CHINA’S INCURSION INTO VIETNAM’S EEZ AND LESSONS FROM THE PAST


AMT BY  | AUGUST 8, 2019

The Haiyang Dizhi 8, a survey vessel belonging to a Chinese government-run corporation, began surveying a large swath of seabed on July 3 northeast of Vanguard Bank (Bai Tu Chinh) off the coast of Vietnam. The ship was apparently undertaking an oil and gas survey across two blocks, Riji 03 and Riji 27, which fall within Vietnam’s continental shelf under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The survey ship has been escorted by other vessels, including the China Coast Guard and maritime militia. At the same time, China Coast Guard ships have been harassing Vietnamese drilling operations in Block 06-01 to the south. Continue reading “CHINA’S INCURSION INTO VIETNAM’S EEZ AND LESSONS FROM THE PAST”

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While focus is on North Korea, China continues South China Sea buildup: Think tank

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Satellite photo shows Chinese-controlled North Island, part of the Paracel Islands group in the South China Sea, on Sep 29, 2017. (Photo: Planet Labs/Handout via Reuters)

WASHINGTON: While attention in Asia has been distracted by the North Korean nuclear crisis in the past year, China has continued to install high-frequency radar and other facilities that can be used for military purposes on its man-made islands in the South China Sea, a US think tank said on Thursday (Dec 14).

Chinese activity has involved work on facilities covering 29 hectares of the Spratly and Paracel islands, territory contested with several other Asian nations, according to the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative of Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies. The report cited satellite images. Continue reading “While focus is on North Korea, China continues South China Sea buildup: Think tank”

Sân bay Trường Sa đã dài ra gần gấp đôi

VNY – 18 thg 11, 2016

Hôm 15/11 vừa qua, trung tâm Sáng kiến minh mạch hàng hải châu Á thuộc Viện Nghiên cứu chiến lược và quốc tế CSIS của Mỹ đã công bố các ảnh chụp vệ tinh hôm 7/11 cho thấy rõ đường băng trên đảo Trường Sa Lớn của Việt Nam đã được kéo dài ra gần gấp đôi.

Sân bay Trường Sa đã dài ra gần gấp đôi

CSIS – Over the Line: Tracking Energy Competition in the East China Sea

Over the Line: Tracking Energy Competition in the East China Sea

Two related disputes between Japan and China in the East China Sea flared again in early August. Between August 5 and 9, more than 200 Chinese fishing ships entered the waters around the Senkaku Islands (called Diaoyu in China), accompanied by China Coast Guard vessels. That same weekend, the Japanese foreign ministry accused China of deploying a radar system on one of its oil platforms in the East China Sea. Japan sees those platforms as a violation of the spirit of a 2008 agreement on joint exploration of resources near the two countries’ disputed continental shelf. Continue reading “CSIS – Over the Line: Tracking Energy Competition in the East China Sea”

CSIS: Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, March 22, 2016

Exploring Itu Aba: A Virtual Tour of a South China Sea Islet

On January 23, AMTI Director Gregory Poling and Ambassador José Abeto Zaide, now with the Manila Bulletin, became the first foreigners to visit Itu Aba (Taiping Dao in Chinese)—the only feature in the Spratly Islands occupied by Taiwan. They accompanied a delegation of Taiwanese experts and officials, including the ministers of foreign affairs, mainland affairs, and environmental protection. President Ma Ying-jeou made his first visit to the island five days later. Using the graphic below, you can explore each location the group visited. And even more images and video follow.

Itu Aba has a lot of attention lately thanks to its inclusion in Manila’s arbitration case against Beijing’s South China Sea claims. The Philippines’ legal team has argued that Itu Aba cannot sustain human habitation and is therefore legally a “rock,” entitled to only a 12-nautical-mile territorial sea, and not an “island,” which would generate an exclusive economic zone and continental shelf. Manila believes that if Itu Aba—the largest naturally formed feature in the Spratly Islands—is not an island, then none of the Spratlys are. Taipei has insisted Itu Aba is an island, and the debate has focused on details such as the availability of drinkable water and arable soil.

For more on the debate, listen to recent AMTI podcasts with Paul Reichler, lead counsel for the Philippines, and Shen Lyu-Shun, Taiwan’s representative to the United States, or read “Is There Drinkable Water and Topsoil on Itu Aba?” by Yann-huei Song.

