Crew of Filipino fishing boat say Chinese trawler deliberately rams vessel, sinking it; Beijing denies ‘hit-and-run’ incident, SE Asia News & Top Stories

MANILA – It was midnight on June 9. Mr Junel Insigne had already claimed his small corner on the 14-tonne, wooden outrigger boat that had taken him and his crew of 21 fishermen more than 150km from their seaside town in Occidental Mindoro province, in the Philippines. As he began to doze off, he heard the men yelling. A much-bigger vessel was bearing down on them. He stood up and tried to start his boat’s engine. But it was too late. There was a loud crash. His boat, the Gem-Vir,…

‘He looked more dead than alive’: Ship captain who rescued Singapore man drifting in South China Sea for 4 days, Singapore News & Top Stories

SINGAPORE – As their ship inched towards the naked man clinging to a ring buoy, Captain Cornelis Plugge and First Officer Srdan Bazdan of the Diogo Cao thought he was dead. They were astonished when Mr John Low lifted his right arm to signal he was alive. The 60-year-old said he was astonished anyone saw him from the ship, which to him looked 10-storeys high. Please subscribe or log in to continue reading the full article. Learn more about ST PREMIUM. Enjoy unlimited access to ST’s best work Exclusive stories…

Illicit Chinese and South Korean sea surveys a problem: Japan News writer, East Asia News & Top Stories

TOKYO (THE YOMIURI SHIMBUN/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – Marine scientific research (MSR) conducted by countries such as China and South Korea, involving the entry of vessels into Japan’s territorial waters and exclusive economic zone (EEZ) without consent, are rife. While such surveys violate the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, Japan’s response is limited to monitoring and giving warnings about suspicious activity at sea, in addition to raising objections through diplomatic routes. Understanding of the situation has been slow to develop. The surveys are becoming increasingly bold and pose…

Drifting in South China Sea for 80 hours, S’pore diving enthusiast stayed sane by talking to his watch and life buoy, Singapore News & Top Stories

SINGAPORE – Forty hours after Singaporean John Low’s boat sank and he found himself drifting aimlessly on a ring buoy from Malaysian waters to the South China Sea, he decided to strip himself of his clothes. The T-shirt, shorts and underwear he had on were rubbing against his badly sunburnt skin and it got so painful he couldn’t bear it anymore. He stripped. For the next 40 hours before he was rescued by a passing ship, Mr Low, 60, floated naked in the sea. His body was at the mercy…

US says Chinese defence minister’s tough words on Taiwan, South China Sea were for home audience, Singapore News & Top Stories

SINGAPORE – Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe’s tough words on Taiwan and its military activities in the South China Sea were directed primarily towards the audience back home, a top United States official attending the Shangri-La Dialogue said on Sunday (June 2). Providing the first official US response to General Wei’s speech at the Dialogue, Ms Andrea Thompson, the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, said: “As I took it, it seemed very tailored towards his leadership.” In his speech, Gen Wei warned Washington not to interfere…

South China Sea dispute, Rohingya crisis are key regional threats: Malaysian defence minister, Singapore News & Top Stories

SINGAPORE – Disturbances in the South China Sea, the movement of Rohingyas in the region and non-traditional security threats such as maritime and cyber security risks pose the biggest challenges to the region, Malaysia’s Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu said on Saturday (June 1). The region needs to build on collaborative defence diplomacy to deal with these challenges, Mr Mohamad said in his address to the Shangri-La Dialogue. The geopolitical situation has changed much in recent years, together with military power and the economic potential of countries. At the same time,…

Japan, Philippines urge cool heads to prevail in trade and South China Sea as tensions escalate, East Asia News & Top Stories

TOKYO – Japan’s chief trade negotiator Toshimitsu Motegi on Friday (May 31) called for cool heads to prevail in what has effectively become an “escalation of tariff hikes” that will hurt the global economy. Mr Motegi, who is economic revitalisation minister, is Japan’s point man for trade talks with the United States. He told the 25th Nikkei Future of Asia conference on Friday that trade disputes ought to be resolved by “finding a solution based on rules and consultation”. This year’s two-day forum, themed “Seeking A New Global Order –…

US holds 4-nation navy drill in South China Sea, Asia News & Top Stories

TOKYO • In a fresh show of naval force in the contested South China Sea, a US guided missile destroyer conducted drills with a Japanese aircraft carrier, two Indian naval ships and a Philippine patrol vessel in the waterway claimed by China, the US Navy said yesterday. While similar military exercises have been held in the South China Sea in the past, the combined display by four countries represents a fresh challenge to Beijing as US President Donald Trump threatens to hike tariffs on US$200 billion (S$273 billion) worth of…

Beijing moves to own the discourse at Shangri-La Dialogue, Opinion News & Top Stories

In the days immediately after attending the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Shangri-La Dialogue one year ago, retired People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Major-General Yao Yunzhu, from China’s Academy of Military Sciences, offered her perspective on the summit. Lamenting a lack of security infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific, Maj-Gen Yao’s key message was that China’s military, in its engagement on the international stage, must “break through the discourse barrier” in the face of growing criticism from the West. In the interview published by China’s popular journal, World Affairs, she also demanded…

What China and Asean can do to maintain stability in S. China Sea, Opinion News & Top Stories

The situation in the South China Sea has stabilised in the past two years, thanks to the joint efforts of China and Asean to resolve disputes through consultation and cooperation. Now, in an effort to reinforce what has been achieved, both sides are actively working on establishing a Code of Conduct (COC). Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said last November at the 44th Singapore Lecture that Beijing hopes to complete talks on a COC for the South China Sea within three years, clinching a final deal that will lead to enduring…