What China’s defence paper tells us about Beijing’s regional ambition

Beijing, over the years, has become more focussed and explicit in recognising and explaining its security threat perceptions. China last week released its 11th national defence paper, and such white papers have come a long way since 1995, when US activity in Asia wasn’t presented as an immediate security concern. Now, China’s obvious focus is the perceived unilateralism of US defence policies, with NATO expansion towards Eastern Europe also presented as a security threat. Alongside terrorism and extremism, increasing dangers in the field of cybersecurity, nuclear capabilities and outer space have…

Southeast Asian bloc calls out South China Sea tensions

ANKARA   Foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Wednesday stressed the importance of non-militarization in the South China Sea.   “We reaffirmed the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, security, stability, safety and freedom of navigation in and overflight above the South China Sea and recognized the benefits of having the South China Sea as a sea of peace, stability and prosperity,” a joint communique of the 52nd ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meeting said. A few ASEAN members expressed concerns on land reclamation activities in the South China…

Vietnam’s Strange Ally in Its Fight With China – Foreign Policy

As heavily armed Vietnamese and Chinese coast guard ships stare each other down in the South China Sea near the submerged Vanguard Bank, Hanoi appears to have found its spine despite threats from its gigantic neighbor. Unlike in the past two years, when Vietnam quietly scrapped a pair of drilling ventures with the Spanish energy firm Repsol under Chinese pressure, Vietnam is currently demanding that China withdraw its survey ship, Haiyang Dizhi 8, and its escorts from the vicinity of the oil and gas blocks. This time, Vietnam has teamed up with an old friend and…

Vietnam Denounces ‘Illegal Activities’ by China in the South China Sea

Vietnam denounced intrusions into its territorial waters by Chinese survey and Coast Guard vessels at an ASEAN meeting in Bangkok this week, with Vietnam’s representative calling Beijing’s actions “illegal” and a threat to Vietnam’s sovereignty. Speaking on Wednesday at a meeting of foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Vietnamese foreign minister Pham Binh Minh demanded an end to what he called China’s “unilateral actions including militarization [and] increasing military exercises” in the South China Sea, the VNexpress reported on Aug. 1. In his remarks, Minh noted with…

U.S. Army exercises to focus on ‘South China Sea scenario’

Idaho Army National Guard and Montana Army National Guard soldiers conduct a live-fire exercise with Royal Thai Army soldiers in Thailand’s Saraburi province. (Capt. Robert Taylor/U.S. Army National Guard) HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — The U.S. Army’s major exercise in the Indo-Pacific theater in 2020 will focus on a South China Sea scenario, according to the commander of the U.S. Army in the Pacific. Gen. Robert Brown, the commander of U.S. Army Pacific, told Defense News that the service is funding two major exercises in FY20: one in the Pacific and one…

How an SR-71 Spy Plane (Fastest Plane on Earth) Crashed in the South China Sea

On Apr. 21, 1989, SR-71 #61-17974, better known as Ichi-Ban departed Kadena Air Base (AB) on a mission.  At the controls were Pilot Lt. Col Dan House, and RSO Blair Bozek.  As #974 accelerated through three times the speed of sound, the left compressor bearing froze, causing the immediate disintegration of the port engine, and resultant explosion from the catastrophic failure sending shrapnel through critical hydraulic lines. Lt Col House managed to slow #974, and even descend below 10 thousand feet. Both crew ejected safely, and were quickly rescued by local fishermen in the…

Amid South China Sea stand-off India stresses peace stability

Amid South China Sea stand-off, India stresses peace, stability 01-Aug-2019 New Delhi/Bangkok Posted 01 Aug 2019 Amid a tense stand-off between China and Vietnam over territorial rights in the South China Sea, India on Thursday stressed peace, stability and navigational freedom in the vital sea route through which almost 55 per cent of its trade passes. India’s reply came as External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar participated in ASEAN-related multilateral events in Bangkok, where his Vietnamese counterpart Pham Binh Minh is present. He also co-chaired the 10th Mekong Ganga Cooperation Ministerial…

What’s Next for the South China Sea?

Thanks to the joint efforts of China and the ASEAN states, the present South China Sea situation has become more peaceful and stable, with tensions being mitigated and promising signs evident. However, various challenges and uncertainties remain, such as the increasing military footprint of extraregional powers, unilateral actions aimed at maximizing the self-interest of various claimant states, the dense complexities entailed in the article-by-article negotiation of the South China Sea Code of Conduct (COC) text, and the persistent impact of the July 12, 2016 ruling by the Arbitral Tribunal in…

Pompeo blasts Chinese ‘coercion’ in South China Sea

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo holds a joint news conference with his Thai counterpart Don Pramudwinai (not pictured) after a bilateral meeting, on the sidelines of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Bangkok, Thailand August 1, 2019. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha BANGKOK (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday criticized Chinese “coercion” in the disputed South China Sea, highlighting a divide with Beijing at a meeting of Southeast Asian nations with world powers. Tensions have risen in the South China Sea over recent incidents between Chinese and Vietnamese…

China exerting ‘maximum pressure’ to set its own East Sea rules: expert

China is imposing direct pressure on Vietnam and taking advantage of the attitude of seeking to maintain regional peace among nations in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to intensify it, Hawaii-based Alexander Vuving, an expert on Asia security, in particular, China, Vietnam, Southeast Asia and the South China Sea, told VnExpress. China is applying “maximum pressure” on ASEAN parties, and from now until 2021, it will increase that pressure to make the regional bloc follow terms that benefit China in the Code of Conduct on the South China…