Framework set up to discuss airspace management and military training, Politics News & Top Stories

Singapore and Indonesia have agreed on a framework to discuss two longstanding issues – airspace management and military training. Both leaders have also instructed their ministers and officials to follow up with detailed negotiations on the basis of this framework, and to conclude and implement agreements in a timely manner, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. “This framework acknowledges that the core interests and rights of both countries must be recognised and respected. And that Indonesia and Singapore should negotiate agreements on these two issues that are durable and for…

Duterte Reportedly Invited Rosneft to Conduct Oil Exploration in South China Sea

situation report 1 MIN READOct 8, 2019 | 18:23 GMT What Happened: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte reportedly invited Russian oil giant Rosneft to conduct oil exploration operations in the South China Sea during a visit to Moscow last week, the South China Morning Post reported Oct. 8. Why It Matters: Duterte has long attempted to maintain a diplomatic balancing act between China and the United States by diversifying Manila’s political and economic ties and courting third countries, such as Japan and Russia. If confirmed, encouraging Russian oil exploration in the South China…

It looks like the US has been quietly lowering the threshold for conflict in the South China Sea

The US has been putting increased pressure on the Chinese maritime militia, a paramilitary sea force disguised as a fishing fleet, in an effort to deter provocations in the South China Sea. The US Navy’s top admiral told his Chinese counterpart earlier this year that provocations by militia vessels would be treated the same as those carried out by Chinese navy warships. Last week, the US ambassador to the Philippines told reporters that US defense obligations to its ally could be triggered by maritime militia attacks. Troubling incidents involving Chinese…

China Knows It Can’t Protect Every Island It Builds (Think South China Sea)

Key point: China wants as many bases from which to wage war as it can get. China has built some islands in the South China Sea. Can it protect them? During World War II Japan found that control of islands offered some strategic advantages, but not enough to force the United States to reduce each island individually. Moreover, over time the islands became a strategic liability, as Japan struggled to keep them supplied with food, fuel and equipment. The islands of the SCS are conveniently located for China, but do…

China is resorting to new forms of bullying in the South China Sea

LESS IS HEARD these days about China’s massive terraforming operations in the South China Sea, which not long ago exercised neighbours as well as the United States. But that does not mean China is any less assertive in the 1.4m square-mile (3.5m square-km) sea which, on the flimsiest grounds, it claims pretty much in its entirety. On the contrary, China seems to think its artificial islands allow it to open a new phase of self-assertion in the face of the South-East Asian countries with overlapping claims in the sea. Starting…

US Nat’l Interest and the South China Sea

Chinese leader Xi Jinping and President Donald J. Trump (Photo by Thomas Peter-Pool/Getty Images) It’s difficult to explain how a country goes about defining its national interests. Sure, we know the policy processes. We know the considerations. Interests in borders, war, and peace are easy to understand. But why are other, more abstract interests, such as American concern for the freedom of navigation in a far-flung place like the South China Sea, so enduring? I could make a wonky argument around the free flow of trade and the global commons,…

Taiwan fears China’s authoritarian threat in the Pacific after losing two diplomatic allies

Posted October 08, 2019 13:36:50 Photo: Joseph Wu urged countries including the US to “push back strongly” against China in the Pacific. (AP: Chiang Ying-ying/Mark Schiefelbein) Taiwan has accused China of practicing “authoritarian expansionism” in the Pacific, pointing to reports of plans for Chinese military presence in two Pacific countries that have recently switched diplomatic allegiance from Taipei to Beijing. Key points: Taiwan’s foreign minister says he doesn’t want the Pacific to turn into another South China Sea Solomon Islands’ Prime Minister is in China for a week-long official visit…