Chinese Sub near Disputed Islands Stokes Tension with Japan
Japan’s defense minister criticized China on Monday for sailing an advanced stealthy nuclear submarine close to disputed islands claimed by Japan and China, saying the action had stoked tension. The submarine, which Japan detected in the East China Sea, was a 110 meter-long Shang-class vessel, which is able to dive deeper and for longer than older boats and is armed with torpedoes and anti-ship missiles, according to Japan’s Ministry of Defence. “Operating a submerged submarine close to another country’s territory goes against the norms of international rules…
Two Missing after Ship Sinks in South China Sea
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said that a ship sank in South China Sea on Friday, 11 out of 13 crew were rescued and two remained missing. According to the survivors, there were 13 crew on board the sunken vessel. Two persons are still unaccounted for. MPA has been providing navigational broadcasts to vessels in the vicinity to report any sightings of persons overboard and to navigate with caution in the vicinity of the incident. The Republic of Singapore…
Philippines' Duterte Green Lights China's Sea Research
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte personally made a decision to let China conduct scientific research off the Philippines’ Pacific coast, his spokesman said on Monday, despite concern among critics about threats to maritime sovereignty. Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said that as chief architect of foreign policy, Duterte allowed China to work with the University of the Philippines in Benham Rise, an area roughly the size of Greece and believed by some scientists to be rich in biodiversity and tuna.
Amid Tension, China Carrier Group Sails through Taiwan Strait
A Chinese carrier group has sailed through the narrow Taiwan Strait that separates the self-ruled island from its giant neighbor but no unusual activity was detected, Taiwan said on Wednesday, amid heightened tension with Beijing. Beijing has taken an increasingly hostile stance toward Taiwan since the election two years ago of President Tsai Ing-wen of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party. China suspects Tsai wants to push for formal independence, though she has said she wants to maintain the status quo and is committed to ensuring peace.
South China Sea Boils Up
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…
China: Stakeholders Should Manage S.China Sea Differences Constructively
China and the United States should manage their differences over disputed waters in the South China Sea constructively, one of China's top military officials has said. Fang Fenghui, a member of China's Central Military Commission, told General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the two sides should "refrain from actions detrimental to the relations between the two countries and the two militaries", state news agency Xinhua reported on Friday. Fang and Dunford discussed the South China Sea in a video link-up on Thursday, it said. The discussion comes at a time of heightened tension between China and the United States…
China Breaks Ground on South China Sea Lighthouse Project
China hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the building of two lighthouses in the disputed South China Sea, state media said on Tuesday, a move that is likely to escalate tensions in a region already jittery about Beijing's maritime ambitions. China's Ministry of Transport hosted the ceremony for the construction of two multi-functional lighthouses on Huayang Reef and Chigua Reef on the disputed Spratly islands, state news agency Xinhua said, defying calls from the United States and the Philippines for a freeze on such activity. The reefs are known in English as Cuateron Reef and Johnson South Reef. The Ministry of Transport did not answer calls for comment. Last year, the Philippines accused China of reclaiming land on Johnson South Reef, apparently to build an airstrip.
Chine Cruise Ship's New Destination: Disputed South China Sea
China has commissioned a new cruise ship to take tourists to islands claimed by Vietnam in the disputed South China Sea, reinforcing its claim over the area, reports Reuters. The ship called Changle Gongzhu, or Changle Princess, sailed from Sanya with 308 passengers on board. Its first voyage will last four days and three nights, said an official with Hainan Strait Shipping, owner of the vessel. The Paracel Islands, in the South China Sea where Beijing is locked in maritime disputes with Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan, is also claimed by Vietnam.
China Hopes U.S. Can Help Ease S.China Sea Tension
China hopes the United States can "help and not cause problems" in the disputed South China Sea, a senior Chinese diplomat said on Friday ahead of next week's visit to Beijing by President Donald Trump. The United States has criticised China's construction of islands and build-up of military facilities in the sea, and is concerned they could be used to restrict free nautical movement. U.S. Navy ships have also carried out freedom of navigation patrols in the area, angering China. Speaking to reporters about Trump's trip, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang said China has indisputable sovereignty over islands and surrounding waters in the South China Sea.
China Criticizes US over Maritime Patrol Proposal in South China Sea
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. The U.S. navy officer suggested on Tuesday that the Southeast Asian countries form a combined maritime force to patrol areas of the South China Sea.
