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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.  


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. 


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.


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


U.S. Navy Chief: South China Sea Arms Race could Develop

The U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander has warned of a possible arms race in the disputed South China Sea which could engulf the region, as nations become increasingly tempted to use military force to settle territorial spats instead of international law. Commander Admiral Scott Swift urged nations, like China, to seek arbitration to settle maritime disputes. "My concern is that after many decades of peace and prosperity


India, China Open Maritime Talks

Pic: Chinese Embassy in India

 Amid enduring tensions over the South China Sea, India and China held inaugural round of talks on maritime cooperation on February 04 in New Delhi.    The meeting of New Delhi and Beijing officials covered a gamut of issues of "mutual interest and prospects for maritime


Vietnam Gets Fifth Submarine from Russia

Image: Russian Navy

 The fifth of the six Kilo-class submarines that Vietnam purchased from Russia has arrived at Cam Ranh Bay, Thanh Nien news reported.   The submarine, which was delivered by a Dutch-registered cargo ship, laid anchor near the Cam Ranh Port.   


US, India Consider Joint Patrols in South China Sea

U.S. Navy file photo of USS Lassen (DDG 82), Mar. 2015.

The United States and India have held talks about conducting joint naval patrols that a U.S. defense official said could include the disputed South China Sea, a move that would likely anger Beijing, which claims most of the waterway.  


Philippines Mulls Bilateral Sea Talks with China

The Philippines may consider two-way talks with China to resolve a territorial dispute in the South China Sea but only if it wins its case with Beijing at an arbitration tribunal in The Hague, Manila's foreign minister said on Friday. China claims almost the entire South China Sea


Shipping Industry Unfazed by China Sea Tension

Map: The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative

 Reuters reports that China's growing military presence in the South China Sea has drawn warnings from the United States that Beijing is seeking to exert control over one of the world's most important sea lanes, but so far the shipping industry seems less concerned.  


China: Manila Exaggerates South China Sea Tensions

China accused the Philippines on Tuesday of deliberately trying to scare people by saying China had warned a small civilian plane carrying Philippine officials it was trespassing as they inspected an island in the disputed South China Sea.


China: Rig Not Drilling in Disputed Waters

In mid-2014, rig caused worst breakdown in ties in decades. China's Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that a $1-billion deepwater oil rig was not drilling in disputed territory in the South China Sea, in response to a warning from Vietnam against such activity.


China Pull Online Rig Location after Vietnam Complaint

Chinese maritime officials on Friday removed an online notice giving the location of a $1-billion deepwater oil rig in the South China Sea two days after issuing it, following a warning from Vietnam about drilling in disputed waters. Vietnam closely tracks the movement of the oil rig


Japan Warns against China's Maritime Activities

Photo: Japanese Foreign Ministry

 Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida warned against China's increasing maritime activities, such as artificial land construction in the South China Sea, reports Nikkei.   Referring to tensions over China's growing assertiveness in the South China Sea


John Kerry Off to Asia to Address Maritime Issues

Photo: US State Dept

 U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is pressing for peaceful resolutions to increasingly tense maritime disputes in Asia, reports AP.   Kerry arrived in the Laotian capital Sunday and will travel to China late Tuesday for meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping


China Says Will Protect South China Sea Sovereignty

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Wednesday that China has a right to protect its territorial sovereignty in the disputed South China Sea and that Beijing and Washington should manage the issue in a constructive way. Wang was speaking to reporters after meeting U.S


U.S. Navy Ship Sails near Island Claimed by China

Sailors aboard Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) fire a M2HB .50-caliber machine gun during a gunnery exercise in the South China Sea. Curtis Wilbur is on patrol in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt.j.g. Jonathan Peterson/Released)

A U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer sailed within 12 nautical miles of an island claimed by China in the South China Sea on Saturday, in an operation the Pentagon said was designed to challenge efforts to restrict freedom of navigation. Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said no ships from


Beijing says U.S. Warship Violated Chinese Laws

China's foreign ministry said on Saturday a U.S. warship that sailed near an artificial island claimed by Beijing and several other nations has violated Chinese law by entering its territorial waters. China claims most of the South China Sea


China: U.S. Seeks "Hegemony" after South China Sea Sailing

China accused the United States on Monday of seeking maritime hegemony in the name of freedom of navigation after a U.S. Navy destroyer sailed within 12 nautical miles of a disputed island in the South China Sea. China claims most of the South China Sea


India, Brunei Discuss South China Sea Dispute

Indias Vice President Hamid Ansari and Sultan of Brunei, Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah.  Photo Credit: PTI

 Underscoring that India and Brunei have equal stakes in the security and prosperity of a "shared Asian neighbourhood", both countries held discussion on Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea which has the potential to affect free maritime traffic in Southeast Asia






 
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