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China’s meager typhoon aid to Philippines is a diplomatic misstep: experts

China’s clumsy response to the typhoon in the neighbouring Philippines shows that the Asian giant is still struggling to find its role on the world stage, analysts say, burdened by history and its own self-image. Initially the Chinese government offered only $100,000, and while later donations have swelled Beijing’s aid…

Military ready to act over Syria says U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel kicks off a Southeast Asian tour on Sunday meant to stress Washington’s so-called “pivot” back towards the Asia-Pacific but with attention diverted by trouble in the Middle East. The Pentagon chief’s week-long trip is part of a concerted effort by Washington to rebalance America’s strategic…

China must increase ability to win ‘local wars,’ PM says

China must enhance the ability of its military to win “local wars”, Premier Wen Jiabao said on Monday, as Beijing grows increasingly assertive about its territorial claims in Asia. Beijing lays claim to large swathes of the South China Sea which are also claimed by its smaller neighbours, and must…

U.S. military seeks more access in Philippines

MANILA (Reuters) – The United States is seeking more access to Philippines ports and airfields to re-fuel and service its warships and planes, diplomatic and military sources said on Thursday, expanding its presence at a time of tension with China in the South China Sea. But it is not trying…

U.S.-China tensions spill over into Asia summit

NUSA DUA, Indonesia (Reuters) – Tensions between the United States and China spilled over into meetings of Asia-Pacific leaders on Friday as the two countries jostled over how to handle competing claims to the South China Sea. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao demanded that “outside forces” had no excuse to get…

Panetta says U.S. committed to being Pacific power

US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta arrived in Japan on Monday hoping to persuade Tokyo to relocate a military base whichWashington says is vital to its role as a Pacific power. In his first trip to Asia as Pentagon chief, Panetta is seeking to reassure allies that the US remains engaged in the region as a…

China and Vietnam to strengthen military ties: report

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China and Vietnam have agreed to strengthen military cooperation, increase contacts between high-ranking officers and establish a hotline for the two defense ministries, in a bid to cool tensions between the Communist-ruled neighbors. The two countries, which have a history of distrust, also agreed to launch a…

US calls for release of Vietnam protesters

The United States on Tuesday called for the release of peaceful protesters detained when Vietnamese security forces broke up a weekend rally against Beijing’s actions in the South China Sea. “We are concerned by the detention of several individuals for what appears to be the peaceful expression of their views,”…

U.S. ready to arm Philippines amid China tension

WASHINGTON — The United States said Thursday it was ready to provide hardware to modernize the military of the Philippines, which vowed to “stand up to aggressive action” amid rising tension at sea with China. Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, on a visit to Washington, said the Philippines hoped to…

Vietnam holds live-fire drill amid China tensions

HANOI (AFP) – Vietnam on Monday held live-fire naval drills in the tense South China Sea, a move that analysts see as raising the risk of a “showdown” with Beijing in a deepening territorial rift. A long-standing dispute between the communist neighbours over sovereignty of two potentially oil-rich archipelagos has…

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