US, Japan Keen to Raise South China Sea at G-7
South China Sea warning looms over G7 summit. The United States is keen to raise the issue of South China Sea at a Group of Seven foreign ministers (G-7) meeting in Hiroshima. The US expects that this move would likely draw an angry response from the government in Beijing. Japan also wants to discuss South China Sea. The Shinzo Abe administration of Japan has been trying to place the South China Sea on top of the agenda at the upcoming two-day meeting in Hiroshima, despite pressing issues of combating terrorism and extremism, and the refugee crisis troubling Europe and the Middle East.
Legally China Can't Claim South China Sea: Indonesia
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…
Vietnam's Submarines to Counter China?
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 clashes between Vietnamese fishermen and Chinese boats. As Beijing presses territorial claims in the South China Sea, Vietnam is arming itself for a potential air and sea confrontation with its larger neighbor.
China: South China Sea War Games Underway
China's military carried out war games in the disputed South China Sea this week, with warships, submarines and fighter jets simulating cruise missile strikes on ships, the official People's Liberation Army Daily said on Friday. China claims almost all of the energy-rich waters of the South China Sea, through which more than $5 trillion of maritime trade passes each year. The Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia and Taiwan have overlapping claims. The U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander on Monday 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.
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. The Natuna Sea is an area between Peninsular Malaysia and the Malaysian province of Sarawak on Borneo island, at the southern end of the South China Sea. Indonesia has raised concerns in the past that China's claims in the South China Sea include waters near the Natuna Islands. China has accepted Indonesia's sovereignty over the islands.
Maritime Dispute an Issue for Entire ASEAN, Says US
The South China Sea took center stage at the Bilateral Strategic Dialogue between the United States and the Philippines held in Manila, as China continues to engage in "massive" construction activities in the disputed area. Both the countries jointly expressed their concern over recent Chinese activities in the South China Sea which they claimed were inconsistent with the 2002 ASEAN-China Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and international law.
US-ASEAN Connect Initiative, Thanks to South China Sea
The United States and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) are taking their relationship to a new level, thanks to heated tensions in the South China Sea. China, a key ally of North Korea, has said its committed to denuclearizing the Northth Korea, but has not been to agree with the US or the United Nations on how to achieve that goal. Asean leaders have reiterated their stand on wanting a peaceful resolution to the overlapping territorial claims in the South China Sea, said Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
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," Kerry told lawmakers in congressional testimony. (Reporting By Arshad Mohammed)
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. The tribunal found that China's large-scale land reclamation and construction of artificial islands has caused severe harm to coral and violated its obligation to preserve fragile marine environments. China has repeatedly denied damaging the environment in the South China Sea.
G7 May Address South China Sea Dispute
AFP reports that the G7 summit would express concern about unilateral efforts to assert sovereignty claims in the disputed South China Sea. John Kirton, director of think-tank the G7 Research Group, has said maritime disputes between China and its neighbours would be on the agenda of the summit in Germany. Japan's Yomiuri newspaper also said Saturday the summit would take up the issue. Citing sources, the paper said a closing statement would express concern about unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the East China Sea and the South China Sea.
US, Australia and EU Warn China on South China Sea
China was warned by many the United States and the European Union that it should respect a ruling later this year on its dispute with the Philippines over territory in the South China Sea, reports Reuters. In a message has been sent to China, which is attempting to turn the artificial islands it has built in the South China Sea into military strongholds, US warned that its self-serving actions are unacceptable. With the South China Sea in mind, a joint statement by the leaders…
China: Media Ignores Other Claimants' S.China Sea Weaponry
China on Wednesday complained the media were ignoring radars and weapons deployed by other claimants in the South China Sea, and unfairly targeting China, following reports of its deployment of fighter jets and radars in the disputed waterway. Over the past week or so China has been reported to have deployed advanced missiles, fighters and radar equipment on islands in the South China Sea, especially on Woody Island in the Paracels. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying reiterated that as far as China was concerned, there was no dispute over ownership of the Paracels, and so China could deploy what it wanted on its territory without reproach.
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, because of the technology currently available to it. According to the report, CNOOC previously signed a production sharing contract with Husky, an integrated oil and gas producer, to jointly explore and develop two deep water blocs in the South China Sea.