The US military commitment to Asia is undergoing a profound change which will have a direct impact on the security of the entire region, analysts and diplomats say. \nIn the coming years, tens of thousands of US troops will be withdrawn from Europe and Asia as part of the biggest realignment of US military might since the end of the Korean War 51 years ago. \nThe reduced troop numbers will make US military power in the region smaller but deadlier, relying on rapid deployment and sophisticated air and naval power, analysts say. \n"The days of big armies are over," said Renato de Castro, who teaches international studies at Manila's De La Salle University. \n"US thinking today is less on massive troop deployment but rather on extending its military clout via the forward basing of air and sea power and logistics facilities for the rapid deployment of small numbers of highly trained troops. \n"The new thinking will rely heavily on strong alliances with allies, access to facilities and training," de Castro said. \nThe US has yet to reveal full details of its realignment of troops in Asia, although it has announced plans to reduce the 37,500-strong force in South Korea by a third. It is thought 47,000 US troops will remain at bases in Japan. \nDe Castro said the new US strategy calls for what US defense planners call "lily pads" or "warm bases" -- small, lightly-staffed facilities which can be used as jumping-off points in a crisis. \nThese facilities will be linked to a few large, strategically located, heavy infrastructure bases likely to be in Japan, Australia and Singapore. \n"In Asia these heavy infrastructure bases would include the naval base in Yokosuka in Japan and the airbase in Misawa," de Castro said. \n"Singapore is already being used as a heavy infrastructure base as it has a major ship-repair facility which can handle aircraft carriers. At the southern end, you have Australia which is \nconsidered as one of America's closest allies in Asia and has, over the years, developed a number of military bases in the north west of the country," de Castro said. \nThe US has been developing a series of logistic facilities in the Philippines following the closure of its bases, notably the airbase at Clark in central Luzon and the deep water naval facility at Subic Bay northwest of Manila. \nIn General Santos City in southern Mindanao island, the US, through air programs, has developed a deepwater port and a modern airport which are connected by one of the best roads in the Philippines. \nAt Fort Magsaysay in central Luzon the airport has been upgraded and the runway strengthened to accommodate \nC-130 transport aircraft. \n"What military planners want is to be able to deploy small units at short notice to attack terrorist groups or rogue states that pose a threat to US security," de Castro said. \nRegional security analysts say technological advances are the biggest factors allowing the US to undertake military reforms while retaining the same effective presence in Asia. \nAs a result the US Pacific island of Guam will play an increasingly important role in projecting US military power in Asia. Strike bombers, cruise-missile submarines and a new aircraft carrier group based at the island would be capable of striking across the region. \nIn a recent report in Foreign Affairs magazine, analysts said the new US policy may also include access to naval and air bases in Vietnam and India. \nThe changes announced by US President George W. Bush this week have been expected for some time. The theme of both the 2002 National Security Strategy and the Quadrennial Defense Review in 2001 was the need for military forces that can strike quickly anywhere in the world.
With its passing of Hong Kong’s new National Security Law, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) continues to tighten its noose on Hong Kong. Gone is the broken 1997 promise that Hong Kong would have free, democratic elections by 2017. Gone also is any semblance that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) plays the long game. All the CCP had to do was hold the fort until 2047, when the “one country, two systems” framework would end and Hong Kong would rejoin the “motherland.” It would be a “demonstration-free” event. Instead, with the seemingly benevolent velvet glove off, the CCP has revealed its true iron
At the end of last month, Paraguayan Ambassador to Taiwan Marcial Bobadilla Guillen told a group of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators that his president had decided to maintain diplomatic ties with Taiwan, despite pressure from the Chinese government and local businesses who would like to see a switch to Beijing. This followed the Paraguayan Senate earlier this year voting against a proposal to establish ties with China in exchange for medical supplies. This constituted a double rebuke of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) diplomatic agenda in a six-month span from Taiwan’s only diplomatic ally in South America. Last year, Tuvalu rejected an
As Taiwan is engulfed in worries about Chinese infiltration, news reports have revealed that power inverters made by China’s Huawei Technologies Co are used in the solar panels on the top of the Legislative Yuan’s Zhenjiang House (鎮江會館) on Zhenjiang Street in Taipei. However, what is even more worrying is that Taiwan’s new national electronic identification card (eID) has been subcontracted to the French security firm and eID maker Idemia, which has not only cooperated with the Chinese Public Security Bureau to manufacture eIDs in China, but also makes the new identification cards being issued in Hong Kong. There might be more
All lives eventually come to an end. Over the years, my friendship with former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had its ups and downs. Lee’s passing was a heavy blow and has left me deeply saddened. We experienced a lot together and the memories have come flooding back. Lee was born several months earlier than me. During World War II, he was studying at Kyoto Imperial University, but halfway through his studies, he was forced to change his name and enter military service. I was studying at Tokyo Imperial University, but went into hiding to avoid military service, and I was later