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China Sea

South China Sea Boils Up

Photo: Council on Foreign Relations

 The overlapping territorial disputes in the South China Sea involve China, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan, the Philippines and Vietnam have recently been moving from bad to worse.   Vietnam is seeking to upgrade its air defences by acquiring western fighter jets and drones, a move which would further militarize a dispute with Beijing over territorial claims in the South China Sea.   Taiwan's coast guard has commissioned its biggest ships for duty in the form of two 3,000-ton patrol vessels, as the island boosts defenses amid concerns about China's growing footprint in the disputed South China Sea, says a report in the Reuters.   The new vessels will be able to dock at a new port being constructed on Taiping Island, the largest of the naturally occurring Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, before the end of this year.   In a troubling sign that tensions continue to grow over the contested South China Sea, the Philippine government is claiming a Chinese warship has opened fire, with warning shots directed at one of its fishing boats in the area.   The development follows a war of words between the two nations after the Philippine president, Benigno Aquino, this week likened China's behaviour to that of Nazi Germany in the lead-up to World War II.   A Chinese coast guard vessel has been accused of encroaching on Malaysia's territorial waters in the South China Sea.   

China Criticizes US over Maritime Patrol Proposal in South China Sea

Vice Adm. Robert Thomas, commander of U.S. 7th Fleet: US Navy Photo

 China asked the United States to take no position on the South China Sea issue after US Navy Officer Robert Thomas promised to back the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in patrolling areas of the waterway.   "We hope the United States will strictly honor its commitment of not taking positions or sides on territorial sovereignty issues," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei.  

Taiwan Offers South China Sea Peace Plan

Taiwan proposed a peace initiative on Tuesday to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea that it says will reduce tensions that have put Beijing at odds with its neighbours and the United States. The South China Sea Peace Initiative announced by President Ma Ying-jeou called on claimants to temporarily shelve their disagreements to enable negotiations on sharing resources. Ma's plan is similar to a 2012 proposal for the East China Sea

U.S. Will Dispatch Warships to South China Sea

The United States is expected to sail warships close to China's artificial islands in the South China Sea within the next two weeks to signal it does not recognize Chinese territorial claims over the area, the Financial Times reported, citing a senior U.S. official. The ships will sail within the 12-nautical-mile zones that China claims as territory around some of the islands it has constructed in the Spratly chain, the report said.

CNOOC Pairs with Husky to Explore Deep Water Oil

CNOOC Ltd.’s unlisted parent company plans to start deep water oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea with Canada's Husky Energy Inc. next year, according to AP report. If the scheduled exploration finds sizable reserves in a bloc in the South China Sea about 185 miles south of Hong Kong, it will be China's first deep water oil and gas field. CNOOC's parent company is currently restricted to pumping oil and gas offshore at no deeper than 350 m

Beijing Angry over ASEAN Chief's Comments on South China Sea

South China Sea (International Affairs, Diplomacy and Strategy, London School of Economics)

 China has expressed anger at remarks made by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) secretary general Le Luong Minh on the disputed South China Sea, , rejecting Chinese claims based on the so-called nine-dash line.   The Chinese government criticized Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretary General Le Loung Minh over the latter’s remarks on the issue in the South China Sea, particularly on the contested “nine-dash-line” claim. 

Asean Raps Chinese Sea Aggression

Photo by Asean

Southeast Asian foreign ministers have expressed concern at Chinese land reclamation in the disputed South China Sea, as the Philippines urged them to stand up to Beijing, reports AFP.  The statement came after Manila warned fellow members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at a ministers' retreat in Malaysia that the 10-country grouping's credibility was at stake unless it dealt strongly with the "critical issue in our own backyard".  

Australia Backs US in South China Sea

 Though Australia is not involved in the United States’ current naval activity in the South China Sea, the country strongly supports the policy of freedom of navigation, said Defense Minister Marise Payne.   On Tuesday, the U.S. Navy sent its guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen within 12 nautical miles of two Chinese-built islands Subi and Mischief in the South China Sea, openly challenging China's territorial claims in the area.  

