On December 12, 2019, Malaysia made a partial submission to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) outlining the northern part of its purported extended continental shelf in the South China Sea. It set off a flurry of diplomatic notes from other claimants and interested parties. China lodged its objections the very same day. A few months later, the Philippines weighed in. Then China again followed by Vietnam and so on. The salvos have continued for nearly a year. To date, 12 countries have joined this back and forth via notes to the CLCS. This also coincided with a general review by Washington of the U.S. position on South China Sea claims. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on July 13 clarified that the United States agrees with the merits of the 2016 decision in the Philippines’ arbitration case against China.
TĐH: Woody Island, also called Yongxing Island (simplified Chinese: 永兴岛; traditional Chinese: 永興島; pinyin: Yǒngxīng Dǎo; lit.: ‘Eternal Prosperity Island’) in People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Phu Lam Island (Vietnamese: Đảo Phú Lâm) in Vietnam, is the largest of the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea (SCS), with an area of 2.1 square kilometres (0.81 sq mi). Wooddy Island and the rest of Paracels were taken by China’s intrusion forces from The Republic of Vietnam (Việt Nam Cộng Hòa) in the Paracel Battle of Jan. 1974. War of Aggression to take a disputed territory is a violation of the Charter of the United Nations, and cannot constitute a legitimate an legal possession of the territory. See China’s Three Wars of Aggression against the Vietnamese People)
On August 26, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security added 24 Chinese companies to the Entity List for their activities in the South China Sea. The bureau targeted these entities specifically for “their role in helping the Chinese military construct and militarize the internationally condemned artificial islands in the South China Sea.” On the same day, the U.S. Department of State announced visa restrictions on Chinese individuals involved in reclamation, construction, militarization, and coercion in the South China Sea. While these measures come far too late to halt China’s island building campaign in the Spratly Islands, Washington’s latest steps illuminate the influence of companies in these disputes. Corporate activity, particularly the corporate activity associated with Sansha City, supports China’s efforts to exercise administrative control over the South China Sea.
Territorial and maritime disputes in the South China Sea have been a major irritant in Philippines–China relations. When Rodrigo Duterte became president in 2016, a policy decision to underscore pragmatism in relations with China and opt for a moderated approach to dispute settlement in the South China Sea became clear. In November 2018, China and the Philippines signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Oil and Gas Development, raising the prospect of an eventual joint development agreement (JDA) in the South China Sea.
Two Chinese patrol ships have temporarily entered Japan’s territorial waters off the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. The patrol ships exited the waters after attempting to approach a Japanese fishing boat.
The Japan Coast Guard has been warning the vessels not to reenter Japan’s waters.
The Coast Guard says two of the four Chinese patrol vessels that had been sailing just outside the territorial waters made the intrusion off Taisho Island shortly before 11 a.m. on Thursday. Taisho is one of the Senkaku Islands.
Coast Guard officials say the Chinese ships sailed in Japan’s waters for an hour and a half and left the waters by half past noon.
The Japan Coast Guard says that as of 3 p.m., four Chinese vessels, including the two that had made intrusion on the same day, were sailing just outside Japan’s waters off Taisho Island.
The two vessels, which made intrusion on Thursday, had stayed in Japan’s waters off the Senkaku Islands for more than 57 hours from Sunday morning to Tuesday evening, and attempted to approach a Japanese fishing boat.
It was the longest intrusion since Japan’s government purchased some of the Senkaku Islands from a private Japanese owner in 2012.
Japan controls the islands. China and Taiwan claim them. The Japanese government maintains the islands are an inherent part of Japan’s territory, in terms of history and international law. It says there is no issue of sovereignty to be resolved over them.
A Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force SH-60 helicopter lands on the flight deck of the USS John S. McCain in the South China Sea, Oct. 12, 2020.U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Markus Castaneda
Japan joined the U.S. for an exercise in the South China Sea after engaging in a bit of defense diplomacy with Indonesia and Vietnam that was not welcomed by the region’s other key power – China.
FILE PHOTO: The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS John S. McCain prepares to depart from dry dock at Fleet Activities Yokosuka after an extensive maintenance period in Yokosuka, Japan, November 27, 2018. Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Tyra Watson/U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS
HONG KONG (Reuters) – A Chinese military spokesperson said on Friday that the U.S. destroyer John McCain had entered waters around the disputed Paracel Islands in the South China Sea claimed by China without China’s permission.
“We demand the U.S. immediately stop such provocative actions, (and) strictly control and restrict military operations in the sea and air,” the spokesperson said in a post on an official WeChat account.
The spokesperson also said it would take all necessary measures to resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and security and to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea.
Reporting by Beijing newsroom; Editing by Hugh Lawson
Taiwan is one of those flash points that has never flashed. The dispute over the island’s fate has had the potential to erupt into conflict between China and the United States for decades. But the feared Chinese invasion has never come. The situation has remained deadlocked for so long that Taiwan’s quandary often drifts into the background of Asian affairs, overshadowed by seemingly more-pressing concerns, such as North Korea’s nuclear ambitions and inflamed tensions between India and Pakistan in Kashmir.
