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Chinese Muscle-Flexing In South China Sea: India Must Operate Closely With Vietnam

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The South China Sea has become an important concern for China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines and Brunei.

China claims the entire South China Sea and unilaterally occupied the Paracel islands from the erstwhile South Vietnamese regime in 1974. Ever since, China has been claiming the entire group of Spratly islands which are in the Southern portion of the region as its own. [READ MORE]

“Maritime Rights and Interests”: A Vague Concept in China’s Maritime Power Ambition

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In the context that the 21st century has been termed the century of the seas, Chinese leaders have cried for transforming China into a maritime power. To that end, China has made assertive advances into the seas without any regard to the interests of other countries. China’s moves have caused tension and upset the status quo of the region during the past several years. [READ MORE]

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XNA’s groundless criticism against the US dispatch of warships to Subi and Mischief Reefs

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SCSC - On 27 October 2015, Xinhua published an article criticizing the United States for sending the USS Lassen missile destroyer to exercise the right to navigation freedom in the 12-nautical-mile zones around Subi and Mischief Reefs of the Spratly archipelago. However, the arguments provided in the article contained many groundless points.

First, the article asserted that the US action was provocative and that the US was playing the game of the brink of war in attempt to strengthen its overwhelming presence, leading to regional instability.

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Irrational arguments in Xi ’s speech on China’s sovereignty over the Spratlys since “ancient times"

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On September 22nd 2015, prior to his visit to the United States of America, Chinese President Xi Jinping offered written answers to questions from the Wall Street Journal stating that “the Nansha (Spratly) islands have been China’s territory since ancient times”[1].

The sovereignty so-called by Xi is used to justify China’s island reclamation and militarization activities in the reefs and islands illegally occupied by the country in the Spratlys.

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India Backs Philippines On South China Sea Row

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India backed the Philippines in its dispute with China over islands in South China Sea, which Manila calls West Philippine Sea, saying it wanted peaceful resolution to the maritime disputes, at the heart of which lies Beijing’s expansive maritime claim in the form of the nine-dashed line covering 90% of the sea’s waters.

India’s position implies diplomatic support for the Philippines’ decision to approach Permanent Court of Arbitration against Beijing’s maritime claims in early 2013 and persisting with arbitration even though China boycotted the proceedings of the Arbitral Tribunal for long. [READ MORE]

XI’S VIETNAM VISIT: MORE SYMBOL THAN SUBSTANCE

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President Xi Jinping’s visit to Vietnam on November 5-6 was the first by a Chinese president in 10 years. Hu Jintao made a trip in November 2005, when relations between the two countries were relatively relaxed.

The period from 2006 to 2008, when China reached out to Southeast Asian neighbors and cooperated with the United States on a number of important issues, was one of the most constructive in the modern history of Chinese foreign policy. [READ MORE]

HOW THE U.S. FON PROGRAM IS LAWFUL AND LEGITIMATE

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The U.S. Freedom of Navigation (FON) Program has recently drawn significant attention in the United States and abroad. An argument could be made that the program has received more attention in 2015 than in its preceding 35 years combined.

This recent focus arose as the world witnessed China engage in reclamation (enhancement of naturally-formed areas of land) and “clamation” (construction of artificial islands on low-tide elevations and submerged features) in the Spratly Island group in the South China Sea – activities on an unprecedented scale and with questionable intent. [READ MORE]

U.S. patrols to raise stakes with Beijing in disputed South China Sea

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U.S. plans to send warships or military aircraft within 12 nautical miles of China's artificial islands in the disputed South China Sea, possibly within days, could open a tense new front in Sino-U.S. rivalry.

A range of security experts said Washington's so-called freedom of navigation patrols would have to be regular to be effective, given Chinese ambitions to project power deep into maritime Southeast Asia and beyond. [READ MORE]

Japan’s Fleet Review: Abe Boards US Warship for First Time Ever

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This weekend, the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) displayed its naval power during a fleet review involving 50 vessels and 61 aircraft in Sagami Bay off Yokosuka, 40 kilometers (25 miles) southwest of Tokyo, The Japan Times reports.

Japan’s navy used the review to showcase its latest hardware including carriers, cruisers, destroyers, and submarines. Vessels from India, South Korea, Australia, France and the United States also participated in the event. 10, 000 Japanese citizens won tickets to observe the naval parade aboard JMSDF vessels. [READ MORE]

China and the Deep Blue Sea

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HO CHI MINH CITY – Since December 2013, China has added more than 1,200 hectares to islands in the South China Sea.

The geopolitical implications of these land reclamation efforts are well documented: The majority of the activity has taken place on the Spratly Islands, an archipelago in the waters between Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines, all of which – along with China, Taiwan, and Brunei – have competing claims to the region. [READ MORE]

US-China summit: ASEAN CENTRALITY AT RISK

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There are three reasons why Asean leaders must pay serious attention to the outcome of the most anticipated state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping and his summit with US President Barack Obama later this month.

Their tete-a-tete will have far-reaching repercussions in the region, coming at a time of rising tension between the world's two most powerful nations. [READ MORE]

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