Beijing objects to KL’s submission to UN on S. China Sea, SE Asia News & Top Stories

KUALA LUMPUR • China has protested against Malaysia’s filing of a submission with the UN last week seeking to establish the limits of Malaysia’s continental shelf in the northern part of the disputed South China Sea, the South China Morning Post reported yesterday. Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, any country can claim an exclusive economic zone of up to 200 nautical miles from their shoreline. China, however, claims most of the South China Sea, through which more than US$3.4 trillion (S$4.6 trillion) worth of…

For the U.S., Vietnam is a friend in need

WASHINGTON – Vietnam is a country bursting with youthful energy. The nearly 100 million Vietnamese have an average age of just 31, and despite living under single-party communist rule, they have a thriving capitalist economy that may hit 10 percent growth this year. And, of great importance to the United States and its allies, Vietnam is strategically positioned along the western side of the South China Sea, and has a series of maritime disputes with its neighbors, especially China. I recently spent over a week visiting the country from north…

China steps up military exercises in the South China Sea

The Chinese military’s latest drill transforms its approach in the disputed South China Sea from “passive” to “proactive.” It’s part of a new strategy aimed at preparing for “unexpected confrontations,” according to the PLA Daily. Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories. China’s military has stepped up its exercises in the South China Sea to prepare for “unexpected confrontations,” according to a report in Sunday’s PLA Daily. The military mouthpiece said a naval aviation unit under the Southern Theatre Command had completed a long-time early warning reconnaissance drill in which…

Philippines to sign BrahMos deal in 2020: Defence Secretary

The Philippines is set to become the first export customer of the supersonic BrahMos cruise missile in 2020, according to the country’s Department of National Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana. Responding to the possibility of the Philippines adding the missile to its inventory, Lorenzana said on Monday that the contract-signing for the BrahMos would take place in the early part of 2020. “Signing of the contract will be in 2020. Possibly in the first or second quarter,” he was reported as saying by the Philippines News Agency. He said the country…

China’s new aircraft carrier enters service at South China Sea base

BEIJING (Reuters) – China commissioned its first domestically built aircraft carrier into service on Tuesday at a key base on the shores of the disputed South China Sea, in another big step in the country’s ambitious military modernization. Little is known about China’s aircraft carrier program, which is a state secret. But the government has said the new carrier’s design draws on experiences from the country’s first carrier, the Liaoning, which was bought second-hand from Ukraine in 1998 and refitted in China. President Xi Jinping is overseeing a sweeping plan…

South China Sea: US navy commander lashes out at Beijing for ‘bullying’ neighbours | World | News

Admiral John Aquilino, commander of the US Navy’s Pacific Fleet, lashed out at Beijing for using its military strength to intimidate other countries in the region and warned China must respect the “international rights of all”. Speaking at a briefing in Bangkok on Friday, he claimed China’s activities in the disputed waters – which include constructing islands and installing anti-aircraft systems – are intended to project its military capacity. He said such actions “absolutely have military purpose in order to present an optic to partners and nations in the region that…

Subsea 7 wins ‘sizable’ contract with Cnooc in South China Sea

Subsea 7 has announced it has secured a “sizable” contract with Cnooc International in the South China Sea. The deal will see Subsea 7 provide transportation and installation of five steel catenary risers to Cnooc’s Lingshui 17-2 Gas Field Development Project. The field is 90 miles of the coast of Sanya, Hainan province. The contract is understood to be between £37 million and £113m. Project management and engineering will commence immediately at Subsea 7’s offices in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with offshore operations taking place in the first half of 2021.…

Vietnam hopes for Chinese restraint in South China Sea in 2020

FILE PHOTO: An oil rig (C) which China calls Haiyang Shiyou 981, and Vietnam refers to as Hai Duong 981, is seen in the South China Sea, off the shore of Vietnam in this May 14, 2014 file photo. REUTERS/Minh Nguyen/File Photo SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Vietnam said it hoped China would show restraint in the South China Sea next year after a Chinese oil survey vessel and its escorts spent months within Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone in what Hanoi called a blatant violation of its sovereignty. Vietnam, the region’s most…

Is South Korea Ready for This?

South Korea recently celebrated the 2019 ASEAN-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit hosted in Busan. Along with President Moon’s visit to all ten ASEAN member countries, this signifies the growing importance of Southeast Asia to South Korea. South Korea’s ‘New Southern Policy’ is one of President Moon’s key foreign policy initiatives to build a relationship with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The attractiveness of ASEAN as a market includes geographic accessibility, the rising popularity of K-Pop, and rich resources, to name a few. Indeed, strengthening ties with ASEAN countries…

Experts Say Mekong’s New Sky-Blue Color Could Be Worrying Sign

Experts say a recent change in the color of the Mekong River – from yellowish-brown to sky-blue – could be a worrying sign. They say the change suggests a possible problem caused by dams that have been built along the Mekong. The river covers a distance of 4,300 kilometers. It begins high in the mountains of Tibet, flowing through China and five other countries: Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. The river eventually joins with the South China Sea. The Mekong usually has a yellowish-brown color that results from the…