Malaysia needs ‘naval boost to deal with possible S. China Sea conflict’, SE Asia News & Top Stories

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysia needs to boost its naval capabilities to prepare for possible conflict in the South China Sea, its foreign minister said yesterday, even as South-east Asia’s third-largest economy pursues non-militarisation of the disputed waterway. Tensions have escalated in recent weeks, especially after a US Navy destroyer last month sailed near islands claimed by China as a challenge to what the US Navy described as excessive Chinese territorial claims in the region. Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said Malaysia could issue protest notes if a major power were to…

Asia Times | ‘ASEAN Way’ key to solving South China Sea conflicts

The South China Sea (SCS) issue has been a bottleneck for ASEAN-China cooperation, a cause of strain in the unity of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and a reason for allegations and geopolitical conspiracies. Every ASEAN member state, including Vietnam, China’s largest trading partner in Southeast Asia, acknowledges that the ASEAN-China partnership is the most dynamic. However, with the uneasy relations between China and Vietnam on SCS issues, the concern looms whether ASEAN will be put into direct confrontation with China under Vietnam’s ASEAN chairmanship and membership of the…

Philippines’ top diplomat apologises to China for Mao Zedong tweets – SE Asia

The Philippines’ top diplomat apologized on Sunday for Twitter posts on Mao Zedong, the founding father of the People’s Republic of China, including referring to the revolutionary leader as “burnt rice.” In a tweet two weeks ago, Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin called the Chinese revolutionary Mao Che “Tutung,” which means burnt rice in the Filipino language. In a separate tweet on Oct. 11 while reacting to a challenge by left-leaning groups for leaders to use public transport, Locsin said the point of communism is “to take power and unleash…

Philippines’ top diplomat apologises to China for Mao Zedong tweets, East Asia News & Top Stories

MANILA (BLOOMBERG) – The Philippines’ top diplomat apologised on Sunday (Oct 13) for Twitter posts on Mao Zedong, the founding father of the People’s Republic of China, including referring to the revolutionary leader as “burnt rice”. In a tweet two weeks ago, Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin called the Chinese revolutionary Mao Che “Tutung,” which means burnt rice in the Filipino language. In a separate tweet on Oct 11 while reacting to a challenge by left-leaning groups for leaders to use public transport, Mr Locsin said the point of communism…

ASEAN Starts to Notice China’s South China Sea expansion – Asia Sentinel

The growing influence of the Chinese military across Southeast Asia and beyond is compelling the Association of Southeast Asian Nations member states, which have traditionally shied away from collective regional security, to look at the issue with a new focus.  The People’s Liberation Army’s regional activities have pushed the ASEAN countries to put their effort on the modernization of their armed forces. The tiny city-state of Singapore, which has always maintained a military well in excess of its relative size to counter possible aggression from Malaysia or Indonesia, is further…

Vietnam accuses Chinese vessel of violating its sovereign rights, SE Asia News & Top Stories

HANOI • Vietnam has accused a Chinese oil-surveying vessel and its coast guard escorts of territorial violations by widening their activities after entering the country’s exclusive economic zone and operating within offshore blocks for three months. As of yesterday, the ship called the Haiyang Dizhi 8 has made several passes through the foreign-owned blocks off the coast of central Vietnam after leaving the Chinese-controlled Fiery Cross Reef on Sept 28, according to satellite tracking data from Marine Traffic. “The Chinese survey vessel Haiyang Dizhi 8 and its escorted vessels continue,…

Asia Times | India should seek ‘hawkish balance’ through Quad

The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) received an upgrade last week when the foreign ministers of Australia, Japan, India and the US met at the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. The Quad was conceived in 2007 to address the unconventional threats in the Asia-Pacific region. But China viewed this grouping as a ganging-up of the US and its allies to contain its rise. It protested against this arrangement and asked each country to explain the grouping’s objectives. China’s protests pushed the Quad into cold storage. However, China’s rampant naval…