How America Can Win the Middle East

Beijing’s forays in the region present Washington with a test—and an opportunity.

By Kim Ghattas

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi sign agreements
Fatemeh Bahrami / Anadolu Agency / Getty


Since taking office, President Joe Biden has talked repeatedly about competition with China. To fight off Beijing and other autocracies, he has said, democracies must uphold their values. He has talked much less about the Middle East in that time, and although he has never phrased it in so many words, Biden appears to be trying to deprioritize a region that he believes has consumed too much of America’s attention and resources.

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Fifth Anniversary of the Arbitral Tribunal Ruling on the South China Sea – Statement by US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken

Philippines, others mark 5th anniversary of historic South China Sea ruling  while PRC continues to ignore it | Indo-Pacific Defense Forum



JULY 11, 2021

Freedom of the seas is an enduring interest of all nations and is vital to global peace and prosperity.  The international community has long benefited from the rules-based maritime order, where international law, as reflected in the UN Law of the Sea Convention, sets out the legal framework for all activities in the oceans and seas.  This body of international law forms the basis for national, regional, and global action and cooperation in the maritime sector and is vital to ensuring the free flow of global commerce.

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The Princeton Project: Forging a World of Liberty under Law – US National Security in the 21st Century

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Remarks by President Trump Announcing Normalization of Relations Between Sudan and Israel

 FOREIGN POLICY, The White House

 Issued on: October 23, 2020

Oval Office

11:34 A.M. EDT

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  (In progress) …on the phone, we have some terrific people: Chairman Abdel al-Burhan and Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok of Sudan — a beautiful part of the world; and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — I think you mostly know him.  You perhaps heard of him somewhere.  We have the very highly sophisticated press.  I think they may have heard of him, of Israel.  So I want to just congratulate all of you.

The State of Israel and the Republic of Sudan have agreed to make peace.  This is for many, many years they’ve been at odds, to put it nicely, and to normalize their relations.  This will be the third country where we’re doing this.  And we have many, many more coming.  We have — they’re coming at us hot and heavy.
In the coming weeks, they will meet to negotiate cooperation agreements.  You saw that happen with UAE and Bahrain recently in agriculture, technology, aviation, migration, and other critical areas.

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This week, the U.S. government for the first time imposed economic penalties on Chinese businesses for their behavior in the South China Sea. The Commerce Department placed 24 Chinese companies on the Entity List. The list restricts exports of certain goods to companies and individuals that threaten U.S. national security or foreign policy priorities. According to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, the 24 companies (22 of which are state-owned enterprises) were selected because they “played a significant role” in China’s construction of artificial bases in the Spratly Islands. The State Department, meanwhile, announced that it would not issue visas to Chinese nationals “responsible for, or complicit in, either the large-scale reclamation, construction, or militarization of disputed outposts in the South China Sea, or the PRC’s use of coercion against Southeast Asian claimants to inhibit their access to offshore resources.”


Pompeo Heads to South Asia as US-China Tensions Escalate

By Nike ChingOctober 21, 2020 04:02 PM VOA

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo puts on a face mask after speaking at a news conference at the State Department in Washington, Oct. 21, 2020.

STATE DEPARTMENT – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo embarks on a week-long trip to South Asia on Sunday, as the United States looks to confront Chinese geopolitical and economic challenges in the Indo-Pacific region.
The top U.S. diplomat is traveling to New Delhi, India; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Male, Maldives; and Jakarta, Indonesia from October 25-30.
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The Mekong-U.S. Partnership: The Mekong Region Deserves Good Partners

The launch of the Mekong-U.S. Partnership reflects the importance of the Mekong region to the United States. Our relationship with Mekong partner countries is an integral part of our Indo-Pacific vision and our strategic partnership with ASEAN. With more than $150 million in initial investments in regional programs, we will build on the good work of the Lower Mekong Initiative and the $3.5 billion in regional U.S. assistance during the last eleven years. Tiếp tục đọc “The Mekong-U.S. Partnership: The Mekong Region Deserves Good Partners”

USCG Releases New Plan to Combat Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing

TĐH: with a focus on China

Posted on  by Seapower Staff

A boarding team from the USCGC Sequoia (WLB 215) approaches a Taiwanese fishing vessel in the Pacific Ocean, March 13, 2020. The crew undertook a fisheries patrol as part of joint efforts for Operation Rai Balang under the Forum Fisheries Agency. U.S. Coast Guard / USCGC Sequoia

WASHINGTON — The Coast Guard has released a new strategy to enhance global safety, security, and stewardship of the maritime domain by combatting Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, Coast Guard Headquarters said in a Sept. 17 release. 

