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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


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


China apprehending boats weekly in disputed S.China Sea

Chinese patrols enforcing disputed new fishing rules in the South China Sea are apprehending foreign boats on a weekly basis, Communist Party officials said on Thursday.   In comments that provide the first window on how China is enforcing new rules criticized by Washington, the party secretary for Hainan Island said Chinese patrols attempted to peacefully negotiate with vessels that initially ignored warnings to leave Chinese waters


US Urges Dialogue in Chinese Oil Rig Dispute

Photo courtesy Vietnam Coast Guard

The White House said on Wednesday that a dispute in the South China Sea over erection of a Chinese oil rig about 120 miles (193 km) off the Vietnam coast needs to be resolved through dialogue, not intimidation. Spokesman Jay Carney said the United States is not a party to the dispute but said President Barack Obama on a recent Asia tour had repeatedly stressed the need for peaceful dialogue on various disputes involving China and the South China Sea.


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.  


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


Chinese South China Sea Drilling Illegal Says Vietnam

File photo

Vietnam says China's plan to move its first deep-water drilling rig into the disputed South China Sea, one of Asia's most volatile hotspots, is illegal and has called for the rig to be removed from what it says is Vietnam's territorial waters. The $1 billion offshore oil rig called Haiyang Shiyou 981 owned by the China's state-run CNOOC oil company has been drilling south of Hong Kong. Maritime Safety Administration of China (MSAC) on Saturday published an announcement on its website


Xi Says China Won't Stir Trouble In South China Sea

Chinese President Xi Jinping

  Chinese President Xi Jinping has vowed not to stir up trouble in the South China Sea but said China would react "in the necessary way" to provocations by other countries, the official Xinhua news agency reported. The comments come at a time of deep tension between China and Vietnam over Beijing's decision in early May to move an oil rig into disputed waters between the Paracel islands and the Vietnamese coast.


Philippines, Japan to Enhance Maritime Security

Philippine Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin (Source: Department of National Defense)

Philippine Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and his Japanese counterpart, Defense Minister General Nakatani, renewed vows to strengthen cooperation maritime security at a time when China's reclamation in the South China Sea raises concern among ASEAN countries. The two ministers particularly briefed each other on and acknowledged the current situation of South China Sea and East China Sea, says a joint statement issued to the press.  


Tokyo Offers Maritime Support to Philippines, Vietnam

Image: South China Sea with flags of occupying countries/Courtesy of CIA

 Tokyo eyes new South China Sea role? Tokyo is getting ready to flex its military muscles in the South China Sea to counter China's growing maritime dominance.    As China’s presence in the area becomes harder to ignore, Japan has quietly begun forging security ties with Chinese geopolitical adversaries.   Japan's strategy includes military cooperation and engagement with the Philippines and Vietnam


China's Air Drills Roil South China Sea Waters

China's air force conducted its first drill above the western Pacific Ocean on Monday, the Defence Ministry said, in a move that could exacerbate tensions with its South China Sea neighbours including Taiwan and the Philippines. People's Liberation Army aircraft conducted exercises over the


India, Japan Reaffirm Strong Maritime Ties

Indian Union Minister for Defence, Manohar Parrikar calling on the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, in Japan. Courtesy: Photo Division, PIB

 India and Japan have discussed a specialized 24-nation maritime construct to enable real-time sharing of data of all shipping including merchant and naval warships, operating in the Indian Ocean, parts of the Pacific Ocean and disputed waters of the South China Sea.  


Japan, U.S. Look to Expand Naval Cooperation

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's push to allow Tokyo to come to the aid of an ally under attack will pave the way for closer cooperation between U.S. and Japanese forces across Asia, a top U.S. commander said on Tuesday. Expanded training and joint missions could extend from Japan through


China's Artificial Islands in South China Sea Raises U.S. Concerns

Spratly Islands that have undergone significant construction or land reclamation work in the past year. Map by the Center for Strategic and International Studies

 China has been building artificial islands on reefs in the many disputed areas around the South China Sea. The unprecedented land reclamation currently being conducted by China is increasing tensions with the U.S. and its allies, according to Pacific Fleet Commander Harry Harris.  


South China Sea Case: Philippines' New Evidence against China

South China Sea Territorial Disputes Map:  The American Center for Democracy

 The Philippines has submitted to a United Nations tribunal supplemental evidence for its arbitration case against China over disputed territories in the resource-rich South China Sea.   The submission, which came to more than 3,000 pages


Vietnam, Australia Call for South China Sea 'Restraint'

Vietnam and Australia called on Wednesday for "self-restraint" in the South China Sea and warned against the unilateral use of force, an obvious reference to China's increasingly aggressive presence that has stirred concerns across the disputed region.


Hong Kong's Clean Fuel Rules May Cost Shippinglines

Image: The Port of Hong Kong

 The bill requiring ocean going ships to switch to low sulfur fuel while at berth in Hong Kong could effectively raise the cost of shipping containers through the city.   Under the new Hong Kong Air Pollution Control (Ocean Going Vessels) (Fuel at Berth) Regulation


Malaysia Proposes Asean Peacekeeping Force for South China Sea

Image: ASEAN member countries

 Malaysia is proposing a joint peacekeeping force to help rebuild trust among Southeast Asian countries after bitter arguments over their handling of China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, reports WSJ.   Members of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations


Tight Budget Hampers Malaysia's Naval Ambitions

Budget constraints are jeopardising Malaysia's defence spending plans, which include replacing ageing fighter jets and beefing up its maritime capabilities, at a time when Beijing is growing more assertive in the disputed 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


Indonesia, Japan Defense Agreement to Tackle South China Sea Issue

Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI)

 Indonesia will sign a non-binding defense agreement with Japan next week when President Joko Widodo visits Tokyo for talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.   Tokyo is forging closer security ties with Southeast Asian nations and builds a counter-balance to China


Shipping Losses Lowest in 10 Years

Graph: Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty

 2014 was the safest for world shipping in a decade according to the Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE’s (AGCS) third annual Safety and Shipping Review 2015. Global shipping losses continued their downward trend with 75 reported in last year.  


Indonesia Partners with China on Maritime

Chinese President Xi Jinping holds a welcoming ceremony for Indonesian President Joko Widodo. Photo Credit: Zhang Duo

 Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged increased maritime cooperation during the formers visit to China.   The joint statement issued after his meeting with Xi noted that “the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road


China Unveils Action Plan on Maritime Silk Road

Map by National Development and Reform Commission

 China has unveiled the principles, framework, and cooperation priorities and mechanisms in its Maritime Silk Road initiative in a bid to enhance regional connectivity and embrace a brighter future together.   The plan consists two segments - One is centered on the Asian land mass and


Vietnam's Submarines to Counter China?

Pic:  Vietnam Navy

 Vietnam's new submarines could alter the balance in the South China Sea quite dramatically, say maritime security analysts.   Vietnam and China have long contested claims over the Spratly and Paracel islands, including last year's dispute over China's attempted oil drilling and






 
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