China Strives to Join the Big League
- China has been repeatedly calling for the establishment of a “new type of major country relationship” with the US. The CSIS think tank explains [PDF] what that’s supposed to mean, and the risks such phraseology entails.
- The US House Armed Services Committee had a hearing yesterday on China’s maritime disputes in the East and South China Seas. Peter Dutton, a professor at the US Naval War College, offered a good primer [PDF] on these issues, and like the Obama administration he believes the US should accede to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea to help open a path that “lies in the further advancement of the economic and security institutions, international law, and norms of acceptable behavior.” Hearing video.
- To show its military ramp-up can be a force of good in international waters, China is increasingly touting its anti-piracy efforts. That is a worthwhile development, but it is not quite making up for ongoing Chinese bullying of their neighbors.
- From Africa to the Caribbean, China has spent political capital and hard cash to thin down the list of countries officially recognizing Taiwan as a sovereign nation state. This presents a significant challenge for the island.
- Peter Layton, an associate professor at the US National Defense University, opines on Japan’s National Security Strategy, whose recent publication was primarily reactive to China’s rise:
In Japan’s case, the desire to cling to the status quo international order is understandable but may not be the best objective. Given a rising China, it may be more realistic to devise an NSS that attempts to deliberately construct a favourable new regional order. Embracing change may be difficult, but ultimately more sensible.”
- India’s Army may receive almost half of the defense budget, but most of it goes to personnel, leaving a significant shortage in equipment funding.
- Thales UK won a deal worth more than 100 million pounds ($165M+) with Indonesia for its Forceshield air defense system using RAPIDRanger vehicle-based launchers and Starstreak missiles. Just 2 months ago they had announced the sale of naval radars to the Indonesian Navy. Thales | BBC.
Boeing vs. Workers
- Shrewd industry observer Richard Aboulafia comments on [PDF] Boeing’s “negotiation” tactics with its workers: “the beatings will continue until morale improves. [...] Left unchecked, the current situation could produce an even more toxic labor environment than Boeing has seen in the past.”
Remembering the War to End All Wars
- The UK’s National Archives have made digitized WWI documents available on the web, with an online community set up to help categorize thousands of letters. For now about 300,000 pages were published, chronicling the initial British deployment in France and Flanders. An additional 1.2M pages are to be released throughout the year. Video below: