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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.  


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 Confirms Carrier Conducted South China Sea Drills

China's sole aircraft carrier conducted drills in the South China Sea, the navy said, days after neighbouring Taiwan said the carrier and accompanying ships had passed 90 nautical miles south of the island amid renewed tension between the two sides.


Russia Plans Maritime Drills with Philippines

Russian Federation Navy Ship Admiral Tributs. File photo: Indian Navy

 Russia sent its anti-submarine destroyer and a replenishment oiler to the Philippines in a bid to hold maritime exercises with the latter, according to various media reports.   The two ships — Admiral Tributs, an anti-submarine vessel


China's Flattop "Tests Weapons" in South China Sea

A group of Chinese warships led by its sole aircraft carrier is testing weapons and equipment in exercises this week in the South China Sea that are going to plan, China's foreign ministry said Wednesday.   Exercises by the ships, in particular the aircraft carrier Liaoning


Singapore to Hong Kong: Give us back our troop carriers

Singapore welcomes Hong Kong pledge on handling of dispute. Singapore's defence minister on Monday said the nine armoured vehicles seized in Hong Kong could not be detained or confiscated, but that he welcomed Hong Kong's pledge for the dispute to be handled in line with its laws.


United States Ready for South China Sea Conflict

The United States is ready to confront China should it continue its overreaching maritime claims in the South China Sea, the head of the U.S. Pacific fleet said on Wednesday, comments that threaten to escalate tensions between the two global rivals.


US Approves $25 Mln Radar Sale to the Philippines

The U.S. government has approved the sale to the government of the Philippines of two Sea Giraffe radars and related equipment, support and training for about $25 million, the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency said on Wednesday.  


China Seizes US Underwater Drone in South China Sea

A Chinese warship has seized an underwater drone deployed by a U.S. oceanographic vessel in the South China Sea, triggering a formal diplomatic protest and a demand for its return, U.S. officials told Reuters on Friday.   The drone was taken on Dec


Zycraft Completes Longest Range Spares Delivery at Sea

Photo: Zycraft Pte Ltd

 Zycraft announced it had recently completed its longest range and fastest delivery of spares to a vessel in the Indian Ocean with one of its Shomari Long Range Vessels (LRV-17).   The Nimble Cheetah traveled a total distance of 980 nautical miles at 25 knots to deliver critical


China to Return Seized US Underwater Drone

USNS Bowditch (Photo: U.S. Navy)

 China's Defense Ministry said on Saturday it plans to return an underwater U.S. drone seized this week by a Chinese naval vessel in the South China Sea, but complained the United States was "hyping up" the incident.   The drone was taken on Thursday


U.S. Sees China Returning Drone Soon

The United States expects China to return an underwater drone "relatively soon" after a Chinese naval vessel seized it in the South China Sea last week, triggering U.S. protests, two U.S. defense officials told Reuters on Monday.


A New Maritime Forum?

Photos: Cabinet Public Relations Office, Japan Govt

 Japan and Indonesia are planning to establish a new high-level bilateral maritime forum.  The Japan-Indonesia Maritime Forum will discuss maritime cooperation., says a report in The Japan News.   Under the new framework, Tokyo will support Jakarta’s efforts to protect its


U.S. Acknowledges Drone Return, Warns China

The USS Mustin conducts undrway replenishment operations somewhere in the South China Sea. (CREDIT: U.S. Navy)

The United States said on Tuesday it had received an underwater drone "unlawfully seized" by a Chinese vessel last week and called on China to refrain from further efforts to impede its lawful activities in the South China Sea. China had earlier announced it had returned the drone


China: Civil Charter Flights to South China Sea Outpost

China has begun daily civilian charter flights to Woody Island in the disputed South China Sea after approved the airport there for civil operations, state news agency Xinhua said on Thursday.   China claims almost all of the South China Sea


Chinese Carrier Docks After Drill Amid Taiwan Tension

China's sole aircraft carrier has arrived at a naval base on the southern Chinese province of Hainan, a senior Taiwanese military officer said on Wednesday, after drills that took it around self-ruled Taiwan, an island China claims as its own.  


India, Indonesia Firm Up Maritime Co-operation

Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and the President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo at the Joint Press Statement. Photo: PIB, Govt of India

 Asia’s most populous democracies and emerging powers, have firmed up a blueprint for enhancing maritime cooperation and resolved to jointly combat terror. India and Indonesia enjoy a good maritime partnership.   India has backed Indonesia on the latter’s escalating dispute






 
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