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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


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


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.  


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"


China Declines to Say if it Supports Philippine Fishing Ban

China's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday declined to say if it supported an executive order by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declaring part of the disputed Scarborough Shoal a marine sanctuary off-limits to fishermen.   The dispute over the Scarborough Shoal is one of several involving


With China's Support, Duterte to Ban Fishing in Disputed Lagoon

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will issue an executive order declaring part of the disputed Scarborough Shoal a marine sanctuary off-limits to all fishermen, a move his office said was supported by Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.  


Vietnam Expanding South China Sea Runway

Vietnam is extending a runway on an island it claims in the South China Sea in apparent response to China's building of military facilities on artificial islands in the region, a U.S. think tank reported. Satellite images taken this month showed Vietnam had lengthened its runway on Spratly


Vietnam Expanding South China Sea Runway

Vietnam is extending a runway on an island it claims in the South China Sea in apparent response to China's building of military facilities on artificial islands in the region, a U.S. think tank reported on Thursday.   Satellite images taken this month showed Vietnam had lengthened its


Wärtsilä to Power Chinese Sand Pumping Vessel

A ceremony was held on October 21 to celebrate the start of construction work on the new vessel.  (Photo:  Wärtsilä)

The Wärtsilä Yuchai Engine Company Limited (WYEC), a joint venture company founded in 2013, has been contracted to supply two 16-cylinder Wärtsilä 32 engines for a large new sand pumping vessel.   The ship is being built at the Dongguan Xiandai Shipbuilding yard for a


South China Sea Arbitration: Implications for Maritime and O&G

(Credit: Blank Rome LLC)

A recent decision by an international tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, has significant implications for other maritime disputes, freedom of navigation, and future oil and gas claims in the Arctic.      The arbitral award issued on July 12, 2016


China, Malaysia Ink Navy Vessel Deal

China and Malaysia signed 14 agreements on Tuesday, including one on navy vessels, after a meeting between Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. The agreement on the joint development of the vessels, known as littoral mission ships


China: Scarborough Shoal 'Situation' Unchanged

China said on Monday the situation at the disputed Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea "has not changed and will not change", after the Philippines said Chinese vessels that blocked the area for four years had stopped harassing its fishermen.


Philippines Says Chinese Vessels Have Left Disputed Shoal

Chinese ships are no longer at the disputed Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea and Philippine boats can resume fishing, the Philippine defence minister said on Friday, calling the Chinese departure a "welcome development".  


Philippines: China Vessels Departed Scarborough Shoal

Unimpeded access for first time in 4 yrs. Ships' departure follows Philippine president's visit to China. Chinese ships are no longer at the disputed Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea and Philippine boats can resume fishing, the Philippine defence minister said on Friday


China Says Latest South China Sea Drill Was SAR Exercise

China's latest drill in the South China Sea was a normal search and rescue exercise, the defence ministry said on Thursday, less than a week after a U.S. navy destroyer sailed near the Paracel Islands, provoking a warning from Chinese warships to leave.  


China Plans More Military Drills in South China Sea

China will carry out military drills in the South China Sea all day on Thursday, the country's maritime safety administration said on Wednesday, ordering all other shipping to stay away.   China routinely holds drills in the disputed waterway


US Navy Tested New Command in Latest Challenge to China

The U.S. Navy destroyer that sailed near Chinese-claimed islands in the South China Sea last week was under orders from the Third Fleet headquarters in San Diego, a first aimed at bolstering U.S. maritime power in the region, two sources said.  


China Protests 'Illegal,' 'Provocative' US South China Sea Patrol

China's Defense Ministry said that a patrol by a U.S. warship in the South China Sea on Friday was "illegal" and "provocative" and that it had lodged a protest with the United States.   In a statement on its website, the ministry said two Chinese warships had warned the U


US Warship Challenges China's Claims in South China Sea

Guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur (DDG 73) operates in the South China Sea (U.S. Navy photo by Diana Quinlan)

A U.S. navy destroyer sailed near islands claimed by China in the South China Sea on Friday, drawing a warning from Chinese warships to leave the area.   The U.S. action was the latest attempt to counter what Washington sees as Beijing's efforts to limit freedom of navigation in the






 
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