The Shadow Of China – Analysis – Eurasia Review

By Vice Admiral (Retd) Vijay Shankar * The Shangri-La Dialogue, an Asian security summit held annually in Singapore, took place between 31 May-2 June this year. And, in a grand affirmation of design, its director general declared, “It is a unique meeting where ministers debate the region’s many pressing security challenges, engage in bilaterals and come up with fresh solutions together”. Yet the central and perhaps the only theme that loomed was the strategic road taken by China over the years: from ideology and foment to growth, revision, and regional…

Chinese Design In South China Sea – Analysis – Eurasia Review

After fighting with Vietnam for the control of the South China Sea in areas disputed by both the countries, China now is engaged in fighting with the Philippines over the same reason. After Chinese ships came close to Vietnamese vessels in areas claimed by Vietnam, Chinese warships were alleged to have been passing through the Sibutu Strait in Mindanao off the coast of Tawi-Tawi with inactive Automatic Identification Systems (AIS), despite objections made by the Philippine authorities. The Philippines Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana called the Chinese actions in the West…

Press review: Russia seeks foothold in ASEAN and Huawei boosts sales despite US sanctions – Press Review

Media: Russia seeks to establish foothold in China-US dominated region Russian foreign minister dispels ‘Chinese threat’ myth in interview The foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries and other leading world powers have gathered in Bangkok to try to find ways to strengthen regional security. The US is expected to take advantage of the forum to accuse China of making unfounded claims for control over maritime routes. Russia is not involved in this conflict, Nezavisimaya Gazeta notes. The focus of meetings between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey…

China’s South China Sea Policy Flawed – Analysis – Eurasia Review

In the most brazen and vulgar display of assertiveness and bullying tactics, China that has adopted a confrontationist posture for quite some time is embroiled in a stand-off with Vietnam over the control of the strategic oceanic space of South China Sea believed to be endowed with precious resources. Since early July 2019, vessels of both the countries have been engaged in a tense stand-off over natural gas resources in waters off the coast of southern Vietnam. The on-going confrontation near the Spratly Islands is just one incident in a…

Philippines Justice Carpio’s Carping Is Becoming Quixotic – OpEd – Eurasia Review

Philippine Associate Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio has responded to Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s challenge to him to suggest practical approaches to enforce the Philippines South China Sea arbitration victory against China– “short of war”. I admire Carpio’s patriotism and courage and I understand his frustrations having been part of the team that brought the arbitration against China and won what turned out to be a hollow victory.  But I think most of his recommendations to Duterte are unrealistic and will explain why. But first some background and context.  The…

Human Trafficking, Drugs, Illegal Immigrants, Piracy – Analysis – Eurasia Review

If land and sea borders are the nation’s doors, Malaysia’s doors seem wide open. Terrorism, piracy, smuggling, narcotics trade, human trafficking, and illegal immigrants are all major problems that need to be tackled at the country’s boundaries. The country, for instance, has taken in tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of Indonesian Muslims who have crossed the border into East Malaysia from Kelantan to seek work in a wealthier country. Substantial numbers of them have been issued identity cards to become voters aligned with Malay political parties. Malaysia’s problems are exacerbated…

Dangerous ‘False News’ About China Missile Tests In The South China Sea – Analysis – Eurasia Review

On 2 July, the US Department of Defense claimed that China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) undertook missile tests in the South China Sea including from man-made structures there. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-china-southchinasea/pentagon-says-china-missile-test-in-south-china-sea-disturbing-idUSKCN1TX2QZ  Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Dave Eastburn said “The Pentagon was aware of the launch of Chinese missiles from the artificial structures of the South China Sea near the Spratly islands.” The term “fake news” has been widely used by US President Donald J. Trump, his administration and his supporters.  They use it to deny, deride and suppress truths that they do not…

A Sad Episode All Around – Analysis – Eurasia Review

On 9 June, there was a collision between two fishing boats in the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)– one a Chinese People’s Republic of China –flagged vessel and one a Philippines-flagged fishing boat.  The incident elicited wild accusations and demands for precipitous retaliatory action by some Filipino officials and even some supposedly objective international policy analysts.   This is not the first time alarmists and agent provocateurs have tried to push the Philippines into conflict with China. https://factcheck.afp.com/no-photo-does-not-show-philippine-fishing-boats-being-bombed-water-cannon-south-china-sea This piece focuses on the lessons that should be learned from this latest…

Duterte Lays Down Challenge To US Over South China Sea – Eurasia Review

By Jeoffrey Maitem and Dennis Jay Santos Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte challenged the United States to send a naval fleet to the archipelago under a mutual defense treaty, amid pressure to act more forcefully toward Chinese incursions in Filipino territory in the South China Sea. The outburst-prone president made the comment during off-hand remarks to a pastor in southern Davao City on Tuesday, while facing domestic criticism over his handling of Beijing’s expansionism in the disputed sea. Duterte has been under pressure particularly after a recent incident when a Chinese…

Can 2016 Arbitration Ruling Avert A Marine Environment Disaster In South China Sea? – Analysis – Eurasia Review

A 2012 standoff over Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal in the West Philippine (South China) Sea led Manila to take Beijing to arbitration over maritime claims and activity in the region. July 12 marks the third year anniversary of the landmark award issued by the arbitral tribunal convened under Annex VII of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). When the decision came out, the Philippines, by then under a new administration, went for a soft landing with China, which helped calm tensions. But continued degradation of the…