My Turn: Theodore L. Gatchel: What is China up to? – Opinion – providencejournal.com

The South China Sea covers 1.4 million square miles and is surrounded by seven nations. The most important ones regarding claims to the sea are the People’s Republic of China, the Philippines, and Vietnam. Various claims from all of those countries notwithstanding, the People’s Republic of China maintains that it owns a large part of the sea. Understanding this complicated situation requires a modest knowledge of China’s history and the geography of the South China Sea. China has been associated with the South China Sea at least since the 3rd…

Pentagon chief Shanahan says US done ‘tiptoeing’ around China, but did it ever? — RT World News

Acting US Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan vowed to quit “tiptoeing” over Beijing in the South China Sea after the Pentagon repeatedly sent warships and B-52 bombers near Chinese borders. “We’re not going to ignore Chinese behavior and I think in the past people have kind of tiptoed around that,” Patrick Shanahan told the audience at an event in Singapore on Saturday. It happened a day after he held talks with his Chinese counterpart, General Wei Fenghe, and came out of the meeting accusing Beijing of trying to “destabilize” the…

Indo-Pacific USA’s priority theatre, says acting Defence Chief

Releasing the US Department of Defence’s first Indo-Pacific Strategy Report, the acting Secretary of Defence Patrick Shanahan on Saturday highlighted the region as the United States’ “priority theatre.” “The Indo-Pacific is the Department of Defence’s priority theatre. We have an enduring commitment to uphold a free and open Indo-Pacific in which all nations, large and small, are secure in their sovereignty and able to pursue economic growth consistent with accepted international rules, norms, and principles of fair competition,” the US official wrote in the report. “The…

South China Sea dispute, Rohingya crisis are key regional threats: Malaysian defence minister, Singapore News & Top Stories

SINGAPORE – Disturbances in the South China Sea, the movement of Rohingyas in the region and non-traditional security threats such as maritime and cyber security risks pose the biggest challenges to the region, Malaysia’s Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu said on Saturday (June 1). The region needs to build on collaborative defence diplomacy to deal with these challenges, Mr Mohamad said in his address to the Shangri-La Dialogue. The geopolitical situation has changed much in recent years, together with military power and the economic potential of countries. At the same time,…

Despite Chinese opposition, US to continue with conduct of freedom of navigation operations » Manila Bulletin News

Published May 16, 2019, 9:41 PM By Roy Mabasa A top-ranking United States naval officer on Thursday assured that the US will be “consistent” in its presence in the South China Sea despite Beijing’s opposition to its conduct of freedom of navigation operations (FONOPs) in the area where a third of the world’s trade passes through. “We have a tremendous amount of national interest. About a third of the world’s trade flows through the South China Sea. The United States is a maritime nation. We have a great national interest…

Dolphin group spotted in South China Sea

A group of dolphins was spotted in the Qilianyu Islands, part of the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea, on Wednesday. There were more than ten dolphins, and the largest ones were about two meters long. Known as false killer whales, these dolphins are large members of the dolphin family, and are under second-class protection in China.  The dolphins were occasionally jumping out of the water and diving back into the sea. They swam fast to play with each other as if they were having a party. After five…

USS Chung-Hoon returns to Hawaii after seven-month deployment – U.S.

USS Chung-Hoon returns to Hawaii after seven-month deployment JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii — The guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon, named for a Hawaiian admiral who displayed extraordinary heroism in World War II, returned to port in Pearl Harbor on Friday after a seven-month deployment that covered 54,000 nautical miles and included a freedom-of-navigation operation in the South China Sea. Hundreds of family members, friends and shipmates crowded the pier as the ship arrived mid-morning. Among them was Michelle Punana Chung-Hoon, niece of the ship’s namesake and the sponsor…

Need to reduce risk of South China Sea conflict

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech during the 121st founding anniversary of the Philippine army on March 20, 2018. Ted Aljibe | AFP | Getty Images President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines has called for action to reduce the chance of conflict in the South China Sea, where the United States and other countries are challenging Chinese assertions of sovereignty. Beijing claims most of the disputed sea, parts of which are claimed by countries including the Philippines and Vietnam. China maintains that virtually the entire body of water — where…

US will not ignore China’s behavior in South China Sea, Shanahan warns

Speaking to hundreds of delegates at the Shangri-La Dialogue, Shanahan avoided calling China out by name, but criticized “some in our region” for using what he called a “toolkit of coercion” in the Indo-Pacific, which includes the controversial South China Sea. That toolkit included island-building, deploying advanced weapons systems to disputed areas, engaging in predatory economics and the alleged state-sponsored theft of military and civilian technology — all activities the US has previously accused China of undertaking. Beijing claims almost the entire 1.3 million square mile South China Sea as…

Defense chief calls out China on tech theft, South China Sea

Acting U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, left, meets with China’s Minister of National Defense Wei Fenghe during a meeting on the sidelines of the 18th International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Shangri-la Dialogue, an annual defense and security forum in Asia, in Singapore, Friday, May 31, 2019. Lolita Baldor AP Photo SINGAPORE U.S. Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan on Saturday denounced China’s efforts to steal technology from other nations and militarize man-made outposts in the South China Sea as a “toolkit of coercion,” saying Beijing’s bad behavior must end.…