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30/09/2020
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US to provide military assistance if China attacks in South China Sea: Philippines

Since 1951, the US and the Philippines have had a Mutual Defence Treaty that commits them to support each other in the event if either is attacked.

In a strong message to China, the Philippines have made it clear that it would turn to the US for military help during ongoing flare-ups between Manila and Beijing in the South China Sea.

Philippines Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr said Manila would invoke its defence agreement with the US if China attacks its naval vessels in the disputed waters. “If something happens that is beyond incursion but is, in fact, an attack on say a Filipino naval vessel.....means then I call up Washington DC,” he added.

Since 1951, the US and the Philippines have had a Mutual Defence Treaty that commits them to support each other in the event if either is attacked.

The comments by the Philippines Foreign Secretary marks the first time President Rodrigo Duterte administration openly declaring its intention to side with the US against Chinese expansionist agenda.

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Russians and Belarusians are tired of backwards-looking autocrats

The old tools of truncheon and syringe may keep them in power. But for how long?

Sept.2.– Nothing is as inspiring as seeing people take to the streets to demand their freedoms—and nothing is as terrifying for the dictators they are defying. In Belarus, among scenes that recall the revolts of 1989, people are turning out in their hundreds of Vladimir Putinthousands after a blatantly rigged election, heedless of the threat of state violence. In the Russian city of Khabarovsk tens of thousands march week after week to protest against the arrest of the local governor and the imposition of Moscow’s rules. Vladimir Putin is rattled. Why else is Alexei Navalny, an anti-corruption crusader and Mr Putin’s greatest popular rival for the Russian presidency, lying poisoned in a Berlin hospital bed?

Regimes that rule by fear, live in fear. They fear that one day the people will no longer tolerate their lies, thieving and brutality. They try to hang on with propaganda, persecution and patronage. But it looks increasingly as if Mr Putin is running out of tricks, and as if Alexander Lukashenko, his troublesome ally in Minsk, is running out of road.

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Arab-Israeli approach? The United Arab Emirates has become a force in the Middle East and beyond

Its deal with Israel is indicative of a quiet, yet savvy foreign policy.

How Israel and the Arab World Are Making Peace Without a Peace Dealclick here   Netanyahu (left), Trump (center) & bin Zayed (right)

Abu Dhabi, Aug.29.– It was not quite Anwar Sadat speaking before the Knesset, or King Hussein and Yitzhak Rabin clutching hands in the Rose Garden. That would not have been Muhammad bin Zayed’s style. The agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), announced on August 13th, was hashed out quietly by spies and sheikhs and unveiled largely on Twitter. It made the uae the first Gulf country and only the third Arab state to open formal relations with Israel. Yet it had all the pomp and circumstance of a tariff agreement.

Though long overshadowed by Saudi Arabia, Prince Muhammad, the uae’s de facto ruler (pictured in illustration), has turned his small country of 10m people into arguably the most influential Arab state. It wields soft power through Dubai, the region’s business hub, and firms like dp World, a shipping giant. A compact but capable army provides a sharper edge. Emirati money and media have backed coups and intrigue across the Middle East.

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Trump lashes Biden as he accepts renomination on massive White House stage

Washington DC, Aug.28.– President Donald Trump blasted Joe Biden as a hapless career politician who will endanger Americans’ safety as he accepted his party’s renomination Thursday on the South Lawn of the White House. While the coronavirus kills 1,000 Americans each day, Trump defied his own administration’s pandemic guidelines to speak for more than an hour to a tightly packed, largely maskless crowd.

Facing a moment fraught with racial turmoil, economic collapse and a national health emergency, Trump delivered a triumphant, optimistic vision of America’s future. But he said that brighter horizon could only be secured if he defeated his Democratic foe, who currently has an advantage in most national and battleground state polls.

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China’s expansionism enters dangerous phase

New Delhi – China’s expansionism drive, from the East and South China seas to the Himalayas and Central Asia, is making Asia more volatile and unstable. Along with the spread of the Wuhan-originating new coronavirus, this has also given rise to growing anti-China sentiment.

China’s recent border aggression against India dovetails with a broader strategy of territorial aggrandizement that it has pursued in the period since its disastrous 1979 invasion of Vietnam. That strategy, centered on winning without fighting, has driven its bulletless aggressions, from seizing Johnson Reef in 1988 and Mischief Reef in 1995 to occupying the Scarborough Shoal in 2012. And since launching major land reclamation in 2013, China has changed the South China Sea’s geopolitical map without firing a shot.

However, China’s aggression in the northern Indian region of Ladakh — a high-altitude, largely Buddhist territory where the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has occupied several vantage points — differs from its previous territorial grabs since the 1980s in one key aspect. China went beyond its usual practice of occupying vacant border spaces by snatching territories from right under another country’s nose.

China’s territorial expansion in the South China Sea, for example, has centered on capturing disputed but unoccupied shoals and reefs and then using construction activities to turn them into militarized artificial islands.

Read more:  Japan Times

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