Duterte Meets Chinese Official, Downplays South China Sea Complaint

President Rodrigo Duterte told Chinese officials the Philippine government had nothing to do with a complaint filed with the International Criminal Court (ICC) over the Asian giant’s buildup in the South China Sea, a presidential spokesman said Thursday. This came as Philippine officials announced that China had agreed to a 1 billion peso (U.S. $19 million) military assistance package for Manila in an effort to boost bilateral cooperation with the Duterte administration. Duterte conveyed the assurance to Song Tao, the minister of the International Department of the Chinese communist party’s…

Govt to set up new Aust-China foundation

The Morrison government will establish a new foundation to help soothe strained ties with China following a raft of diplomatic tensions with the global superpower. The National Foundation for Australia-China Relations will have more money than the existing Australia-China Council to fund projects strengthening links between the two countries. It will also widen the focus from projects about education, culture and the arts to also include agriculture, infrastructure, health, the environment and energy. Australia will also send a new ambassador to China with Graham Fletcher set to replace Jan Adams,…

Alumni Spotlight: Chierici on Working as a Writer

March 28, 2019 Paco Chierici (Pardee ’87) had a long and twisting path from graduating from the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University to becoming the published author of Lions of the Sky (Braveship Books, April 2019), a condensation of his dramatic experiences flying in the Navy for 20 years with a shot of fiction stirred in. Chierici was in the Navy ROTC as a student at the Pardee School, and after graduating spent 10 years on active duty flying jets and deploying on carriers around the globe. “I wrote…

‘Chinese coast guard regularly intimidates Pinoy fishers in SCS’

‘Chinese coast guard regularly intimidates Pinoy fishers in SCS’ WASHINGTON – What’s happening to Filipino fishermen in the South China Sea? At about the same time as a senior Philippine military officer denied reports Filipino fishermen were being harassed by Chinese security forces in the vicinity of Scarborough or Panatag Shoal in the West Philippine Sea, an even more senior US admiral said the fishermen were being regularly harassed and intimidated.  Adm. Philip Davidson, head of the US Indo-Pacific Command, told a House armed services committee on Wednesday that…

Council hedges Dongsha tour proposal

Opening the Dongsha Atoll National Park for tourism requires further deliberation due to national security and ecological concerns, Ocean Affairs Council Minister Lee Chung-wei (李仲威) said yesterday, adding that the council continues to defend the nation’s sovereignty in the South China Sea. The Pratas Islands (Dongsha Islands, 東沙群島), which are about 450km from Kaohsiung, are administered as a national park. The main island is only populated by coast guard and military personnel, as well as some scientific researchers. The Ministry of the Interior plans to open the park for tourism…

A U.S. Military Presence on Taiwan?

Stratfor Worldview Security, Asia Could it happen? China’s Worst Nightmare: A U.S. Military Presence on Taiwan? Enhanced security cooperation between Taiwan and the United States could easily expand as the pair work to balance against China’s increased military presence in the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea. On Nov. 5, Taiwanese Defense Minister Yen Teh-fa told legislators that his government would consider allowing the U.S. Navy access to Taiping Island if Washington requested it. The remark is by no means conclusive, though Yen emphasized that the United States could…

Cambodia’s Internet Crackdown Reaches its Activist Monks

The sexually explicit photos were plastered over Venerable Luon Sovath’s Facebook page, with its more than 100,000 followers. “The monk lacks morals,” one of the messages read. On the same day, his YouTube channel was also hacked, along with his personal email. Sovath doesn’t know who was behind the attack and about five others that have targeted his pages. But he is the most well-known of Cambodia’s tech-capable monks, who have become citizen journalists, videoing stories throughout Cambodia and sharing them on social media. “I am publishing the truth, not…

Vietnam opposes China’s live-fire drills, construction plans in South China Sea

Satellite photo dated March 28, 2018 shows Woody Island in the Paracels, South China Sea. Photo by Planet Labs Inc/Handout via Reuters Last week, the Customs Department of China’s Hainan Province issued five notices of live-fire drills between March 22 and 24 in the Paracel (Hoang Sa) Islands of Vietnam. On March 16, Beijing also announced plans to turn Phu Lam, Duy Mong and Cay islands of Hoang Sa into cities and strategic logistics bases. Phu Lam (Woody) is the largest island in the archipelago. Vietnamese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Le…