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India - Japan - South China Sea

India - Japan - South China SeaOn November 30th, 2019, in New Delhi, India, Japan and India held the first 2+2 Security Dialogue with the participation of Japanese Foreign Affairs Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and his Indian counterpart, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono and his Indian counterpart, Rajnath Singh.

At the dialogue, India and Japan discussed important issues in defense, fuel and ammunition supply, and arms development cooperation. After the dialogue, the two sides issued a Joint Statement, emphasizing that in the context of the complicated regional development, the need to deepen their defense cooperation and to hold mutual exercises between the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and the Indian Air Force in 2020.

China's blatant deception of the South China Sea

Chinas blatant

By the end of August 2019, amidst high tension in the South China Sea due to China’s aggression toward its South China Sea neighbors, and before the visit to China by Philippine President Duterte, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines - Mr. Antonio Carpio (one of the main figures in the Philippines v. China case in the Arbitral Tribunal in 2013) spoke out about China's deception, emphasizing that China's claim on the so-called "sovereignty" in the South China Sea was the fake news of the century, as well as a huge fraud to mankind that shouldn’t exist.

Speaking at the University of Ateneo de Davao in the Philippines on August 23, 2019, Mr. Antonio Carpio called on Filipinos and other Southeast Asian countries to take the initiative in reporting the truth and exposing China's false rhetoric about the South China Sea, stating that "We cannot wait for the Chinese government to tell their people that it is a false history, we have to do it ourselves and this will take time"; "we have to educate ourselves and the people of the world to convince the Chinese people that it is false history and [they] have to give it up."

South China Sea crisis: China preparing for ‘strong response’ as US conflict fears grow

South china sea crysisThe US mounted a record number of navy patrols in contested regions in 2019, displaying that Donald Trump’s determination to challenge China in the region hasn’t waned despite growing presence from Beijing forces. The South China Morning Post obtained data which outlined the persisting military operations in the South China Sea. In 2019, the US sailed within 12 nautical miles of features claimed or occupied by China seven times in 2019, according to data released by the US Pacific Fleet.

This is the highest number of so-called freedom of navigation patrols (FONOPs) since Beijing controversially began constructing artificial islands around disputed reefs in the waterway in 2014.

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In challenging China’s claims in the South China Sea, the US Navy is getting more assertive

In challengingWASHINGTON – The U.S. Navy conducted more freedom of navigation operations in 2019 than in any year since the U.S. began more aggressively challenging China’s claims in the South China Sea in 2015.

The Navy conducted seven FONOPs in the South China Sea last year, according to records provided by U.S. Pacific Fleet. The FONOPs are designed to challenge China’s claim to maritime rights and dominion over several island chains in the region, which have put the U.S. and its allies at loggerheads with China.

Patrols by U.S. warships come within 12 miles of features claimed by China, including features that the Asian nation has converted into military installations. The patrols are meant to signal that the U.S. considers the claims excessive. China views the patrols as irritating and unlawful intrusions into its waters.

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Competition in the South China Sea: Who will become the global hegemon?

CompetitionSouth China Sea dominium has been the area of dispute since the end of WWII. All six littoral nations; China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Philippine, Malaysia, Brunei, are claiming sovereignty of the South China Sea. This all started in 1968 when the United Nations announced the potential of immense underground resources buried in the South China sea.

The number of disputes in this area has quadrupled in the last ten years. There were 7 disputes in the 2000s compared with 26 disputes in the 2010s. The tensions on the South China Sea have been heightened not because of the six nations in dispute but because of the conflict between China and the United States. Even though the U.S is not claiming sovereignty of the South China Sea, they nonetheless exert enormous influence in the area.

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China's Fake South China Sea Islands Could Become More Trouble Than They're Worth

China fake islandsDuring World War II Japan found that control of islands offered some strategic advantages, but not enough to force the United States to reduce each island individually. Moreover, over time the islands became a strategic liability, as Japan struggled to keep them supplied with food, fuel and equipment. The islands of the SCS are conveniently located for China, but do they really represent an asset to China’s military? The answer is yes, but in an actual conflict the value would dwindle quickly.

The Installations

China has established numerous military installations in the South China Sea, primarily in the Spratly and Paracel Islands. In the Spratlys, China has built airfields at Subi, Mischief and Fiery Cross, along with potential missile, radar and helicopter infrastructure at several smaller formations. In the Paracels, China has established a significant military installation at Woody Island, as well as radar and helicopter facilities in several other areas. China continues construction across the region, meaning that it may expand its military presence in the future. The larger bases (Subi, Mischief, Fiery Cross and Woody Island) have infrastructure necessary for the management of military aircraft, including fighters and large patrol craft. These missiles, radars and aircraft extend the lethal reach of China’s military across the breadth of the South China Sea.

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US freedom of navigation patrols in South China Sea hit record high in 2019

US freedom of navigation patrols in South China SeaUS Navy patrols near disputed features claimed by Beijing in the South China Sea hit a record high last year, newly released figures show, as the Trump administration ramped up its efforts to challenge China’s territorial claims in the contested waterway.

US Navy vessels sailed within 12 nautical miles of features claimed or occupied by China seven times in 2019, according to data released by the US Pacific Fleet – the highest number of so-called freedom of navigation patrols (FONOPs) since Beijing controversially began constructing artificial islands around disputed reefs in the waterway in 2014.

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Scary reality: China’s secret Cambodian military base

Chinas secret Cambodian military baseIt’s supposed to be an international airport. It’s supposed to be part of a large-scale holiday resort on a pristine piece of Cambodian coastline. But it’s not.

Some 45,000 hectares of an unspoilt national park is being ripped up to build it. Deep-water channels are being dredged through the clear waters. Little wonder the Koh Kong Beachside Resort has failed to attract visitors to its casino and hotel facilities.

Work on the $US3.8 billion tourism development appears to have stalled, which is why military analysts have been pouring over satellite photographs tracking the enormous airfield’s continued construction.

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The US is patrolling the South China Sea more than ever

The US is patrollingUS Navy patrols near disputed features claimed by Beijing in the South China Sea hit a record high last year, newly released figures show, as the Trump administration ramped up its efforts to challenge China’s territorial claims in the contested waterway.

US Navy vessels sailed within 12 nautical miles of features claimed or occupied by China seven times in 2019, according to data released by the US Pacific Fleet – the highest number of so-called freedom of navigation patrols (FONOPs) since Beijing controversially began constructing artificial islands around disputed reefs in the waterway in 2014.

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The United States strives to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific strategy to contain China

UntitledIn November 2017, at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit held in Da Nang-Vietnam, US President Donald Trump introduced the concept of a "free and open Indo-Pacific,” and said it would support the World Bank (WB) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in investing in high quality infrastructure in the Indo-Pacific, and incentivize private sector investment, become an alternative to state-directed initiatives for countries in the region.

While the Trump administration's Indo-Pacific concept was not clear at the time, with the policy framework not yet in place, analysts say that the US’ free and open Indo-Pacific strategy was to counterbalance China's "Belt and Road Initiative”, preventing China from expanding its influence in the region and the world. This strategy was later adopted by three other countries in the region - Japan, Australia, and India, which later became known as the "Quad" (including the United States).

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