China’s ‘sea parade’: Honing military skills and striking fear

by Frank Ching/ April 17, 2018 / Manila Times

IN his epic speech at the Communist Party congress last October, XiJinping, party leader and state president, announced the initiation of “a new stage in strengthening and revitalizing the armed forces.” By 2035, he promised, “the modernization of our national defense and our forces is basically completed” and “by the mid-21st century our people’s armed forces have been fully transformed into world-class forces.” Continue reading “China’s ‘sea parade’: Honing military skills and striking fear”

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Vietnam’s Fishing ‘Militia’ to Defend Maritime Claims Against China

Ralph Jennings / April 6, 2018

Vietnam is quietly fostering a state-supported fishing boat militia to hold off China at sea even as the two sides talk formally about easing their sovereignty dispute, according to experts who follow the issue. Continue reading “Vietnam’s Fishing ‘Militia’ to Defend Maritime Claims Against China”

ASEAN ‘concern’ resurfaces over contested waters with China

by TAKASHI NAKANO/ Nikkei Asian Review/ 7 February 2018

SINGAPORE — The situation in the South China Sea, where China has moved aggressively amid conflicting territorial claims, was highlighted as a source of concern in an ASEAN foreign ministers’ statement released Tuesday, with Singapore taking a more balanced approach as this year’s chair than the Philippines did in 2017. Continue reading “ASEAN ‘concern’ resurfaces over contested waters with China”

Duterte’s push for joint exploration in the South China Sea

by Aaron Jed Rabena / The Strategist / January 31, 2018

From being a frontrunner in pressing China on the South China Sea disputes, the Philippines under President Rodrigo Duterte is seeking closer relations with China. In his state of the nation address in July last year, Duterte announced that he wants to begin a joint exploration venture with China in the South China Sea, in the area that Philippine government agencies refer to as the ‘West Philippine Sea’. The Chinese hailed the initiative as ‘full of political wisdom’. Continue reading “Duterte’s push for joint exploration in the South China Sea”

Duterte’s Evolving South China Sea Policy

by Aileen Baviera / Maritime Issues / January 25, 2018

Presidential prerogative 
President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines has been criticized by some quarters as flip flopping with his foreign policy, particularly on how to manage the territorial and maritime disputes with China in the South China Sea.[1] This is causing confusion even among his domestic public, his country’s traditional allies, ASEAN neighbors, and – one can safely presume – China. Continue reading “Duterte’s Evolving South China Sea Policy”

Duterte’s shift toward China threatens ASEAN centrality, forces other claimants to take stand

by Florence Principe / 13 September 2017 / Originally Posted at APPFI

The feeble stance of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on the South China Sea in the past has been made even weaker by the sudden shift of Philippine foreign policy under the Duterte administration. As the chairman for this year’s summit, the Philippines could have used this opportunity to rally the Southeast Asian states to support and uphold the arbitration rulingthat it won in July 2016, affirming the rights of littoral states under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Instead, President Duterte decided not to talk to China about the ruling for now – while he resets diplomatic ties and secures economic aid from China. Continue reading “Duterte’s shift toward China threatens ASEAN centrality, forces other claimants to take stand”

ASEAN at 50: the view from Vietnam

11 Aug 2017|Le Hong Hiep/ The Strategist

At the 50th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting last week, Vietnam attracted international media attention for its struggle to insert strong language on the South China Sea into the ministers’ joint communiqué. The episode highlights an enormous evolution in Vietnam’s perception of ASEAN as well as the importance that the country attaches to the regional grouping in its foreign policy. Continue reading “ASEAN at 50: the view from Vietnam”

China backs joint oil drilling with PH in disputed sea

by Dona Z. Pazzibugan, Philip C. Tubeza / Philippine Daily Inquirer / 07:28 AM July 26, 2017

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Tuesday said that he supported the idea of joint energy exploration with the Philippines in the heavily disputed South China Sea, warning that unilateral action could cause problems and damage to both sides. Continue reading “China backs joint oil drilling with PH in disputed sea”