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South China

Legally China Can't Claim South China Sea: Indonesia

Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Photo:  The national association for Amateur Radio)

 Indonesian President Joko Widodo said China'a claims to the majority of the South China Sea have "no legal foundation in international law," he told Japan's Yomiuri newspaper.   "We need peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. It is important to have political and security stability to build up our economic growth," Widodo was quoted as saying.   This was the first time Widodo, who took office in October, has taken a position on the South China Sea dispute.   China has had occasionally tense confrontations with Japan and Southeast Asian countries - the Philippines and Vietnam in particular - over maritime disputes in the East China Sea and the South China Sea, respectively.   "We need peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. It is important to have political and security stability to build up our economic growth. So we support the Code of Conduct (of the South China Sea) and also dialogue between China and Japan, China and ASEAN,"Widodo was quoted as saying in Reuters.   Japan has already bolstered partnerships with the Philippines and Vietnam, the two countries most at odds with China over territorial rows in the South China Sea.   "We would absolutely like to learn Japan's excellent experiences in protecting its waters," he told the Yomiuri. Indonesia "is ready to play a role of mediator", Widodo said

Kerry: Militarization Does Not Help South China Sea Resolution

The militarization of facilities in the South China Sea does not help efforts to resolve maritime claims in the South China Sea, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said before he was to meet Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Tuesday.   The United States is "encouraging the peaceful resolution of competing maritime claims in the South China Sea - a goal that is definitely not helped by the militarization of facilities in that region

China sets up South China Sea environment protection fund

China has set up a 15 million yuan ($2.25 million) environmental protection fund for the South China Sea having already spent double that in the past four years, the Xinhua state news agency said on Monday. The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled this month that China did not have historic rights to the South China Sea and it criticised environmental destruction in the waters. China rejected the ruling and refused to participate in the case.

US Wants Japan to Patrol South China Sea

Courtesy: Japanese Ministry of Defense

 Admiral Robert Thomas, senior U.S. Navy officer and commander of the Seventh Fleet and the top U.S. navy officer in Asia, has told Reuters that the United States would welcome operations conducted by the Japanese Self-Defense Forces in the South China Sea. The comments are in line with broader U.S. support for Japan’s military playing a more global role.  US would back any moves by Japan to extend air patrols into the South China Sea as a counterweight to a growing fleet of

Oil Drop Won't Stop China in South China Sea

 South China Sea (Map by Council on Foreign Relations)

South China Sea spats are a territorial fight and not about the oil, points out a report appeared in Bloomberg. "When it comes to territorial tensions in the South China Sea, it’s more about what goes through it than what lies beneath it," says the report. The collapse in oil prices prompted oil majors from Royal Dutch Shell Plc to Norway’s Statoil ASA to shelve the projects of deep-sea exploration.  

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 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, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei have overlapping claims, as well as close military ties with the United States.

G7 Meeting to Tackle Sea Row in Asia Pacific

Photo: Public Relations Office, Cabinet Office and Office of Global Communications, Japan

 Group of Seven (G7) leaders will call for respect for the rule of law and peaceful resolution to conflicts in a joint statement to be issued Friday at the end of their two-day summit, taking a swipe against China's territorial ambitions in the South China Sea, reports Nikkei.   The leaders, without singling out China, will dismiss “unilateral actions that could alter the status quo” in a declaration to be issued after their summit, the sources said.  

Singapore Wants India to Play Key Role in South China Sea

Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army, General (GEN) Bikram Singh and Singapore Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen (Photo: Government of Singapore)

 Singapore Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen said that his country wants India to play a bigger role in the South China Sea, according to a report in the Bloomberg.   This statement comes in a time when China generating plenty of anxiety from the other nations in the neighborhood as it isn't just expanding its military reach into the South China Sea; it's rapidly building completely new islands.   Ng’s comments follow calls for Japan to separately play an enhanced role in

US, India Consider Joint Patrols in South China Sea

U.S. Navy file photo of USS Lassen (DDG 82), Mar. 2015.

