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Is the South China Sea hot or cool?

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Indonesia calls for parties to exercise self-restraint in South China Sea amid pandemicIs the situation in the South China Sea normal and stable, as claimed time and again by certain in an attempt to distract the international community from attention and concern? Is that true?

What actually happens is quite opposite.

In the field, tension and conflict risks are constantly increasing, with China's rapid militarization and expassion of military presence on an unprecedented scale, using its force to elarge the scope and intensity of its control over most of the South China Sea area, intensifying pressure on and deterring lawful activities of coastal states, bringing drilling rigs and survey ships for exploration and other illegal activities as well as using coast guard vessels to cover their ships’ operations in other countries' exclusive economic zones and continental shelves, unilaterally imposing fishing bans in the South China Sea, and attacking by force other countries' fishing vessels operating normally and lawfully at sea. Military exercises, including live-fire drills, have been intensified with an increasing scale; confrontation between major powers is growing ever more fierce.

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U.S., China trade barbs over S. China Sea, Hong Kong

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US China trade barbs over S China Sea Hong KongThe United States traded barbs with China over Beijing's maritime claims in the South China Sea while also raising concerns over tighter controls in Hong Kong as foreign ministers took part in a regional meeting on Wednesday.

During a virtual ministerial meeting of the 18-member East Asia Summit, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said it regards Beijing's expansive maritime claims in the South China Sea, which are contested by several Southeast Asian nations, as unlawful, according to the State Department.

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US deliberately stirs up trouble in S. China Sea: Chinese vice FM

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US deliberately stirs up trouble in S. China Sea Chinese vice FMChinese vice foreign minister Luo Zhaohui said the US deliberately stirred up trouble in the South China Sea and stands in the way of peace and stability in regions, calling on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to work together with China to safeguard regional peace, stability and promote free trade and multilateralism.

Luo made the remarks at a meeting Friday in Beijing with envoys of the 10 members of ASEAN to China, according to an article posted on the website of Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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China’s increased aggression in the South China Sea

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Chinas increased aggression in the South China SeaAccording to the US’ Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for South and Southeast Asia – Reed Werner, since mid-March 2020 when the US’ aircraft carrier returned to Guam, China’s fighter jets have “harassed” the US’ reconnaissance aircraft in the South China Sea for at least nine times. At sea, an escort vessel from China’s Liaoning aircraft carrier fleet operated in an “unsafe and unprofessional way” near the US’ destroyer USS Mustin in the South China Sea in April 2020. The abovementioned activities have concerned states in the region and beyond, especially when the Sino-US relations still remain tense due to a wide range of issues from economic, trade, to cyber security and pandemic and neither China nor US showed any sign of decreasing their military presence in the South China Sea.

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Philippines pushes deals with Chinese company blacklisted by US

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Philippines pushes deals with Chinese company blacklisted by USMANILA -- The Philippines will push ahead with infrastructure projects backed by Chinese companies that have been blacklisted by the U.S., President Rodrigo Duterte's spokesperson said on Tuesday.

State-owned China Communications Construction Company has faced fresh scrutiny in the Philippines after its subsidiaries were among those sanctioned by Washington last week for their role in Beijing's reclamation and militarization of disputed areas of the South China Sea.

A CCCC consortium, which includes CCCC Dredging Group, one of the companies that have been sanctioned, is teaming up with MacroAsia, controlled by Philippine billionaire Lucio Tan, for a $10 billion Sangley airport project in the province of Cavite, south of Manila.

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How Will Trump or Biden End the Trade War With China?

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How Will Trump or Biden End the Trade War With ChinaAmid a global pandemic and a summer of natural disasters and social unrest in the United States, it might be easy to forget that the country is still locked in a destructive trade war with China. Not that China itself is far from the minds of the two major U.S. presidential candidates, especially President Donald Trump. During last week’s Republican National Convention, Trump not surprisingly went full throttle on bashing China in his acceptance speech, going as far to say that “China would own the United States” if his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, won the election.

