Chinese fighter jet comes within 10ft of American B-52 just after Chinese ships collide with Filipino vessels in South China Sea


Important Takeaways:

  • Tense moment Chinese fighter jet ‘comes close to COLLIDING’ with American B-52 bomber by just TEN FEET over South China Sea, sparking US fury
  • The US military has revealed that a Chinese jet came dangerously close to a US bomber earlier this week over the South China Sea.
  • The revelation, offered by the US Indo-Pacific Command in a statement Thursday, comes as part of what American officials have described as increasingly risky behavior by Chinese military aircraft.
  • The US military blasted both the pilot and maneuver, saying that it unnecessarily put both pilots at risk – citing footage that shows the Chinese J-11 jet coming within 10 feet of the B-52 aircraft Tuesday.
  • Earlier this month, the Pentagon said Chinese military aircraft have carried out maneuvers close to US planes nearly 200 times since 2021 – fueling already heightened tensions between Beijing and Washington.
  • Just last week, China’s defense ministry shot back at those claims, insisting in a statement that the Pentagon’s criticism of its aerial intercepts was a premeditated smear on China – one with ulterior political motives.
  • Relations between China and the United States have already been tense, and the recent close-calls have not helped.
  • Biden also warned China about its recent harassment of Philippine vessels in the South China Sea.
  • ‘Any attack on Filipino aircraft, vessels or armed forces will invoke our mutual defense treaty with the Philippines,’ he said.
  • ‘I want to be very clear. The United States defense commitment to the Philippines is ironclad.’

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China says they’d attack Taiwan and those who defend it

Revelations 6:3-4 “when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.

Important Takeaways:

  • Chinese Defense Minister Threatens to Attack Taiwan ‘Without Any Hesitation’
  • Chinese National Defense Minister Li Shangfu, making his debut on the international stage, told attendees at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on Sunday that the communist nation’s military would attack “without any hesitation” against any allies of Taiwan seeking to support the nation’s independence from Beijing.
  • Li spent most of his address at the event, an annual platform for the world’s most powerful military leaders to discuss the future of national defense, promoting the Communist Party’s “Global Security Initiative,” a proposal by genocidal dictator Xi Jinping discouraging countries from acting in the interest of their own defense and instead proposing undefined “win-win cooperation.”
  • Li insisted China was a pioneer in world peace, repeatedly condemning the United States – without naming America – as a force for “hegemony” and “self-serving” clique-forming. Li also pressured America to no longer maintain a presence in the South China Sea, where China illegally claims territory belonging to Taiwan, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines, and regularly attacks non-Chinese ships legally present in their own domestic waters.
  • Li claimed that American “freedom of navigation” exercises in the South China Sea, in which the U.S. Navy sails in international waters as a sign of rejection of China’s illegal claims, were in reality “hegemony of navigation” exercises and an attempt to “muddy the waters to rake in profits,” without elaborating. He urged neighbors to “firmly reject” freedom of navigation exercises in the South China Sea.
  • Li then proceeded to address Taiwan, threatening to attack anyone who recognized Taiwan’s sovereignty.

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Rare earth materials could partially explain China’s aggressiveness over the South China Sea

Revelations 6:3-4 “when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.

Important Takeaways:

  • A TRADE war is brewing between the United States and China over rare earth elements, a key component in making a wide variety of high-technology products like computer memory, rechargeable batteries, and flat-screen monitors and televisions.
  • China is reportedly considering suspending the export of “certain rare-earth magnet technology.” Such a move could have a deep impact since China has the world’s biggest reserves of rare earths.
  • Shutting down rare earth exports is China’s way of getting back at the US for earlier restricting exports of advanced computer chips.
  • Rare earth magnets are used in motors for electric vehicles (EVs) and other products such as wind turbines, cruise missiles and smartphones.
  • There are an estimated 120 million tons of rare earth deposits worldwide, and the bulk of 44 million tons is in China.
  • Refining rare earths, however, is a tedious, toxic process. It creates a dangerous cocktail of wastewater, heavy metals and substances such as cadmium, lead and radioactive thorium.
  • China, however, is way ahead of the pack in scouring the seas for rare earths.
  • That pretty much explains China’s compulsion for claiming practically all of the South China Sea as its territory.
  • The potential mother lode of precious metals beneath the disputed waters could also explain the US’ determination to keep China’s aggressive moves in the region in check

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Reports of Chinese Fighter Jets becoming more aggressive shadowing US Aircraft

Revelations 6:3-4 “when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.

