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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


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.


Indonesia Says It Has No Conflict with China in South China Sea

Indonesia has no conflict with China over the South China Sea, an Indonesian palace spokesman said on Wednesday, days after eight Chinese crew members were detained for allegedly fishing illegally in the Natuna Sea.   "There is no conflict between Indonesia and China related to the South China Sea," said presidential spokesman Johan Budi told reporters. "This is purely the enforcement of law by Indonesia, and we have already conveyed our letter of protest."  


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. 


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.  


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


China's Maritime Expansion Big Worry for the World, Says Japan

South China.jpg

 Japan says its concerns over China's military buildup in the South and East China Seas are shared by many other countries. The issue is expected to be discussed at upcoming talks between the two countries, says a report in Reuters. "Honestly speaking


US-India Martime Partnership Speeds Ahead

Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Photo: PIB

 India and the United States have agreed to strengthen their cooperation on maritime security, as concerns grow in Washington over Beijing’s growing military ambitions, reports AFP.   India and the USA had agreed to two new projects under the Defence Trade and Technology


U.S. Challenged China, 12 Others on navigation Rights in 2015

File Image: U.S. Navy Operations (credit: MSC)

The U.S. military conducted "freedom of navigation" operations against 13 countries last year, including several to challenge China's claims in the South and East China seas, according to an annual Pentagon report released on Monday.


US Urges ASEAN Unity on South China Sea Ruling

Photo: Permanent Court of Arbitration

China risks "terrible" damage to its reputation if it ignores an impending international court ruling on the South China Sea, the United States said on Thursday, while urging Southeast Asian countries to rally behind the court decision.  


US, India to Shore up Maritime Cooperation

Photo: Idrw.org

 U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and  Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar agreed  to strengthen their cooperation on maritime security, as concerns grow in Washington over Beijing's growing military ambitions.  


Philippines, Vietnam to Explore Joint Patrols in South China Sea

Defence officials from the Philippines and Vietnam will meet this week to explore possible joint exercises and navy patrols, military sources said, shoring up a new alliance between states locked in maritime rows with China.   Ties have strengthened between the two Southeast Asian countries


US Ramps up Military Presence in the Philippines

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Thursday that U.S. troops and military equipment would be sent on regular rotations in the Philippines and that the two countries had started joint patrols in the South China Sea as China increasingly asserts its territorial claims.  


U.S. Defense Secretary Visits Carrier in South China Sea

Carter says U.S. promoting Asian peace and security. The chief U.S. defense official visited an American aircraft carrier transiting the disputed South China Sea on Friday, as China said one of its top military officers had visited islands and reefs in the region to oversee building work.


U.S. to give Philippines South China Sea 'eye-in-the-sky'

The United States will transfer an observation blimp to the Philippines to help it track maritime activity and guard its borders amid rising tensions in the South China Sea, a U.S. diplomat said on Monday. Philip Goldberg, U.S. ambassador to the Philippines, said Washington would give Manila


Chinese Lighthouse Operational in South China Sea

(Photo: Maritime Safety Administration of the Peoples Republic of China)

Another Chinese lighthouse has become operational on Zhubi Reef, a reef in the disputed Spratly Islands of the South China Sea. China’s Ministry of Transport held ceremony on April 5, 2016 signaling the lighthouse’s completion and start of operation


China Angered by Britain's Comments on South China Sea

China expressed anger on Wednesday after a senior British official said a ruling expected within a few months in an international arbitration case the Philippines has brought against China's South China Sea claims must be binding.   Hugo Swire


Partnership Seeks to Boost Maritime VSAT for China

SpeedCast signs partnership MOU with Beijing Marine Communications & Navigation Company Limited to build a global maritime VSAT service for China Market   SpeedCast International Limited, a global satellite communications and network service provider


US: China's South China Sea intentions Raise Tension

File Image: A Military Sealift Command tanker refuels a U.S. Navy warship. U.S. Naval ships have recently passed in close proximity to disputed islands and waters in the South China Sea. (credit: MSC)

A top U.S. official on Thursday said China's land reclamation and militarisation in the disputed South China Sea was raising tensions and serious questions about its intention. On a visit to Vietnam, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington would continue to play a


China, South Korea to Hold Maritime Talks

Map: Xinhua

China and South Korea held talks on delimiting their overlapping exclusive economic zones (EEZs) in the Yellow Sea – the first such discussions in seven years.    Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin talked to his South Korean counterpart, Cho Tae-yul on maritime demarcation


US Freedom of Navigation Ops Targeted 13 Countries Last Year

The U.S. military carried out freedom of navigation operations against 13 countries last year, including several against China for what it views as excessive claims to maritime and airspace jurisdiction, the Pentagon said in an annual report on Monday.  






 
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