Peace pact aims for smoother waters

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi, left, and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai hold a press conference after their meeting as part of the 52nd Asean Foreign Ministers’ Meeting 2019 (AMM) at the Centara Grand in Bangkok. Wichan Charoenkiatpakul The Asean-China Ministerial Meeting culminated last month with the early completion of the Single Draft Negotiating Text of the Code of Conduct (CoC) for the South China Sea. The peace pact has been hailed as a beacon of hope for the long-troubled sea, with a bounty of oil and gas, a fishing ground, and…

Cambodia not a claimant state in South China Sea dispute

Cambodia is not a claimant state to the territorial dispute in the South China Sea and, as such, it can afford to have its own stance toward the issue. Stating this exclusively to Khmer Times during a recent interview, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said: “Cambodia has to protect its own interest in some matters and its pro-China stance on the South China Sea dispute is understandable.” “We should not be judging Cambodia’s stance from afar, although a united front on this dispute would be preferable,” he added. “It depends…

No Way Mr. President: Australia Flat Out Rejected American Missiles Meant for China

So why isn’t Australia jumping at the opportunity to be a U.S. missile base? Some Australians might object to making Australia a bigger target in a potential U.S.-China conflict (bonus question: will these American missiles be capable of carrying nuclear warheads?).   Australia has a close defense relationship with America. But that doesn’t mean Oz wants to jeopardize its relations with China by allowing the United States to station missiles on its territory. Both Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Defense Minister Linda Reynolds have quashed the notion that American intermediate-range missiles—which…

Is the US military beginning to put meat on its Asian bones? – DN – Defence Notes

US politicians and senior military figures are effusive in affirming their commitment to partners and hangers-on in the Asia-Pacific region, but question marks always surround whether the talk is being buttressed by actions on the ground – or in the water as the case more often than not is. However, there are growing signals from the USAF and USN that they are firming up their resolve, including more frequent freedom of navigation operations (FONOP) and now the deployment of a second Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) to Singapore. The LCS’s presence…

Aquino-Del Rosario betrayed our national interest in arbitration suit vs China

Aquino-Del Rosario betrayed our national interest in arbitration suit vs China RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO FORMER President Aquino, his foreign secretary Albert del Rosario, and his Solicitor General Florin Hilbay patently betrayed our national interest in the arbitration suit they filed against China: They asked the tribunal to degrade our islands in the Kalayaan Island Group, especially our Pag-Asa Island — the second biggest in the disputed area — to mere “rocks,” telling the arbitral tribunal that, as such, these therefore do not generate a 430,000-square kilometer (sq km) circular exclusive…

Staying… for good? | Philstar.com

He was “not satisfied” with the response of Chinese President Xi Jinping when the arbitral ruling on the South China Sea was raised, President Duterte told a recent public gathering. Being a guest in Beijing, however, Duterte said he did not press the issue. Xi himself may not be satisfied with Duterte’s response to Beijing’s expressed hope for an end to Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations or POGO catering mostly to mainland Chinese. No, Duterte said in answer to a question at a press conference; the Philippines needs the earnings (now…

Walter Lohman On Taiwan: You can be a China-hawk and also a believer in economic freedom

There is a dominant train of thought in Washington policy circles — perhaps even a consensus now — that the US is engaged in a great power competition with China. It is explicitly stated in the Trump administration’s strategy documents. It is bi-partisan. And it is well-reflected in a frenzy of China-focused legislative proposals over the last couple years — some of which are actually good ideas. Indeed, the US and China do have fundamental disagreements about the shape of the international order, and several diametrically conflicting regional interests —…