Vietnam Activists Stage Rare Anti-China Protest Amid Concerns Over Survey Ship

Four activists in south-central Vietnam’s Khanh Hoa province were detained by police on Sunday morning for staging an anti-China protest at a landmark popular with Chinese tourists in the provincial capital Nha Trang, one of the protesters said. Detainee Nguyen Lai told RFA’s Vietnamese Service that the demonstrators were calling on people to join them in widespread protests to be held on Aug. 22-25 in places where Chinese tourists congregate and in front of Chinese embassies and consulates in Vietnam. “There aren’t any Chinese consulates in Nha Trang, so we…

Philippines Strengthens Claim On This South China Sea Island l Star2.com

The Philippines is aiming to strengthen its claims in the South China Sea by potentially building hotels for tourists on its biggest island in the disputed waterway, officials said. Manila has administrative control over Thitu – the second-largest naturally occurring landmass in the Spratly archipelago – and wants to bolster its sovereignty by adding new infrastructure. In doing so it will be following in the footsteps of China, which also stakes ownership claims to the Spratlys – along with Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam – and has even built artificial…

China’s South China Sea Militarization Has Peaked – Foreign Policy

Following years of Russian noncompliance, the United States officially withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty on Aug. 2. The Cold War-era arms control agreement had banned land-based missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers, and the next day the new U.S. defense secretary, Mark Esper, told reporters that he wanted to counter China’s massive missile inventory “sooner rather than later.” China responded furiously. Ironically, the threat comes as the most conspicuous flash point between the two countries, China’s military buildup on its artificial islands in the South China…

China May Win Fight ‘Before America Can Respond’ in Pacific, Report Says

The United States’ military posture in the Indo-Pacific region has eroded due to political infighting, costly engagements elsewhere and other debilitating factors, giving a rapidly-rising China the upper hand in the event of a conflict, according to a new report. The University of Sydney’s United States Study Center published on Friday a comprehensive, 104-page document entitled “Averting Crisis: American strategy, military spending and collective defence in the Indo-Pacific” that explained how “America no longer enjoys military primacy in the Indo-Pacific and its capacity to uphold a favorable balance of power…

Nobel Peace Prize for Trump at stake with Xi …

The United States and China have become entangled in a number of disputes of late, ranging from trade and development of the global economy, to fundamental values and human rights. Five particularly urgent issues now at stake include U.S-China trade tensions, Hong Kong’s anti-extradition bill protests, territorial disputes in the South China Sea, human rights concerns, as well as religious freedom. US-China trade war In August 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the U.S. trade representative (USTR) to investigate China’s technology transfer practices. Based…

Hello Hanoi as Morrison seeks ties with an unlikely ally

Australia and Vietnam signed a strategic partnership last year during Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s visit to Canberra, committing both countries to regular high-level bilateral exchanges between officials and ministers. The Australian Financial Review understands Mr Morrison and Mr Phuc will take the next step and agree to hold annual bilateral leaders’ meetings on the sidelines of summits such as APEC. Mr Morrison, who will be accompanied by his wife Jenny, will open his visit by addressing a chamber of commerce dinner on Thursday while he and Mr Phuc will…