ASEAN’s quiet resilience | East Asia Forum

Author: Kishore Mahbubani, NUS ASEAN should have begun to crack and fall apart from the strain of the rising geopolitical rivalries in Asia between the United States and China, if what critics say about its fragility were true. But ASEAN steadily marched through another difficult and challenging year and quietly delivered many positive results that will improve the wellbeing of its 650 million people. Most importantly, there were no wars or conflicts. Indeed, not even serious political tensions. ASEAN did not experience any aerial battles like the ones between India…

China warning: USA military expansion in Asia ‘fraught with tension’, says expert | World | News

Tensions in the region have increased in recent years, with the Chinese fortifying a large number of uninhabited islands in the South China Sea, over which the country asserts a territorial claim. The US has on a number of occasions sailed warships through the waterway, much to the annoyance of Beijing. Eugene Gholz, an associate professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, who recently participated in a seminar hosted by the US-based Stimson Centre looking at possible ways forward, told Express.co.uk: “I think there is…

Asia Times | Latest B-52 flyby sign of US bomber presence

Taiwanese newspapers reported on Friday that at least two B-52 Stratofortress strategic bombers believed to be from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam had overflown parts of the East China Sea a day before, close to Taiwan’s littoral waters and those claimed by China, after they hurtled past the Miyako Strait between Taiwan and Japan’s southern outlying islets. It was reported that the B-52s deliberately activated their automatic dependent surveillance broadcast system to announce their presence and flight route, so that even aviation enthusiasts could observe their flight in real time…

Malaysia unveils first defence White Paper amid rising threats, SE Asia News & Top Stories

Malaysia tabled its first defence White Paper in Parliament yesterday, but critics said the 10-year policy plan that was meant to address terror threats and military tension in the South China Sea was short on detailed strategy. Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu explained that although Malaysia is not involved in armed conflict with other countries, it faces territorial disputes and non-traditional threats across its borders, thus requiring the country to take pre-emptive measures. “The main role of the Malaysian Armed Forces is to maintain the peace we have and always be…

Asia Times | South China Sea tensions hot and getting hotter

The United States and China have doubled down on their struggle for dominance of the South China Sea and broader Indo-Pacific, as recent sea confrontations and fiery rhetoric threaten to escalate into conflict. Bolstered by its ever-expanding and rapidly modernizing Peoples Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), China has shown diminishing restraint in deterring, intercepting and seeking to exclude American naval assets from its claimed adjacent waters. Boasting one of the world’s largest maritime fleet, with an armada of para-military forces and vessels increasingly acting as force multipliers, the PLAN recently deployed…

Vietnam, China agree to keep talking in South China Sea dispute, SE Asia News & Top Stories

HANOI (DPA) – Vietnam and China agreed on Friday (Nov 29) to keep talking and take steps towards peacefully resolving the conflict over the South China Sea, which has seen tensions rising in the region in recent months. The announcement came after a three-day diplomatic visit to China by Vietnam’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Mr Le Hoai Trung, who held talks with Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Le Yucheng in Beijing. While the ministers stopped short of saying they expected tensions to cease, they agreed to “resolve conflicts in an appropriate and peaceful…

China makes representation to US over ships in South China Sea, East Asia News & Top Stories

BEIJING (REUTERS) – China lodged stern representations with the United States after US navy ships sailed in the South China Sea near islands claimed by Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a daily briefing on Friday (Nov 22). In a statement, the Chinese military’s southern theatre command said its forces tracked the US warships sailing near the disputed islands. Source link

Asia Times | China, Vietnam will never agree on South China Sea

China is ratcheting up pressure on Vietnam in the South China Sea, urging Hanoi to back away from its legal threat to pursue international arbitration over their festering territorial disputes. Geng Shuang, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, said on November 8 that Vietnam “needs to avoid taking actions that may complicate matters or undermine peace and stability in the South China Sea as well as our bilateral relations.” Geng also stated that Vietnam would have to “face up to the historical fact”, by which he presumably meant that China’s claims…

America Can Beat China In Asia, But Not Alone

Key point: Historical enmities and different interests have kept America’s Asian allies apart. They need to come together. As China continues to exhibit assertive—and sometimes provocative—behavior toward the United States and the other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, tensions are gradually rising in and around the East China Sea (ECS) and South China Sea (SCS). However, Washington’s regional allies and partners—Manila, Seoul, Taipei and Tokyo—possess a historic opportunity to enhance peace and stability in and around these troubled waters. By establishing a quadrilateral dialogue, they can facilitate mutual understanding of…

Pentagon chief tries to keep Asia in focus with second trip

WASHINGTON (AP) — Barely four months into his tenure, Defense Secretary Mark Esper is making his second trek across the Pacific. And yet it is the Middle East – most recently a near-war with Iran and an actual war in Syria – that in Washington commands more attention and demands more American troops. Esper’s Asia visits illustrate the central feature of a revamped U.S. defense strategy: Focus first on China as a threat to U.S. global predominance, rather than remain bogged down in a generation-long fight against extremist groups. Esper…