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Scarborough Shoal

Chinese Scarborough Shoal Base Would Threaten Manila

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


UPDATED with Sen. McCain & Dean Cheng comments WASHINGTON: If China builds an artificial island on the disputed Scarborough Shoal, Sen. Dan Sullivan warned today, it will complete a “strategic triangle” of bases that can dominate the South China Sea. At this morning’s Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Sullivan displayed a map (above) of the region… Keep reading →

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Carter Evasive On South China Sea While China Targets Philippines

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


In its eagerness to avoid offending the Chinese, is the administration giving them a green light in the disputed South China Sea? This afternoon, on the eve of his departure for the Philippines and India, Defense Secretary Ash Carter carefully tiptoed around ongoing Chinese national security provocations. Several experts I spoke to were not reassured. Carter… Keep reading →

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China’s Dangerous Weakness, Part 1: Beijing’s Aggressive ‘Self-Defense’

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: From this city’s perspective, China looks like a rising giant, liable to dominate its smaller neighbors unless America stands firm. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will likely carry soothing words of reassurance on this very subject to Seoul and Tokyo when he travels there next week. From Beijing’s point of view, however, it is China… Keep reading →

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Japan Struggles To Make ‘Long Overdue’ Increase In Defense Budget

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: Japan is the proverbial linchpin of US strategy in East Asia. But linchpins sometimes break. As the US struggles to afford a “pivot” to the Pacific, its most important ally in the theater is undergoing a slow and painful shift of its own. The new prime minister, Shinzo Abe of the Liberal Democratic Party… Keep reading →

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US Won’t Fight China Over Pacific ‘Rock’; PACOM Strives For Strategic ‘Ambiguity’

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


As China lurches from this summer’s naval standoff with the Philippines to the current war of words with Japan, the US is struggling to reassure its allies without provoking the Chinese. While the administration’s strategic “pivot” or “rebalancing” to the Pacific is framed by some as Cold War II, top military leaders have made clear… Keep reading →

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