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New jousting over sea dispute expected at Asean summit

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SCSC - Fresh diplomatic sparring over who owns what in the South China Sea is likely to break out this week at a major regional summit in Myanmar, after a year in which China jacked up tensions in the resource - rich waters.

Rival claims have gnawed away at ties between Southeast Asian nations including Vietnam and the Philippines and regional powerhouse China, which claims nearly all of the sea, including waters near its smaller neighbours' shores. [READ MORE]

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Straight Talk on the South China Sea

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SCSC - President Obama’s second daylong summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping will be the best chance this year to clarify some fuzzy lines on Asia’s biggest potential flash point: the South China Sea. This is the time to further clarify U.S.interests, including whether the United States cares about possible outcomes to the region’s many territorial disputes.

China is extremely clear about its interests in this region: It seeks to administer most of the South China Sea within an expansive “nine - dash line” that snakes along the coasts of Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and the Philippines. [READ MORE]

China’s ‘New Type’ of Ties Fails to Sway Obama

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SCSC - BEIJING — When Xi Jinping stood next to Hillary Rodham Clinton and addressed a high - powered lunch audience on the seventh floor of the State Department nearly three years ago, he was still China’s vice president and only the heir apparent to the Communist Party leadership. But even during that visit he spoke expansively of forging a “new type of great power relations” with the United States.

Mr. Lieberthal said. “The Chinese keep saying the great power relationship requires respect for each country’s core interests”, he said. “We get off the train at that point because we cannot get a clear statement of what China’s core interests are”. [READ MORE]

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US and allies outgunned in South China Sea

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SCSC - If one day China does really enforce outright sovereignty over the Nine Dash Line (even permitting innocent passage to continue), this will be taken as a direct challenge to the US and the established rules of the open sea. Japan would feel most threatened. Shipping would be diverted away from the Malacca chokepoint to the straits opposite northern Australia (where, as it happens, US Marines recently established a presence).

Hayton draws a barely consoling conclusion: China doesn't want a shooting war in the South China Sea, but it gains everything just short of one. [READ MORE]

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LEGAL BATTLE AT THE UN OVER THE HOANG SA ARCHIPELAGO

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SCSC - Since early May, a legal battle on sovereignty over the Hoang Sa archipelago has been sparked at the United Nations with the submission of diplomatic notes and attached materials by Viet Nam and China to the UN.

Viet Nam has sent diplomatic notes three times and position papers twice to the UN to present evidence for its sovereignty claim. China has also sent position papers twice to the UN to present its viewpoints on sovereignty over the Paracels.

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[Video] Tension in the South China Sea: A true story

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What Marines need to know about South China Sea territorial disputes

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SCSC - The nine - dash - line is an area in the South China Sea that China claims as sovereign territory. It extends from the southern coast of China, down the east coast of Vietnam, to the northwest coast of Sabah and Sarawak, Malaysia, up the entire west coast of the Philippines, and to Taiwan.

The history of this line is somewhat debated: Many argue that these claims date back officially to 1935, when the Kuomintang government published an official list of Chinese names for the islands in the South China Sea. [READ MORE]

U.S. Senators Introduce Maritime Security Resolution for the Asia-Pacific Region

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SCSC - On Monday, a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators introduced a resolution reaffirming support of the U.S. government for freedom of navigation in the Asia-Pacific region and for the peaceful diplomatic resolution of outstanding territorial and maritime disputes.
Senate Resolution 412 was introduced by Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ben Cardin (D-MD), James Risch (R-ID), and John McCain (R-AZ) – all members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. [READ MORE]

Testimony of Daniel Russel: Maritime Disputes in East Asia

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SCSC - China’s lack of clarity with regard to its South China Sea claims has created uncertainty, insecurity and instability in the region. It limits the prospect for achieving a mutually agreeable resolution or equitable joint development arrangements among the claimants.
I want to reinforce the point that under international law, maritime claims in the South China Sea must be derived from land features. Any use of the “nine dash line” by China to claim maritime rights not based on claimed land features would be inconsistent with international law. The international community would welcome China to clarify or adjust its nine - dash line claim to bring it in accordance with the international law of the sea. [READ MORE]

Russia rebuilds ties with Vietnam

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SCSC - An old friend is never forgotten. After the collapse of old ideologies and Cold War patron - client relations, Russia and Vietnam are now rebuilding robust commercial, industrial and strategic ties.

Relations have “stood the test of time, having lived through the numerous tragic events of the 20th century, drastic changes in the world as well as in our countries”, Russian President Vladimir Putin wrote in an article published in Vietnam’s state media ahead of his November 12 state visit in Hanoi. He later quoted Vietnamese independence hero Ho Chi Minh, saying the deceased revolutionary’s words still provided “spiritual instruction” for both nations’ peoples. [READ MORE]

History the Weak Link in Beijing’s Maritime Claims

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SCSC - Beijing’s claims to nearly all of the South China Sea are now embossed in new Chinese passports and official maps.

Chinese leaders and foreign ministry spokespersons insist with increasing truculence that the islands, rocks, and reefs have been China’s “territory since ancient times”. [READ MORE]

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