Important Takeaways:

  • Chinese Jet Fighter Shadows U.S. Aircraft Over South China Sea
  • A Chinese J-11 jet fighter, armed with four air-to-air missiles, appeared at the rear of an American P-8 patrol aircraft, passed above and settled a few hundred feet from the wing of the U.S. Navy plane.
  • “American aircraft, this is the PLA air force. You are approaching Chinese airspace. Keep a safe distance or you will be intercepted,” a Chinese military ground station broadcast to the P-8, using the abbreviation for the People’s Liberation Army.
  • The P-8 responded to the Chinese warning by saying it was flying in international airspace. The Chinese ground station replied: “No approaching any more or you will pay full responsibility.”
  • Encounters such as the one on Friday over the South China Sea are now a near-daily occurrence, and they are becoming more dangerous, U.S. officials say.
  • In December, the U.S. accused a Chinese jet fighter of flying within 20 feet of a U.S. reconnaissance plane over the South China Sea. Beijing said the U.S. plane veered suddenly toward the jet. China hasn’t responded to U.S. calls for talks about unsafe military encounters.

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Beijing pressuring the Philippines, Vietnam, and Taiwan to give up territorial rights over South China Sea

Revelations 6:3-4 “when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.

Important Takeaways:

  • Asian countries push back on China demand
  • Beijing is demanding that Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan surrender their territorial rights to the South China Sea. But all have rejected its claim of “historical” ownership of the 3.5 million square kilometer waterway.
  • Now escalating military pressure from China is forcing the traditionally non-aligned South East Asian states to seek mutual and international support.
  • “The situation in the South China Sea is far from stable,” Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) analyst Greg Poling says.
  • “Chinese vessels engaged in dangerous and escalatory encounters with those of other states regularly throughout 2022.”
  • Now Jakarta has put Beijing in a position where it must either put up or shut up.
  • Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) regional bloc produced a statement stating China’s artificial island fortresses and aggressive behavior at sea, “have eroded trust and confidence, increased tensions and may undermine peace, security and stability in the region”.

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Two US carries enter South China Sea after Chinese incursion

Matthew 24:6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.

Important Takeaways:

  • Navy sends two carriers to disputed South China Sea
  • Two Navy aircraft carrier strike groups are conducting operations in the disputed South China Sea amid heightened tensions over recent Chinese aerial incursions near Taiwan.
  • The carrier groups led by the USS Carl Vinson and USS Abraham Lincoln are together practicing communications, anti-submarine warfare and air warfare drills and maritime interdiction operations in the strategic waterway that carries much of the world’s maritime commerce.

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U.S. warns China after South China Sea standoff with Philippines

(Reuters) – The United States on Friday warned China after a standoff in the South China Sea between China and the Philippines, saying it stood by Manila amid an “escalation that directly threatens regional peace and stability.”

Beijing “should not interfere with lawful Philippine activities in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone,” U.S. State Department Ned Price said in a statement.

On Thursday, the Philippines condemned “in strongest terms” the actions of three Chinese coast guard vessels that it said blocked and used water cannon on resupply boats headed towards a Philippine-occupied atoll in the South China Sea.

“The United States stands with our Philippine allies in upholding the rules-based international maritime order and reaffirms that an armed attack on Philippine public vessels in the South China Sea would invoke U.S. mutual defense commitments,” Price said.

“The United States strongly believes that PRC (People’s Republic of China) actions asserting its expansive and unlawful South China Sea maritime claims undermine peace and security in the region,” he added.

The incident came as U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed a range of issues in a three-hour video call.

(Reporting by Akriti Sharma in Bengaluru and Susan Heavey in Washington; editing by Philippa Fletcher)

Pentagon chief to nudge ties with Vietnam as human rights concerns linger

By Idrees Ali

HANOI (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will on Thursday look to nudge forward security ties with Vietnam that have been slowly deepening as both countries watch China’s activities in the South China Sea with growing alarm.

Despite growing military relations, more than four decades after the Vietnam War ended in 1975, President Joe Biden’s administration has said there are limits to the relationship until Hanoi makes progress on human rights.

Vietnam has emerged as the most vocal opponent of China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea and has received U.S. military hardware, including coastguard cutters.

“(Vietnam) wants to know that the U.S. is going to remain engaged militarily, it’s going to continue its presence in the South China Sea,” said Greg Poling, with the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Lieutenant General Vu Chien Thang, director of the Defense Ministry’s Foreign Relations Department, said on Tuesday the two sides would discuss the coronavirus and measures to “enhance maritime law enforcement capability.”

A senior U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they would also sign a “memorandum of understanding” for Harvard and Texas Tech University to create a database that would help Vietnamese search for those missing from the war.

On Sunday, the United States shipped 3 million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Vietnam, raising the amount given by the United States, via the global COVAX vaccine scheme, to 5 million doses.

Austin will meet his counterpart along with Vietnam’s president and prime minister.

Poling said there was a limit to how fast and far the Vietnamese were comfortable with deepening ties.

Experts say there are lingering concerns in Vietnam about Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, withdrawing from the Trans Pacific Partnership trade pact in 2017.

“That really left a lot of countries standing at the altar for lack of a better way to put it, and especially Vietnam,” Derek Grossman, a senior defense analyst at the RAND Corporation, said.

