Indonesia & China: The Sea Between

by Philip Bowring / Sept 13, 2017 / NYR Daily

Indonesia has long been cautious in confronting China’s claims in the South China Sea, so its announcement on July 14 that it was renaming a part of the area the “North Natuna Sea” may have come to many as surprise. The new name encompasses a region north of the Natuna islands that partly falls within the infamous “nine dash line,” by which China claims the sea stretching fifteen hundred miles from its mainland coast almost to the shores of Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, and Indonesia. China immediately demanded a retraction—which it will not get. Continue reading “Indonesia & China: The Sea Between”

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As World Watches Kim, China Quietly Builds South China Sea Clout

By Jason Koutsoukis and Dan Murtaugh / September 6, 2017 / Bloomberg

As Kim Jong Un’s antics in North Korea capture global attention, China is quietly moving to bolster its grip on disputed territory in the South China Sea. Continue reading “As World Watches Kim, China Quietly Builds South China Sea Clout”

US, Japan, Australia tell PHL: Use court victory in sea dispute

By Ian Nicolas P. Cigaral / Aug 8, 2017 / bworldonline

China claims most parts of the strategic waterway, where trillion dollars’ worth of ship-borne goods pass through annually. It has also installed defense facilities on its man-made islands there. Continue reading “US, Japan, Australia tell PHL: Use court victory in sea dispute”

The South China Sea seven years on

Author: Michael McDevitt, CNA /  19 July 2017 /  EAF

This month seven years ago at the Hanoi ASEAN Regional Forum, then secretary of state Hillary Clinton made a very public, and — for the Chinese — surprising, intervention into the South China Sea (SCS) disputes. This move implicated Washington in a way that was probably unforeseen in Washington and in the region at the time. Continue reading “The South China Sea seven years on”

Beijing shifts strategy in South China Sea

by Bill Hayton / July 12, 2017 / Asia.Nikkei

One year ago, China suffered a massive legal defeat when an international tribunal based in The Hague ruled that the vast majority of Beijing’s extensive claims to maritime rights and resources in the South China Sea were not compatible with international law. Beijing was furious. Continue reading “Beijing shifts strategy in South China Sea”

Japan’s Delicate Balancing Act in the South China Sea

by Benoit Hardy-Chartrand and J. Berkshire Miller / June 27, 2017 / NationalInterest.org

Sino-Japanese relations have long been marred by a maritime and territorial row in the East China Sea as well as a historical dispute over Japan’s wartime memory, which has prevented sustainable rapprochement. Further complicating the situation, bilateral ties are now increasingly strained by Japan’s growing presence in the South China Sea, where overlapping territorial and maritime disputes have pitted China against several Southeast Asian neighbours. Continue reading “Japan’s Delicate Balancing Act in the South China Sea”

Duterte’s China policy shift: Strategy or Serendipity?

Close to marking its first year in office, the Duterte administration has turned around the country’s relations with China in a number of ways. Departing from the previous government’s strong opposition to China’s expansive claims and assertive actions in the South China Sea, Duterte has downplayed the territorial and maritime disputes in favor of pursuing close economic and political ties with China. Continue reading “Duterte’s China policy shift: Strategy or Serendipity?”

Philippines-China Relations, 2001–2008: Dovetailing National Interests
by Charles Joseph De Guzman / Download the full paper here

This study shows that the Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking (JMSU) between China and the Philippines is an attempt of both countries to advance their respective national interests. Arguing that the foreign policies of China and the Philippines dovetailed during the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the study situates the JMSU as (1) part of China’s overall foreign policy in Southeast Asia and (2) as an attempt to maintain good relations with the Philippines and help resolve tensions related to the South ChinaSea disputes between the Philippines and China. The paper also shows that (3) the JMSU, along with Chinese ODA, dovetailed with the Philippine government’s plan to promote economic development and facilitate energy security. Citing significant documents compiled by government agencies, newspaper and online articles, government officials’ speeches, and academic journals, the study shows how the Chinese official development assistance (ODA) coincided and ran parallel to the signing of the Joint Maritime Seismic Undertaking. In conclusion, the study suggests a direct, causal link, not just conjunction, among Chinese ODA, the advancement of Beijing’s security interests, and the signing of the JMSU.