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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


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."  


Kerry to Press ASEAN meeting for talks on SCS Disputes

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Official Portrait Photo John Kerry -@JohnKerry

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will urge Southeast Asian nations in meetings in Laos next week to find diplomatic ways to launch talks with China on easing tension over the South China Sea following an international court ruling that denies China's claims in the sea. Kerry travels to Laos' capital Vientiane on Monday for meetings of foreign ministers from the 10-member Association of South East Asia Nations where tensions between China and several ASEAN members


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"


China to Add 8 Cruises to Push Tourism in South China Sea

Photo: Sanya Tour

Three State-owned enterprises from the shipping, tourism and construction sectors will cooperate to equip up to eight cruise liners and offer diversified sightseeing services to tap the travel market in the South China Sea, says China Daily. Sanya International Cruise Development Co Ltd, a joint venture by COSCO Shipping, China National Travel Service (HK) Group Corp and China Communications Construction Co Ltd, will buy between five and eight ships.  


China Asks: Why is Japanese Warship Going to South China Sea?

The Bridge of JDS Kirishima in JMSDF Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan. She is a Kongo-class guided missile destroyer in the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. CREDIT: JPAaron AdobeStock

China said on Tuesday it was waiting for an official word on why Japan plans to send its largest warship on a three-month tour through the South China Sea, but that it hopes Japan can be responsible.   China claims almost all the disputed waters and its growing military presence has fuelled


Carl Vinson Strike Group Arrives in the Republic of Korea

USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). Photo: US Navy

 Aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) arrived in Busan, Republic of Korea (ROK) for a scheduled port visit, March 15.  


China Pledges Firm Response to Japan's S.China Sea Visit

China on Thursday pledged a firm response if Japan stirs up trouble in the South China Sea, after Reuters reported on a Japanese plan to send its largest warship to the disputed waters.   The Izumo helicopter carrier, commissioned only two years ago, will make stops in Singapore, Indonesia


China Says Hopes New Japanese Carrier Doesn't Mark Return to Militarism

China said on Thursday that it hoped the entry into service of Japan's second big helicopter carrier, the Kaga, did not mean a return to the country's past militaristic history.   The ship, along with its sister the Izumo, gives Japan's military greater ability to deploy beyond its shores


Carrier Strike Group 1 Conducts South China Sea Patrol

The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) transits the Philippine Sea. The Carl Vinson Strike Group is on a western Pacific deployment as part of the U.S. Pacific Feet-led initiative to extend the command and control functions of U.S. 3rd Fleet. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kurtis A. HatcherReleased)

Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1, including Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 1's Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108), and aircraft from Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, began routine operations in the South China Sea, Feb


US Aircraft Carrier Strike Group Begins Patrols in South China Sea

Official U.S. Navy file photo of USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70)

 Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1, including Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 1's Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108), and aircraft from Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2


SM Line's Maiden Voyage Next Month

Photo: S M Ship Management

 The new container carrier SM Line, owned by South Korean Samra Midas (SM) Group, will launch its first service in the second week of March.    The shipper which took over Hanjin's service network between Asia and the US, will also take over several of Hanjin's terminals in South


Wary of Trump unpredictability, China ramps up naval abilities

(The Chinese Navy destroyer Qingdao (DDG 113) transits the San Diego Harbor as it prepares to moor at Naval Station San Diego. Qingdao along with the Chinese oiler Hongzehu are currently visiting San Diego as part of a goodwill tour. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Marc Rockwell-Pate (RELEASED)

* China navy beneficiary of signficant spending in recent years * China still lags U.S. but building towards blue water navy * PLA Navy more visible in South and East China Seas, Indian Ocean By Ben Blanchard and Michael Martina BEIJING


Philippines Wants 'Clarity' on China Ties Before Allowing S China Sea work

The Philippines is waiting for clarity on its relations with China before lifting a suspension on exploration in disputed areas in the South China Sea, its energy minister said on Monday.   It is being studied whether it is "high time to lift the suspension


Is Beijing Outflanking the US in the South China Sea?

USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) (U.S. Navy photo by Nathan K. Serpico)

For much of the last week, the U.S. aircraft carrier Carl Vinson has been patrolling the South China Sea. It is just the kind of display of Washington’s power and global reach that the U.S. Navy excels at – both to reassure allies and, in this case, send a message to potential foes.


China Launches South China Sea Cruise Ship Tour

A new Chinese cruise ship has embarked on its maiden voyage to the disputed Paracel Islands in the South China Sea, state news agency Xinhua said on Friday, the latest effort by Beijing to bolster its claims in the strategic waterway.  


Chine Cruise Ship's New Destination: Disputed South China Sea

Image: China State Shipbuilding Corporation

 China has commissioned a new cruise ship to take tourists to islands claimed by Vietnam in the disputed South China Sea, reinforcing its claim over the area, reports Reuters.   The ship called Changle Gongzhu, or Changle Princess, sailed from Sanya with 308 passengers on board


China Dismisses Philippine Concerns Over EEZ Incursions

China on Friday dismissed concerns expressed by the Philippine defence minister over what he believed to be survey missions by its ships deep into the southeast Asian nation's 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ).   Amid a warming relationship


Wary of China, Duterte to Increase Naval Patrols

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the navy to put up "structures" to assert sovereignty over a stretch of water east of the country, where Manila has reported a Chinese survey ship was casing the area last year.  


Japan Plans to Send Largest Warship to South China Sea

Japan plans to dispatch its largest warship on a three-month tour through the South China Sea beginning in May, three sources said, in its biggest show of naval force in the region since World War Two.   China claims almost all the disputed waters and its growing military presence has






 
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