There are also limits to how far the United States is willing to deepen relations.

As important as Vietnam is in countering China, the United States has said it needs to improve its human rights record.

Vietnam has undergone sweeping economic reforms and social change in recent decades, but the ruling Communist Party retains a tight grip over media and tolerates little dissent.

In Singapore on Tuesday, Austin said the United States would always lead with its values.

“We will discuss those values with our friends and allies everywhere we go and we don’t make any bones about that,” Austin said.

This month, Marc Knapper, Biden’s nominee to be the next U.S. ambassador to Vietnam vowed to boost security ties but said they could only reach their full potential if Hanoi made significant progress on human rights.

(Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Robert Birsel)

Philippines flags ‘incursions’ by nearly 300 Chinese militia boats

MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippines on Wednesday reported what it said were incursions into its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) by 287 maritime militia vessels from China, in a further sign of cracks reappearing in a relationship after a period of rapprochement.

“This incident along with continued illegal incursions of foreign vessels sighted near Philippine-held islands have been submitted to relevant agencies for the possible diplomatic actions,” the task force on the South China Sea said in a statement.

The Philippine foreign ministry has repeatedly complained to China in recent weeks about a “swarming and threatening presence” of Chinese vessels in its EEZ and has demanded they be withdrawn.

The Philippines has recently boosted its presence in the South China Sea through “sovereignty patrols,” in a show of defiance that critics say has been lacking under its pro-China president, Rodrigo Duterte, who has drawn domestic flak for his refusal to stand up to Beijing.

There was no immediate response to a request for comment from the Chinese embassy in Manila.

Experts say China’s fleet fishing boats and coastguard are central to its strategic ambitions in the South China Sea, maintaining a constant presence that complicates fishing and offshore energy activities by other coastal states.

Chinese officials have previously denied there are militia aboard its fishing boats.

Duterte caused a stir last week when he said a landmark 2016 ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration that went in the Philippines’ favor in a dispute with China was just a “piece of paper” that he could throw in the trash.

The tribunal also ruled that China’s claims to almost the entire South China Sea where about $3 trillion worth of ship-borne trade passes each year, had no legal basis.

Defense and security analyst Jose Antonio Custodio said Duterte’s comments “cancels-out” the tougher tone being taken with China by his top diplomats and defense chiefs.

“We don’t have unity in messaging,” Custodio said. “That is encouraging China’s actions.”

(Reporting by Karen Lema; Editing by Martin Petty)

Philippines tells China to mind its own business over maritime drills

MANILA (Reuters) -China has no business telling the Philippines what it can or cannot do within its waters, Manila’s defense ministry said on Wednesday, rejecting Beijing’s opposition to its ongoing coastguard exercises.

China claims almost the entire South China Sea, where about $3 trillion worth of ship-borne trade passes each year. In 2016, an arbitration tribunal in The Hague ruled that claim, which Beijing bases on its old maps, was inconsistent with international law.

Philippines Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told reporters that Beijing had “no authority or legal basis to prevent us from conducting these exercises” in the South China Sea because “their claims… have no basis”.

The Philippine coastguard and fisheries bureau started maritime exercises on Saturday inside the country’s 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), following an announcement of a boosting of its presence to counter the “threatening” presence of Chinese boats.

Responding to the exercises, China’s foreign ministry on Monday said the Philippines should “stop actions complicating the situation and escalating disputes”.

The Philippine defense ministry in a statement responded saying: “China has no business telling the Philippines what it can and cannot do.”

The Philippines has taken a tough tone in recent weeks over the lingering presence of hundreds of Chinese boats in its EEZ, reviving tensions that had eased due to President Rodrigo Duterte’s embrace of Beijing.

While the Philippines owed China a “huge debt” of gratitude for many things, including free COVID-19 vaccines, Duterte said on Wednesday he would not compromise on his country’s sovereignty in the South China Sea.

“So China, let it be known, is a good friend and we don’t want trouble with them, especially a war,” Duterte said in a late night address. “But there are things that are not really subject to a compromise … I hope they will understand but I have the interest of my country also to protect.”

On Wednesday, Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin ordered the filing of another diplomatic protest, one of more than a dozen recently, this time over China’s rebuke.

“They can say what they want from the Chinese mainland; we continue to assert from our waters by right of international law what we won in The Hague. But we must not fail to protest,” Locsin said in a Tweet.

The exercises took place near a Philippine-held island in the disputed Spratly archipelago and at the heavily contested Scarborough Shoal, which the tribunal in 2016 said was a traditional fishing spot for several countries.

Lorenzana said it was China that was complicating matters by illegally occupying reefs it turned into artificial islands.

“It is they who are encroaching and should desist and leave,” he said.

(Reporting by Karen Lema; Editing by Martin Petty and Alison Williams)