Read on…

  Continue reading “CSIS: Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, March 22, 2016”

CSIS: AMTI Brief – February 18, 2016

Washed Away: Typhooon Spotlights Island Building

Earlier this month Chinese media reported that Typhoon Melor, which devastated parts of the Philippines from December 12 to 17, also washed away Vietnamese reclamation work underway at Cornwallis South Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands. Those reports were correct, but lacked important context. The attention drawn by the typhoon highlights the significant differences between the scope and type of China’s reclamation work in the Spratly Islands and the much more limited work undertaken by Vietnam, but it also shows that Hanoi did itself no favors by undertaking such work at this feature in particular. Read on…

 

Featured Imagery


Continue reading “CSIS: AMTI Brief – February 18, 2016”

CSIS: Asia Maritime Transparency Initiatie, Dec. 18, 2015 brief

A Case of Rocks or Islands?

This issue of AMTI explores the ongoing case between China and the Philippines at the arbitral tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. The Philippines argued the merits of its case against China’s claims in the South China Sea before an arbitral tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague from November 24 to 30. As it has since the case was filed in early 2013, China refused to recognize or take part in the proceedings. Continue reading “CSIS: Asia Maritime Transparency Initiatie, Dec. 18, 2015 brief”

CSIS: AMTI Brief – November 2, 2015


A Freedom of Navigation Primer for the Spratly Islands

The U.S. Navy destroyer USS Lassen passed through the Spratly Islands on October 26 in the first freedom of navigation operation (FONOP) in the area since 2012. The operation included sailing within 12 nautical miles of Subi Reef, a feature that was previously submerged at high-tide and on which China constructed an artificial island over the last two years. The Lassen was asserting that, as a low-tide elevation and not a legal rock or island, Subi Reef is not entitled to a 12-nautical-mile territorial sea. The ship also passed within 12 nautical miles of features occupied by the Philippines and Vietnam. Continue reading “CSIS: AMTI Brief – November 2, 2015”

CSIS: AMTI Brief, Sept. 15, 2015


Spratlys Airstrip Update: Is Mischief Reef Next?

Potential New Runway Presents New Headaches
by Greg Poling
Over the last year, the world has watched as China has gone from one airfield in the South China Sea to potentially four. Facilities on Woody Island in the Paracels already gave China the ability to monitor the northern South China Sea. Earlier this year, the addition of an airfield on Fiery Cross Reef provided a more southerly runway capable of handling most if not all Chinese military aircraft. And in June, satellite photos indicated that China was preparing to lay down another runway at Subi Reef. New photos taken on September 3 show grading work at Subi, providing further evidence that runway construction there is planned. Meanwhile work at the Fiery Cross airfield is well advanced, with China recently laying down paint. Continue reading “CSIS: AMTI Brief, Sept. 15, 2015”

CSIS: AMTI Brief, Sept. 10, 2015


Decoding China’s Maritime Decisionmaking
This issue of AMTI explores China’s maritime policymaking process by breaking down the organizational structure of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), and the State, and attempting to shed light on how decisions are reached. Watch CSIS Senior Adviser and Freeman Chair in China Studies Christopher K. Johnson describe developments in maritime policymaking and the drivers behind recent activities in the East and South China Seas. Continue reading “CSIS: AMTI Brief, Sept. 10, 2015”

CSIS: AMTI Brief, sept. 12, 2015

Introducing our New AMTI Director:
Greg Poling
By Michael J. Green

Senior Vice President for Asia and Japan Chair, CSIS
Chairman of the Editorial Board, AMTI

CSIS is proud to announce our first “hail and farewell” at AMTI. We began in 2013 with an idea for a multimedia platform to promote transparency in maritime Asia and were extremely fortunate to recruit Dr. Mira Rapp-Hooper to help design and implement the project. Under Mira’s leadership, AMTI has established a strong following among officials, scholars and journalists. It is no small feat building a program that is both authoritative and dynamic in such a short time, and we are all grateful to Mira for what she has achieved. We asked Mira to reflect on her work with AMTI, and have featured her insightful essay below. We look forward to her future contributions to the field as she pursues new scholarship and policy innovation in this next phase of her career. Continue reading “CSIS: AMTI Brief, sept. 12, 2015”

Calm and storm: The South China Sea after the Second World War

AMTI – In the early hours of 4 February 1945 two Australian commandos, Alex Chew and Bill Jinkins, paddled away from an American submarine, the USS Pargo, and landed on Woody Island in the Paracels. In the weeks beforehand, American airmen had reported seeing a French tricolour flying on the island and ‘Z Force’ had been tasked to investigate. Chew and Jinkins discovered there were indeed French people on the island but also Japanese sailors and so retreated to the sub. The Pargo surfaced and shelled the buildings for several minutes. The first ‘Battle of the Paracels’ was a one-sided affair.[1] Continue reading “Calm and storm: The South China Sea after the Second World War”

