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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.  


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."  


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. 


EU Calls for Free Passage in South China Sea

Countries must be free to pass through the South China Sea, the European Commission said on Wednesday, in its first diplomatic admonishment of Beijing after Chinese jets intercepted a U.S. military plane over the contested waters last month.   The Commission avoided directly criticising Beijing, a major trade partner, but warned in a new policy document that it opposed "unilateral actions that could alter the status quo and increase tension"


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 Dismisses South China Sea Support Doubts

China's Foreign Ministry on Thursday brushed off doubts about how many countries have offered support for its position in a case brought by the Philippines over Chinese claims in the South China Sea, saying the number of nations was growing daily.


Indonesian President to Assert Sovereignty in Islands Visit

The Indonesian president will travel to the Natuna Islands for the first time on Thursday to assert Indonesia's sovereignty, a senior official said, after China said earlier this week it had an "overlapping claim" over nearby waters.  


Sea Trucks Secures Flotel Contract for Malikai Project

Jascon 34 (Photo: Sea Trucks Group)

Sea Trucks Group has been awarded a contract from Sabah Shell Petroleum Company Limited for the provision of flotel services for the Malikai deepwater development project, located 100 kilometers off Sabah, Malaysia, at a water depth of around 500 meters


COSCO to Roll out Cruise to Xisha Islands

Image: COSCO Shipping Corp

 China’s state-owned COSCO Shipping Corp plans to launch cruise services in the South China Sea in July, reports Reuters.    The first route is expected to travel from Sanya to the Yongle Island, part of the Xisha Islands in Hainan province.  


Indonesian Navy fires on Chinese boat, injures fisherman

An Indonesian naval vessel fired on a Chinese fishing boat on Friday, injuring one person, China's foreign ministry said, the countries' third reported confrontation this year near a chain of islands as regional tensions mount in the South China Sea.


Indonesia Again Seizes Chinese Fishing Boat

Photo: Indonesian navy

 Indonesian navy officials detained a Chinese boat along with seven Chinese crew members for allegedly fishing in Indonesian maritime territory in the disputed South China Sea region, Ap reported quoting Indonesia's navy spokesman.  


China says Navy Conducted Routine Operations in Area of US Joint Drills

A Chinese naval vessel was conducting routine operations in the Western Pacific at the time of U.S. joint drills with Japan and India, the country's Defence Ministry said on Thursday, responding to claims that the ship shadowed a U.S. aircraft carrier.  


China Thanks Countries South China Sea Support

China expressed thanks on Tuesday for the dozens of countries it says have offered support for its position on a case brought by the Philippines over Chinese claims in the South China Sea, saying they are speaking out to uphold justice. China has stepped up its rhetoric ahead of an expected


Indo-US-Japan Naval Exercise Irks China

Photo: Indian Navy

 The joint military drill by Japan, the US and India being held near the waters of the East China Sea will create more frictions in the disputed area, warns China.   The first phase of the drill kicked off on Friday in Japan’s southwestern city of Sasebo


This Day In Naval History: June 10

USS Firebolt (PC 10) (U.S. Navy photo by Randall Damm)

1854 - The first formal graduation exercises are held at the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md. Previous classes graduated without a ceremony. Rear Adm. Thomas O. Selfridge and Rear Adm. Joseph N. Miller are two of the six graduates that year.


Asian Piracy at 4 Year Low

Graph: ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre

 The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ReCAPP) May 2016 report  says that only eight incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported in Asia for the month, down 65 percent from May last year.    Between January and May 2016


Chinese Navy Ship Irks Japan

Map: Chinese Defence Ministry, Yonap, EIA, BBC

 Japan has lodged a protest with the Chinese ambassador in Tokyo, after a Chinese ship sailed close to contested islands in the East China Sea.   Chinese navy has made an unprecedented entry into waters around the disputed Senkaku Islands, called Diaoyu in China.  


China Tells US to Play Constructive South China Sea Role

(Photo: CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative)

China told the United States on Tuesday that it should play a constructive role in safeguarding peace in the disputed South China Sea, as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called for talks and a peaceful resolution. China claims most of the South China Sea


France Urges EU's South China Sea Patrols

Source: UNCLOS and CIA

 France aims to push European Union countries to coordinate navy patrols in the disputed South China Sea, French defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said at the Shangri-La Asian defence forum in Singapore on Sunday, according to Bloomberg.   


Duterte Says He Won't Surrender Rights in S.China Sea

Rodrigo Duterte (Photo courtesy of rodrigo-duterte.com)

Philippines President-elect Rodrigo Duterte said on Thursday he would not surrender the country's rights over the disputed Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea, which China seized in 2012.   "There will never be an instance that we will surrender our right over Scarborough Shoal






 
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