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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


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".  


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


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.


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: U.S. Influencing Philippines' Case Outcome

China's Foreign Ministry said on Friday the United States was trying to influence a South China Sea arbitration case filed by the Philippines after a senior U.S. official said China would be obligated to abide by the tribunal's decision. China has for years insisted that disputes with rival


China: Every Right to Drill in East China Sea

China said on Friday it had every right to drill in the East China Sea close to waters disputed with Japan, adding that it did not recognise a "unilateral" Japanese median line setting out a boundary between the two in the waters.


Chinese Navy Plays Down S. China Sea Exercises

Naval Ensign of the Peoples Republic of China

  The Chinese navy played down recent military drills in the South China Sea and criticised other countries for "illegally" occupying islands in the area, the official Xinhua news service reported on Saturday. China has launched a naval drill in waters to the east of Hainan


Filipino Fishermen Remove Chinese Buoys near Disputed Shoal

South China sea Photo Wikipedia

  Filipino fishermen found several buoys with Chinese markings near the disputed Scarborough Shoal and towed the devices back to shore northwest of the capital, Manila, Philippines officials said on Sunday. China seized control of the rocky outcrop in the South China Sea in 2012 after a


Buoys in Disputed Waters Roil South China Sea Dispute

Buoys stretched "as far as eye could see" - Philippine sailor. The Philippine navy recently found a large steel marker bearing Chinese inscriptions and hundreds of yellow buoys in waters near the Reed Bank, an area of the South China Sea where Manila has long explored for oil and gas


Thailand $1 bln Submarine Deal with China

General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister. Photo by Royal Thai Government

 Thailand’s navy has approved a 36 billion baht ($1.1 billion) plan to buy three submarines from China, reports local media. Royal Thai navy officials selected China over competing bids from Russia, Sweden, France, Germany and South Korea.   


Beijing: China and Taiwan have S.China Sea Obligations

Both China and Taiwan have an obligation to assert claims to the South China Sea, China's Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday, in a sign of rare political agreement between the old foes on either side of the Taiwan Strait. Rivals China and Taiwan share claims to virtually the entire South China


US Navy Promotes Security in South China Sea

U.S. Navy photo

The U.S. Navy reports its Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen (DDG 82) has continued to patrol the South China Sea since the end of May 2015 in support of security and stability in the region, a major sea line of worldwide communication for commercial shipping traffic  


Boxship on Fire in East China Sea

The Japanese-built containership Kamala caught fire around 400km off the coast of the Japanese island of Kuchinoshima in the East China Sea.   The accident happened during a voyage from Gresik, Indonesia to Ulsan, South Korea with 796 containers on board, including hazardous cargo


New E-learning Course for Migrant Sea Rescue

Photo: IMO

UK-based charity Human Rights at Sea (HRAS) announced its cooperation with maritime training provider Marlins on the development and endorsement of a new e-learning course addressing the rescuing of migrants at sea.   The new course, entitled Humanitarian Response


NYK Vessel Rescues Fishermen on Philippines Coast

Crimson Polaris, a wood-chip carrier operated by NYK Line

  On July 7, Crimson Polaris, a wood-chip carrier operated by NYK Line, rescued nine fishermen in distress off the coast of the Philippines. While Crimson Polaris was sailing from Australia to China through a navigational lane in the South China Sea on July 7


Philippines' Warship Repair Angers China

BRP Sierra Madre ship. Photo Credit: Ritchie Tongo

 China warned it can take "further actions" after the Philippines confirmed it is fortifying the BRP Sierra Madre, a grounded ship on Ayungin Shoal (Second Thomas Shoal) in the South China Sea.   Beijing has hit out at Manila for repairing a crumbling ship serving as its


China to Roll out World's Largest Sea Plane

 AG-600 Seaplane. Photo by state-run China Daily

 China has started assembling the world's largest amphibious aircraft which it plans to deploy in the disputed South China Sea besides aggressively marketing it abroad, state-run China Daily reported.   “Since the first day of its development


Japan Demands Chinese Halt to South China Sea Energy Play

Japan called on China on Tuesday to halt construction of oil-and-gas exploration platforms in the East China Sea close to waters claimed by both nations, concerned that Chinese drills could tap reservoirs that extend into Japanese territory.


Chinese Navy Conducts Drill in South China Sea

South China Sea. Image by Russian Council

 The Chinese navy has announced 10 days of military training in the waters near eastern Hainan Island in the South China Sea starting on Wednesday, amid heightened tensions in the region.   Playing down the significance of the exercises, the Chinese military said the drills






 
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