Indonesia Summons Ambassador over Deaths on Chinese Fishing Boats

Officials in Jakarta summoned the Chinese ambassador Thursday over the deaths of four Indonesians and the treatment of others who allegedly worked in harsh conditions aboard Chinese fishing boats since December 2019. The summons followed a South Korean media report, which alleged that Indonesian crew members were sometimes forced to work 30 straight hours while standing and were given only six hours to eat and sleep before resuming their duties. An Indonesian crew member interviewed by a South Korean television station said the bodies of three who died between December and March…

Indonesia asks why Chinese fishing ship dumped sailors in sea

JAKARTA — Indonesia on Thursday demanded an explanation from China over sea burials of Indonesian crew members on Chinese fishing vessels, amid reports of mistreatment. A total of three Indonesian sailors died while the ships were in the Pacific, two in December and one in March, and their bodies were cast overboard, according to a statement from Indonesia’s foreign ministry. Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi summoned the Chinese ambassador to express Jakarta’s concern. The captain of the fleet said the sailors had to be buried at sea because they died from…

Beyond COVID-19, Part 11: Political Shake-up in Ukraine and Baseball Returns in Asia

Congratulations to our readers: you made it to May! Celebrate the small victories, and do something special for yourself today (aside from reading today’s titillating conversation, of course). Some states are beginning a slow re-opening, but please continue to stay safe, especially if you’re going to be partaking in activities in which others will be near you. Maia Otarashvili and Aaron Stein are back after taking off last week, when I had a great discussion with our Black Sea Fellow Bob Hamilton. You can read that here. We’re back to…

Chinese spies hop from one hacked government network to another in Asia Pacific, researchers say

Written by Sean Lyngaas May 7, 2020 | CYBERSCOOP Nearly five years ago, researchers unmasked a Chinese hacking group, pinpointing the unit of the People’s Liberation Army that was allegedly sponsoring it. The so-called Naikon group was key to China’s spying efforts in the South China Sea, targeting government agencies from the Philippines to Vietnam, said the report from companies ThreatConnect and Defense Group Inc. Since then, there has been relatively little public documentation of Naikon as other China-linked groups — including one targeted by a U.S. Department of Justice…

Carpio: China’s naming of sea features doesn’t mean sovereignty

Carpio: China’s naming of sea features doesn’t mean sovereignty Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) – May 8, 2020 – 12:00am MANILA, Philippines — China’s naming of features in the South China Sea, including islands in the Philippine-held Kalayaan Island Group (KIG), does not matter since names of the geologic features do not determine sovereignty, retired Supreme Court senior associate justice Antonio Carpio said. Carpio brought up two years ago China’s naming of features under the United Nations system the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO)…

Hermes 900 to Assume SaR Missions in the South China Sea

Elbit Systems has recently delivered Unmanned Aerial Systems equipped for maritime search and rescue to an undisclosed customer in South-East Asia. In this configuration, the Hermes 900 is equipped with detection and identification systems, precision dispatch capability, and up to four inflatable life rafts, each can rescue six survivors. This configuration enables the drone to perform long-range maritime Search and Rescue (SaR) missions, and deliver life-saving assistance quickly upon detection of survivors. Drones are complementing traditional manned SaR operations as they offer long endurance and long-range operations since adverse weather…

How China Is Slow Conquering the South China Sea

Beijing is making gradual progress toward achieving its objective of gaining international assent to China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea. With each decade, more of Beijing’s agenda is realized. During the 1970s, China limited its attempted enforcement of Chinese claims mostly to the Paracels Islands, which lies in the northern part of the South China Sea, closer to China. Beijing’s violent seizure of Johnson South Reef from Vietnam in 1988 was jarring but unusual. More typical of the era was the “creeping invasion” of the 1990s, exemplified by…

The new scold war – America v China | Leaders

May 9th 2020 YOU MIGHT have hoped that a pandemic would bring the world together. Instead covid-19 is tearing it apart. As the disease has spread, relations between America and China have plunged into an abyss from which they will struggle to escape. Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, says he has “enormous evidence” that the virus behind covid-19 came from a laboratory in Wuhan—though America’s intelligence agencies as well as its closest intelligence partners say proof is still lacking. To punish China for letting the disease spread, the Trump…

Shipbuilder Austal eyes ‘dramatic growth’ in Asian naval forces

ASX-listed shipbuilder Austal’s boss David Singleton says the concerted push by Asian nations to boost their naval forces over the next decade could generate a steady pipeline of work for the company. In an interview with The Age and the Herald Mr Singleton said the ongoing tensions in the South China Sea have prompted regional players, including Japan, South Korea, The Philippines and Indonesia, to consider beefing up their naval capabilities. “We’re all familiar with the geopolitics that’s playing out in Asia and the South China Sea, and overlapping claims…