How the Public Can Visit the Disputed, Undeveloped South China Sea

TAIPEI —  A beaching ramp due for completion this year – and warily watched by China – will give curious reporters something new to see when the Philippine military next escorts them to Thitu Island. Media pay attention to the 37-hectare (90 acres) islet west of the main Philippine archipelago because it’s the front line in a sovereignty dispute over the wider, largely off-limits South China Sea. China also claims Thitu, and it’s developing three other islets not far off. Thitu, home to about 100 people plus an airstrip, is…

Officials: Chinese Economic Charm Offensive Losing Steam

Tokyo sees China’s recent retreat from heavy-handed international lending practices as an opening that can enhance Indo-Pacific security and bolster its vision of making it a free and open trading region, a senior Japanese Foreign Ministry official said Friday. Beijing’s current charm campaign is designed to regain trust in its global investment One Belt/ One Road program, Satoshi Suzuki said at the Atlantic Council. The change came about after Malaysia and Indonesia shut down major development projects over deep concerns about balloon payments on loans from China and corruption of…

Vietnam Gets Six Patrol Boats from U.S. Signaling Closer Security Ties

The Vietnamese coast guard Sunday received six patrol boats from the United States, in a move that indicates a renewed desire for cooperation between the former enemies. The U.S. Embassy in Hanoi handed over the six Metal Shark patrol boats, estimated to be worth about $12 million, at Van Phong bay, Khanh Hoa province, situated in Vietnam’s Coast Guard Region III in the southeast of the country. “[This transfer] is another milestone and evidence of the continued friendship between the U.S. and Vietnam,” said Colonel Nguyen Minh Khanh, the coast…

China tensions: Chinese warship almost hits U.S. destroyer

The guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur operates in the South China Sea in October 2016. (Diana Qui/U.S. Navy/AFP/Getty Images) BEIJING — China accused the United States of flouting its sovereignty Tuesday after an American warship sailed near islands claimed by Beijing in the disputed South China Sea, further rattling relations between the countries after weeks of escalating military tension.  A Chinese destroyer came within yards of the U.S. Navy ship Sunday, compelling it to switch direction in what American officials called an “unsafe and unprofessional” clash. China’s Defense Ministry countered that…

U.S. Delivers 6 Patrol Boats to Vietnam amid Thawing Relations

The Trump administration delivered six patrol boats worth $12 million to Vietnam’s Coast Guard, the American embassy in Hanoi announced on Monday, saying the move represents “deepening cooperation” in law enforcement and humanitarian efforts between the former enemies. “Delivering these patrol vessels represents deepening U.S.-Vietnam cooperation in the areas of maritime law enforcement, maritime search and rescue, and maritime humanitarian assistance operations within Vietnam’s territorial waters and exclusive economic zone,” the U.S. embassy declared in a statement, according to Reuters. The news outlet noted that the six vessels came in…

Taiwan protests China jets crossing center of Taiwan Strait

Taiwan said Monday its planes warned off Chinese military aircraft that crossed the center line in the Taiwan Strait, and called China‘s move a provocation that seeks to alter the status quo in the waterway dividing the island from mainland China. Taiwan’s defense ministry said a pair of Chinese J-11 jet fighters crossed the line at around 11 a.m. Sunday and entered the island’s southwestern airspace. It said Taiwan scrambled jets to warn off the Chinese planes, which came within about 185 kilometers (115 miles) of Taiwan. “Yesterday, Chinese military…

No adjustments for South China Sea as Philippines, US kick off joint drills

No adjustments for South China Sea as Philippines, US kick off joint drills Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) – April 1, 2019 – 3:59pm MANILA, Philippines — Despite previous pronouncements of United States Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on the South China Sea, the annual joint military exercises between Filipino and American troops will not reflect the maritime dispute. In his visit to Manila last month, the top American diplomat assured the Philippines that the US is ready to assist its ally in case of an armed confrontation in the…

Chinese envoy says fishing activities ‘can go as usual’ in disputed waters

MANILA – Fishing activities by Filipino and Chinese citizens in the disputed South China Sea can go on as usual especially in the rich fishing ground of Scarborough Shoal (Panatag Shoal), Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua said Monday. Zhao noted even the Philippine military has already disputed reports that Chinese authorities were harassing Filipino fishermen at the Panatag Shoal, located only 124 nautical miles off Zambales and is within the 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone. He stressed that “in general, fishing can go as usual” in the South…

Standing up to Ressa’s big ego

Standing up to Ressa’s big ego | The Manila Times Online This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing to use this website without disabling cookies in your web browser, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Read More.I Agree Source link

Philippines protests ‘swarming’ of Chinese boats near island

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines has protested the presence of more than 200 Chinese vessels that were sighted from January to March near a Philippine-occupied island in the disputed South China Sea, officials said Monday. Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said the Department of Foreign Affairs lodged the protest after the military monitored about 275 Chinese vessels near Thitu island, which is called Pag-asa by Filipinos, in the Spratlys, the most hotly contested region in the busy waterway. In this April 21, 2017 file photo, engineers from NAMRIA, the central mapping…