China is holding military exercises in the disputed South China Sea coinciding with US President Joe Biden’s visits to South Korea and Japan that are largely focused on countering the perceived threat from Beijing.
The Chinese Maritime Safety Administration office in Hainan Province said the drills began on Thursday and are to continue through Monday.
It said other aircraft and vessels would be prohibited from entering the area, but gave no further details.
Photo: AP / Philippine Coast Guard
China claims the South China Sea virtually in its entirety and the crucial waterway has become a potential flashpoint for conflict in Asia. To assert its claim, it has built airstrips and other military infrastructure atop artificial islands built on coral reefs and atolls. Taiwan, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam also exercise overlapping claims in the South China Sea.
Since the beginning of the month, China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, has been conducting a mission in the Sea of Japan. The Chinese Ministry of National Defense described it as “routine training” aimed at boosting performance that is “in line with relevant international law and international practice, and not targeting any party.”
China also flew a pair of long-range nuclear-capable H-6 bombers through the area on Wednesday, Chinese media reports said.
Meanwhile, the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and its strike group left their home port at Yokosuka, Japan, for a “routine at-sea period,” the US 7th Fleet said.
The ships and the carrier air wing “are expected to work with allies and partners, promote adherence to a rules-based international order, as well as maintain presence and flexibility to meet the needs of the US Department of Defense,” the US Navy said.
The Philippine Coast Guard yesterday said it had established outposts on three islands in the disputed South China Sea to monitor ship movements and promote safety.
Philippine Coast Guard Admiral Artemio Manalo Abu said the outposts on the West York and Nanshan islands and Northeast Cay, which were established this week, would be staffed by coast guard personnel and equipped with radio communications to report any incidents.
Abu did not specify how many personnel would be stationed at the new outposts, but said it is the largest deployment in the disputed region so far.
“Through these command observation posts, we improve our capabilities in promoting maritime safety, maritime search and rescue, and marine environmental protection,” Abu said in a statement.
The Central Weather Bureau could issue a sea alert for Super Typhoon Mawar, as it is forecast to turn north and come closest to Taiwan from Tuesday to Wednesday next week. Mawar was downgraded from a super typhoon to a typhoon after sweeping across Guam on Wednesday night, knocking down trees and leaving much of the US territory without power. Many residents of Guam yesterday remained without power and utilities after Mawar tore through the remote US Pacific territory the previous night, ripping roofs off homes, flipping vehicles and shredding trees. There were no immediate reports of deaths and injuries, but the
ADJUSTMENTS: Over the next five years, every year except 2026 would have only one makeup workday to compensate for national holidays, the government said The Executive Yuan (EY) yesterday announced the official workday calendar for next year, which includes one makeup day and four holidays with more than three days off. It also announced new standards for makeup days in the event of consecutive holidays. The Directorate-General of Personnel Administration cited the importance of the Lunar New Year and Tomb Sweeping holidays to the public as its reason to mandate flexible off-days. The 115 total off-days dovetail with dates that international financial markets are closed, minimizing the effects of state holidays on stock and currency exchange trading, it said. Over the next five years, only the calendar for
Police on Sunday said they are on alert after the China Unification Promotion Party (CUPP) invited an alleged top leader of a Japanese criminal organization to visit Taiwan. The party and a branch of the Hongmen society reportedly invited Joji Uezu from the Kyokuryu-kai, the only yakuza group in Okinawa designated by Japanese police, to visit Taiwan along with six other people. Members of Taiwan’s Bamboo Union (竹聯幫) have reportedly participated in events hosted by the Kyokuryu-kai as early as 2015. The Okinawa Times in 2018 reported that Chang Wei (張瑋), son of former Bamboo Union leader and CUPP founder Chang An-le (張安樂),
INVASION UNPOPULAR: Chinese would likely accept their government having a softer stance toward cross-strait relations, one of the coauthors of the article said Interest among the Chinese public in the issue of China’s unification with Taiwan is low, researchers said, citing the results of a poll. An article titled “Assessing Public Support for (Non-)Peaceful Unification with Taiwan: Evidence from a Nationwide Survey in China,” published in the Journal of Contemporary China on May 14, showed that only 55 percent of those surveyed in China would support the use of military force to achieve unification with Taiwan. In the survey, which polled 1,824 people on the question of how they would like to see the issue of Taiwan’s unification with China resolved, “only one out of