U.S. Says China Is Blocking Trillions in Oil and Gas, Will Send Navy for Asia Drills

The United States has accused China of preventing Southeast Asian countries from accessing trillions of dollars worth of untapped oil and gas reserves in the South China Sea as the Pentagon planned to hold its first exercise with regional powers near the strategic region. In a press statement, State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said Thursday that the “United States is deeply concerned that China is continuing its interference with Vietnam’s longstanding oil and gas activities in Vietnam’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) claim” following recent incursions there by Chinese survey ship…

Realities Clash With Idealism in Today’s Asia

The reality of what China’s rise means to different regional stakeholders must inform American policy. By Walter Lohman for The Diplomat August 18, 2019 No one in their right mind wants a war with China. There are, of course, circumstances in which a hot war would be unavoidable. It would, for example, become necessary in defense of Taiwan or Japan or any other of our allies in the region. To my mind, upholding the long-standing principle of “the freedom of the seas” is also worth the risk of conflict. Outside…

Asia Times | Let’s see just who really is the maritime expansionist

The call is for Australia, Japan and other willing partners to cooperate with the US to counter Beijing’s allegedly expansionist activities in the South China Sea. But wait a moment. Did not the US itself, in its 1951 San Francisco peace treaty with Japan, signed and ratified by Canberra and 47 others, in effect gift the largest and most numerous of the South China Sea islands to China? Article 2 (f) of the treaty states: Japan renounces all right, title and claim to the Spratly Islands and to the Paracel…

China denies US accusations of South China Sea missile tests, East Asia News & Top Stories

BEIJING (REUTERS) – China’s Defence Ministry on Friday (July 5) denied US accusations that the Chinese military had recently carried out missile tests in the disputed South China Sea, saying instead that they had held routine drills that involved the firing of live ammunition. The Pentagon said on Tuesday the missile launch was “disturbing” and contrary to Chinese pledges that it would not militarise the strategic waterway. A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Friday that according to initial information, China appeared to have tested multiple anti-ship…

Vitality of US-India ties key in determining whether China succeeds in reshaping Asia: US State Department

US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, who is in New Delhi, met External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and spoke about strengthening bilateral relations to counter China in Indo-Pacific.) Asserting that the vitality of US-India ties is critical to keep a check on China’s actions to rewire Indo-Pacific for its own interests, US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan Saturday said the two countries’ bilateral relationship will determine whether Beijing ultimately succeeds in its effort, reported ANI. Sullivan met External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar in New Delhi today where they…

Pompeo snubs China on Asia visit

BEIJING — This is a weekly look at recent developments in the South China Sea, where China is pitted against smaller neighbors in multiple disputes over islands, coral reefs and lagoons. The waters are a major shipping route for global commerce and rich in fish and possible oil and gas reserves. POMPEO SKIPS CHINA ON ASIA VISIT U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is visiting Asia this week but steering clear of China amid impasses with Beijing over trade, Taiwan and the South China Sea. A stalemate in the Trump…

Asia Times | Duterte vows to take a tougher tack on China

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, under fire at home for not taking a tougher stand vis-à-vis China in the South China Sea, has promised to drop a diplomatic gauntlet during his trip this month to Beijing. In an avowed policy shift, Duterte says he will formally raise the July 2016 Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague ruling in favor of the Philippines over China, a decision which nullified Beijing’s expansive claims to the South China Sea. Duterte opted to “set aside” the landmark ruling soon after winning office in mid-2016,…

Vietnam demands ‘immediate withdrawal’ of China ship in disputed sea, SE Asia News & Top Stories

HANOI (AFP) – Vietnam on Thursday (July 25) called for the “immediate withdrawal” of a Chinese ship in the South China Sea, as the stand-off over the disputed waters intensified. Beijing last week issued a new call for Hanoi to respect its claims to the resource-rich region – which have historically been contested by Vietnam as well as Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei. Hanoi responded by saying it had sent several messages to Beijing insisting that a Chinese survey ship vacate its waters, and doubled down on Thursday with…

Waning of American Power? Trump Struggles With an Asia in Crisis

WASHINGTON — For two and a half years, President Trump has said he is finally doing in Asia what he asserts his predecessor, Barack Obama, failed to achieve with a strategic pivot: strengthen American influence and rally partners to push back against China. But as violence escalates and old animosities are rekindled across Asia, Washington has chosen inaction, and governments are ignoring the Trump administration’s mild admonitions and calls for calm. Whether it is the internal battles in India and Hong Kong or the rivalry between two American allies, Japan…