‘Full alert’ as China makes a potentially deadly decision

Indonesia has reacted with anger after Chinese fishing boats protected by coast guard warships forced their way into its territorial waters. Jakarta has mobilised its military and raised its combat alert status in the Natuna archipelago in response to the incursions which began late last year. “Our Navy and air force are armed and have been deployed to the North Natuna Sea,” military spokesman Major General Sisriadi said at the weekend. This includes six warships intended to “drive out the foreign vessels”. “We are not only deploying ships, but also…

Phl, China formally opens Maritime Exercise – UNTV News

FILE PHOTO: A Chinese Coast Guard vessel is pictured on the disputed Second Thomas Shoal, part of the Spratly Islands, in the South China Sea March 29, 2014. REUTERS/Erik De Castro MANILA, Philippines – The Chinese Coast Guard will dock in Manila on Monday, January 13 for a five-day goodwill visit, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said Friday. PCG spokesperson Captain Armand Balilo said the China Coast Guard, headed by Director General Major General Wang Zhongcai, will visit the country for the conduct of maritime exercises with the PCG. Participating…

South China Sea humiliation: Why China’s military bases could crumble in US conflict | World | News

China has engulfed the South China Sea with man made island bases, and has been accused of forming them specifically for military purposes. The key issue for other Asian neighbours is the placement of these bases in archipelagos that are under sovereignty claims by multiple countries. The Spratly Islands are claimed by China, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines and Brunei – and have become the cornerstone of China’s quest for dominance in the region. A leaked set of photos given to a Filipino newspaper showed just how elaborate the developments…

OPINION: Why this Vietnamese academic doubts an ASEAN-China COC deal

A Vietnamese academic pierced whatever illusion about the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) being worked out between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China, which is being coordinated by the Philippines. Speaking in a conference on South China Sea in New Delhi, India November 29, 2019, Dr. Vo Xuan Vinh of the Institute for Southeast Asian Studies at the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences said, “It is unlikely that ASEAN and China could conclude a COC as scheduled (2021).”  “If they do,” Vo said,…

China bank case heightens doubts about Beijing as trade deal looms

A federal court case involving three Chinese banks is raising questions about Beijing’s commitment to abide by agreements with the United States — a day before President Trump is scheduled to sign the first major trade deal of his administration with China. A senior Justice Department official said China has failed to observe terms of the 2001 Mutual Legal Assistance Agreement, and a federal judge ruled recently that seeking legal help from China under the accord has proved fruitless. “It’s still on paper, but they don’t fulfill their obligations under…

Destroying China’s South China Sea Island Bases In a War Might Not Be So Easy

China’s island outposts in the China Seas could prove to be difficult targets during wartime. American military planners shouldn’t assume otherwise, warned Gregory Poling, a fellow with the Southeast Asia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. “Couldn’t the United States easily neutralize these remote outposts in a conflict, negating their value?” Poling wrote at War on the Rocks. “The assumption is understandable given how seemingly remote the facilities are and how accustomed Americans have become to uncontested dominance over the sea and air.” “But…

PCG deploys assets to secure waters off Trasclacion 2020 routes – UNTV News

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Wednesday said its most modern vessel, BRP Gabriela Silang, stands ready to repatriate overseas Filipino workers (OFW) in the Middle East amid the growing tensions between the United States of America and Iran. The PCG said the BRP Gabriela Silang was supposed to arrive in the country on February 10, 2020 after its commissioning last year in France, but it has been directed to assist Filipinos who may need to be evacuated from the Middle East. As ordered by the Philippine…

South China Sea: Beijing humiliated as nations round on Xi in tense standoff | World | News

The height of recent hostility has come as a result of yet another standoff between China and a nearby South China Sea nation, with Indonesia expressing fury after Chinese fishing vessels entered the country’s economic exclusion zone last week. Dozens of boats entered the region on the periphery of the Natuna waters, located in the South China Sea between Malaysia and Indonesia, and only departed last Thursday. But China‘s latest act of aggression may have backfired as Indonesia calls on Japan to help defy Beijing’s military presence in the South…

Daily Star Opinions: Perspective with Matè Espina

Asserting sovereignty Indonesia is making waves, not only in Southeast Asia where it is becoming an acknowledged leader, but globally as well for standing up to super power China as the latter encroached in Indonesia’s territorial waters off Natuna islands, just some 684 miles from Spratly Islands. No less than Indonesian President Joko Widodo went to the site and deployed military vessels and aircraft to assert their nation’s sovereignty, forcing China to back down after two weeks of tension in the area. “Our sovereign territory when it comes to Natuna…