The latest news on South China Sea territorial disputes. The contrasting claims have been an ongoing point of contention among several countries including China, Brunei, Vietnam and the Philippines.
The US has been ruthlessly militarising what some Pentagon strategists have called the island chains of defence in the Indo-Pacific with quiet ‘Five Eyes’ help.
The policy has raised ‘activity and presence’ of military exercises from the US, India, Germany and even Russia, in the South and East China seas, stirring up a ‘South China Sea conflict vortex’.
In this issue of the Global Impact newsletter, we look at the latest developments in the disputed South China Sea.
China’s Southern Theatre Command says American combat ship entered waters near the Second Thomas Shoal, violating ‘China’s sovereignty and security’.
Manila said it counted 111 ‘Chinese maritime militia vessels’ within Whitsun Reef - more than 1,000km from China - on November 13. On Saturday, there were over 135, the coastguard said.
The boost to bilateral defence cooperation includes seeking authority from leaders of both countries to negotiate a status of visiting forces agreement.
A mini code of conduct with Vietnam, Malaysia and other claimant states would accomplish little, analysts say – aside from likely scuppering decades-long talks on a broader agreement if Beijing feels it’s being ‘ganged up’ on.
Chinese president makes the remarks in visit to command office for East China Sea, saying they must crack down on criminal activities and safeguard the maritime economy.
The station, on the Philippines’ Thitu Island that is part of the contested Spratly Islands, has been built and is expected to be operational early next year.
Additional legislation would bolster American cooperation with India, Japan and Australia as part of Washington’s Indo-Pacific strategy.
In speech in Sydney, Liu Jianchao says the two countries could work together on regional development.
As China looks to shore up its marine economy and turn the tide with Southeast Asian countries after several heated disputes in the South China Sea, an academic has suggested a strategy of ‘unilateral opening-up’.
PLA command calls United States the ‘biggest disrupter of peace’ in the region, accusing it of ‘illegally’ entering waters near contested islands in first encounter in the area since leaders Xi Jinping and Joe Biden met in effort to manage tensions.
In addition to long-time ally the US, the Philippines is expanding its military alliances with Japan, Australia and Germany.
Philippine President Marcos Jnr said the three-day sea and air drills are a ‘practical manifestation of the growing defence partnership’ between the two sides.
The exercises in the disputed waters come days after Chinese leader Xi Jinping met his counterparts to discuss ways of reducing tensions.
A view of Beijing as coercive and aggressive has the potential to diminish its influence and push countries towards the West if it does not soften, analysts say.
An event in China’s Hainan province heard that the two must lead the way on international efforts to tackle problems such as piracy and climate change.
The patrols are likely to irk China, which has warned the Philippines against activities with the US that it says could stoke regional tensions.
Aman Youyi-2023 exercises held in Guangdong province aim to further deepen ‘mutual trust and pragmatic cooperation’, according to Chinese state media.
Citing slow progress on a broader regional pact with China, President Ferdinand Marcos Jnr said the Philippines had approached neighbours including Malaysia and Vietnam to discuss a separate code of conduct.
Philippine Coast Guard commend crew of MV Deryoung Space, including its Filipino captain, for rescuing one of two fishermen who went missing amid bad weather.