Vietnam Needs to ‘Struggle’ More in the South China Sea – The Diplomat

Advertisement Now that the months-long standoff between China and Vietnam has finally ended at the disputed Vanguard Bank, it makes sense to take stock of how Hanoi’s security strategy fared in countering Chinese coercion in the South China Sea. Vietnam seeks simultaneous “cooperation and struggle” with all countries — including, most significantly, China — in a highly calibrated and nuanced approach to secure Vietnamese national interests. During the Vanguard Bank standoff, Vietnam employed vintage “cooperation and struggle” strategy. Starting in July, Beijing sent the geological survey ship Haiyang Dizhi 8…

The End of the Vanguard Bank Standoff Does Not Resolve the Confrontation’s Root Cause

The standoff at Vanguard Bank between Vietnam and China ended as quickly as it began. In late October it was announced that the Japanese survey rig Hakuryu-5 had completed its operations in bloc 06-01 under contract with Rosneft Vietnam. A day later, China announced that the Haiyang Dizhi 8 had completed its work and would be returning to China. The juxtaposition of these two events seemed to suggest that a deal had been reached in private. A recent visit by the writer to Hanoi in early November provided an opportunity to…

America Can Beat China In Asia, But Not Alone

Key point: Historical enmities and different interests have kept America’s Asian allies apart. They need to come together. As China continues to exhibit assertive—and sometimes provocative—behavior toward the United States and the other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, tensions are gradually rising in and around the East China Sea (ECS) and South China Sea (SCS). However, Washington’s regional allies and partners—Manila, Seoul, Taipei and Tokyo—possess a historic opportunity to enhance peace and stability in and around these troubled waters. By establishing a quadrilateral dialogue, they can facilitate mutual understanding of…

America’s feeble Indo-Pacific strategy | The Japan Times

HANOI – With the global geopolitical center of gravity shifting toward Asia, a pluralistic, rules-based Indo-Pacific order is more important than ever, including for America’s own global standing. So it was good news when, two years ago, U.S. President Donald Trump began touting a vision of a “free and open” Indo-Pacific, characterized by unimpeded trade flows, freedom of navigation, and respect for the rule of law, national sovereignty and existing borders. Yet, far from realizing this vision, the United States has allowed Chinese expansionism in Asia to continue virtually unimpeded.…

Japan’s precarious Indo-Pacific balance | The Japan Times

Earlier this month, the U.S. State Department released a report titled “Free and Open Indo-Pacific: Advancing a Shared Vision.” It highlighted the U.S. core understandings of the Indo-Pacific, which includes: 1) respect for sovereignty and independence of all nations; 2) peaceful resolution of disputes; 3) free, fair and reciprocal trade based on open investment, transparent agreements and connectivity; and 4) adherence to international law, including freedom of navigation and overflight. For Japan and other states in the Indo-Pacific, the document clearly articulates their ongoing concern that “authoritarian revisionist powers seek…

Is China an Imperial Power in the Image of the West?

Shutterstock This article is the first part in a series on China as a global power. Owing to geography and geopolitics, my country the Philippines finds itself in the middle of an escalating conflict between the United States and China. Like the trench lines that stretched from the North Sea through France to Switzerland during the First World War, the front lines of this conflict stretch across both land and sea for over 4,200 kilometers — from Korea and Japan to Taiwan and the East China Sea, and on to…

NDRRMC Update: Situational Report No. 12 re Preparedness Measures and Effects of Typhoon “Quiel” (I.N. Nakri) and Tail-End of a Cold Front (TECF), 14 November 2019, 6:00 AM – Philippines

l. SITUATION OVERVIEW On 05 November 2019, the Tropical Depression West Southwest of Iba,Zambales has entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) and was named “Quiel”. It has intensified into a Tropical Storm on the same day while moving eastward. “Quiel” and the Tail-End of a Cold Front brought moderate with occasional heavy rains over Northern Luzon particularly in Ilocos Region,Batanes, Cagayan and Apayao. On 07 November 2019, “Quiel” has intensified into a Severe Tropical Storm (STS) while moving slowly eastward. It became a Typhoon on 08 November 2019 as…

The US diplomatic debacle at the ASEAN Summits and its ‘Hail Mary’ to salvage relations

The Trump administration has eroded confidence in the US’s economic and foreign policy commitments. But its attempts to salvage relations risk exacerbating the situation. By Mark J. Valencia, Adjunct Senior Scholar, National Institute for South China Sea Studies The behaviour of the US representatives before and at the 35th ASEAN summit illustrated that its political, economic and cultural influence on the preferences of Southeast Asian countries has declined. U.S. and ASEAN relations have become increasingly discordant. Now the US has invited ASEAN leaders to meet with US President Donald Trump…