Saving the China-ASEAN South China Sea Code of Conduct

Last weekend’s Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit, held in Bangkok, demonstrated a positive spirit among ASEAN members, but failed to yield substantial progress over a Code of Conduct (COC) regulating actions in the South China Sea. A single draft of the COC was first put forth in August 2018, with an agreement reached in November 2018 by China and ASEAN to finalize the COC within three years, starting from 2019. Negotiations over the COC have proven difficult for several reasons, according to Carl Thayer, an emeritus professor at…

A View from Everywhere  All the Time

To keep tabs on things that can’t yet be seen from space—or to follow up on interesting sightings—some activist groups are deploying drones into the skies and oceans. Last winter, autonomous sailing robots built by Saildrone set off from South America to circumnavigate Antarctica. The months-long mission gathers data for scientists at NOAA and CSIRO on how fast the Southern Ocean is absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere, a crucial variable in global climate models. The floating drones are also mapping the abundance of phytoplankton and krill, which form the base…

‘Those Who Resist Will Perish’

China’s military called on the United States to adopt a modern way of thinking in dealing with the People’s Republic, warning America that it risked falling behind. Speaking at a press conference Thursday, Chinese Defense Ministry spokesperson Senior Colonel Ren Guoqiang condemned the Pentagon’s recent Indo-Pacific Strategy Report, which accused Beijing of seeking “to reorder the region to its advantage by leveraging military modernization, influence operations, and predatory economics to coerce other nations.” He said the ministry was “firmly opposed to its negative contents concerning China,” citing some specific points…

Water Wars: A Sinking Feeling in Philippine-China Relations

Philippine and Chinese officials will launch a joint investigation into the at-sea collision that left 22 Filipino fishermen stranded in the South China Sea. On June 9—the official Philippines-China Friendship Day—a Chinese vessel rammed and sank a Philippine fishing vessel near Reed Bank (known in Tagalog as Recto Bank), northeast of the Spratly Islands, and reportedly fled after the collision. A Vietnamese fishing vessel later rescued the Filipino crew members who had been left in the water. Philippine officials sought to downplay the collision, with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte calling…

China to Insist U.S. Lift Huawei Ban as Part of Trade Truce

OSAKA, Japan—Chinese President Xi Jinping plans to present President Trump with a set of terms the U.S. should meet before Beijing is ready to settle a market-rattling trade confrontation, raising questions of whether the two leaders will agree to relaunch talks. Among the preconditions for a trade agreement, Chinese officials with knowledge of the plan said, Beijing is insisting that the U.S. remove its ban on the sale of U.S. technology to Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies Co. Beijing also wants the U.S. to lift all punitive tariffs and drop…

Japan and China vow to be ‘eternal neighbours’ at Xi-Abe summit meeting in Osaka, East Asia News & Top Stories

OSAKA – Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday (June 27) vowed to turn a new page on the frosty ties between the two Asian economic superpowers, redefining their relations as “eternal neighbours” that will not allow ties to deteriorate again. This comes as Mr Xi became the first Chinese President to visit Japan in almost nine years – since then-President Hu Jintao went to Yokohama in November 2010 for the Apec meeting. Mr Abe invited Mr Xi as a state guest in spring next…

U.S. Navy could covert Philippines shipyard into repair & maintenance facility

Seth RobsonStars and Stripes A bankrupt commercial shipyard in the Philippines may present an opportunity for the Navy to re-establish itself at a major port it vacated nearly 30 years ago. “The U.S. Navy is exploring the viability of Subic Bay Hanjin Shipyard for use as a potential repair and maintenance facility,” Cmdr. Nate Christensen, the fleet deputy public affairs officer, said in an email Wednesday. The shipyard’s owner, Hanjin Philippines, declared bankruptcy earlier this year owing $900 million to South Korean creditors. Since then, a pair of Chinese firms…

China Thinks It Could Beat America In a War. That’s Dangerous.

Despite the confidence in their country’s military’s capabilities, a slight majority of respondents said they did not want to go to war over disputed islands in either the South or East China Seas. The vast majority of Chinese citizens believe the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) could seize islands in the East and South China Seas, even if the U.S. military were to intervene in the conflicts. No less than 87 percent of respondents said that the Chinese military already possessed the capability to take back the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands from Japan, according to a…

Democrats Split on China, Climate Change as Biggest Threat

Ten of the dozens of Democrats running for U.S. president in the 2020 election appeared nearly evenly split during Wednesday’s debate in citing climate change or the rogue government of China as the biggest geopolitical threat facing the country today. All failed to mention that those threats are largely one and the same. The Chinese communist regime is systematically eliminating ancient ecosystems in the South China Sea, killing its people with smog, obliterating fertile soil through rare earth mining, and endangering crowded cities with lax regulations on where government-controlled corporations…

Chinese fighters buzz HMCS Regina in South China Sea: writer

BEIJING — A report says two Chinese fighter jets buzzed a Canadian warship operating in international waters in the East China Sea at a time of heightened tension between Beijing and Ottawa. Canadian Global Affairs Institute fellow Matthew Fisher wrote that the Su-30 fighters flew within 300 metres (980 feet) of the bow of the frigate HMCS Regina. Fisher, who was aboard the ship, said that although the display was more aggressive than previous encounters between the Canadian Navy and Chinese warplanes, it was not considered dangerous. China was incensed…