South China Sea: Germany ‘SPLIT’ on whether to back US or Beijing in disputed waters | World | News

Berlin is reported to be undecided in whether to side with US President Donald Trump for his “freedom of navigation” drills that also feature the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand and other allies. The EU power state is reported to be reluctant to stand up to China due to Germany’s coloured past of two world wards and decades of political division. A source in Berlin told the South China Morning Post: “Officials within the federal foreign ministry are split.” Walter Ladwig, of the department of war studies at King’s College…

Philippines Accuses Chinese Vessel of Sinking Fishing Boat in Disputed Waters

MANILA — The Philippines on Wednesday accused a Chinese vessel of ramming a Philippine boat in the disputed South China Sea, causing it to sink and putting the lives of the crew at risk. Although the 22 fishermen onboard were rescued by a Vietnamese fishing vessel in the area, Philippine officials said the collision on Sunday had left them “to the mercy of the elements.” “We condemn in the strongest terms the cowardly action of the Chinese fishing vessel and its crew for abandoning the Filipino crew,” Defense Secretary Delfin…

Japan’s largest warship joins U.S. carrier for military exercises in disputed South China Sea

The Maritime Self-Defense Force’s Izumo, Japan’s largest flat-topped helicopter carrier, has joined the United States’ sole forward-deployed aircraft carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan, in joint military exercises in the disputed South China Sea, the MSDF and U.S. 7th Fleet said in separate statements Wednesday. The drills, which included joint combat training in the waters and airspace of the South China Sea, kicked off on Monday and were due to wrap up Wednesday, the Japanese Defense Ministry said in a statement. The joint exercises, which were the latest in a spate…

Two U.S. warships sail in disputed South China Sea – World

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. military said two of its warships sailed near islands claimed by China in the South China Sea on Monday, a move that angered Beijing at a time of tense ties between the world’s two biggest economies. The busy waterway is one of a growing number of flashpoints in the U.S.-China relationship, which also include a trade war, U.S. sanctions and Taiwan. President Donald Trump dramatically increased pressure on China to reach a trade deal by threatening to hike U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of…

ScanEagle drones to monitor China moves in disputed South China Sea

The US government has sold its allies 34 specialised drones to help keep an eye on rival superpower China’s ambition and activities in the South China Sea. Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam have purchased 34 Boeing-made ScanEagle drones, in a deal worth $67 million, according to the US Department of Defence. The ScanEagles are renowned for their maritime surveillance capabilities. With a flight time of 24 hours and maximum speed of 148km/h, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) can be launched from small patrol boats using a catapult system and…

Coast Guard Gives US New Tool in Disputed South China Sea

TAIPEI —  A rare U.S. Coast Guard exercise in the South China Sea this month shows that the United States is broadening its reach in a disputed waterway, a new pressure point between Washington and the sea’s chief claimant Beijing. On May 14 the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Bertholf joined two Philippine coast guard vessels for training in “maritime security” and “law enforcement capabilities” in the sea, the U.S. Indo Pacific Command said in a statement. They spotted two Chinese vessels in a disputed area of the South China Sea…

Chinese clam-harvesting in disputed waters seen anew, US think tank says

SATELLITE images from AMTI’s Website showing activity in the disputed waters. — HTTPS://AMTI.CSIS.ORG/ CHINA has deployed anew clam-harvesting fleets to the South China Sea in the last six months, including in Scarborough Shoal, according to American-based think-tank Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI). “These fleets, which typically include dozens of small fishing vessels accompanied by a handful of larger ‘motherships,’ destroy vast swaths of coral reef in order to extract endangered giant clams,” said AMTI in its latest report based on satellite imagery. AMTI said that there was decrease of activities…

China’s actions in disputed South China Sea “excessive”- Acting US Defense Secy

China’s militarization of the disputed South China Sea had been “excessive,” acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said on Friday. Shanahan, speaking with reporters in Singapore on the sidelines of a defence forum, said China’s actions in the South China Sea, like installing the surface to air missiles, was “excessive” and “overkill.” China and the United States have repeatedly traded barbs in the past over what Washington says is Beijing’s militarization of the South China Sea by building military installations on artificial islands and reefs. (With inputs from agencies.) Source…