Commentary: Russia floods Southeast Asia with arms

AUCKLAND: Russia’s “hard” power is generally well-understood. President Vladimir Putin has ensured this is the case, particularly through his proclivity to showcase Russian strength in Ukraine and Syria.  And who could forget Russia’s arsenal of nuclear weapons? Not Donald Trump: In February, Washington cited Russian missile provocations as the reason the US was suspending compliance of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. Advertisement On the other hand, new data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) suggests a rather different dimension of Russian power: Being the key provider of…

China’s Growing Role in Southeast Asia Reopens Old Wounds

I’ve traveled quite a bit through Southeast Asia this winter. It is evident views of China are changing — and not always for the better. At a temple in Luang Phabang, the cultural heart of Laos and a former imperial capital, I eavesdropped as a local guide herded two American tourists through the courtyard and into the large hall. “There used to be a large, gold Buddha here,” the guide solemnly intoned. “But now it’s gone. The Chinese came, sacked our city, and stole all of our treasures.” “When was…

Southeast Asia Is Being Flooded With Russian Weapons & Military Technology

By Matt Bartlett Russia’s “hard” power is generally well-understood. President Vladimir Putin has ensured this is the case, particularly through his proclivity to showcase Russian strength in Ukraine and Syria. And who could forget Russia’s arsenal of nuclear weapons? Not Donald Trump: Just last weekend, Washington cited Russian missile provocations as the reason the U.S. was suspending compliance of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. On the other hand, new data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) suggests a rather different dimension of Russian power: being the key…

Singapore defense minister: Cost of conflict in South China Sea ′too high′ | Asia| An in-depth look at news from across the continent | DW

China and several Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia, have competing claims over territorial waters in the South China Sea (SCS). In recent years, Beijing has been building airstrips and hangars, as well as stationing anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems in the Spratly Islands — a collection of reefs and rocks located off the coast of the Philippines.  China claims sovereignty over a large part of the South China Sea, although these claims were rejected by an international tribunal in 2016. The head of the US Pacific Command at…

The pudding incident and our China-chummy government: Inquirer, SE Asia News & Top Stories

MANILA (PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – Are Filipinos overacting in their frenzied response to the “taho” (soy pudding) -throwing incident involving a female Chinese national and a Filipino policeman at the MRT station? Are we being our typical emotional, easily agitated selves when we demand that the Chinese woman who disrespected local law enforcement be meted forceful censure, even deportation? The palace by the Pasig thinks so. Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. pooh-poohed it as “pathetic,” a “non-issue trying to be one.” This being Locsin, he had more to…

China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi hopes US implements consensus reached by both countries’ leaders, East Asia News & Top Stories

MUNICH (XINHUA) – Mr Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, expressed the hope on Saturday (Feb 16) that the United States would implement, along with China, the consensus reached by the two heads of state, advancing bilateral ties based on coordination, cooperation and stability. When answering questions about the China-US relationship after addressing the ongoing 55th Munich Security Conference, Mr Yang said that the world is faced with both opportunities and challenges, and all countries need to cooperate with…

Explained: South China Sea dispute | This Week In Asia

The South China Sea, one of the world’s busiest waterways, is subject to several overlapping territorial disputes involving China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei. The conflict has remained unresolved for decades but has emerged as a flashpoint in China-US relations in Asia. What is the conflict about? The Philippines, Vietnam, China, Brunei, Taiwan and Malaysia hold different, sometimes overlapping, territorial claims over the sea, based on various accounts of history and geography. China claims more than 80 per cent, while Vietnam claims sovereignty over the Paracel Islands and…

Asean-Beijing South China Sea talks set to start by late-Feb, SE Asia News & Top Stories

Negotiations for a pact between Asean nations and China aimed at easing tensions in the South China Sea are to begin later this month, said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen early today at the Munich Security Conference in Germany. Asean and China agreed at their summit in Singapore last November to the early conclusion of a code of conduct (COC) for the South China Sea. “(Chinese) PM Li Keqiang, in Singapore in November last year, set a proposed timeline for the COC to be finished in three years,” noted Dr…

SE Asia has to defend territory against Chinese moves: Malaysian leader

New Delhi : Malaysian leader Anwar Ibrahim said Southeast Asian nations have to defend their territory amid Beijing’s belligerent moves to build artificial islands and build military facilities in the South China Sea region. Anwar made these remarks during an open forum near the U.S. capital on Sunday, the same day that Washington drew Beijing’s ire for sending two warships near the disputed Spratly Islands, reported Radio Free Asia. “On the South China Sea, we have taken a position that we will defend our territory,” Anwar, 71, said in reply…