The Bay of Bengal Could Be The Key to a Free and Open Indo-Pacific

War on the Rocks – The Bay of Bengal now has considerable — and growing — strategic importance for Asia, and for the world as a whole. In many ways, the Bay of Bengal lies at the core of the Indo-Pacific region — a centerpiece of the broader Indo-Pacific concept and the place where the strategic interests of the major powers of East and South Asia intersect.

China Launches Third Aircraft Carrier as U.S. Wraps Major Pacific Exercise

USNI News – On Friday morning, China launched its third aircraft carrier, named Fujian. The 80,000-ton carrier is China’s first flat deck carrier and uses Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS)-powered catapults to launch its aircraft, in contrast to the ski jump of its other two carriers. The EMALS system can launch heavier aircraft, such as the J-35 fighter and airborne early warning aircraft, to operate off its flight deck.

Ukrainian Grain: How To Lift Russia’s Black Sea Blockade?

Naval News – The Ukrainian grain crisis continues as a result of Russia’s blockade of Black Sea ports, which prevents Ukrainian wheat shipments. As the war continues, the stocks of countries that rely on Ukraine for wheat are diminishing. A possible famine is looming. Everyone agrees on the necessity to solve this problem to avoid a major humanitarian crisis. But how?

A naval base in Cambodia supports China’s calibrated aggression

The Hill – China this week vehemently denied a Washington Post report that it is covertly constructing a naval base in Cambodia. How to evaluate assurances of beneficent intent issuing forth from Chinese Communist Party (CCP) mouthpieces? Three bits of advice: Look at your map. Study past CCP practice. And remember that all such efforts to placate Asian and world opinion are perishable. They’re expedients, nothing more. A pledge’s shelf-life expires once Beijing decides it has outlived its usefulness.

China’s stealth drone ship wraps up 1st autonomous sea trial

Global Times – China’s first domestically developed 200 ton-class unmanned surface vessel, characterized by its capabilities in stealth and far sea operation, has wrapped up its first autonomous sea trial, with analysts saying that drone ships like this can provide new tactics for naval warfare including distributed operations and swarm combat.