CSIS AMTI Brief – August 13, 2015

AMTI Brief – August 13, 2015

CSIS
Remembering World War II in Maritime Asia
On August 15, 2015, the world observes the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in the Pacific Theater. This edition of AMTI commemorates the conclusion of the conflict and its legacy for maritime Asia. Read special features on the strategic role that maritime Asia played for the victorious allies, including the United States, European powers, and the Soviet Union, as the war ended. Below, view 15 maps that help to explain why the Pacific Theater looked the way it did in August 1945, and why the conclusion of the conflict continues to shape geopolitics in East Asia today. [Read On]
 

Expert Analysis

August 1945: A Snapshot of American Maritime Strategy in the Pacific
When Japan surrendered 70 years ago this month, the United States stood supreme in the Pacific.  Only the Royal Navy and Royal Australian Navy had surface combatants that could roam freely from the Indian Ocean to the East China Sea and these remained a fraction of the massive “Big Blue Fleet” the U.S. Navy had deployed.  With the exception of Taiwan, parts of the Dutch East Indies, the Japanese archipelago and a smattering of isolated South Pacific atolls, the entire offshore island chain in the Western Pacific was under the control of the United States and its allies. [Read more from Michael Green] 
 


Calm and Storm: the South China Sea after the Second World War
In the early hours of 4 February 1945 two Australian commandos, Alex Chew and Bill Jinkins, paddled away from an American submarine, the USS Pargo, and landed on Woody Island in the Paracels. In the weeks beforehand, American airmen had reported seeing a French tricolour flying on the island and ‘Z Force’ had been tasked to investigate. Chew and Jinkins discovered there were indeed French people on the island but also Japanese sailors and so retreated to the sub. The Pargo surfaced and shelled the buildings for several minutes. The first ‘Battle of the Paracels’ was a one-sided affair. [Read more from Bill Hayton]


The Legacy of the Soviet Offensives of August 1945
The Second World War was an unparalleled calamity for the Soviet Union. As many as 27 million Soviet soldiers and civilians died as a result of the conflict that started with the German invasion of Poland in September 1939 and ended with the Japanese surrender in August 1945. Consumed by this existential struggle along its western border, the Soviet Union was a comparatively minor factor in the Pacific War until the very end. Yet Moscow’s timely intervention in the war against Japan allowed it to expand its influence along the Pacific Rim. With the breakdown of Allied unity soon heralding the onset of the Cold War, Soviet gains in Asia also left a legacy of division and confrontation, some of which endure into the present. [Read more from Jeff Mankoff]

Featured Maps

Japanese Centrifugal Offensive, December 1941
In December 1941, Japan’s Centrifugal Offensive was launched to gain control of the Western colonies in Southeast Asia and create a defensive perimeter to protect against an Allied offensive. It succeeded in capturing most U.S., British, and Dutch held territory. By the end of February 1942, Tokyo had secured all Western colonial possessions with the exception of part of New Guinea and Macau.

 

Estimated Japanese Strength on or about August 15, 1945
As fighting concluded in the Pacific Theater, an estimated 4.9 million Japanese soldiers remained stationed throughout the Pacific Islands and Asia.

 

Areas Under Allied and Japanese Control, August 15, 1945
At the conclusion of the war, Japan was still extended throughout the Pacific as Allied offensives continued to chip away at its holdings.

 

Territorial Clauses of the Japanese Peace Treaty

Attached to the San Francisco Peace Treaty of 1951, this map illustrates the territory Japan relinquished in the postwar settlement. Chapter II, Articles 2 and 3 of the Treaty are included in small print indicating the treaty’s territorial clauses with relevant island groups marked as shown. These include the Kuril Islands/Northern Territories, the Ryukyu Islands (including the Senkakus), and the Spratly and Paracel Islands.


 

Patrolling international skies: Understanding joint air patrols

In examining recent suggestions for joint patrolling of the South China Sea, analysts have tended to focus on the surface vessels of various nations’ coast guards and navies. Yet the flight of a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon hosting a CNN film crew over disputed waters in the South China Sea in May highlighted the potential of air power – specifically maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) – in executing the possible missions of joint patrols. To explore the potential effectiveness of South China Sea joint air patrols it is important to first be clear about the often overlooked distinctions in missions, locations, and concepts. Continue reading “Patrolling international skies: Understanding joint air patrols”