Japan, Philippines urge cool heads to prevail in trade and South China Sea as tensions escalate, East Asia News & Top Stories

TOKYO – Japan’s chief trade negotiator Toshimitsu Motegi on Friday (May 31) called for cool heads to prevail in what has effectively become an “escalation of tariff hikes” that will hurt the global economy. Mr Motegi, who is economic revitalisation minister, is Japan’s point man for trade talks with the United States. He told the 25th Nikkei Future of Asia conference on Friday that trade disputes ought to be resolved by “finding a solution based on rules and consultation”. This year’s two-day forum, themed “Seeking A New Global Order –…

Shanahan: China’s militarization of South China Sea ‘excessive’

The Trump administration’s top Defense official took aim Friday at China’s buildup of military forces and defenses on islands in the disputed South China Sea. At a press conference in Singapore, acting Defense Secretary Patrick ShanahanPatrick Michael ShanahanTrump claims USS McCain report was ‘an exaggeration, or even Fake News’ Overnight Defense: Latest on USS McCain controversy | Trump says order was ‘well-meaning’ | Shanahan asks chief to investigate | Democrat demands answers from Navy | Trump touts military strength in Air Force Academy speech Democratic Armed Services member demands answers…

Philippine Coast Guard Encounters Signal Jamming in South China Sea

The Philippine Inquirer reported on Friday that a Philippine Coast Guard patrol boat, the BRP Sindangan, encountered some form of signal jamming last week while patrolling in the South China Sea. Given the location, suspicions immediately turned to the Chinese military as the source of the jamming signal. “We could not communicate with our vessel by satellite phone at some point during their patrol in the Spratly Islands. The signal was jammed,” an anonymous coast guard official told the Inquirer. The official explained Philippine ships often use satellite phones to…

South China Sea: Chinese President BROKE military promises, rages top US general | World | News

General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, stopped short of calling for military action against China, but warned international laws should be enforced. He claimed Chinese leader Xi had promised previous US President Barack Obama he would not militarise the islands across the huge stretch of sea, whose territorial claims have been subject of much feuding between several countries over recent months. General Dunford said in a talk on US security and defence at the Brookings Institution in Washington: “The fall of 2016, President Xi Jinping…

Chinese clam-harvesting in disputed waters seen anew, US think tank says

SATELLITE images from AMTI’s Website showing activity in the disputed waters. — HTTPS://AMTI.CSIS.ORG/ CHINA has deployed anew clam-harvesting fleets to the South China Sea in the last six months, including in Scarborough Shoal, according to American-based think-tank Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI). “These fleets, which typically include dozens of small fishing vessels accompanied by a handful of larger ‘motherships,’ destroy vast swaths of coral reef in order to extract endangered giant clams,” said AMTI in its latest report based on satellite imagery. AMTI said that there was decrease of activities…

The ‘Cold Confrontation’ Underway in the South China Sea

Neither the U.S. nor China wants a hot war, but they will continue to contest their differing interests in the region. By Chen Xiangmiao for The Diplomat May 31, 2019 For the last decade, the China-U.S. struggle in the South China Sea (SCS) has been a case of “cold confrontation.” The United States, viewing China as a “revisionist state” and “strategic adversary,” seeks to not only strengthen its own military operations in the SCS, but also unite its global allies — such as Japan, South Korea, Australia, and the United…

Will Shangri-La Dialogue Avoid SCS Issue To Mollify Chinese Defense Minister? – OpEd – Eurasia Review

This year’s Shangri-La Dialogue (SLD), Asia’s premier defense summit, from May 31 to June 2 in Singapore will be more interesting than previous years for at least three reasons. The first one is that a Chinese minister of national defense will be attending the SLD for the first time in eight years. The last time China sent its defense minister Gen. Liang Guanglie (2008-2013) was in 2011. On June 2, Chinese Defense Minister Gen Wei Fenghe is expected to speak about China’s role in the Indo-Pacific region. Wei is also…

US holds 4-nation navy drill in South China Sea, Asia News & Top Stories

TOKYO • In a fresh show of naval force in the contested South China Sea, a US guided missile destroyer conducted drills with a Japanese aircraft carrier, two Indian naval ships and a Philippine patrol vessel in the waterway claimed by China, the US Navy said yesterday. While similar military exercises have been held in the South China Sea in the past, the combined display by four countries represents a fresh challenge to Beijing as US President Donald Trump threatens to hike tariffs on US$200 billion (S$273 billion) worth of…

Duterte presses Xi to fast-track South China Sea rules

TOKYO — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday called on Chinese President Xi Jinping to hammer out a code of conduct for the South China Sea, warning the disputed waterway is increasingly becoming a potential “flashpoint” for conflict. Duterte went off script in a speech at Nikkei’s Future of Asia conference to vent frustration over tensions in the sea. Beijing claims large portions of waters that the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam insist are rightfully theirs. “I love China,” Duterte said. “It has helped us, but it behooves upon us to ask: Is…

India, Singapore Take Part In Naval Drill In South China Sea

India and Singapore’s naval drill in the South China Sea will last till May 22. New Delhi:  The Indian Navy conducted military exercised in the South China Sea with its Singapore counterpart today. Navy’s two ships-Kolkata and Shakti took part in the bilateral naval exercise with Singapore, along with long range maritime patrol aircraft Poseidon-8I. The naval exercise will last till May 22. Singapore’s navy will be represented by RSN ships Steadfast and Valiant, maritime patrol aircraft Fokker-50 (F-50) and F-16 fighter aircraft. On successful completion of IMDEX 19, a…