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China To Hold Military Drills In Gulf Of Tonkin As Warning To Nearby US Carrier Group

China To Hold Military Drills In Gulf Of Tonkin As Warning To Nearby US Carrier Group

China has announced plans to hold military exercises in the South China Sea this week, a mere days after the Pentagon confirmed a US aircraft carrier group led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt had entered the disputed waters in a “freedom of the seas” operation and after daily Chinese incursions of Taiwan’s airspace had been reported the prior week.

Beijing, indignant at the US muscle-flexing in its own backyard, will hold the drills in the Gulf of Tonkin also during a crucial week top Communist Party leaders of Vietnam are meeting for the once in five years National Congress to select a new leader for the country.

Reuters reports of the new Chinese military drills, “A notice issued by the country’s Maritime Safety Administration prohibited entry into a portion of waters in the Gulf of Tonkin to the west of the Leizhou peninsula in southwestern China from Jan. 27 to Jan. 30, but it did not offer details on when the drills would take place or at what scale.”

The new drill notification came after on Monday Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian slammed the nearby US military movements:

“It does no good to regional peace and stability for the United States to frequently send military vessels and aircraft to the South China Sea to show off muscles,” Zhao said.

He further said, “We urge the US side to earnestly abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiques, prudently and properly handle Taiwan-related issues, and refrain from sending any wrong signals to the ‘Taiwan independence’ forces so as to avoid damaging China-US relations and peace and refrain from sending any wrong signals to the “Taiwan independence” forces so as to avoid damaging China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Iran FM: “Suspicious Doesn’t Begin To Describe” Attack On Japanese Tanker During Abe’s State Visit

Iran FM: “Suspicious Doesn’t Begin To Describe” Attack On Japanese Tanker During Abe’s State Visit

With the words “Gulf of Tonkin” trending on Twitter this morning at a moment that a senior American defense official told CBS News that “it’s highly likely Iran caused these attacks,” it appears the general public is not even close to buying the claim that Iran attacked two tankers near the strategic Straits of Hormuz this morning. 

Iranian Foreign Minister Javid Zarif pointed out a crucial obvious factor not likely to make it across the US mainstream airwaves or headlines: 

“Suspicious doesn’t begin to describe what likely transpired this morning,” he said. 

This especially crucial — according to his comments — given that one of the vessels is a Japanese tanker supposedly “attacked” by Iran in the middle of a visit to Tehran by Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Japan’s Trade Ministry later confirmed that one of the ships hit Thursday morning was carrying “Japan-related cargo.”Via The Japan News/The Yomiuri Shimbun: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attends a joint press conference with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani following their summit meeting in Tehran on Wednesday.

The details of the Japanese tanker are described by the AP as follows:

The Japanese operator of a tanker that was damaged in a suspected attack in the Strait of Hormuz says all of its crewmembers are now safe onboard a U.S. Navy warship.

The chemical tanker Kokuka Courageous, operated by Kokuka Sangyo Co., was apparently attacked as it was passing through the Strait of Hormuz toward Singapore and Thailand destinations to deliver methanol.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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