The United States and India have held talks about conducting joint naval patrols that a U.S. defense official said could include the disputed South China Sea, a move that would likely anger Beijing, which claims most of the waterway.   Washington wants its regional allies and other Asian nations to take a more united stance against China over the South China Sea, where tensions have spiked in the wake of Beijing's construction of seven man-made islands in the Spratly archipelago.

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

Duterte Aligns Philippines with China to Resolve Sea Dispute

Photo: CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/DigitalGlobe

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced his "separation" from the United States on Thursday, declaring he had realigned with China as the two agreed to resolve their South China Sea dispute through talks. Duterte made his comments in Beijing

Japan Protests over Signs of Renewed Chinese Gas Exploration

Japan has protested to China over signs it is pressing ahead with maritime gas exploration in the East China Sea despite Tokyo's repeated requests to stop, Japan's top government spokesman said on Wednesday.   The exploration platforms are on the Chinese side of the median line between the

US Warships Make Landmark Visit to Vietnam

USS Frank Cable (U.S. Navy file photo)

Two U.S. warships made port calls at Vietnam's strategic naval base at Cam Ranh Bay, the U.S. navy said on Tuesday, in a brief but symbolic return for U.S. combat vessels to what was a crucial logistics complex during the Vietnam War.  

Choke Points are Flash Points

Aircraft assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 fly in formation above USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) and the guided-missile destroyer USS Stockdale (DDG 106) during an air-and-sea-power demonstration. Providing a ready force supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, John C. Stennis is operating as part of the Great Green Fleet on a regularly scheduled 7th Fleet deployment. (U.S. Navy photo by Tomas Compian)

The world is closely watching several contentious flash points that have potential to ignite.   The behavior and rhetoric of China and Russia regarding vital shipping lanes in international waters have been alarming. Disputed sovereignty claims and efforts to enforce them have the maritime

Naval War College Professors Testify on State of South China Sea

Subi Reef (Photo: CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/DigitalGlobe)

The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) invited two U.S. Naval War College (NWC) faculty members to testify in Washington, D.C. on understanding and countering China's growing maritime concerns.   Andrew Erickson, professor of strategy in the China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI)

Australia Names Lockheed Martin as Weapons System Provider for Submarines

Photo courtesy of DCNS

Australia has selected U.S. defence company Lockheed Martin Corp as its preferred bidder to supply the combat system for its new $38 billion fleet of submarines, the country's defence industry minister said on Friday. Lockheed Martin beat out competition from U.S

Japan Navy Chief Urges Resumption of China Port Visits

The head of Japan's navy on Monday repeated criticisms of China's pursuit of territorial claims in Asia but called for a resumption of port and personnel visits suspended for several years amid rising tensions between the two Asian powers.  

Japan, US Plan New S. China Sea Patrols

Japan will step up its activity in the contested South China Sea through joint training patrols with the United States and bilateral and multilateral exercises with regional navies, Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada said on Thursday.  

China, Russia Begin South China Sea Drills

Photos: Russian Navy

 China and Russia began week-long joint naval exercises in the South China Sea today. It is the  first-ever South China Sea iteration of Beijing and Moscow Joint Sea exercises.   The Joint Sea-2016 exercises between the two countries will involve surface ships, submarines

Japan to Provide Patrol Ships to Vietnam

The Japanese government said on Wednesday it is ready to provide Vietnam with new patrol ships, in its latest step to boost the maritime law-enforcement capabilities of countries locked in territorial rows with China.   On Tuesday, Japan agreed to provide two large patrol ships and lend up

Chinese Coast Guard Involved in Most S.China Sea Clashes

Photo: State Oceanic Administration Peoples Republic of China

Increasingly assertive action by China's coast guard ships in the South China Sea risks destabilising the region, according to the authors of new research tracking maritime law enforcement incidents across the vital trade route.   While the risks of full-blown naval conflict dominates

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