China Sea Strategy Boosts Military Use of Civilian Ships
China is ordering newly-built civilian ships to comply with military specifications.
Analysts say the move could help bolster China’s efforts to assert its territorial claims in the disputed East and South China seas and add to ongoing efforts by the Chinese military to extend its naval reach.
Beijing has already expanded its civilian coast guard fleet into the largest in the world, using the unarmed ships to help shore up its claims in disputed waters, according to a U.S. naval intelligence report published earlier this year. This has led analysts to call the fleet “China’s Second Navy.”
Greek Bailout Talks Continue in Brussels
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has begun Thursday's round of critical talks with Greece's creditors in Brussels, in hopes of achieving a bailout deal to save Athens from default next week.
Wednesday's round of meetings with eurozone ministers ended early on Thursday morning with no deal in place.
Greece must make a nearly $2 billion loan payment to the International Monetary Fund by next Tuesday. To do that, it needs an $8 billion installment of an EU economic bailout.
Although Greece has agreed to reform its pension system and raise certain sales taxes, it is still demanding its debt be restructured by the EU.
Mr. Tsipras' leftist government has said Greeks have suffered enough from spending cuts and tax increases that have lowered their standard of living.
A default could force Greece out of the eurozone and shake up European markets.