UK News US steps up combat capabilities in strongest signal yet to Beijing over South China Sea
Russia intercepts two French "Mirage 2000" and their supply vessel over the Black Sea
© Russian MoD A screenshot of the video taken by the Russians. We see the KC-135 and one of the two French Mirages. Two French Mirage 2000s and their tanker were escorted by the Russian fighter as they patrolled outside Russian airspace. Ah the Black Sea! What a nice playground for the Russian and Western armies… On January 31, it was a Sukhoi SU-24 which flew low over the USS Donald Cook, an guided-missile frigate of the US Navy on patrol in the black Sea.
Military chiefs are developing plans to deploy troops on the ground to help multinational fleets target their missiles more accurately over longer distances. The moves are part of a broader US military strategy designed to counterattempts to assert its control over the disputed waters. In February, the US Navy carried out drills involving the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier strike group.
As part of the exercises US Navy Seals were sent to establish forward bases to investigate intelligence provided by the strike group's radars.
A researcher at the PLA Academy of Military Sciences warned that these ground troops could be used to gather extra information to help missile and air strikes.
Queen of the South season 5 cast: Are any new cast members joining?
QUEEN OF THE SOUTH is expected to return for season 5 in just a few months' time but will there be any new actors joining the show?Few details have been leaked about what is it come in series five of Queen of the South, including who will be joining the cast.
Du Wenlong told China's state TV channel CCTV: "If the Seals were deployed to an island, either from air or by boat, and to conduct various reconnaissance to locate targets, this information can help the strike group better attack targets and boost their strike precision."
Mr Du's analysis was echoed by a senior defence expert from the Rand Corporation.
Timothy Heath said that although the US exercise was designed with Russia in mind, the strategies being tested could be used against China.
He told the South China Morning Post that sending troops ahead to identify targets would help missile teams on board navy ships to deploy their weapons more accurately.
"This should also help improve the survivability of the same warships, since they will be able to launch their missiles from a longer distance," Mr Heath said.
Sansha City, Beijing's strange strategic mushroom town in the China Sea
© A view of Sansha in 2012: things have changed a lot since then. | STR / AFP A view of Sansha in 2012: Since then, things have changed a lot. | STR / AFP You've probably never heard of it. Sansha City, in southeastern China, is both one of the largest cities in China and one of the least populated. It covers nearly 2 million square kilometers, nearly 20,000 times the size of Paris, but has only 1,800 inhabitants, the smallest population of all Chinese prefectures.
A key objective of the recent drill was to train US naval personnel in NATO procedures and communication methods.
This is seen as a crucial step, enabling American forces to better integrate with their allies and improve their joint combat capabilities.
The Biden administration is keen to rebuild alliances with close allies after relations were fractured under Donald Trump.
Major European allies such as the UK, Germany and France have committed to sending ships to the region.
Last week, France sent its amphibious assault ship Tonnerre and frigate Surcouf through the disputed waters twice.
It is estimated that 60 percent of maritime trade passes through Asia, with the South China Sea carrying an estimated one-third of global shipping.
Its waters are particularly critical for China, Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea, all of which rely on the Strait of Malacca, which connects the South China Sea and, by extension, the Pacific Ocean with the Indian Ocean.
As the second-largest economy in the world with over 60 percent of its trade in value travelling by sea, China's economic security is closely tied to the South China Sea.
Ex-US Secretary of State Pompeo for boycott of the Beijing Winter Games .
Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for a boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing on Friday. © Provided by sport1.de Ex-US Secretary of State Pompeo for boycott of the Winter Games in Beijing Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for a boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing on Friday. China's "heinous" activities would make the country an inadequate host, Pompeo said.