The Cambodian government has demolished a U.S.-built facility at the country’s Ream Naval Base, according to satellite imagery collected on October 1. The demolition occurred sometime after September 5—likely around September 10—though imagery of sufficient resolution to confirm was not available at that time. The building was one of several U.S.-funded facilities on the base which were reportedly to be relocated after Cambodia struck a secret deal to grant China access to Ream. The recent demolition seems to confirm that changes are underway at the naval base and again raises questions about rumored Chinese access. Tiếp tục đọc “Changes Underway at Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base”→
TTCT – Cuộc họp thượng đỉnh trực tuyến hôm 14-9 giữa các lãnh đạo Liên minh châu Âu (EU) và Trung Quốc đã được dư luận châu Âu tóm tắt bằng những câu xoay quanh tính từ “ngờ nghệch”. Tỉ như tựa đề: “Châu Âu vẫn còn quá ngây ngô trong tương quan lực lượng với Trung Quốc” của tờ Huffington Post 14-9. EU đã ngây ngô từ bao giờ, như thế nào, đến đâu, và đã thức tỉnh chưa?
Quan hệ EU – Trung Quốc đang bước vào giai đoạn nhiều thử thách. Ảnh: scmp.com
Bài xã luận cùng ngày của tờ Le Monde tái khẳng định nhận xét chua chát trên: “Châu Âu nay phải trả giá cho sự ngây ngô trước Bắc Kinh”. Tờ báo hàng đầu của Pháp giải thích “không son phấn”: “Nhóm 27 nước [tức EU, sau khi Anh đã Brexit] lâu nay mù quáng thèm khát một thị trường khổng lồ, giờ phải rũ bỏ những thỏa hiệp dễ dãi không đi kèm với những điều kiện đủ khắt khe.
Từ giờ châu Âu muốn chấm dứt tình trạng cạnh tranh bất chính của một đối tác mà châu Âu đã ngộ ra rằng cần phải đề cao cảnh giác, và nay sẵn sàng nói ra điều đó”. Tiếp tục đọc “EU tỉnh giấc”→
Biên phòng – Nằm sát bên bờ sông Hàn, Khu dân cư làng cá Địa Bảo (phường Nại Hiên Đông, quận Sơn Trà, thành phố Đà Nẵng) là thế giới thu nhỏ của ngư dân Đà Nẵng mà ở đó, mỗi gia đình là một mảnh ghép, phản ánh chân thực đời sống của những người dân vốn sống dựa vào biển. Qua thời gian, thành phố ngày càng phát triển, cuộc sống có nhiều đổi thay, nhưng không vì thế mà làm mất đi tinh thần cộng đồng vốn đã hình thành từ rất lâu của những con người mộc mạc, chân chất này.
China has not only attempted to change facts on the ground in the South China Sea, but is also seeking to gradually change the world’s mind regarding its claims there. This battle over perceptions has not received adequate attention.
The nine-dash line is a representation of China’s expansive claims in the South China Sea. The line itself is a collection of arbitrary dashes or dots without specific coordinates. China has not given any official explanations regarding its precise delimitation or legal origin. This claim has been openly rejected by Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, and the United States, and has been criticized by numerous international scholars. More importantly, the claim to historic waters within the line was rejected by the arbitral award of the South China Sea tribunal in July 2016. But China has disregarded the ruling and insists on the nine-dash line claim.
Yesterday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced an important shift in U.S. declaratory policy on the South China Sea. This morning, Assistant Secretary of State David Stilwell elaborated further during remarks at CSIS’s annual South China Sea Conference. The press statement from Pompeo listed specific Chinese maritime claims the United States considers illegal. The statement marks a significant clarification of prior U.S. positions but not a radical break from past policy. It makes explicit things that had been implied by previous administrations. And in that it sets the stage for more effective diplomatic messaging and stronger responses to China’s harassment of its neighbors. U.S. partners and allies in the region were seemingly briefed in advance—the Philippine defense secretary, for instance, was ready with a positive statement within hours. And the new policy sparked excited, and often hyperbolic, coverage in the press and social media.
China has deployed a network of sensors and communications capabilities between Hainan Island and the Paracel Islands in the northern South China Sea. These capabilities are part of a “Blue Ocean Information Network” (蓝海信息网络) developed by China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC), a state-owned company, to aid in the exploration and control of the maritime environment using information technology. The network constructed in the northern South China Sea between early 2016 and 2019 is referred to as a demonstration system. However, future plans for the Blue Ocean Information Network involve expanding the sensor and communications network to the rest of the South China Sea, the East China Sea, and other ocean areas far from Chinese territory. While the Blue Ocean Information Network is largely cast as an environmental monitoring and communications system, the military utility of its sensing and communications functions makes its development important to monitor.