China Says Unaware of Plan to Discuss Sea Dispute at APEC

China is not aware of any plan to discuss the disputed South China Sea at an Asia Pacific leaders' summit next week, a senior Chinese diplomat said on Tuesday, amid tensions between China and the Philippines over the waters.   For its part, the Philippines said it would not raise the issue at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit to be held in Manila from Nov. 17 to 19.   Chinese President Xi Jinping is to attend the meeting of APEC, which includes the United States

US Urges Asia for a Joint Move in South China Sea

South China Sea Tensions:  Council on Foreign Relations

 The commander of the U.S. Navy Seventh Fleet Vice Admiral Robert Thomas urged Southeast Asian nations to form a combined maritime force to patrol areas of the South China Sea where territorial tensions flare with China, reports Bloomberg.   While reassuring allies in the region it will back them against China’s assertions to about four-fifths of the sea, Thomas said that countries could streamline cooperation on maritime security while respecting sovereignty and coastal space

South China Sea Hearing in Court

Map by  The American Center for Democracy

 The Philippines has sought to debunk China's claims to disputed islands in the South China Sea, court officials said Monday (November 30) as an international tribunal wrapped up a five-day hearing, says an AFP report.   The Philippines has asked the Permanent Court of Arbitration in

Maersk to Idle Vessel

Morten Maersk. Photo by Maersk Line

 The world's biggest container-ship operator Maersk Line  has confirmed market talk that it has temporarily idled one of its largest vessels - yet another sign that the industry is in dire straits, says a report in the The Straits Times.  

U.S. Ups Philippines Aid as South China Sea Turmoil Builds

The United States has raised its military aid to the Philippines this year to $79 million, the U.S. ambassador said on Wednesday, as tension rises in the region over China's new assertiveness in the South China Sea. Since 2002, the United States has provided the Philippines with nearly $500

Hague Court Begins Hearing On South China Sea Issue

Map by USC US-China Institute

 A United Nations arbitral tribunal in The Hague heard some of the Philippines’ territorial claims over the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea on Tuesday.    A delegation of nearly 50 lawyers and representatives for the Philippines gathered to present their case

Philippines Takes South China Sea Claim to Hague

Could bolster claims by other countries against China; China boycotting proceedings, rejects court's authority. The Philippines asked global judges on Tuesday to recognise its right to exploit waters in the South China Sea, a case that could bolster territorial claims by other countries against

Philippines Warns China: World is Watching You

President Benigno S. Aquino III joins fellow world leaders for the 22nd Asia-Pacific Economic APEC Leaders Meeting. Photo by Philippines Govt

 China came under renewed criticism over its rising profile in the South China Sea at Asia-Pacific summit when Philippines  President Benigno Aquino III  warned China that “the world is watching” you, reports Reuters.  

China Won't Cease Building on S. China Sea Isles

Liu Zhenmin, Vice-Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

  China said on Sunday it will continue to build military and civilian facilities on its artificial islands in the disputed South China Sea and the United States was testing it by sending warships through the area. "Building and maintaining necessary military facilities

Obama Urges Halt to Artificial Islands in S.China Sea

Maritime claims in the South China Sea Image by Wikipedia

  U.S. President Barack Obama said on Saturday that countries should stop building artificial islands and militarising their claims in the disputed South China Sea. "For the sake of regional stability the claimants should halt reclamation

Obama says S. China Sea Claimants Should Avoid Militarising Issue

President Barack Obama Courtesy

  U.S. President Barack Obama on Saturday told a meeting of Southeast Asian leaders that territorial claimants to waters in the South China Sea should avoid militarising the issue and cease any building of artificial islands. "For the sake of regional stability the claimants should

Manila asks Japan for South China Sea Patrol Boats

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may consider a request from the Philippines for large coastguard ships to patrol the disputed South China Sea, after the two allies reached a deal on defence equipment and technology. China has overlapping claims with Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines

China: Navy 'restrained' Facing US Provocations

China's top admiral said his forces have shown "enormous restraint" in the face of U.S. provocations in the South China Sea, while warning they stand ready to respond to repeated breaches of Chinese sovereignty. Beijing, which claims almost the entire energy-rich South China Sea

US to Give Two Ships to Philippine Navy

President Barack Obama talks with Captain Vince Sibala on the bridge of the BRP Gregorio del Pilar (PF-15), during a tour of the ship in Manila Harbor, Philippines, Nov. 17, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Following a visit aboard Philippine naval ship BRP Gregorio Del Pilar on Tuesday, U.S. President Barack Obama said the American government plans to transfer two ships to the Philippine Navy, bolstering what Obama called an “ironclad commitment” to the defense of treaty ally the

Obama Says China Must Stop Land Reclamation in South China Sea

U.S. President Barack Obama said on Wednesday China must stop land reclamation in the disputed South China Sea and reaffirmed Washington's commitment to the defense and security of the Philippines, one of the parties to the dispute.  

China: "Great Restraint" in South China Sea

China has shown "great restraint" in the South China Sea by not seizing islands occupied by other countries even though it could have, a senior Chinese diplomat said on Tuesday ahead of two regional summits where the disputed waterway is likely to be a hot topic.

Indonesia Asks China to Clarify South China Sea Claims

Indonesia has asked China to clarify its claims over the South China Sea but has yet to receive a response, the Foreign Ministry said on Thursday, a day after Indonesia's security chief said Jakarta could take Beijing to court over an island dispute.  

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