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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


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.  


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


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 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.


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.


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.  


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.


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.


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


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


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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