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  • Dec 21, 2014
  • Updated: 3:56am

South China Sea islands

How China can cement its territorial claims in the South China Sea

How China can cement its territorial claims in the South China Sea

China has painted itself into a diplomatic and legal corner regarding its claims in the South China Sea. Its infamous and ambiguous "historic" nine-dash line has been variously interpreted by rival claimants as a national boundary; a sovereignty claim to all water and land within it; and, more optimistically, as an indicator of a sovereignty claim only to the islands and reefs and some submerged features it encloses.

Thursday, 7 November, 2013, 2:45am 7 comments

Tokyo, Manila beef up naval fleets amid China island rows

Japan's new destroyer, "Izumo", is unveiled in Yokohama. Photo: Reuters

Japan and the Philippines have unveiled major new additions to their warship fleets, amid escalating tensions with China over territorial claims to disputed islands and waters.

8 Aug 2013 - 3:28am 64 comments

Vietnam reaffirms opposition to China's territorial claims

Barack Obama and Truong Tan Sang button their jackets after their meeting in the Oval Office in Washington.Photo: AFP

Vietnam's president has voiced firm opposition to China's claims in the South China Sea, but declined to back a bid by the Philippines to take the row to the UN. On a visit to Washington, President Truong Tan Sang rejected China's "nine-dash line" through which it claims virtually all of the strategic sea, including islands close to neighbours.

27 Jul 2013 - 2:31am 3 comments

Filipinos issue China 'hands off' warning at consulate rally

Protesters in cut-out fish costumes carry anti-China placards during a protest in front of the building housing the Chinese consular office in the financial district of Manila on Wednesday. Photo: AFP

Hundreds joined a protest outside the Chinese consulate in Manila yesterday against Beijing's moves to stake its claims in the South China Sea. Among them was Philippine businessman Rafael Alunan, who called out to Chinese diplomats he assumed were listening from inside the visa section, which had shut for the day.

25 Jul 2013 - 7:05pm 15 comments

Philippines seeks UN arbitration over South China Sea disputes

Albert del Rosario

Manila is determined to pursue arbitration through the United Nations in the dispute over maritime territory in the South China Sea because it is "the last resort", the Philippine foreign minister said yesterday.

11 May 2013 - 3:48am 4 comments

Philippines lambasts China at launch of joint military exercises with US

Philippine deputy exercise director Major General Virgilio Domingo (left) speaks while his US counterpart Brigadier General Richard Simcock II listens during their joint press conference at the opening ceremony for annual military exercises at a military camp in Manila. Photo: AFP

Thousands of US and Philippine troops began annual military exercises yesterday that Manila said were vital to building its defence capabilities to face the rising threat of China. Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario used the launch of the 12-day Balikatan manoeuvres to accuse China of destabilising Asia with aggressive and illegal actions in the South China Sea.

6 Apr 2013 - 2:26am

China long planned diplomatic assault on Diaoyus, report says

Shintaro Ishihara. Photo: EPA

The current round of Sino-Japanese tensions may have been triggered last April when the then-governor of Tokyo announced plans to buy the Diaoyus/Senkakus, but Japanese defence analysts believe Beijing was plotting a diplomatic assault on the sovereignty of the islands.

29 Mar 2013 - 3:21am

Protest in Vietnam marks anniversary of clash with China at Spratly Islands

Anti-China protesters shout anti-China slogans during a flower-laying ceremony to mark the 25th anniversary of the 1988 naval battle between China and Vietnam near Spratly reefs, in Hanoi. Photo: Reuters

China and Vietnam have been locked in long-standing territorial disputes over the Spratlys, also known as the Nansha Islands, and often trade diplomatic barbs over oil exploration and fishing rights in the contested waters.

15 Mar 2013 - 2:54am

Upside and downside seen in Beijing's move on Scarborough Shoal

Pagasa Island in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. Photo: AFP

A sensible move to lower risks or a sharp new tool to assert sovereignty - analysts in the Philippines are hoping for the former but fear the latter as they digest China's consolidation of its maritime agencies under one civilian command to patrol its disputed borders.

13 Mar 2013 - 7:31am

Japan urges China to reveal full defence spending details

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga. Photo: AFP

There are reports that Beijing is increasing its defence budget by nearly 11 per cent in the coming year, which would put growth in double digits for the third straight year, but analysts believe spending could be much higher.

8 Mar 2013 - 2:46am

Taiwan to stage live-fire exercise at Spratlys

Taiwan's coastguard will stage a live-fire exercise next month in disputed South China Sea islands, a move that could raise regional tensions. The drill will take place on Taiping Island between April 9 and 11 in the Spratlys, a sprawling group of islands claimed in whole or part by Taiwan, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Brunei.

2 Mar 2013 - 4:38am