of Guam by 2014. But local Japanese activists are opposed to the plan to build a new U.S. base on Okinawa, where half of the 47,000 U.S. troops based in Japan are stationed.

Tuesday’s meeting is the first of its kind held by the two allies since May of 2007, and the first since Japan was struck by a strong earthquake in March that caused a devastating tsunami and nuclear power plant radiation scare.

The purpose of the 2+2 meeting “is to underscore the significance of the alliance in the years ahead, to advance the U. S.-Japan alliance and set its future agenda,” U.S. State Department officials told a briefing on Monday.

The talks were expected to focus on a wide range of bilateral, regional and global issues, including the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, Afghanistan, missile defense technology transfer, and the realignment of U.S. forces, the officials added.

Article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-06/22/c_13942331.htm

8.8 magnitude earthquake rocks Japan, tsunami warning issued – PHOTO [People’s Daily]

Posted in Guam, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Russia, Taiwan on March 11, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

March 11, 2011

Video image taken from NHK shows the area which is affected by the quake in northeast Japan, March 11, 2011. An earthquake measuring 8.6 on the Richter scale jolted off the east coast of Japan’s main Honshu island on Friday. (Xinhua)

A 8.8 magnitude earthquake hit Japan’s northeastern Honshu Island Friday, and a six-meter tsunami warning was issued.

Japan Meteorological Agency said earlier that the quake was measured at 7.9 magnitude but the U.S. Geological Survey upgraded later the quake to magnitude 8.8.

The quake struck at 2:46 p.m. (05:46 GMT) is felt in almost all areas in Japan’s pacific coast, including Tokyo and Osaka. The powerful quake struck 382 kilometer northeast of Tokyo with depth of 10 kilometers under the seabed.

Numerous people reported injured and Black smoke was seen rising from building in Tokyo’s Odaiba waterfront area, and Major blackout throughout Yamagata Prefecture was reported, Kyodo news agency quoted police as reporting.

Damage from tsunami reported in Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture, TV footage shows. A nuclear plant on the Pacific coast in Miyagi Prefecture has been automatically shut down Friday following the quake.

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