China Sought to Block Foreign Powers in South China Sea

Beijing initially sought to block the presence of foreign powers in the South China Sea as it negotiated a regional pact with Southeast Asian countries, but has softened that position, the top Philippine diplomat said Wednesday. The Philippines is a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which for years has been negotiating with China to establish a “code of conduct” aimed at easing international tensions in the disputed sea region. “The reports we’re getting now, is this, China is mellowing. It’s no longer insisting on the exclusion…

Xi offering gas deal if arbitral ruling ignored: Duterte

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said that Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) has offered Manila a controlling stake in a joint energy venture in the South China Sea, if it sets aside an international arbitral award that went against Beijing. Duterte said Xi told him during a recent meeting that if he ignored the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration’s 2016 ruling, China would agree to be the junior partner in a venture to develop gas deposits at the Reed Bank (Lile Bank, 禮樂灘), located within Manila’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). “Set…

How to Settle the South China Sea Question Once and For All (China Won’t Like It)

Key Point: Here’s another American solution to China’s claims over the South China Sea: offer long-range rockets to the Philippines. The United States and the Philippines have been discussing whether the Filipino military should buy the High-Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), a multiple rocket launcher used by the United States and other nations, according to the South China Morning Post. “If deployed, the long-range, precision-guided rockets fired by the system would be able to strike Chinese man-made islands on reefs in the Spratly chain,” the newspaper said. HIMARS is a…

China deploys drones to spy on the South China Sea like never before

China is fielding a far-reaching reconnaissance system reliant on drones to strengthen its ability to conduct surveillance operations in hard-to-reach areas of the South China Sea, the Ministry of Natural Resources said in a report Tuesday. The system, which relies on drones connected to mobile and fixed command-and-control centers by way of a maritime information and communication network, stands to boost Chinese information, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities over what was previously provided by satellites and regional monitoring stations. The highly maneuverable drones can purportedly provide high-definition images and videos in…

Duterte says Xi offered deal over court ruling on South China Sea

MANILA (Reuters) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said his Chinese counterpart has offered Manila a controlling stake in a joint energy venture in the South China Sea, if it sets aside an international arbitral award that went against Beijing. Duterte said Chinese President Xi Jinping told him during their recent meeting that if he ignored the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s 2016 ruling, China would agree to be the junior partner in a joint venture to develop gas deposits at the Reed Bank, located within Manila’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). “Set…

Asia Times | China launches drones to monitor South China Sea

A network of drones has been deployed by Beijing to watch over the islands and reefs of the disputed South China Sea, Yahoo News reported. The network, run by the Ministry of Natural Resources, covers the uninhabited, hard-to-reach islands as well as the vast open waters of the area, according to the ministry’s South Sea Bureau, the report said. The drone communication chain has “extremely enhanced our dynamic surveillance of the South China Sea, and expanded our reach to the high seas,” the bureau said on its official website. The…

US Navy adds powerful new missile to Pacific arsenal

Hong Kong: Somewhere in the Pacific, a stealthy United States Navy warship is carrying new weapons that analysts say could help to tilt the balance of power in contested areas like the South China Sea. The USS Gabrielle Giffords, a sleek, speedy, low-profile littoral combat ship, left San Diego earlier this month carrying the US Navy’s new naval strike missile and a drone helicopter that helps aim it. The naval strike missile is a sea-skimming cruise missile that is difficult to spot on radar, and can maneuver to avoid enemy…

South China Sea war: How 64 Vietnamese forces died in bloody skirmish over region | World | News

The region is contested by Southeast Asian nations such as Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand to name a few. The main aggressors in the area however are China who have become increasingly audacious and ambitious in the region since Xi Jinping became President in 2013. China and Vietnam are the nations to most recently come to blows over the waters, with Beijing sending ships to the Vanguard Bank within the Vietnamese economic exclusion zone. The motivation behind such congested competition is lucrative shipping lanes and military influence across the…

Global condemnation of mounting threats in the South China Sea – The Independent News

– Advertisement – A Chinese giant crane vessel came close to the Vietnamese coastline on Tuesday (Sept, 4). it is an area claimed by Vietnam as its exclusive economic zone. The Lan Jing, believed to be the largest crane ship in the world entered the Vietnamese territory on Tuesday night, according to news reports and Marine Traffic. This is yet another attempt by China to disturb Vietnam’s territorial integrity with a tactic that is causing more harm than good to peace in the South China Sea. This is not the…