China maintains pressure on Vietnam at Vanguard Bank

China’s deployment of coastguard vessels and survey ships at Vanguard Bank is intended to prevent Vietnam from advancing its interests in the region before a deal is reached on a code of conduct for the South China Sea, an observer has said. Hu Bo, director of the South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative, said that as negotiations on the code continued, the parties involved were taking “radical” steps to advance their claims to the oil and gas reserves in the area so as to establish a status quo for…

Defending China raw deal in SONA ‘will bind us to it’

President Rody Duterte’s fishing agreement with Xi Jinping not only is unlawful but also lopsided against us Filipinos, Supreme Court Senior Justice Antonio Carpio said. China will let us fish in our Scarborough Shoal, 150 sq. km, while it trawls our Reed Bank, 8,866 sq. km. China can even scour our whole West Philippine Sea, larger than our land territory. The deal is verbal so far. But if Duterte defends it in his State of the Nation on July 22, he would in effect officially affirm it. That will bind…

Adm. Davidson: China Assaults International Order « Breaking Defense

Adm. Phil Davidson, INDO-PACOM commander, being briefed in Singapore Adm. Philip Davidson displays a large model of Fiery Cross Reef — one of seven fake islands Beijing has built by destroying shallow reefs in the South China Sea — in the anteroom to his office at Indo-Pacific Command headquarters. Chinese President Xi Jinping publicly promised in 2015 not to “militarize” those “islands, which lie in an area an international tribunal ruled does not belong to China. But, as the model in Davidson’s office makes clear, Fiery Cross bristles with military facilities,…

A Sad Episode All Around – Analysis – Eurasia Review

On 9 June, there was a collision between two fishing boats in the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)– one a Chinese People’s Republic of China –flagged vessel and one a Philippines-flagged fishing boat.  The incident elicited wild accusations and demands for precipitous retaliatory action by some Filipino officials and even some supposedly objective international policy analysts.   This is not the first time alarmists and agent provocateurs have tried to push the Philippines into conflict with China. https://factcheck.afp.com/no-photo-does-not-show-philippine-fishing-boats-being-bombed-water-cannon-south-china-sea This piece focuses on the lessons that should be learned from this latest…

Muhyiddin: Qatar can help to reduce burden on refugee in Malaysia | Malaysia

Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is seen at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur July 17, 2019. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim KUALA LUMPUR, July 18 — Qatar is prepared to ease the refugee problem in Malaysia through a Qatar welfare fund, said Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. The willingness to offer assistance was delivered by the National Security Advisor to the Emir of Qatar, Mohamed Ahmad who made a courtesy call on Muhyddin at the Parliament Building, here today. Muhyddin said the Gulf state could assist about 150,000 refugees…

Climate change will help China in South China…

Australia Defense Force chief Angus Campbell (screenshot from www.facebook.com/ChiefADF). TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Australia’s Defense Force chief Angus Campbell warned that China might use climate change to occupy more uninhabited reefs and islands in the South China Sea. In a private speech last month, the general suggested that rising sea levels might cause more islands to be abandoned, giving nations an opportunity for territorial expansion, Australia’s Financial Review reported Tuesday (July 16). Campbell reportedly did not name China in the closed-door speech, but encouraged quicker action…

Ensure sea code ‘consistent’ with international law

Doing so will also protect the right of countries with claims in the South China Sea ‘to pursue security and development arrangements with partners of their choosing,’ says the United States Published 10:33 PM, July 16, 2019 Updated 10:33 PM, July 16, 2019 CODE OF CONDUCT. A China Coast Guard ship (top) and a Philippine supply boat engage in a stand off as the Philippine boat attempts to reach the Second Thomas Shoal, a remote South China Sea a reef claimed by both countries, on March 29, 2014. File photo…