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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


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".  


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


Philippines Says Important to Uphold Rights Over South China Sea

Philippine President Benigno Aquino, in remarks that follow Chinese warnings against Philippine flights over the South China Sea, said on Friday it was important to uphold the right to fly in that area.   "It is in our interest to uphold the freedom of navigation and overflight in South China Sea, a region that is of vital importance not only to Southeast Asia but also to the rest of the global community," Aquino, who was visiting Canada


China-Vietnam Ship Ramming Incident Raises US Concern

Jen Psaki (courtesy U.S. Department of State)

The United States is concerned about dangerous conduct and intimidation in the South China Sea after reports of a Chinese vessel ramming Vietnamese ships, the U.S. State Department said on Wednesday. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki also said China's deployment of an oil rig in a disputed part of the South China Sea was "provocative and unhelpful" to security in the region. (Writing by Bill Trott; Editing by Susan


China Defies U.S. Plea for Restraint in South China Sea

China on Monday hit back at "irresponsible remarks" from the United States which has called on Beijing to stop a land reclamation project in the disputed South China Sea that could be large enough to accommodate an airstrip. China lays claim to almost all of the entire South China Sea, believed to be rich with minerals and oil-and-gas deposits and one of Asia's biggest possible flashpoints. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan also have claims.


China's Navy holds Missile Combat Resupply Drill

China's navy held its first drill simulating the resupply of missiles in a combat environment in the Yellow Sea, the Defence Ministry said on Thursday, the latest sign of the country's growing military prowess. The live-fire exercises, involving ships, aircraft and land-based forces


China Oil Rig Returns Off Vietnamese Coast

Image: Google Map

 China has again deployed the Haiyang Shiyou 981, a semi-submersible oil platform which caused a standoff between Chinese and Vietnamese vessels last year, to the disputed South China Sea region, reports local media.   China has brought the deepwater oil rig  near Vietnam’s


Indian Warships Visit Cambodia, Thailand

Welcome ceremony at Thailand. Photo by National Informatics Centre, Govt of India

 In pursuit of India’s ‘Look East’ and ‘Act East’ policy, the Indian Navy’s Eastern Fleet ships under the command of Rear Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh, VSM, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet (FOCEF)


China says Changing Position on Sea Dispute would Shame Ancestors

South China-sea

  Changing position on China's claims over the South China Sea would shame its ancestors, while not facing up to infringements of Chinese sovereignty there would shame its children, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Saturday. China has become increasingly assertive in the South China Sea


Japan, China to Agree on Military Protocol

Japan and China will next month conclude an agreement to define procedures for communication between their naval vessels and military aircraft during unexpected encounters to reduce the risk of confrontation, a source told Reuters. As China's military grows and as Japan looks to expand its Self


Obama Raises Maritime Concerns with China

President Barack Obama. Pic credit: White House

 US President Barack Obama urged Beijing to take "concrete steps" to ease tensions over maritime claims, as America and China wrapped up three days of candid talks, reports AP.   "The president raised ongoing U.S. concerns about China's maritime behavior


China to Retrofit 172,000 Civilian Ships for Military Use

Photo: China Shipping Lines

China set to retrofit 172,000 merchant ships for military purposes so they can be used in the event of a war, reports the Diplomat.   Chinese civilian shipbuilders have to ensure that their vessels can be used by the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) during times of ‘crisis’


High Level US-China Talks on Maritime

China’s carrier Liaoning. Photo: U.S. Naval Institute

 US and Chinese diplomats have launched talks on maritime disputes as Washington pledged to pull no punches in seeking to resolve simmering problems between the two world powers.   So far, the discussions have been “candid and to the point” in dealing with the “most


Maritime Piracy: Distinguishing Piracy vs. Robbery

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It is important to distinguish between armed robbery and piracy when reporting incidents in South East Asia waters says the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) which has commissioned a study to determine the scale of threat posed to seafarers in the area.


US,Japan, Philippines to Hold South China Sea Naval Drill

US Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. Photo: US Navy

 The U.S. and Japan are conducting separate military drills with the Philippines near disputed islands in the South China Sea, says a report in Reuters.   The naval exercises is not far from the disputed Spratly archipelago, where China's rapid creation of seven island outposts is


China Shares Details on S.China Sea Facilities

The Chinese government on Wednesday rolled out more details of the building work it is undertaking in the disputed South China Sea, listing lighthouses, communications stations and other facilities for civilian and emergency use.   China stepped up its creation of artificial islands last


China Says About to Finish Some Land Reclamation in South China Sea

China will soon complete some of its land reclamation on the Spratly islands in the disputed South China Sea, the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday, indicating that Beijing is close to setting up new outposts in the maritime heart of Southeast Asia.  


India, Australia Pitch Maritime Drill

Indian Navy Ships Satpura and Kamorta, alongside in Fremantle, Western Australia. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

 With increased awareness that strategic and security interests are converging given the geopolitical situation, India and Australia have agreed to hold their first ever bilateral naval exercise in this year and are planning to make the joint war game a regular feature in coming years.


China's Lone Aircraft Carrier Drills at Sea

China's sole aircraft carrier conducted exercises on Friday, the navy said without specifying its location, amid escalating disputes over maritime territory with some of China's Asian neighbours. The Liaoning conducted drills and tests in the "relevant sea" along with carrier-based


CCCC Forms Dredging Group in Shanghai

Dredging Work for navigational Channel of Guangzhou Port. Photo by CCCC Dredging

 The state-owned infrastructure group China Communications Construction Corporation (CCCC) has established CCCC Dredging at Shanghai’s Free Trade Zone.   CCCC Dredging is the first of a series of planned spinoffs as it develops into a holdings company with subsidiaries across






 
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