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Yesterday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced an important shift in U.S. declaratory policy on the South China Sea. This morning, Assistant Secretary of State David Stilwell elaborated further during remarks at CSIS’s annual South China Sea Conference. The press statement from Pompeo listed specific Chinese maritime claims the United States considers illegal. The statement marks a significant clarification of prior U.S. positions but not a radical break from past policy. It makes explicit things that had been implied by previous administrations. And in that it sets the stage for more effective diplomatic messaging and stronger responses to China’s harassment of its neighbors. U.S. partners and allies in the region were seemingly briefed in advance—the Philippine defense secretary, for instance, was ready with a positive statement within hours. And the new policy sparked excited, and often hyperbolic, coverage in the press and social media.


Spokesperson confirms Vietnam’s stance in East Sea issue

 21:37 | 15/07/2020 , Vietnam Times

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang confirmed Vietnam’s stance, at a regular press briefing in Hanoi on July 15, concerning Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s Declaration on the US Position on Maritime Claims in the South China Sea (known as East Sea in Vietnam).

US rejects nearly all Chinese claims to territory in South China Sea

 09:14 | 14/07/2020 , Vietnam Times

Secretary of United State Mike Pompeo on Monday announced a formal rejection of “most” of China’s maritime claims in the South China Sea, marking the turning point as Washington officially directs to Beijing’s ambition to assert control in the strategic waters.

us secretary of state pompeo criticizes chinese bullying in regional waters US Secretary of State Pompeo criticizes Chinese ‘bullying’ in regional waters
international opinions regarding south china sea dispute at asean regional security conference International opinions regarding South China Sea dispute at ASEAN regional security conference
chinas simultaneous drills in 3 asia seas while threatening that beijing has many anti aircraft carrier weapons China’s simultaneous drills in 3 Asia seas while threatening that “Beijing has many anti-aircraft carrier weapons”
us rejects nearly all chinese claims to territory in south china sea
Chinese maritime claims outside its internationally recognized waters are illegitimate. Photo: Andy Wong/AP

Accordingly, the administration presented the decision as an attempt to curb China’s increasing assertiveness in the region with a commitment to recognizing international law. But it will almost certainly have the more immediate effect of further infuriating the Chinese, who are already retaliating against numerous U.S. sanctions and other penalties on other matters.The Trump administration escalated its actions against China on Monday by stepping squarely into one of the most sensitive regional issues dividing them and rejecting outright nearly all of Beijing’s significant maritime claims in the South China Sea, reported Military Times. Tiếp tục đọc “US rejects nearly all Chinese claims to territory in South China Sea”

What Does a Second Aircraft Carrier Visit Mean for US-Vietnam Relations?

A closer look at the significance of a development that has long been in the works.

Prashanth Parameswaran By Prashanth Parameswaran March 04, 2020 The Dilplomat
What Does a Second Aircraft Carrier Visit Mean for US-Vietnam Relations?
A previous photo of U.S. President Donald Trump in Vietnam. Credit: FlickrThis week, a U.S. aircraft carrier will make a port call in Vietnam’s coastal city of Da Nang – just the second visit of its kind since the end of the Vietnam War, following the first in early 2018. Though the move has long been in the works and is just a single engagement, it nonetheless bears noting given its significance for U.S.-Vietnam ties and Washington’s regional approach more generally. Tiếp tục đọc “What Does a Second Aircraft Carrier Visit Mean for US-Vietnam Relations?”