Copy of rare 18th-century Philippine map sold for $1 million, SE Asia News & Top Stories

A copy of a rare map that helped to bolster the Philippines’ case against China in a dispute over the South China Sea was sold last Saturday for 40 million pesos (S$1.06 million). The price was more than three times what another copy fetched at a Sotheby’s auction in London in 2014. Mr Mel Velarde, chief executive officer of Philippine telco NOW, had bought that copy for 12 million pesos. In the latest auction, a four-minute bidding war between two art collectors inside the gallery and a third collector bidding…

South China Sea tensions threaten Philippine energy security – Oil&Gas Eurasia

The following analysis was published by the Foreign Policy Research Institute. The author, Felix K. Chang, is a senior fellow at the Institute. He is also Chief Strategy Officer of DecisionQ, a predictive analytics company in the national security and healthcare industries. About 80 km off the northwest coast of Palawan Island in the South China Sea is the Malampaya natural gas field, the Philippines’ main domestic source of energy. Once piped ashore, its natural gas fuels five power plants, which provide half of the electricity…

Sand cays record ancient cyclones: experts

File photo taken on May 13, 2015 shows the workboat of a Chinese archaeological team for the archaeological work of the Shanhu Island No. 1 shipwreck in the Xisha archipelago in the South China Sea. Photo: Xinhua Researchers have discovered that sand cays in the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea accurately recorded paleocyclones, or cyclones, in ancient times, according to a recent study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. Researchers from the South China Sea Institute of Oceanology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the University…

Pentagon steps up efforts to counter China’s rising power

Washington (AFP) – Maritime operations, missile tests, landing exercises: the Pentagon has been sharply stepping up its efforts to counter China’s growing military power, seen increasingly as a threat. On Friday an American warship approached the Paracel Islands, an island chain claimed by Beijing in the South China Sea, to affirm international “freedom of navigation” in the region. The USS Wayne E. Meyer, a guided-missile destroyer, passed near the islands to contest Beijing’s sweeping claims to the seas around the archipelago, which is also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam. The…

RTL Today – Pentagon steps up efforts to counter China’s rising power

Maritime operations, missile tests, landing exercises: the Pentagon has been sharply stepping up its efforts to counter China’s growing military power, seen increasingly as a threat. On Friday an American warship approached the Paracel Islands, an island chain claimed by Beijing in the South China Sea, to affirm international “freedom of navigation” in the region. The USS Wayne E. Meyer, a guided-missile destroyer, passed near the islands to contest Beijing’s sweeping claims to the seas around the archipelago, which is also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam. The Chinese claim would…

Why China’s Military Wants to Control These 2 Waterways in East Asia

China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) over the past four years has been stepping up the operational tempo of military exercises around two strategically pivotal waterways—the Bashi Channel and Miyako Strait—that guard the exit from or entry into the China Seas. The two waterways mark the rim of a chain of major archipelagos enclosing the East Asian coastline, beginning with the Kuril Islands off the coast of northern Japan all the way south to the Philippines and Borneo in the extreme southwestern part of the Pacific Ocean. The Bashi Channel, connecting…

Chinese-born Australian lawmaker under fire over past links to Beijing influence network

CANBERRA – The first Chinese-born lawmaker to be elected to Australia’s Parliament has come under attack over her links to the Chinese foreign influence network. Gladys Liu, who was born in Hong Kong in 1964, was elected to the conservative government in May elections to represent a Melbourne electoral division with a large population of ethnic Chinese voters. She has come under media scrutiny recently over her membership of organizations overseen by the United Front Work Department of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee, which exert influence on important individuals,…