[Janes Defense Weekly] US DoD Annual Report Highlights China's Growing UAV Strike Capabilities. 05/13/15
"The US Department of Defense believes that China will acquire nearly 42,000 unmanned aerial vehicles by 2023, with some of these systems expected to be strike-capable"
By Van Jackson.
"But while U.S. extended deterrence commitments to Japan and South Korea are the ultimate promise, it is a promise for the least-likely situation. And meanwhile, whether because of political expediency or the low stakes involved, the United States has played a marginal role in dealing with the smaller threats these two countries face: for Japan, Chinese harassment in waters around contested islands in the East China Sea; and for South Korea, conventional attacks by North Korea. The result? By failing to adequately tackle small-scale challenges with or on behalf of Tokyo and Seoul, the United States has cast doubt about its nuclear umbrella for those two countries.
This in turn reflects an unstated paradox: the strongest form of U.S. commitment doesn't address the much weaker quotidian challenges actually facing its allies."
"Private analysts said each upgraded DF-5 had probably received three warheads and that the advances might span half the missile force. If so, the number of warheads China can fire from that weapon at the United States has increased to about 40 from 20."
"During testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday, the Defense Department’s Assistant Secretary for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs David Shear said that in addition to the movement of U.S. Marines and Army units around the region, “we will be placing additional Air Force assets in Australia as well, including B-1 bombers and surveillance aircraft.”
The plans come just as Washington considers sending ships and aircraft to South China Sea to assert the right of free passage and challenge Beijing’s recent island building spree there, including airstrips in a bid to expand its scope of influence."
"Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister, will this week push ahead with plans to loosen rules governing the military, even as analysts warn this could squander political capital needed to pursue tough economic reforms. "
"'This could well lead to a 10 percentage point fall in the approval rating for the Abe cabinet,'” said Takao Toshikawa, editor of the political newsletter Tokyo Insideline."
[South China Morning Post] China Warns US Not to Send Warships to Disputed South China Sea Waters. 05/13/15
"Freedom of navigation certainly does not mean that foreign military ships and aircraft can enter another country's territorial waters or airspace at will."
Hua's comments came after reports that US Defence Secretary Ash Carter had requested options to "assert freedom of navigation" by sending aircraft and warships within 12 nautical miles of Chinese-made artificial islands in the Spratly chain.
"The Chinese government is setting up as many as 100 national-level think-tanks to try to replicate the US model of policy advice that is independent of powerful ministries."
[US Department of State] Joint Statement on the New Guidelines for US-Japan Defense Cooperation. 04/27/15
By Robert Blackwill and Ashley Tellis.
An archive of news and resources on East Asian security. Rather than adhering to a particular political agenda, this archive aims to bring together diverse and insightful resources found while conducting research.