And Trump has recently backed up his words with action: He issued an executive order banning TikTok and slapped sanctions on companies helping China build artificial islands in the contested South China Sea. But the trade war itself has received scant attention, which is unfortunate since the tariffs and other trade restrictions have arguably done more direct damage to Americans than Chinese video-sharing apps and man-made islands thousands of miles away.

So the big question is how Trump or Biden will end it. Or even if they can.

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Why Trump no longer talks about the trade deficit with China

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Why Trump no longer talks about the trade deficit with ChinaAs Donald Trump gears up for the final stretch of the presidential race following the Republican convention, a glaring contrast with his 2016 campaign is his silence on the US trade deficit with China.

Mr Trump took aim at China during the convention over everything from its responsibility for coronavirus to its human rights abuses against Uighurs in Xinjiang. But as the November election grows closer, the president has become conspicuously quiet on trade.

During the 2016 campaign, Mr Trump pledged to get much tougher on trade with China, which he accused of “raping” the US. After launching a trade war with Beijing, he secured a limited trade deal in January. But that agreement looks wobbly and the trade deficit remains stubbornly high.

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Tensions escalate in the South China Sea

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Tensions escalate in the South China SeaTensions between the United States and China are ramping up in the disputed South China Sea as both countries flex their military muscle. Flybys, missile launches, sanctions and military drills are adding pressure to an already strained relationship.

“Guam killer” and “carrier killer”

US military authorities say China launched four ballistic missiles on August 26. They fell between Hainan Island and the Paracel Islands, known as the Xisha Islands by Beijing. Chinese maritime authorities had pre-announced that military exercises would be conducted in the area at the end of August.

Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post newspaper quoted a source who claimed China fired two missiles. The source said one was a DF-26, launched from the province of Qinghai. The DF-26 has a range of 4,000 kilometers and is nicknamed the “Guam killer” as it has US bases in Guam within its range. It can be used in nuclear strikes.

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Thailand Delays Controversial Chinese Sub Purchase

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Thailand delaysFaced with a rising tide of public discontent, Thailand’s government has officially postponed the purchase of two submarines from China, withdrawing its request to parliament to include the sum for an initial payment in next year’s national budget.

The Chinese submarine procurement deal was announced in June 2015, a year after Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, then the army chief, seized power in a coup d’état. The coup led to souring relations with the United States. In 2017, Thailand’s cabinet approved the purchase of the first submarine for 13.5 billion baht ($434.1 million), with delivery expected in 2023.

But the purchase of the remaining two diesel-powered Yuan-class S26T submarines, which will cost Bangkok an additional 22.5 billion baht ($720 million) over seven years, has attracted heated controversy.

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US sanctions fail to forge anti-China consensus

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US sanctions fail to forge antiChina consensusMANILA – America’s move to punish Chinese entities and individuals reputedly responsible for militarizing the South China Sea has sparked divisions among rival regional claimants that may ultimately blunt the targeted sanctions’ impact.

Last week, the US Commerce Department placed 24 state-owned Chinese enterprises under sanctions, including China Electronics Technology Group Corporation, which posted over US$10 billion in revenues last year.

The US State Department, meanwhile, announced targeted sanctions including travel bans against specific Chinese officials, business executives and potentially their family members for alleged involvement in arming up China’s reclaimed islands in the disputed waters.

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Why there won’t be a US-China war

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Why there wont be a USChina warIn 1976, world heavyweight champion Mohammed Ali fought an exhibition bout in Tokyo with karate master Antonio Inoki. Inoki spent most of the match on his back kicking at Ali’s shins crab-fashion.

“Ali was only able to land two jabs while Inoki’s kicks caused two blood clots and an infection that almost resulted in Ali’s leg being amputated,” Wikipedia reports. “The match was not scripted and ultimately declared a draw.”

Archival footage can be viewed here showing Ali hoisting himself on the ropes to avoid Inoki’s crab kicks.

That’s why there won’t be a shooting war between the US and China. China has spent massively on anti-access/area denial weapons – A2/AD for short – that make war impractical.

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