How Indonesia Is Managing Its Bilateral Relationship With China – The Diplomat

Advertisement China’s latest use of grey zone fishing operations in the North Natuna Sea to challenge Indonesia’s sovereign right to fish and exploit the natural resources in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) appeared to be a victory at first glance. At one point, about 50 Chinese fishing vessels accompanied by two oversized white hulls fished unimpeded in Indonesia’s EEZ. As a countermeasure, Indonesia’s Maritime Security Agency (Bakamla), which was charged with law enforcement against illegal activities in Indonesia’s maritime jurisdiction, could only observe the situation. This limited action was due…

Do great powers comply with arbitral rulings?

Will China, a nuclear-armed state and the superpower in the Asian region, comply with an arbitral ruling adverse to it and in favor of a militarily weak, non-nuclear armed state like the Philippines? When the ruling on the South China Sea Arbitration came out on July 12, 2016, Harvard professor Graham Allison wrote an opinion article in the Singapore Straits Times claiming that great powers do not comply with rulings of arbitral tribunals. What is the historical record of nuclear-armed states complying with rulings of arbitral tribunals adverse to them…

China’s Growing Influence Rattles Southeast Asia as U.S. Retreats, Survey Shows

SINGAPORE — China’s rising economic and political clout in Southeast Asia is a growing source of concern as U.S. influence wanes under President Donald Trump, according to a survey of officials, academics and other professionals published on Thursday. Of the 1,300 respondents to The State of Southeast Asia survey, the proportion distrusting China rose to over 60% from below 52% in 2019. Nearly 40% said they thought China was “a revisionist power and intends to turn Southeast Asia into its sphere of influence”. GRAPHIC: Distrust of major powers among Southeast…

Local Vietnamese refugee to meet mariner who rescued him in 1978 – News – Northwest Florida Daily News

Minh Nguyen, a local Vietnamese refugee who named his Sealand restaurant in honor of the cargo ship that plucked him from the South China Sea in 1978, soon will meet the chief ship’s mate who got him and 50 other refugees aboard the vessel and to safety. FORT WALTON BEACH — What’s in a name? For Minh Nguyen, it’s everything. At first glance, Sealand — the name of Nguyen’s restaurant at 47 Miracle Strip Parkway — seems a reasonable moniker for a coastal town restaurant serving fish, steak and other…

China vs. Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam

China vs. Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam I recently read an article that said that Malaysia has joined Indonesia and Vietnam to beat China at its own game: The use of lawfare to settle disputes. Lawfare is a term that is new to me. It is a form of war consisting of the use of the legal system against an enemy such as by damaging or delegitimizing them, tying up their or winning a public relations victory. The term is a combination of the word law and warfare. Lawfare has been…

China’s new PH ambassador bullish on SCS code of conduct

MANILA – Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian said China remains optimistic about an “early conclusion” of the crafting of an ASEAN-China code of conduct in the South China Sea.  Speaking to reporters during the Chinese New Year reception Wednesday, Huang said the parties have completed the first reading of the code of conduct and have started the process of the second reading. Huang said the visit of a Chinese coast guard vessel to Manila, the first in history, is part of efforts to implement a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that seeks…

Are China’s South China Sea Artificial Islands Militarily Significant and Useful? – The Diplomat

Flashpoints | Security | East Asia China’s artificial islands are a symbol of its revisionism in the South China Sea, but they’re also militarily significant. Advertisement Are China’s seven artificial islands in the Spratly Group in the South China Sea liable to complicate U.S. freedom of maneuver in a conflict in East Asia? In a recent article at War on the Rocks, Gregory Poling makes the case that the islands have “considerable military value for Beijing,” contrary to some conventional wisdom that has written off the value of these facilities in a conflict. Poling’s…

PHL, Chinese Coast Guard hold joint maritime drills in Manila – UNTV News

Jakarta – The president of Indonesia on Wednesday visited an island in disputed waters of the South China Sea amid a weeks-long standoff between Indonesian and Chinese vessels, an outgrowth of the ongoing territorial spat in which Jakarta and Beijing both claim sovereignty over the area. Joko Widodo made the symbolic trip to Natuna Besar – the main island of the Middle Natuna Archipelago in the Riau Islands province – in a bid to assert Indonesia’s claims of ownership of the waters. There, he met with local fishermen and talked…

Trump keeps spoiling US Asia policy

Author: Hunter Marston, ANU Recent brinkmanship between the United States and Iran is the latest signal of Washington’s distraction from great power competition with China. The crisis in the Middle East and impeachment proceedings in Washington have distracted the Trump administration from its stated emphasis on the Indo-Pacific as its priority theatre. In many official statements and documents, including the 2017 National Security Strategy and Vice President Mike Pence’s China speech at the Hudson Institute in October 2018, the administration has articulated a strategy of great power competition with China…